Friday, June 29, 2012

TGIF

How beautiful it is to do nothing, and then rest afterward.

Spanish Proverb


Friday has finally arrived, and it is time for a much-needed rest.  It's been so busy at work, so many changes since I was out last week.  New ways to do our group notes, a new Microsoft Word which is so totally complicated for a computer nerd such as me. This weekend the temperature and humidity are going to soar, so all I plan on doing is staying in under the AC.  There is nothing I really need from the store, and it is just going to be too hot to wander about.  So rest and read are the only things on my agenda.

For those of you who are getting the heat wave along with us, please, please be careful.  This weather can be dangerous. 

Take care of yourselves and enjoy your weekend. May it be all you hope it to be. 

Thursday, June 28, 2012

A Warm Hug



Even though I never hear your tender voice
Of tone melodious and sweet
I know your thoughts you’ll always share
As if we always meet
Even though you never walk into my home
In your own special way
I will always view your inner soul
With all your loving traits
Even though I never see your loving face
Or look into your eyes
You will still be my forever friend
The best that God could find
Even though I never feel your gentle hand
And clasp it in my own
Your heart I’ll still forever hold
For that’s where I’m at home
Though I can never know your lifelong ballad
Yet, a tune of joy you are
Sweetest music in my soul
A song within my heart

--Unknown--

Just wanted to say thank you to all of you for being here for me.  You've all touched that special place in my heart.  I love you all, my online friends.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Song. O Spirit Of The Summer-Time!



O spirit of the Summer-time!
Bring back the roses to the dells;
The swallow from her distant clime,
The honey-bee from drowsy cells.

Bring back the friendship of the sun;
The gilded evenings calm and late,
When weary children homeward run,
And peeping stars bid lovers wait.

Bring back the singing; and the scent
Of meadow-lands at dewy prime;
Oh, bring again my heart's content,
Thou Spirit of the Summer-time!

William Allingham

Ah, the lazy days of summer....if only it weren't so hot.  Yesterday was perfect weather...low 60's in the morning and only low 70's in the afternoon.  There was a cool breeze that made it feel even more comfortable.  In my ideal world, this would be summer every day, but, it is not my ideal world, and sweltering summer heat is something we have to deal with.

Heat and humidity never seemed to bother me as a child, but the older I get, the worse I feel.  In fact, the summer's of my youth meant times of fun, endless hours riding my bike along the country roads, traipsing through the woods in search of the fairy folk, diving into a pond of clear blue water, lemonade stands of which I drank more than I sold, running through the yard with, Susie, my three-legged dog chasing me.  She was a true miracle indeed. Of course, it didn't hurt to be able to run about in a bathing suit all day.

Susie was my first pet. I remember one day coming home from school and being told she was at the animal hospital, that she by an oil truck.  No one   thought she would survive.  Don't forget, we're talking 60 years ago , and  vets had not nearly the life saving equipment they have now, so he performed nothing short of a miracle. He and my mom spoke and they chose to  her back leg  amputated. For awhile it was touch and go, but bless her dear heart, she survived, was able to get about just like any other dog, and lived to the age of 15.  That was when she developed a brain tumor and had to be put to sleep.  That little black mutt had brought me so much joy, and I can still feel her close to my heart. 

If there was one thing my mom instilled in me, it was my love of animals and the joy and sense of inner peace that comes from helping a fellow creature.  We had quite a menagerie when I was young. I can never forget, Patti, the little tabby who had got caught in the fan belt of my mom's car. She was near death when we brought her to the vet, but she had such a strong will to live. She was left mildly retarded with a limp, but she was the sweetest most loving cat. 

Then there was Robin, the baby bird that had been pushed from the nest because his claw was deformed. He lived over a year and learned to love me as much as I loved him. His was a happy little life despite how tragic it began. And throughout the years there were so many, many who came in and out of my life. Some I rescued and kept as my own, others I was able to find good homes for.  

Today I have my sweet, Minga.  We've such a special bond; we've grown old together.  She was but a wee babe 20 years ago when I brought her home.  Actually, she was hubby's cat, and her sister was mine.  Micheline disappeared one day, but Minga has stuck with us through thick and thin.

Thank you, mom.

As the days go on toward July, the earth becomes dry and all the flowers begin
to thirst for moisture. Then from the hillside, some warm, still evening,
the sweet rain-song of the robin echoes clear, and next day we wake up
to a dim morning; soft flecks of cloud bar the sun's way, fleecy vapors
steal across the sky, the southwest wind blows lightly,
rippling the water into little waves
that murmur melodiously as they kiss the shore.

Celia Thaxter






Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Healing of Body, Mind, and Spirit

Healing ourselves on the spiritual level involves developing a strong
connection with our soul. We heal ourselves on the mental level as
we become aware of our core beliefs, release those that limit us, and
open to more supportive ideas and greater understanding. Emotional
healing takes place as we learn to accept and experience the full range
of our feelings. And we heal ourselves on the physical level when we learn
to honor and care for our bodies, and for the physical world around us.

Shakti Gawain


During my lunch hour, I was surfing the net and came across the above which really touched me, and I wanted to share it with you.  You know, I never really did take my lunch hours. I was always the one who had to have their work up-to-date, the one to have everything caught up. I typed my notes while eating my food. The problem is, and it took me a long time to realize it, in this field one can never get caught up.  Healing clients has never been the number one priority.  It is the paperwork that counts.  That's because the funding sources have to SEE the work you have done, and without being there to watch over us, it's the paperwork that counts.   They want to SEE a note for each individual session and each group the client participated in.  If that is not there, the program doesn't get paid. 

This causes quite a dilemma for those of us in the field who really DO want to do our best for the client.  We either spend time with the client and let our notes fall behind, concentrate on our notes and not spend time with the client, or over-extend ourselves and try to do both resulting in an increasingly high stress level, hypertension, and a feeling of helplessness.   We find ourselves broken...in body, in mind, and in spirit, and changes MUST be made if we are to survive.

For all of us who today find ourselves broken--physically, mentally, emotionally--we must begin healing ourselves from within.  

Health is a large word. It embraces not the body only, but the mind and spirit as well;... and not today's pain or pleasure alone, but the whole being and outlook of a man. 

--James H. West--

Monday, June 25, 2012

Monday This and That


Rain, rain, go away
Come again some other day
We want to go outside and play
Come again some other day


It was pouring this morning when I had to leave for work.  Not that I dislike the rain. Actually, I love the rain, but not in the morning when I have to go to work.  One thing I cannot stand is getting wet and having to sit in it all day. I've been home since Tuesday, and it didn't rain until today. It seems like it purposely waited for me to have to leave the house, but I know Mother Nature is not that way.  She's gentle and loving and knows exactly what she is doing.  Perhaps this was her gift to me, to wash away my tears.

Rain is grace; rain is the sky descending to the earth; without rain, there would be no life.

--John Updike--

Meanwhile, I think the worst part of this thing is the not knowing, the waiting.  I'm thinking positively, and everyone I have spoken to has given me hope that even if it is the Big C, it's small and I caught it in time.  I keep telling myself that it is no good to dwell on it, what will be will be, but it's hard to filter something like that out of one's thoughts.

Auntie brought up something interesting on Friday--the problems we face with our healthcare in today's society. Insurance companies are dictating which patients can get what services under what circumstances. For example, I suffer with sinus issues, always have. For twenty years I was treated by New York Eye and Ear, a hospital that specializes with these areas. They have all the latest equipment, and doctors are specifically trained to deal with issues such as those I face. I've not been able to see them since my insurance changed.  I cannot get past my primary who feels it is not necessary for me to see a specialist. A week's worth of antibiotics will do for a sinus infection. 

I also see the effects of bureaucracy, too, when working with my clients, and, to put it bluntly, it is downright frightening.  As most of you know, I work with mentally ill substance abusing clients.  Over half of my clients are schizophrenic, a quarter of them are half bi-polar with psychotic symptoms, and another quarter are on parole and have no mental health issues, or if so, they are minor. All are on Medicaid. For some of these clients, it took many years to stabilize their mental health issues, and now, with recent changes in Medicaid and all these new plans, certain medications are no longer paid for. That means that clients who have been stabilized on certain medications no longer have access to the very medications that have helped them to lead fairly normal lives because they certainly cannot afford to buy them. What happens if and when these patients begin to decompensate?  What happens then?  What happens when these clients begin roaming the streets?

Well, despite having to go out in today's rain and not being able to lie in bed and enjoy it, I was thankful that I was off work on medical last week.  The record setting heat was unbearable.  I heard on the Friday morning news that the power had gone off in my old neighborhood and that they had been working all night to get it back on.  As I recall, this is nothing new. The power was always going off in that neighborhood. You'd best believe I breathed a sigh of relief that I was no longer living there.  Even with the power on, summer got awfully hot there what with the sun beating down on the bedroom windows almost for the entire day and no windows through the rest of the house.  I sit and wonder how I was able to take it so long, and my conclusion has been that I don't take to change as well as I think I do.

Long as unending threads, the long-drawn rain
Interminably, with its nails of grey,
Athwart the dull grey day,
Rakes the green window-pane--
So infinitely, endlessly, the rain,
The long, long rain.
The rain.


Since yesternight it keeps unravelling
Down from the frayed and flaccid rags that cling
About the sullen sky.
The low black sky;
Since yesternight, so slowly, patiently.
Unravelling its threads upon the roads.
Upon the roads and lanes, with even fall
Continual.

Along the miles
That 'twixt the meadows and the suburbs lie,
By roads interminably bent, the files
Of waggons, with their awnings arched and tall.
Struggling in sweat and steam, toil slowly by
With outline vague as of a funeral.
Into the ruts, unbroken, regular,
Stretching out parallel so far
That when night comes they seem to join the sky.
For hours the water drips;
And every tree and every dwelling weeps.
Drenched as they are with it.
With the long rain, tenaciously, with rain
Indefinite.

The rivers, through each rotten dyke that yields.
Discharge their swollen wave upon the fields.
Where coils of drown?d hay
Float far away;
And the wild breeze
Buffets the alders and the walnut-trees;
Knee-deep in water great black oxen stand,
Lifting their bellowings sinister on high
To the distorted sky;
As now the night creeps onward, all the land,
Thicket and plain,
Grows cumbered with her clinging shades immense.
And still there is the rain,
The long, long rain.
Like soot, so fine and dense.

The long, long rain.
Rain--and its threads identical,
And its nails systematical,
Weaving the garment, mesh by mesh amain,
Of destitution for each house and wall,
And fences that enfold
The villages, neglected, grey, and old:
Chaplets of rags and linen shreds that fall
In frayed-out wisps from upright poles and tall.
Blue pigeon-houses glued against the thatch,
And windows with a patch
Of dingy paper on each lowering pane,
Houses with straight-set gutters, side by side
Across the broad stone gambles crucified,
Mills, uniform, forlorn.
Each rising from its hillock like a horn,
Steeples afar and chapels round about,
The rain, the long, long rain,
Through all the winter wears and wears them out.

Rain, with its many wrinkles, the long rain
With its grey nails, and with its watery mane;
The long rain of these lands of long ago,
The rain, eternal in its torpid flow!

Emile Verhaeren

Friday, June 22, 2012

Update: Appointment Cancelled

I was getting ready to go for my medical when something told me I should check with my insurance first.  With the insurance I had on my old job, I could go anywhere I wished.  With the insurance I have now, they assigned me a doctor who I never met.  He was part of a plan which, whenever I called with issues, they would send me to the nearest open office.  So, something told me that I should call insurance to see if I 'could' go to the new clinic, and I am so glad I did.

Had I gone to my appointment without checking first, insurance would have paid nothing.  I would have been charged for visit, tests, bloodwork, etc., something I certainly cannot afford at this time.  So, the entire morning was spent on the phone back and forth between hospital clinic and insurance company, and I am pleased to say I have identified a 'good' doctor who I will meet on July 2nd.  

May You Have



May you have......

Enough happiness to keep you sweet,

Enough trials to keep you strong,

Enough sorrow to keep you human,

Enough hope to keep you happy;

Enough failure to keep you humble,

Enough success to keep you eager,

Enough friends to give you comfort,

Enough wealth to meet your needs;

Enough enthusiasm to look forward,

Enough faith to banish depression,

Enough determination to make each day better than yesterday.


Well, it's off to the clinic this morning.  My first 'real' checkup from who knows when.  I'd go to the doctor, but usually just to have some symptom treated.  This is going to be the real thing...bloodwork, schedule for biopsy, appointment for mammogram, etc., the entire gamut. I'm no spring chicken anymore, and as the doctor says, this is the age when things start going wrong so it is important to stay on top of it. Needless to say, although I know this needs to be done, I am scared...scared of what else they might find.  Trying to keep my thoughts positive, but after Tuesday's bombshell, it isn't easy.  I know this is necessary and for the best, but it doesn't make it any easier.  

Well, at least I know from the bloodwork on Tuesday that my kidneys are fine.  That's a plus.  And, now that I know I have high blood pressure, I am taking steps to lower it.  I'm also hoping to get some diet advice from the doctor.  I am so used to eating everything I want, it's going to be a hard change to make, but, if I want to live, I have to change the way I live my life.  My body is my temple, and it is about time I treat it as such. 

Wishing you all a weekend filled with love, joy, and peace.  See you on Monday.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Approaching Each Day



"I've learned from experience that the greater part of our happiness or misery depends on our dispositions and not on our circumstances."

Martha Washington 


Ah, how should I begin?  Perhaps by saying be careful what you wish for?  How many times have I grumbled and complained that I did not want to go to work, that I wished I could retire?  So, here I am.  Not close to retirement, that's for sure, and I am keeping a healthy outlook on my recent test results, but I've been home all week now, doctor's orders, and now worrying because of all the sick time I am using up.

My back muscle is still aching, although it does seem a bit better, and it has been quite a fight for me trying not to cough.  Funny how I seem to want to cough more now that I know I if I do I could throw the muscle out again.  It's all psychological at this point.  It's like when your tooth is aching and you can't keep your tongue off of it.  

My arm is also just about back to normal, and the swelling is just about gone.  Don't think I told you about that one.  I had to have blood drawn, and because of the cat scan, she was supposed to leave the catheter in for the IV solution.  Instead, she spent all her time complaining about how much she had to do and pulled it out.  Hence, when they called me for my cat scan, I had to have it put back in.  Same nurse, same complaints.  Well, she ended up putting it back in the same arm, and believe me, it didn't tickle as she poked and prodded.

Move forward to the cat scan.  All went well during the test, but afterwards, when they came to get me and remove the needle, they discovered the fluid had infiltrated.  Fortunately, enough fluid got into my veins for the test, but there was a huge lump in my arm where the fluid sat, and as the day went on it began to spread until my lower arm and hand were swollen.  Not dangerous, I was told, but scary for me nonetheless.  


Last night I was reading through my special notebook and found the following.  It is a great way to live one's life and one I will become a part of my daily activities:

I woke up early today, excited over all I get to do before the clock strikes midnight. My job is to choose what kind of day I am going to have.

Today I can complain because the weather is rainy or I can be thankful that the grass is getting watered for free.

Today I can feel sad that I don't have more money or I can be glad that my finances encourage me to plan my purchases wisely and guide me away from waste.

Today I can grumble about my health or I can rejoice that I am alive.

Today I can lament over all that my parents didn't give me when I was growing up or I can feel grateful that they allowed me to be born.

Today I can cry because roses have thorns or I can celebrate that thorns have roses.

Today I can mourn my lack of friends or I can excitedly embark upon a quest to discover new job relationships.

Today I can whine because I have to go to work or I can shout for joy because I have a job to go to!

Today I can complain because I have to go to school or eagerly open my mind and fill it with knowledge and adventure.

Today I can dejectedly murmur because I have housework to do or I can feel grateful for shelter for my mind, body and soul.

Today stretches ahead of me, waiting to be shaped, and here I am, the sculptor who gets to do the shaping. What today will be like is up to me. And I shall decide what kind of day I shall have!"


Are you making the best of every moment in your life?

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Midsummer Greetings



After the May time and after the June time
Rare with blossoms and perfume sweet,
Cometh the round world's royal noon time,
The red midsummer of blazing heat,
When the sun, like an eye that never closes,
Bends on the earth its fervid gaze,
And the winds are still, and the crimson roses
Droop and wither and die in its rays.

Unto my heart has come this season,
O, my lady, my worshiped one,
When, over the stars of Pride and Reason,
Sails Love's cloudless, noonday sun.
Like a great red ball in my bosom burning
With fires that nothing can quench or tame,
It glows till my heart itself seems turning
Into a liquid lake of flame.

The hopes half shy and the sighs all tender,
The dreams and fears of an earlier day,
Under the noontide's royal splendor,
Droop like roses, and wither away.
From the hills of Doubt no winds are blowing,
From the isles of Pain no breeze is sent, -
Only the sun in a white heat glowing
Over an ocean of great content.

Sink, O my soul, in this golden glory!
Die, O my heart, in thy rapture-swoon!
For the Autumn must come with its mournful story.
And Love's midsummer will fade too soon.

Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Wishing you all a blessed Solstice, and thank you, thank you from  the bottom of my heart for your kind words and well wishes.  For those who don't know, yesterday I didn't get the greatest of news.  Since then, I thought long and hard about how I am going to deal with this. All my life it has been my motto that if anything is wrong with me, I don't want to know.  I also felt 'it could never happen to me'.They call it 'denial' when they gave me my test results. Today I am 'glad' I know, I am glad that should it be the worst, I caught it when it was small before it spread.    In "Live to I Die" Frank Sinatra sang:

I'm gonna live till I die 
I'm gonna laugh stead of cry
I'm gonna take the town turn it upside down
I'm gonna live, live, live until I die.

And, by golly, that is going to be my motto.  First of all, the Cat Scan is not definitive, and a biopsy could show that it is only some old scar tissue.  But if it should be the worst, I am thankful that I did there in time, and I am going to live each day, no matter what should happen, in gratitude for this wonderful gift of life.  And from now on, I am going to take better care of my body, my temple.  Health check ups are number one on the list.  


Have a great Solstice.


Tuesday, June 19, 2012

I'm Back and Really Feeling Down



Whew!!!  I've been through it today.  X-rays, blood work, Cat Scan.  I am  a firm believer that everything happens for a reason, and, despite how miserable I am right now, I guess the pain from this pulled muscle was meant to be because if it hadn't been so severe, I would have gone on to work and not to the hospital.  But it was severe, so severe that I had no other choice but to go.  

The first thing they found was that I had high blood pressure 183 over 130, but that's not the worst of it.  My lower back is riddled with arthritis, but I already knew that,  and the X-ray showed something on my lung, and the Cat Scan made it all the more conclusive.  I have a nodule on my left lung, and I am so, so scared at this time.  I want to cry, but it hurts too much.  I'm scheduled for medical on Friday morning and from there they will send me for a biopsy.

I need your support, my dear friends.  Please send healing thoughts.  I love you all.

Heading for the Emergency Room

Can't handle this pain any longer.  Was feeling so much better when I got up, then coughed and felt the unmistakable pop again. This time the pain is so much worse.  I literally screamed when it happened.  Wish me luck.

A Prayer for the World


If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other. 

 --Mother Teresa--




Yesterday a client asked me if I had the newspaper.  The fact is,  I don't read the paper anymore and cannot remember the last time I bought one or even accepted one of the free papers they offer at the subway stations. Too much violence for me, but doesn't that speak of the world we live in?  Violence sells newspapers, simple as that. Since the beginning of time, violence, whether between individuals or societies, has been part of the human nature. We say it is time for peace, yet we continue to watch programs filled with violence and sex.

Not too long ago I learned that a group of teenagers were spray painting swastikas on a Jewish temple right down the block from where I used to live.  Children are killing children or bullying them so badly that they kill themselves. Injustice surrounds us. And, can anyone remember when it was that there wasn't a war being waged someplace in the world?  Religion has never been the answer. In fact, religion is at the heart of many a war. When one believes that their way is the only way, what else can we expect to happen?  

Peace in the world starts within each one of us.  It begins in our soul and spreads outwards to others.  We may all be of different countries, of different races and ethnicity, but we all can be traced to the same source; we all share a common ancestor. We are all brothers and sisters, and if each of us sees each other as such and looks to each other with tolerance, love, peace, understanding and good will, then peace in our world will  no longer be just a dream; it will become an attainable dream.

With that, I'd like to share the following prayer with you.  It sends ripples of goosebumps down my arms every time I read it.

Let the rain come and wash away the ancient grudges, 
the bitter hatreds held and nurtured over generations.
Let the rain wash away the memory of the hurt, the neglect.
Then let the sun come out and fill the sky with rainbows.
Let the warmth of the sun heal us wherever we are broken.
Let it burn away the fog so that we can see each other clearly,
So that we can see beyond labels, 
beyond accents, gender or skin colour.
Let the warmth and brightness of the sun melt our selfishness,
So that we can share the joys and feel the sorrow of our neighbours.
And let the light of the sun be so strong that we will see all people as 
our neighbours.
Let the earth, nourished by rain, bring forth flowers to surround us 
with beauty.
And let the mountains teach our hearts to reach upward to heaven.

- Rabbi Harold S. Kushner -





Monday, June 18, 2012

Monday This and That



Goodness gracious.  Is it Monday already?  I pulled that muscle again, just when it was well on its way to healing.  Silly me.  Will never learn to ask for help.  Friday, the small cap from my conditioner slipped from my hands and landed in the drain.  Last time I bent to retrieve it, I hurt myself.  So, why didn't I use that as a lesson?  I should have left it for hubby, because there is a drain there to stop it, and it wasn't actually going to go anyplace, but old habits are hard to break, and the tub in my old apartment didn't have this drain, so a small cap like that could signal a call to the plumber if not retrieved right away.  Hence, my natural reaction is to dive for it, and in the process, re-injuring an old sprain.


(This is a portion of my angel collection. I tried to place them so I could catch them all, but on a cell phone, that is not meant to be.  Many are still packed away.)

Took a walk to the 99 cent store on Saturday. Bought some studded hair clips, a furry kitty cat key chain, a lavender scented candle, and some incense called 'Perfumes of Ancient Times'.  I bought it not too long ago and total fell in love with it. I especially love sitting in my rocker, closing my eyes, and allowing myself to be transported back to another time and place.  

Speaking of the past, I'm hoping to soon receive the results on my matrilineal DNA test that will tell me which of the 'Seven Daughters of Eve' I come from.  It was delayed thanks to a mistake on my part.  I'd sent my money order and order information as required, but, problem was, in my haste and excitement, I sent a money order in the wrong amount.  I sent the amount needed for male DNA test which cost more than the one I had ordered. So, the money order was returned, and I had to patiently wait my money to be returned so I could buy another money order.  Finally happened and my DNA test was taken and is on its way to Ancestry. This time, everything was done very, very carefully.  


(My collection of faceless dolls.  I had six, but two broke in the move despite my best efforts.)

My mother-in-law liked to say they were faceless because they symbolized 'See no evil, speak no evil, hear no evil'.  According to the Dominican culture, however, the dolls were faceless because the Dominican has no single face.  He or she is a mixture of three cultures--Tainos, Africans, and Europeans. I see this in my husband's family.  All 19, yes 19, children come from the same father and mother, but skin color and facial features vary.   Personally, I like both explanations. 


(And finally, a part of my Fairyland Collection.  Sorry it is somewhat blurry.  I tried over and over again to get a better picture, but to know avail)





Friday, June 15, 2012

Irish Blessing



Wishing you a rainbow
For sunlight after showers—
Miles and miles of Irish smiles
For golden happy hours—
Shamrocks at your doorway
For luck and laughter too,
And a host of friends that never ends
Each day your whole life through!


I just wanted to take a moment and wish all of you a wonderful weekend. Be happy and have lots and lots of fun. See you all on Monday.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Are You a Carrot, An Egg, or a Coffee Bean?

Not much to talk about today.  Another day like all the others.  Up early and out to work.  The sun is finally shining...somewhat.  The humidity here has been dreadful, and who knows what we are still in for with July and August  yet to come?

Anyone catch Dallas last night? Dallas was one of the few shows I could never miss back then. The other two were Falcon Crest and Knot's Landing.  Last night, watching the show and seeing how Bobby and JR have aged,  has  really made me feel old.  My goodness, was it really thirty-two  years ago when we were all wondering "Who Shot JR?"  I was also glad to see Linda Grey, but sure did miss Victoria Principal. 


I've used the following story in my groups when we talk about dealing with setbacks and enjoy it so much, I wanted to share it with you.  

A young woman went to her mother and told her about her life and how things were so hard for her. She did not know how she was going to make it and wanted to give up. She was tired of fighting and struggling. It seemed as one problem was solved a new one arose.

Her mother took her to the kitchen. She filled three pots with water. In the first, she placed carrots, in the second she placed eggs and the last she placed ground coffee beans. She let them sit and boil without saying a word.

In about twenty minutes she turned off the burners. She fished the carrots out and placed them in a bowl. She pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl. Then she ladled the coffee out and placed it in a bowl.

Turning to her daughter, she asked, "Tell me what do you see?"

"Carrots, eggs, and coffee," she replied.

She brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots. She did and noted that they were soft. She then asked her to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard-boiled egg. Finally, she asked her to sip the coffee. The daughter smiled, as she tasted its rich aroma.

The daughter then asked. "What does it mean, mother?"

Her mother explained that each of these objects had faced the same adversity—boiling water—but each reacted differently.

The carrot went in strong, hard and unrelenting. However after being subjected to the boiling water, it softened and became weak.

The egg had been fragile. Its thin outer shell had protected its liquid interior. But, after sitting through the boiling water, its inside became hardened.

The ground coffee beans were unique, however. After they were in the boiling water they had changed the water.

"Which are you?" she asked her daughter. "When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a carrot, an egg, or a coffee bean?"

Think of this: 
Which am I? Am I the carrot that seems strong, but with pain and adversity, do I wilt and become soft and lose my strength?

Am I the egg that starts with a malleable heart, but changes with the heat? Did I have a fluid spirit, but after death, a breakup, a financial hardship or some other trial, have I become hardened and stiff? Does my shell look the same, but on the inside am I bitter and tough with a stiff spirit and a hardened heart?

Or am I like the coffee bean? The bean actually changes the hot water, the very circumstance that brings the pain. When the water gets hot, it releases the fragrance and flavor.

If you are like the bean, when things are at their worst, you get better and change the situation around you. When the hours is the darkest and trials are their greatest do you elevate to another lever?

How do you handle adversity? Are you a carrot, an egg, or a coffee bean?

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Letting Go

To love means not to impose your own powers on your fellow people but offer them your help.   And if they refuse it, to be proud that they can do it on their own strength.

--Elizabeth Kubler Ross--


Another great quote by a great lady. What she says is true, especially when it comes to our children.  Sometimes we love too much and don't want to let go.  It was  hard letting go for me.  My youngest went first.  Always the more independent one, he chose to go.  He's the one who remembers birthdays, Christmas, Mother's Day, and Thanksgiving, but those are the only times I get to see him.  My eldest, on the other hand, is more family oriented.  In fact, he might even be a bit too family oriented and would have been content to spend his life camping out in my living room.  That's why I had to tell him to go.

Not that I want to.  He was such a great help to me.  No matter what I wanted or needed, he was quick to run for it.  But, spending his life with Mommy was not what he needed.  I saw that he was falling into a rut, and he was never going to find the strength he needed to grow. Believe me, it was one of the hardest things I ever had to do, but it was something that had to be done, if not for my sake, for his. 

Turned out to be the best move I could have made.  If you could only see my eldest now...working a new job, a girlfriend, paying his bills, and saving for  his own place. He's, as they say, living life on life's terms.  My youngest, already in his own place, a good paying job, building his credit, a string of girlfriends. I'd prefer for him to find a good woman and settle down, but it is his life to live. (Sigh)  But, isn't that what life is about?  We bear them, raise them to the best of our abilities, and then, reluctantly,  let them go. The following is one of my all-time favorites.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

On Letting Go

To "let go" does not mean to stop caring. 
It means I can't do it for someone else.

To "let go" is not to cut myself off. 
It's the realization that I can't control another.

To "let go" is to admit powerlessness,
which means the outcome is not in my hands.

To "let go" is not to try to change or blame another. 
It's to make the most of myself.

To "let go" is not to care for, but to care about.

To "let go" is not to fix, but to be supportive.

To "let go" is not to judge, but to allow another to be a human being.

To "let go" is not to be in the middle, arranging all the outcomes, 
but to allow others to affect their own destinies.

To "let go" is not to deny, but to accept.

To "let go" is not to nag, scold, or argue, 
but instead to search out my own shortcomings and correct them.

To "let go" is not to adjust everything to my desires, 
but to take each day as it comes and cherish myself in it.

To "let go" is not to regret the past, but to grow and live for the future.

To "let go" is to fear less and to love more.

--Unknown--

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Heartprints




Whatever our hands touch--- 
We leave fingerprints! 
On walls, on furniture, 
On doorknobs, dishes, books, 
As we touch we leave our identity.

Oh please where ever I go today, 
Help me leave heartprints! 
Heartprints of compassion 
Of understanding and love. 
Heartprints of kindness 
and genuine concern.

May my heart touch a lonely neighbor 
Or a runaway daughter, 
Or an anxious mother, 
Or, perhaps, a dear friend!

I shall go out today 
To leave heartprints, 
And if someone should say 
"I felt your touch," 
May that one sense be... 
YOUR LOVE Touching through ME.

--Author Unknown--

Lately I've done so much griping about the rudeness of the people who ride the subway that I've forgotten to acknowledge those that go that extra mile to show that touch of kindness. Middle-aged women who, upon seeing me with a cane, immediately rise and offer their seat, the woman who took my arm and steadied me when I almost went down when the train jerked the other day, or the man in the store who everyday adds that little something special to my smoothie.  And, how could I forget to mention the boy who lives upstairs in my building.  He's only about ten years old, but each time he sees me he runs to hold the door for me...and everything is 'thank you' and 'you're welcome'.  His parents are certainly raising him right. 

And then there are those people who, as if sensing you are feeling down on yourself, smile and tell you how nice you look, even though  you are feeling like crap.  A compliment sure does go a long way when one has been spending the day dwelling on their flaws.  In my case, it's all this darned weight I have gained. Some days I walk by a mirror and don't even recognize that bloated, out-of-shape woman looking back at me.   A few kind words can make anyone's day.

It's a great feeling when you give of yourself, and it doesn't have to cost a penny.  It may be nothing more than a pleasant smile that seeks to ease someone's pain.  Or, it may be something  as simple such as assisting an elderly or handicapped person across a busy street.  It is something that is done simply to make someone else happy. Brings me back to a time when I was traveling home from work a few  years ago.  It was a Friday evening, and everyone on the train seemed tired and grumpy.  Then, out of the blue came the conductor's voice announcing that an ice cream shop en route was offering a free scoop of the flavor of your choice.  This was something so totally unexpected that everyone broke out in a chuckle.  The entire mood had changed from one of gloominess to one of delight, and it hadn't cost the conductor anything.

In closing, several had shone an interest in the free Kabbalah course mentioned  yesterday in my blog.  For your perusal:  Kaballah

Monday, June 11, 2012

Monday This and That




Oh my, it sure wasn't easy getting up today. Cooking weekends wear me down, but there is no way I would give them up and go back to cooking normally.  My job is just to draining to even 'think' about coming home and cooking every night, so spending every other Saturday shopping and cooking all the meals is well worth the respite I have on the other 13 days. We also had company most of the day yesterday, so not much catching up on rest for me.  

If one is not oneself a sage or saint, the best thing
one can do is to study the words of those who were.

Aldous Huxley

I am so excited.  I'm going back to school. Well, not exactly physically back to school, but I have taken the initiative to enroll in a free online course on the Kabbalah which is scheduled to begin on July 11th. Believe it or not, for  over 20 years I have been trying to do this. It's really something I want to learn, but each time I never completed.  I first began when I was still with my ex.  The marriage itself was so dysfunctional that studying something as deep as Kabbalah was nothing more than wishful thinking at the time.  My mind was just too scattered.  

Then, not too long ago I decided to take a stab at it, but the course itself was so boring it did little to hold my interest. This course looks different, like it will definitely hold my interest. I've watched a video explaining what we will learn, and the instructor has made it look like a lot of fun.  It will include Kabbalah Fundamentals on Wednesdays and You and Society on Sunday. It's so important for me to complete this.  As I stated before, it's been a dream that has spanned some twenty odd years, and, for a dream to span so many years, it must means it is supposed to be.  I don't want this one to fall by the wayside as so many others did.

I say this because when we are young we have so many dreams, don't we?  Not all can or will be accomplished. We grow up, mature, and our lives change and may take a different direction than ever we thought, and dreams are replaced by a different set of hopes and dreams. As we grow older, our attitudes about life change, and we begin to re-examine our lives and make adjustments to your goals. Frivolous dreams fall by the wayside, but some dreams, some dreams stay with us throughout our lifetime, and, if  you believe in reincarnation,  these are the dreams or lessons we have come here to fulfill. 

And, on another note, I am fit to be tied. Almost all of the plants in my window garden, which was growing so well, are gone. I checked them in the morning before I went to work, and they were fine; by the time I came home in the afternoon, they were gone. Disappeared.  And then I saws them. Wee little bugs.  I don't know where they came from.  My apartment is in the back and the windows open to a smallish concrete courtyard. There is no grass, no plants, so where did they come from?  I'm wondering if they weren't already in the kits that I had bought.  I'd actually bought them last year for a back porch garden, but when I saw how it flooded from my neighbor's awning, I held onto them for another time. Those little bugs were very prevalent in the garden over there. 

The basil is still there as well as an unknown herb, but the rosemary and the sweet peas are gone.  Grrrr!!!! It's strange.  My outdoor gardens grow like magic; indoors, I never have any luck. Any suggestions from you gardeners out there?  I don't want to give up, but how do I keep this from happening again?