Thursday, December 31, 2009

May we be grounded in this vision for 2010:

Daily Meditation (Henri Nouwen)

God's Imagination

So much of our energy, time, and money goes into maintaining distance from one another. Many if not most of the resources of the world are used to defend ourselves against each other, to maintain or increase our power, and to safeguard our own privileged position.

Imagine all that effort being put in the service of peace and reconciliation! Would there be any poverty? Would there be crimes and wars? Just imagine that there was no longer fear among people, no longer any rivalry, hostility, bitterness, or revenge. Just imagine all the people on this planet holding hands and forming one large circle of love. We say, "I can't imagine." But God says, "That's what I imagine, a whole world not only created but also living in my image."

Wyatt Lloyd Lehman

Made his arrival at 3:06AM this morning (12/31/09). He weighs 6 pounds 14 ounces and is 21 inches long. Mom and Dad are exhausted but elated.

Monday, December 28, 2009

I thought this article was worth reposting...

As we head toward the new year and all the resolutions that entails:

Questing for Compassion

“If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.” — Dalai Lama

SPECIAL TO SOUL’S CODE: DR. JEANINE AUSTIN — Many of the great spiritual teachers throughout time emphasize the power of love in action, also known as compassion. As a life coach for women, when working with clients I will often offer applications and strategies that are love-based.

When my clients are desirous of monumental shifts and changes, why mess with weaker ideologies?

I believe there is no greater power or law than that of love in action, or compassion. Divinely inspired love is the most potent force in the universe.

Love has the alchemical potential to transform anything into something that transcends its form or (perceived) limitations. Compassion is the understanding that we are connected to others regardless of race, creed or orientation. Compassion is without judgment; it acknowledges the Divine in every person, including ourselves.

As a society, we may be tempted to think of love or compassion only as fleeting emotions. Yet compassion based on love is centered on generosity, healthy boundaries, and spiritual maturity. It is a force that heals, not romantic, transitory, or trivial.

I have noticed that there is no dearth of tools or strategies to assist clients in the quest to become healthier, happier, and abundant. In my 25 years of experience as a professional, I have known nothing to heal as quickly, or completely, as compassion. Unfortunately, compassion doesn’t have the sexy appeal of a pill, a diet, the latest trend, bestselling book or charismatic and popular new guru. However, I know compassion to be the great healer. Compassion is truly God’s most powerful gift and greatest elixir.

Six truths about the healing properties of compassion

1. Body: Compassion towards yourself and others makes you feel better about yourself, so you are more likely to align your body to fit a loving image of your authentic self. When you are compassionate towards yourself you seek to eat healthier and exercise your body. True compassion will help you to embrace a gentle but disciplined approach to yourself and others.

You will refrain from beating yourself up emotionally when you are not making choices that support your healthiest body, and you will love yourself enough to begin again. A healthy body is born from consistency. Compassion allows you to love yourself enough to do what it takes to be as healthy as possible.

2. Attractiveness: Compassion makes you feel more joyful, generally happier, and more relaxed. If you are happy you feel more attractive, and you are more attractive (literally and metaphorically). When you feel the sense of joy that being a compassionate person gives you, you are much more likely to attract the job, the partner, the friendships, and the experiences you desire.

3. Abundance: Compassion makes you feel more connected to Source. When you feel aligned with the Divine you know that you are abundance. If you feel abundant, trusting God to provide what is needed, you attract and step into the reality that you are one with Source. Furthermore, those who feel lack tend not to give. When you give, you feel abundant because you signal to yourself that you have more than you need, and have enough to give.

4. Authenticity: If you focus on what is essential (love and love in action: compassion) you are more aligned to the truth of who you are. You tend not to be involved with situations that do not resonate with who you really are. You know you are love and that you are love unfolding. You are on “purpose”.

5. Meaning: Compassion gives your life meaning. If you are living a meaningful life, you are more likely to be deeply fulfilled. You find deep satisfaction that is unwavering and not based on being affected by changing outside circumstances. If, like A Course in Miracles tells us, “Only the love is real”, what leaves a legacy, but love?

6. Healthy Boundaries: Buddhist doctrine considers compassion to be a particularly important value in life. Interestingly, Buddhist nun Pema Chodron has written about “dumb compassion”. Compassion is being generous of spirit from a healthy and loving place. It is not about allowing yourself to be taken advantage of. Compassion can mean saying “no”. Compassion can mean saying no to what doesn’t work for you. Turning our back on a situation may be the most generous way to handle a situation. We can always have the choice to release a sister/brother or a situation with love.

If you wish to maximize your own human potential, remember that compassion or love in action, is the choice which will take you to the most actualized, realized and ultimate place possible.

Even if we never see someone’s secret face, let’s remember that they have one. Not to acknowledge this might originate from callousness, naiveté or some other form of denial. In the end, we hurt only ourselves if we don’t embrace compassion. After all, when we extend compassion, we are one of the beneficiaries.

Jeanine Austin holds a Master’s degree in clinical social work and a Doctorate in life-coaching. Her passion is helping women live a joyfully authentic life. Dr. Jeanine provides one-on-one coaching that honors each woman’s unique expression. Jeanine offers a free consultation by Email Visit Simply Divine Solutions and Compassion Quest International for more information.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Doing "The Right Thing"

Sometimes, I find myself doing/suggesting the doing of something that is patently uncomfortable to me on one or another level, BUT knowing it is the right thing to do. Have you ever done something like this? And, usually, it turns out ok. It really was the right thing to do.

However, once in awhile, that which was intended to be "the right thing to do" backfires and becomes the very opposite of what you intended. This happened to me this year.

Against the wishes of my husband and sons, I insisted on something because I thought it was "the right thing" to do. And, at the time, I fully believed it was the right thing to do.

But now, 4 months later, it seems that I was fundamentally wrong, because it turned out to be a very wrong thing, with repercussions that are going to diametrically alter my husband's family. Possibly forever.

I wrote the words possibly forever and I started crying over this, yet again. For 19 years I have fought this war to keep my husband/sons in touch with his mother/their grandmother. I have dialed the phone and put it in the husband's hands on the right days to call her...mother's day, her birthday, Thanksgiving and Christmas...I have struggled to work through every argument she and I had. I have held my tongue when I wanted to defend myself, my husband, my sons, because to do so would deepen the rift and possibly break the peace.

And now, 19 years later, I do something I believe is the right thing, and the war is over. The war is lost. I feel like I beat my head against the wall for 19 years for nothing. The beating is over, but my head still hurts. I cried myself to "sleep" last night (well, what passed for sleep) and I've walked around in a fog of numb all day.

In some ways I knew it was just a matter of time. One day I knew my tongue would slip and I'd be flip or something and things would be perceived the wrong way. But I never imagined this. Where I would do the right thing and basically be punished for it.

Anyway...It's over now. There's no way back that I can see. I should be relieved...but I am not. I am just sad.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

On Fathers...Mine in particular...

My father has been in and out of the hospital twice in the past 30 days. First for extreme pulmonary edema (from the bottom of his feet to his armpits), the second time because the swelling was coming back and he caught it before it got that bad again. My youngest sister lives with my father and my step-mother (she's been my step-mother since I was 2) and she was pretty hysterical because he had lost 41 pounds and had become so frail that she thought he would not live until Christmas. So, my next to the youngest sister bought herself and I a ticket to Pahrump, NV to see our father before he dies...

The first thing we noticed was his thinness and frailty. He is down 45 pounds, to 166. He is gray. He looks weary. He has to have oxygen when he sleeps. But by the time we left, his physical frailty had paled in my mind compared to his emotional/spiritual frailty.

My father didn't live with me when I was growing up, therefore I tended to idolize him. It was quite a shock to me to find out he is just a human being (which I figured out after I moved in with he and his wife when I was 13). But still and all, he is my Daddy. Almost always patient. Always strong. Always almost an optimist.

Now? Now he is a cynical, almost bitter man railing against the evils of the world, stating that the earth would be better off if humans had never been created. It is downright scary to watch and listen to. And it gave me more cause to worry about him dying than any of the physical issues he is having.

Physically, I think he's going to make it. He has a good physical therapist from Gentiva. He has a nurse checking on him. And mom is one of the best cooks on the planet. So his physical needs are going to be met, and he will grow physically stronger each day.

However, we all know that the physical is only half the battle, and I fear he will lose the battle on the spiritual end of the spectrum.

Dad and mom moved to Pahrump, NV when they retired. It's a little Podunk town in Nevada, about a 90 minute drive West and North of Nevada. It's inhabitants are anti-government and pro-guns. It's not where I would EVER have pictured them, and they hate it there. Which they discovered too late to save themselves from it. I wish that there was a way for them to move away from there, to move closer to friends and family, but, alas, none of the family has the means to do that for them, and they are unable at this time, so they are stuck there.

When I got home, I sat down to write my father a letter. I made sure he know how much he means to me, and how much I enjoyed seeing him. But then I expressed my concern for his spiritual depression/bitterness. I told him "You have allowed this place to poison your heart/mind with bitterness. Not just you, by the way, all of you have done this. Pahrump may be a cesspool to live in, but you are better than this. You are stronger than this. Don’t let this piddly-assed little town drive you to anger and bitterness!!!"

And I told him that the world isn’t necessarily getting worse than it was. The difference is MEDIA. Because of the media we now know all the bad things that people do in all kinds of various places. Before, we could only know what was going on in our own neighborhoods and towns and perhaps on a state level with occasional forays into national. If we sought out information, we could find world news also. But it wasn’t dumped on us non-stop. Now it is.

I told him to turn off the news. Find good news things to read, and to trust me that they are out there...inspiring things, selfless things that people do every day. To read good books. To listen to upbeat music. To stop letting the poison eat him away.

Then I shared my vision with him. And I added:

Dad, people are just people; broken, hurt people running around in life doing the best they can with what they have. Every person wants the same things, love and happiness. Sometimes they get the “how” wrong and end up greedy instead of seeking love & happiness. But underneath it all is a broken human being, desperately trying to make their life work.

This is what we are here for. Learning how life works. Learning to come through the trials and tribulations without breaking…without turning cold, cynical and bitter. This is where forgiveness of the humanness of others comes into play.

I am worried about you becoming so cold-hearted and cynical that you push all the people who love you away from you. I’ve seen this in others. I was heading that way myself, but my vision helped me, and focusing on finding good and seeking joy has pulled me out of the cynical pit in which I was drowning.

I love you dad. I love your humor, your way with people, your love for your troops. Think of the world as just one big troop, dad. And learn to love them all in spite of themselves. It will revolutionize your life, I promise you this."

I hope he listens and changes his course or I fear the bitterness will kill him where the COPD, Emphysema and Pulmonary Edema could not.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Thanksgiving 2009 - Itadakimasu

I like Thanksgiving because it focuses on giving thanks...

I found a buddhist blessing that I was going to read this year and to end the blessing it said "Itadakemasu," like for the amen (Japanese). But then i couldn't find the blessing to read but did remember the Itadakemasu, and gave everyone at the table a chance to say it with me.

It's more than just thank you for the food. It's like thank you for all things you have received since creation. Thank you for not just the food, but for the cow (or turkey or pig) that gave their life, for the farmers/ranchers that tended the animals/grains/veggies, the harvesters that harvested it all, the butchers that killed/chopped/prepared them all and the grocers who sold them all, the cooks who cooked it and the servers who served the food. Anyone and anything that touched this piece of food, from GOD to grocer to cook to eater, for all of you I give thanks.

From Wikipedia:

Meals in Japan traditionally begin with the phrase itadakimasu (literally, "I humbly receive"). The phrase is similar to the phrase "bon appétit," or grace, used in the case of some individuals, at every meal. It is said to express gratitude for all who had a part in preparing the food, and in cultivating, ranching or hunting edible food of plants and animals. This originates in the consideration that living organisms are giving their life to human beings as Dāna.

I've decided it's a great mantra word to repeat over and over. So, pronunciation is like this:

ee tah dah kee moss (the u is silent in most dialects, but in some there is a slight oo)

for me it works best on the tongue with the slight oo at the end.


ee tah dah kee moss oo

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The Charter for Compassion

Charter for Compassion

A call to bring the world together…

The principle of compassion lies at the heart of all religious, ethical and spiritual traditions, calling us always to treat all others as we wish to be treated ourselves. Compassion impels us to work tirelessly to alleviate the suffering of our fellow creatures, to dethrone ourselves from the centre of our world and put another there, and to honour the inviolable sanctity of every single human being, treating everybody, without exception, with absolute justice, equity and respect.

It is also necessary in both public and private life to refrain consistently and empathically from inflicting pain. To act or speak violently out of spite, chauvinism, or self-interest, to impoverish, exploit or deny basic rights to anybody, and to incite hatred by denigrating others—even our enemies—is a denial of our common humanity. We acknowledge that we have failed to live compassionately and that some have even increased the sum of human misery in the name of religion.

We therefore call upon all men and women ~ to restore compassion to the centre of morality and religion ~ to return to the ancient principle that any interpretation of scripture that breeds violence, hatred or disdain is illegitimate ~ to ensure that youth are given accurate and respectful information about other traditions, religions and cultures ~ to encourage a positive appreciation of cultural and religious diversity ~ to cultivate an informed empathy with the suffering of all human beings—even those regarded as enemies.

We urgently need to make compassion a clear, luminous and dynamic force in our polarized world. Rooted in a principled determination to transcend selfishness, compassion can break down political, dogmatic, ideological and religious boundaries. Born of our deep interdependence, compassion is essential to human relationships and to a fulfilled humanity. It is the path to enlightenment, and indispensible to the creation of a just economy and a peaceful global community.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Drake Update

Drake weighs 13lbs 1oz and is 23 3/4" long. He got his 4 month shots yesterday. The doctor actually witnessed him spitting up and now he has an appointment on November 24th with a gastroenterologist. AND he has two teeth on the bottom!!!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

The "Secret" Law of Allowing/Attracting the Gospel of Prosperity...

High powered, well off, entrepreneurs and preachers are banding together to preach the same "gospel" (I KNOW, scary isn't it?): If you don't have the best/newest/most expensive of anything you desire, including perfect health, you aren't believing/praying/wishing/dreaming/imagining/collaging/vision boarding (did yours come from Mine did!!!) in absolute positivity and perfect faith (never letting a doubt creep in) and are, therefore, sabotaging your entire LIFE. It is, folks, all your fault that you don't have 3 cars, a big screen TV, a nice house, fabulous jewels and perfect health AND a guaranteed "get out of hell" card with a free ride to heaven!!!! Sounds good, right?

The problem is that humans are not geared to be 100% positive, 100% of the time. And the burden of trying to do so heaps guilt and frustration onto an already overburdened nervous system. Trying to live up to these standards is hazardous to your mental health!!!

What started this musing was an email story about a "treasure room in heaven" in which are stored all the blessings that GOD/Divine/Universe wanted to bless/gift you with IF you had simply believed/prayed/wished/dreamed/imagined/collaged/vision boarded in absolute positivity and perfect faith, BUT YOU DIDN'T, so said blessings/gifts are still locked away in said treasure room. Cars, money, health, TV's, clothes, jewels, whatever your little heart desires, is sitting in that room just waiting for you to come up with the right combination of or words to believe/pray/wish/dream/imagine/collage/vision board. And when you GET THAT RIGHT MAGIC COMBINATION of belief/prayers/wishes/dreams/imaginings/collages/vision board, then and ONLY then will you receive your treasure...

What is it I pray/wish/dream for/of? I want the money to go visit my mother (found on the kitchen floor with blood sugar of 30 and almost comatose) before she dies. I want to be able to go see my father (rushed to the hospital with pulmonary edema from feet to armpits/diagnosed with congestive heart failure & enlarged heart ON TOP OF his already diagnosed COPD). I'd like to be able to afford a new pair of jeans from Walmart. I'd like to be able to have enough money to help my daughter, who's man isn't working now for 2 months. When my other daughter lost her job and couldn't find a job for 11 months, I'd have liked to have been able to help out. When my first grandson was born, I'd have liked to been able to go see him (as he spent several weeks in PICU).

On a more frivolous note, I'd like a working car to be able to drive into the woods and walk and rest in nature. I'd like the work I'm doing on exercising and weight to show some progress. I'd like my hair to stop thinning. I'd like the winter depression (happens as soon as we "fall back" into darkness each fall) to leave me alone...

But I have evidently not mastered this magic prayer/belief/dream/imagining combination. Nor has much of the world. And then I beat myself up for not having mastered it. Why CAN'T I figure this out if it's so simple? I'm NOT utterly stupid you know? And it becomes another burden on my sometimes overburdened emotional life, threatening to capsize the fragile boat in which I navigate life. And then I cry...

And then it's OH NO...a negative thought!!!! I've just perpetuated the negativity that has denied me the blessings of life I already don't have!!!! And the vicious cycle goes on and on and on...

Or maybe I'm just a whiny baby? Maybe that's the problem...OH NO!!! Another negative thought!!! LOL. Ohmygosh, it's freaking impossible I tell you...

Oh, and lest you get me wrong, I am totally and amazingly blessed in life with the people I love and who love me. I am blessed with a house in which to live (many in the world have shacks or nothing). I am blessed with the ability to buy food, every month, to nourish my family (3/4s of the world cannot do this). I am blessed with a fairly decent public transit system (even in America, many people don't have this). I have a job (and in this economy, that is such a blessing). I have much for which I am utterly thankful.

Oh, yeah, there are things I don't have that I want, even that I perceive as "needs", but in the scheme of worldly things I am blessed. So don't think this is one of those "oh, she has so much what is she complaining about" things. It's not.

It's a call to examine what kinds of burdens what we think and teach lays on people. And a call to tread more softly with the hearts of the people around us. Truly we can never really see the burdens a heart carries...

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Reflections on our son turning 18...

Michael turned 18 this weekend. And I found myself thinking of the silly things in his life that are uniquely memories of him...

The little boy who always wanted to be picked up...he would stand at your feet and say "Up me, up me, up me, up me," until you gave in and picked him up.

The special locks we had to put on all 3 doors because he was a master escape artist and the neighbors would drag him home in his diaper, which is all he slept in because it was too hot. We had to put them WAY UP on the door, almost at the very top, so he couldn't even reach them with a chair (I'm amazed he didn't figure out how to push out the screens and get out that way).

The scary pyromaniac phase he went through, setting his dresser, a basketball and the back yard grass on fire. Thank GOD he outgrew that.

The way he was always talking to everyone on the bus, so that everytime we all got off the bus all the women on the bus would wave and say, "Bye, Michael". He was a consummate flirt even then.

The day he got off the bus when Sean was an infant in my arms, and raced onto the ACC campus. I didn't know what to do, put Sean down and risk the bus taking off with him, run with Sean in my arms, I knew I'd never catch him...when a gentleman on the bus took off after him and brought him back in 60 seconds. Thank GOD.

The funny way he and Sean first related once Sean learned to talk. He always wanted Michael to pay attention to him, but Michael was usually too busy to. So you'd hear, "Michael," "Michael," "Michael," "Michael," "Shut up, Sean." Only to begin again in 5 minutes!!! Too funny.

I miss my little boy, but I know that he will be ok. That kids grow up everyday. That he'll find his way, whatever that is, and that he'll have a full and interesting life. Thanks for sharing the first 18 years of your life with me, Michael. I wouldn't have missed it for the world.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Giveaway Button

Fabulous Hoover Cordless Stick Vac *Giveaway!!*

I found this page, where a lady is giving away a Hoover Cordless Stick Vac and HAD to share it with my blog buddies!!!

Hoover Cordless Stick Vac *Giveaway!!*

Friday, October 16, 2009


Today I am feeling superfluous...and also hurt. Let me explain...

Main Entry: su·per·flu·ous
Pronunciation: \s-ˈpər-flü-əs\
Function: adjective
Etymology: Middle English, from Latin superfluus, literally, running over, from superfluere to overflow, from super- + fluere to flow — more at fluid
Date: 15th century
1 a : exceeding what is sufficient or necessary : extra b : not needed : unnecessary

My 15 year old son is going to the homecoming dance tomorrow night. No biggie, he went last year. But this year he tells me he is going "stag". Alone. No date. I take him at his word and don't question him, because he so rarely lies to me. So, this morning we are all at the coffee shop on the way to work (we being myself, my husband, my son) and his dad asks who he is taking to homecoming. I say he's going stag. Sean nods his head. Jon stops walking, looks at Sean and says, no. No you aren't. Sean looks at him and says, yes I am. Jon says no you aren't, are you? To which sean mumbles ummmmm. he's going with Brittany. And why did he lie to me? Because "you'd make a fuss". And what is the fussI would make? Making sure he didn't go in ratty jeans and a UT tee shirt and making sure the girl had a flower. I ask you...IS THAT A FUSS?

SIGH. I feel utterly dis-mommified.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Reposting from John Michael Talbot's Facebook Blog...

The Internet Community of Faith

I have been most blessed lately through the community of faith I see on my Facebook and Twitter activity. It is most certainly a positive way for immediate communication. It also has some pitfalls. I mentioned this through a comment about mutually respectful and civil dialogue on my FB pages, and it had a huge response. I have been asked to write something about it. This will just be a thumbnail, and far from complete. I will limit my remarks to my Facebook and Twitter activity, but some of it applies to other such tech vehicles and e-mail as well.

The Internet, and specifically FB and Twitter, is a great tool for immediate communication among those who would probably not normally correspond. Pope John Paul II encouraged the use of the Internet in general as a means to spread the good news of Jesus Christ. It is also just a good tool for human communication on a personal, or business level. FB and Twitter are by nature less formal than e-mail, and e-mail less formal than snail mail letters. Both FB and Twitter are limited to the length of a normal entry, and Twitter is more limited than FB. On FB you may, however, post " Notes" like this one, and refer folks to them. So, there are limitations.

These can allow people to communicate without finding hard addresses and such. Folks are pretty easy to find if they want to be found. There are also plenty of privacy controls to keep the general public from finding out private things you would prefer stay private. But you must use the privacy controls. Without them you can place yourself at some real risk by allowing all the world to know more about you then it needs to know.

Communication does build community, thus the similarity of the words. It is also where we get the word "communion." I am blessed by being able to get to know folks from all around the world of every faith persuasion. I find common ground with all, though admittedly greater common ground with those who are closer to my own faith. But we all share our humanity in common, and most believers share one God. At the very least most on my page are seeking a higher and deeper spirituality based on God, and usually Jesus Christ.

But this is no substitute for face to face human relationships if at all possible. It can be a great alternative, especially for shut ins. But if at all possible face to face relationships are what humanity, and faith communities are really all about. We share a living God, and we are a living humanity. Virtual community remains just that: virtual. We Catholic Christians emphasize the need for being the "body of Christ." So do many other Christians.

The Eucharist is the Presence of Jesus under the appearance of physical elements, the Creator under the appearance of the created. Jesus himself is fully God, and fully human. Eucharist is a sacramental way to bring the spiritual and the physical together in complete love union. To receive Communion ideally you must be physically present and actually receive Him into your entire being, spirit, soul, and body. It is like a marriage. You must be physically together in order to fully consummate the love union. And if you do not want to be together, that raises serious issues about the love behind the marriage. The same is true of the Church. There is no substitute for actually being there with brothers and sisters in Jesus. Even Christian hermits are communal in that they support one another in their life of solitude, and come together from time to time to share their insights with one another. To see their faces, to hear the tone of their voices, to see their body language and such are all very important to good communication. However, if you really cannot be there, there is a Communion of desire, and a community of desire as well. This is helped remarkably through the use of the internet, and FB and Twitter in particular.

On the other hand this anonymity is sometimes helpful, kind of like the old confessional where the face of the penitent and the confessor were hidden from one another. Sometimes we can speak more freely when we do not see the facial responses, or hear the voice inflections. This is especially true with race or ethnicity. Some have said that due to their self consciousess about their appearance these means are a great way for them to converse with others wo might be a bit put off by their appearance otherwise. Or it is a way for the uneducated to converse with a university profesor and such. This can be a good thing.

But it can also backfire. Anonymity sometimes brings out the worst in people. We can be a bit too bold with folks that we would be more polite with if we had to look them in the face. Thus, the need for civility and mutual respect. I have heard some truly nasty remarks directed towards me and others on my pages. Usually this is just one or two individuals. But it skews the spirit of the whole thing. And no matter how loving the rest of the community might try to be, it rarely does much to pacify the anger in the other.

As a rule of thumb I always say do not say anything that you do not want the whole world to hear, because it just might, and say it like Jesus is in the one you are addressing, because, whether you know it or not, He is!

I also advocate the monastic ideal of listening obedience. We really listen to one another before we respond. Otherwise it is just reaction, and reaction is rarely helpful in communication. In this medium listening means really reading the full text of a post before reacting when one or another part of a post sets us off, or makes us angry. It also means trying to really empathize with where the other person is coming from, and listening to there spirit through self emptying mediation and prayer. For the Christian this is united with the kenosis, or self emptying of Jesus Christ. Only through such meditation and prayer can we really let go of our ego about our own opinions so that we do not get angry when someone disagrees with us. Then we can respond selflessly and lovingly.

I also recommend stating differences with a certain moderation of tone and with real polite civility. I advocate a return to civility! What does this mean? It is not a good idea to emotionally attack another person because of difference of opinion about evn major issues. It lacks what the monastic tradition calls "decorum." Stating your understanding of an issue is generally better than stating a point absolutely. Asking questions with respect is better thatn accusing. Sharing how another person's position or answer makes you feel is better than striking back. We are not perfect, and some have the actual authority to teach as teachers and professors and such, but I have found the above rules of thumb helpful in dialogue.

On our tours we often employ musicians and crew that hold many different beliefs and approaches about God. My rule of thumb is: You can share anything, but we will argue about nothing. Ironically, the only person I have ever had to threaten about this was a very conservative Catholic who was implying the need for Eucharist for salvation in an excessive manner!

I pretty much use the same rule on my FB pages. If folks cross over from time to time it is OK. But if they persist, we suggest that they go elsewhere. If they do not, we eventually just block them.

Arguing is something St. Paul says that we should almost never do. It usually leads nowhere. Scholastic arguments are best left to scholastics in scholastic settings of controlled debate. FB and Twitter, or even e-mail, is not for that. Most of us are relatively well educated laity at best in an uncontrolled environment. It is very easy to hurt another's feeling here.

This leads to another point: Grammar and such. Due to the immediacy of such communication there is often some truly terrible grammar and spelling in most folk's posts. On one level some feel that this is contributing to the further breakdown of the art of language and writing in our civilization. True. But on the other hand, immediacy means by its definition that we often do not proof read our posts like we would a letter or book. I use no copy editors on my FB entries! I think that is part of the beauty of it. It is immediate, and personal, and lets us see that everyone is most human. But we need to retain a higher level of the art of language and writing in our other more serious forms of communication. I am always blessed by the beauty of the lyrics of ancient hymns when compared to modern worship choruses, though these are also good in their proper place. Or simple soldiers writing home to their loved ones displays a use of language that has long since been lost to the god of efficiency. Regrettably, the sound bite rules our day.

These are just a few initial thoughts on internet communication through e-mail, Facebook, Twitter, and the like. I hope they are helpful.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

The Sparrow - A book review

I don't read a lot of fiction anymore, I simply don't have time. Twice in the past year, however, my husband, who reads very little, has read about a book that piqued his interest on my behalf. The first was a trilogy: The Thief/The Queen of Attolia/The King of Attolia by Megan Whalen extremely likeable set of books, which almost my whole family has read by now. So when he suggested The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell, I said sure.

The Sparrow is about a fluke discovery of music being broadcast from Alpha Centauri and the effect that has on the young man who first hears it, and on his group of friends, Anne and George, an older married couple, Sophia, a young woman who was hired to decided if Jimmy's (the young man) job could be automated and Emilio Sandoz, a priest. Later, they are joined by DW Yarbrough, another, rougher, priest, Marc and Alan.

This book fascinated me because I'm always thinking of the sacred and the we have these divine moments, these spiritual highs in the midst of our rather mundane life. This book highlights this contrast in spades. I was also fascinated because music is so intrinsically important to me, and the first contact with this species/planet was music.

In many ways, I feel this book is a must read. Anyone who likes Science Fiction, or just good fiction, or who has ever sought a touch by GOD or who has ever loved/hated other words, everyone, would be moved to laughter and tears by this book...

Not that this is an utterly "up" experience. There is a great deal of sadness and despair in this book. There is horror and death and life and love and passion and faith and loss of faith and truth and trust and other words, this is a book that LIVES. It lives in your mind, it grabs onto your heart and you feel you live in the book with these amazing, nuanced people and beings. I hated to see it end...even though it was very difficult to read at the end and I sobbed my guts out at the emotion and revelations. (Oh, I have since then discovered there is a sequel).

I hesitate to say more, because I don't want to contaminate your experience with the book. But I highly recommend this to everyone...I know it's fiction, but it describes one of the longest, darkest nights of the soul that someone has ever survived.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

My current stress...

Do any of you have aunts? Older aunts? (like in their 80s?) who tortured you your whole life? Well this is my stress. In a moment of weakness I told my daughter-in-law that we could have her baby shower at my house. 15 strange women i don't know, who work with or who are friends with her AND 2 of my 3 aunts/great-aunts. Now one of them is an old sweetie. Wouldn't hurt me for anything. The other?

The other aunt married my mother's oldest brother and they were ALWAYS well off (as opposed to us, we were dirt poor). They had a fancy house (huge), lots of cars, lots of money, vacations, best schools, rich and conservative

My mother, my uncles youngest and only sister, was a wild child. Always in trouble, always drunk, often violent. The aunt seemed unable to STAND her, and by extension, me. Mom was the black sheep I was the gray.

My cousin, (their oldest daughter) was one of those rigid, up-tight, have to do everything right, neurotic kids. I always dragged her away from that and made her "play". Her mother hated that. We got dirty together (OMG DIRT!!! NOT ALLOWED). We climbed in the hayloft at the other aunts house. We rolled down the hills around their ranch (all my great aunts are wealthy). In short? we were kids. The aunt hated this. The cousin was NEVER to be "mussed". Sigh.

OK, on to the torture: I was born a slob. Seriously. when they gave out house cleaning genes I wasn't even on the same planet. I have been a slob since I was a child. You had to "wade" through my rooms. And later, in an unhappy marriage, I was WORSE if you can imagine. It was how i punished him because he was a Virgo and DEMANDED a clean (spotless) house. And I would not give it to him. GOD, I was horrid.

Anyway, one time my mom dressed herself in white bell bottoms, a wild shirt & a beehive hairdo. HEAVY on the makeup. Then she dressed me that way (I am normally a VERY modest and conservative dresser). And THEN, for some reason, she got gram to dress the same way, even with the beehive, but with less makeup. And THEN she drove us to the aunts house. It was a kodak moment when she opened the door and I think she'd have slammed it in our faces if gram hadn't been with us. Sigh. We were not nice right back to her, now that I think about it.

OK, so, what does this have to do with the baby shower tomorrow? THE VERY AUNT IS COMING. This woman has not been in my house since my older 4 kids were really little (2/4/6/8). AND SHE'S GOING TO BE HERE TOMORROW.

Needless to say I've been an utter basket case. Cleaning everything in and out of site, knowing it will NEVER be enough.

Wow, I think I feel better having spoken it.

Thanks for wading through my past that is haunting my now with me.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Drake Update

At 2 months of age, on 9/15/09, Drake weighed 9lbs 15oz and was 22.5 inches long!!! And here is my son with his son!!! Adorable!!!

Reposted from Wednesday, November 1, 2006

Halloween musings...

I took my 12 year old (who is now 15) trick-or-treating last night on the streets of neighborhoods around my house. I took the car and kept it warm, because it was cold, and he would dash from house to house and then take refuge in the car to keep warm. So I spent some time alone...musing.

Halloween when I was a child (and I'm 53- now 56) was a neighborhood thing. We would all meet at the Revard's (because there were 7 of them so they had a group all by themselves) and then we would go door to door in groups. This was before I ever conceived of anything involving getting dressed up as "evil" or "harmful" or "bad". Halloween was more innocent then...I hadn't met any Christians to tell me it was evil, no one had poisoned candy or put razor blades into apples so we weren't in danger of dying, and there weren't any terrorists in our world so we didn't know to fear.

Last night, I literally sensed the fear. Long lines of dark houses...people peeking surreptitiously from behind drawn drapes and blinds...don't knock here, i don't open my door to strangers..

Streets that just a few years ago were strung with lights and lit with pumpkins, now dark. Children guarded closely by parents, don't run too far ahead.

I wept for my country. For the fear, first, that we are supposed to be combating but that imprisons us. For the sensation of the "puritanism" in our history that has reached forward again and longs to control us, telling us halloween is evil and bad and the celebration thereof will send you right to hell. For the joy and delight future children will not have in their lives.

Halloween is not a major holiday for most. Most people probably will not even blink when it's gone. Like Mayday, when it left us. I don't think there was a murmer...but we lost something then, and we are losing something now. The innocent abandon of children, dressed as that which they are not, running full tilt into the joy of discovering what the next house has to offer them...

I drove, and watched, and wept and grieved knowing that I will miss it. Wondering if anyone else will...

Friday, September 25, 2009

From today:


Question of the day:

How can I be God’s conduit?

[Notice that] all of the great liturgical prayers of the churches end with the same phrase: “through Christ our Lord, Amen.” We do not pray to Christ; we pray through Christ. Or even more precisely, Christ prays through us. We are always and forever the conduits, the instruments, the tuning forks, the receiver stations (Romans 8:22-27). We slowly learn the right frequencies that pick up the signal.

The core task of all good spirituality is to teach us to “cooperate” with what God already wants to do and has already begun to do (Romans 8:28). In fact, nothing good would even enter our minds unless in the previous moment God had not already “moved” within us. We are always and forever merely seconding the motion.

From The Naked Now: Learning to See as the Mystics See (p.23)

Current mantra:
Behold, I am with you always.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Drake Update

Drake is now 9 pounds and 7 ounces. I don't know his current length.

An inspiration...

Yesterday, there was a family member I'd been praying for and thinking about all day. When I laid down to sleep last night, there she was, at the forefront of my mind, and suddenly I had an overwhelming rush of thoughts, which normally I try to go to sleep THROUGH and then try to remember in the morning...which never works. So I sat up and wrote the thoughts down...

The past is a ephemeral house you can haunt, but you can no longer live there. You can "see" the memories, but you cannot relive them or change them in any way.

The future is a house which is not yet built on shifting sand, changed by every decision we make (some small, some dramatic) in the now.

The NOW is the only house in which we can truly live.

Every kindness we show brings more light, joy & love into our now.

Every meanness we show brings darkness, pain & sorrow into our now.

Live your life as a shining beacon of love, kindness & compassion. Remember, each person you meet is carrying a heavy burden. Smile & lighten their burden.

Be kind & compassionate to yourself...

Be kind & compassionate to others...

Out of this kindness and compassion will grow great love...

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

On working through anger...

Someone hurt my son this summer...someone we trusted not to do so. And I was LIVID that this person would take the innocence of my son and slime it with such poison and hate and anger. I've been working with my spiritual director on this issue and her assignment was to "work through the anger". Sigh...

First I thought, OK, I can make a dartboard and put her photo on it and throw darts at it...

Not very "working through"...

Then, I thought, I could take a photo of her and burn it...

Once again, not very "working through"...

So, instead I put together a dream/vision board of all the things I would like to see for her in her life. Because truly, if someone has health and joy and happiness and friends and family and money and flowers and good food and pets and a home, they should be able to find the kind of healing that would allow her not to hurt people anymore, right? That will be my prayer.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Shared on an e-group I am on...

"In a garden, many things are planted. And whatever you care for thrives. If the garden is ignored and despised, weeds will strangle what has been planted from the beginning, and everything that is good will die. It is not until the gardener comes along that things are restored to the way they were intended to be. Like the garden, whatever is planted and nourished in us will take root and grow. If we believe we are poor and cursed, we shall grow as poor and cursed plants. If we believe we are loved and cared for, then our beauty will shine for all to see. Whatever you think you are in your heart is what you become. If you plant fear, you will be scared. If you sow hate, you will be hated. And until these seeds are weeded out by the true seed of love, the garden would be better if it had never been planted to begin with." from "The Calling" by Jacob Israel.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Christian Chat and the Burden of Guilt

I hang out in a Christian chat room on Yahoo...Christian chat room #3 (I started in CC2 many years ago, but it was taken over by some foul mouthed youths and we had to move to CC3) to be exact. Christian chat has been very challenging to me over the years, giving me insights into how some people think about Christianity, how some people think about Christians, and how some people simply don't think at all.

In Christian chat I have learned about theologies I never knew about before like Preterism and Calvinism (I cried for 4 hours upon learning the precept of Calvinism) and the Kenite Theory (don't get me started).

And I have also had people attempt to heap guilt upon me for my faith...the lack thereof, the quality thereof, the trusting thereof...all on behalf of my 15 year old son, Sean.

Sean was born with a congenital heart defect called Pulmonary Valve Atresia. In essence, he was born without a pulmonary valve to pump oxygenated blood into his lungs. By 30 minutes after his birth he was blue. He also had a hole in his heart and a leak-like-a-sieve tricuspid valve, but that was less worrisome at the time.

At 1 day of age he underwent a heart catheterization. At 3 days of age he underwent open heart surgery. He was still blue...about 60% oxygenated. I had nurses come up to me on the bus and grab his little hands and confront me with, "Are you aware this child is cyanotic?" Well, duh.

At 10 months of age he had another open heart surgery and for the first time in his life he was pink. You'd have thought the whole flock of us had lost our mind gushing over his pinkness, but it was such a NEW thing for us and he had been so bluish and was now so pink we just couldn't help ourselves.

When Sean was born most of my friends were very literalistic/fundamentalist in that they believed the Bible is the Word of GOD, literally, and that is their fundamental belief on which they stake all other beliefs. And it is this belief that led to my guilt...

You see, if I were a woman with "the right kind" of faith, or a woman with "enough" faith, or if I "trusted in GOD and not man" my son, Sean, the light of several of our lives, would be healed WITHOUT NEED OF A SINGLE HUMAN DOCTOR/SURGERY. BUT, evidently, I don't have "the right kind" of faith, or "enough" faith, nor do I "trust enough in GOD and not man." And therefore, by this leap of logic, it is MY FAULT that my son is not healed. In full. Never needing another medication (he was on meds from birth to age 14), or operation (of which he has now had 3).

Now, when I left literal fundamentalism behind, I thought I had left this guilt thing behind. I spent a lot of time wallowing under the weight of this guilt for many years, to the point of almost wanting to kill myself...and I THOUGHT I had walked away from it. Until last night...

Last night in CC3, a man challenged me again on this very issue. And all of that guilt and the resulting pain which comes out as anger just reared it's very ugly head. And I am ashamed to admit I yelled at him. For about 2 minutes. Sigh. About how I am not taking that guilt back, and that he cannot make me, and that I was done with this trying to make my son's heart not being fully healed "my problem/my issue". And then I left the chat room...

But you some ways they are right. I don't trust. I don't trust hardly anyone. And I don't trust GOD much at all in things like healing. Oh, yeah, you hear that occasional story of GOD healing. But when do you actually see that in your life? How many people in your life have something wrong that simply isn't getting better. And these are good people, Godly people, loving people, praying people...and they aren't healed.

I've seen this all my adult life. Parents, desperate over their child's condition (or their husbands, or their friends) run from one healing service to another DESPERATE to have their child/husband/friend healed. They pray. They beg. They weep. They prostrate themselves on the floor. They beat their heads against the walls. They tear their hair out. They tithe. They give...until they can't do it anymore. They are broken over it. And although they say, yes, I believe GOD heals, that's lip service. Because to say less than that causes such a whirlwind that you cannot, emotionally, bear it. So it's safer just to say, yes, I believe GOD can heal. And I believe GOD sometimes does heal. But no, I do not believe he ALWAYS heals. Or that there is some formulary out there in which you put in the right combination of syllables of prayer or weeping or begging or crawling and your child, your baby, your object of adoration, is fully healed on the other side. Because, trust me, if there was a formula out there, we parents would have found it by now. We'd have moved heaven and earth and we'd have memorized that formula and we'd be going around teaching it to others because NO ONE wants this feeling that some THING within their mind/heart/faith keeps their child/husband/wife/lover/grandmother/WHOMever from being healed.

And that all welled up in me last night. And poured down on that poor unsuspecting fundamentalist whom I will have to apologize tonight (or whenever I see him again). Because he didn't deserve 15 years of guilt spewing forth onto his personal being, anymore than I deserved the heaping of guilt in the first place.

So the moral of this story is this: Be very careful how you word things when dealing with the healing issue. Some people have had more than they can bear and will fall apart at the merest wisp of you trying to show them how far off the literalistic healing track they have wandered...And each and every one of them is raw under the outer layer. You aren't the first, and you won't be the last, to point out their loved one should be healed.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Drake Updates

Drake is now 8 lbs, 8 ounces and 22.5 inches long. This is as of this weekend.

Friday, September 4, 2009

About Codex a Quick Tour

About Codex a Quick Tour

Shared via AddThis

Everyone needs to be aware of what is coming down the road for us. No vitamins without a Doctor's prescription and THEN they will be expensive like medicine!!!! Vote NO against the Codex!!!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Published on Wednesday, September 2, 2009 by

Why Is Universal Health Care ‘Un-American’?

by Rev. Jim Rigby

Last week supporters of health-care reform gathered around the country, including in Austin, TX, where 2,000 people crowded into a downtown church to hear speakers talk about different aspects of the issue. Asked to speak about the ethical dimensions of health care, I tried to go beyond short-term political strategizing and ask more basic questions. This is an edited version of what I said.

Is anyone else here having trouble with the fact that we are even having this conversation? Is anyone else having trouble believing this topic is really controversial? I have been asked to talk about the ethical dimension of health care. Here's one way to frame such a discussion:

If an infant is born to poor parents, would we be more ethical to give medicine to that child so he or she does not die prematurely of preventable diseases, or would we be more ethical if we let the child die screaming in his or her parent's arms so we can keep more of our money?

Or, let's say someone who worked for Enron, and now is penniless, contracted bone cancer. I've been asked to discuss whether we are more ethical if we provide such people medicine that lessens their pain. Or would we be more ethical to let them scream through the night in unbearable agony so we can pay lower taxes?

I can't believe I am standing today in a Christian church defending the proposition that we should lessen the suffering of those who cannot afford health care in an economic system that often treats the poor as prey for the rich. I cannot believe there are Christians around this nation who are shouting that message down and waving guns in the air because they don't want to hear it. But I learned along time ago that churches are strange places; charity is fine, but speaking of justice is heresy in many churches. The late Brazilian bishop Dom Hélder Câmara said it well: "When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a Communist." Too often today in the United States, if you talk about helping the poor, they call you Christian, but if you actually try to do something to help the poor, they call you a socialist.

Some of the other speakers today have been asked to address what is possible in the current political climate. I have been asked to speak of our dreams. Let me ask a question. How many of you get really excited about tweaking the insurance system so we just get robbed a little less? (silence) How many of you want universal health care? (sustained applause) I realize that insurance reform is all that's on the table right now, and it can be important to choose the lesser of evils when that alone is within our power in the moment. But we also need to remember our dream. I believe the American dream is not about material success, not about being having the strongest military. The American dream is that every person might have a right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

It's amazing to hear Christians who talk about the right to life as though it ends at birth. They believe every egg has a right to hatch, but as soon as you're born, it's dog eat dog. We may disagree on when life begins, but if the right to life means anything it means that every person (anyone who has finished the gestation period) has a right to life. And if there is a right to life there must be a right to the necessities of life. Like health care.

I believe the American dream was not about property rights, but human rights. Consider the words of this national hymn:

"O beautiful for patriot's dream that sees beyond the years. Thine alabaster cities gleam, undimmed by human tears."

Doesn't that sound like someone cared about the poor? There are those who consider paying taxes an affront, but listen to these words:

"O Beautiful for heroes proved in liberating strife, who more than self their country loved and mercy more than life."

"Mercy more than life" -- have you ever noticed those words before? Supporting universal health care does not make you socialist or even a liberal, it makes you a human being. And it makes you an ambassador for the American dream which, in the mind of Thomas Paine, was a dream for every human being, not just Americans. As we struggle to get health care to all people, we may have to settle for the lesser of two evils, but remember your dream -- the true American dream, a human dream. Whatever we win through reform is just first step toward a day when every human being has a right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

The Rev. Jim Rigby is pastor of St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church in Austin. He can be reached at

Tuesday, September 1, 2009


I have always said I don't believe in "personal happiness" and that I don't believe that we should be chasing/seeking happiness. And this quote says it so much more eloquently than I am able to.

The Matrix Analogy...

I think the films have it backwards. They seek to get out of the Matrix. I see us as born outside the Matrix and our goal is to be linked in. The Matrix is the underlying maze of energy that is GOD, that holds all things together, that lives and breathes and has it's being in our reality. Beneath the surface of all things. Our goal is to get PLUGGED IN to the Matrix, because it is only then that we are at one with GOD.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Sean has been back from Texas for 10 days...

He had a blast. Lots of family and friends. There was a bad spot in the midst of his time with family and friends, but he survived it, thank you GOD. He's rip-roaring and ready to go back next summer!!! In fact, he's been out this week looking for a part time job to earn the money to go back to visit again next summer!!! Wow. Amazing.

I want to thank each and every one of you who helped Sean have a great time. What a blessing you are in our lives.


OMG here I am doing another post on girlie girl stuff!!!! What is wrong with me lately? :oP

OK, there is this woman on my bus...I have ridden the bus with her for about 2 years now. She is the queen of accessorizing, I kid you not.

Her shoes always match her bag. She has never ONCE had a bad hair day. Often, when she gets on the bus, she opens her bag and takes out the earrings and necklace (and sometimes bracelet or arm bangle) that completes her look. She utterly baffles me.

I have 5 piercings. 3 in my left ear, 2 in my right. I have worn the same 5 earrings for the past 2 years. Until July of 2008, I had worn the same silver cross that my husband bought me the first Christmas we were together. I never took it off. I wear the same silver rings every single day. Each one means something specific to me. I never vary my jewelry routine.

This makes me some kind of oddity in womanhood. I have friends who have sworn they are going to "teach me how to accessorize," but we never get around to it, and besides, it wouldn't matter. They'd lay it all out, show me "the way" and tomorrow I'd have on my same stuff.


Because I don't care. Someone really has to care about their looks/appearance to be that into accessorizing, in my opinion. I barely stop at the mirror long enough to swish a brush through my hair. I cannot imagine the time involved in accessorizing.

A: You'd have to buy stuff. An utter waste of time/money, imo.
B: You'd have to coordinate the stuff with your clothing (did I mention I wear jeans, every single day, blue or black, that's it?)
C: You'd have to take the time every morning to put the stuff on. Did I mention utter waste of time? I barely have time to do my Qigong in the morning and check my email. And if you tell me to get up a few minutes early to choose coordinating earrings/bangles, I'll slap you silly. Do you not know how important sleep is?????

OK. Enough about this accessorizing stuff. Don't get me wrong. There is a part of me that looks at this woman on my bus every day and marvels. I admit I'm sometimes a tad envious of her obvious good grooming and ability to juggle color/coordinates/jewelry/bags/shoes. But evidently not enough to want to BE like that.

I'm content just to be the me I am. Non-accessorized as it is.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

One woman's purse is another woman's nightmare...

That I would even be writing a blog post about purses/messenger bags is ironic. I'm not a girlie girl. I don't care what my purse/bag looks like, I care how it FUNCTIONS. But I discovered some interesting things about purses/bags and thought I'd share my thoughts.

Two years ago for Christmas, my husband bought me a black messenger bag. Big enough to carry stuff, but often difficult to find said stuff in as it had one, big, main pocket. It did have 2 thinner pockets on the outside (front/back) but as an organizer it sucked. However, for 2 years I have carried it AND my backpack, to and from work. When we go someplace other than work, I grab just the messenger bag. I was content, but my messenger bag was wearing out after 2 years of steady use...

Enter, my friend with a purse with all those pockets and places to stick stuff. It was western style (which I don't do) and had this cute little silver heart on it, so I said, "Cute purse." That was the beginning. Evidently commenting on your friends cute purse can cause said friend to decide to purse-shop for you.

The first purse she found for me had many of those cute pockets in which to stick stuff. But overall it was too small. I couldn't put the things in the purse that I need to carry...

Oh, let me clarify here...I don't own a working vehicle. I ride the city bus. This means when you leave your house, you cannot get 2 blocks away and realize, OMG, I forgot something, turn back and retrieve it. You have to have EVERYTHING you need (or might need) on you, or you are out of luck. Which is why my purse/bag had to be larger/deeper than maybe a normal woman's purse/bag.

Ok, on to purse #2 that said friend purchased for me. This purse was almost big enough. It had a few pockets that made it more organized. BUT, the strap was shorter than on my messenger bag (I ALWAYS carry a shoulder-strap bag) and this made it get tangled in my backpack straps when I was putting on my backpack. AND, worst of all, it was made of LEATHER. Now this leather thing wouldn't have been an issue if the strap had been longer. However, because the strap was shorter, this put the LEATHER purse up in my armpit, between my body and my upper arm. Can anyone say OMG HOT?????!!!!! I discovered I cannot bear leather near my flesh in 98+ degree weather.

So, I went shopping online for a bag to replace the purse my friend gave me. And I found it. It's big enough for everything I carry (lotion, hand sanitizer, a brush, my breathing medicine, my journal, the book I am currently reading, the multi-colored pens I use to write in my journal, my wallet, my motrin, my keys and even, in a pinch, my umbrella)!!! And, with this bag, suddenly I don't have to carry a backpack!!! Hooray!!!

Anyway, that's why I felt compelled to write this. Because to my friend, my bag/messenger bag is a fashion nightmare, whereas to me the leather bag was a practicality nightmare. Hence the title of this blog. *Grin*

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Drake Update

He was 7lbs 7oz on 08/18/09 and 20 3/4 tall!!! Growing big!!!

Friday, August 14, 2009

From Inward/Outward today:

Wage Peace

Judyth Hill

Wage peace with your breath.
Breathe in firemen and rubble,
breathe out whole buildings
and flocks of redwing blackbirds.
Breathe in terrorists and breathe out sleeping children
and freshly mown fields.
Breathe in confusion and breathe out maple trees.
Breathe in the fallen
and breathe out lifelong friendships intact.
Wage peace with your listening:
hearing sirens, pray loud.
Remember your tools:
flower seeds, clothes pins, clean rivers.
Make soup.
Play music, learn the word for thank you in three languages.
Learn to knit, and make a hat.
Think of chaos as dancing raspberries,
imagine grief as the outbreath of beauty
or the gesture of fish.
Swim for the other side.
Wage peace.
Never has the world seemed so fresh and precious.
Have a cup of tea and rejoice.
Act as if armistice has already arrived.
Don't wait another minute.

Source: Written in response to September 11, 2001

Thursday, August 13, 2009

!!!!A Give Away!!!!

And now the rules for the giveaway!
Please be aware that she may not get access to a computer whilst she am away
and therefore your comment may not appear until she return's from my holiday.

1 point for leaving a comment on this post on her blog.
5 points if you post the first prize picture on your blog with a link to my blog.
5 points if you are already a follower.
5 points if you decide to follow my blog.

The first prize is:

Box decorated with my own cross stitch design
(the free pattern will be available to download when I return from my holidays)
Coffee pot and cup
Rose pins
Heart shaped ornament with Swarovski crystal trim
Scissor fob with Swarovski crystals stitched 1 over 1
The second prize is :
Pink felt pin cushion trimmed with shocking pink ribbon and Swarovski crystal
3 rose pins
Pink and white coffee pot

Third prize is :
6 rose pins hand made by me using fimo clay
The cross stitch patterns are freebies :
Heart shaped ornament design can be found on Zoes blog here
Scissor fob pattern can be found on Joei's blog here
The pin cushion is my own design.
When will it be drawn?

You have until the 31 August to leave a comment and I will announce the winner on Saturday the 5 September. I know it's quite a long time but I am away most of the month of August.
I look forward to reading your comment's and announcing the winners!

Good luck everyone!