Thursday, February 28, 2013

Rain, Rain, and More Rain

And when it rains on your parade, look up rather than down. Without the rain, there would be no rainbow.

Gilbert K. Chesterton

Yesterday it was like the sky opened up.  The rain came down in torrents.  Wonderful for the plants that are about to sprout, but not too wonderful when one is trying to get to work.  I ended up getting off at a different stop because that route, although a longer walk, had scaffolding over it.  The rain also didn't do very well by my house.  It seems that a brick outside had loosened up, and rain water had leaked through.  There is a huge crack where it had once been painted so nicely, and my curtain was drenched.  A puddle of water had to be cleaned from the floor, and we had to remove my beautiful dream catcher before it was ruined....all this at 4 am in the morning.  This is the first 'real' emergency that we have had since we moved in here, and I am waiting to see how long it will take someone to get here to repair it.

This has been a rather 'icky' winter, and I find myself waiting patiently for the first buds of spring to break through the ground after winter's slumber. I'd thought this was going to be a wet winter, but instead of snow, we've had lots of that bone-chilling cold rain.  Spring is the time for renewal, a time of fresh hopes, the season of hope and inspiration;and as in all new beginnings, it is a time it is an opportunity for us to let go of thoughts and habits that add unwanted hurt and stress to our lives.  So, this upcoming weekend, after the shopping and cooking are finished, I am planning to dig out my journal and sort through what is working and what is not working in my life, what I have to let go of and what I should keep. 

I've already begun with my new, more health conscious lifestyle...and that is definitely a keeper.  Planning for retirement is also a keeper, but there are some things that take up time in my life that, hard as it may be for me, just have to go.  My smoking cessation group, for one thing. I know.  I spoke of this awhile back, but I really do hate giving up on things that have meaning for me. And then they made me into an owner, but I just can't do it anymore.   No one can say I haven't done my best to keep it going, but it has come to the point that I find myself posting to myself most of the time. Problem is, every time I prepare myself to make my exit, a newbie pops up, and I find myself just 'having' to be there as the welcome wagon.  And then, after my initial 'thanks for the welcome', the newbie disappears into the sunset. It's like a blog you begin and pour your heart into, but no reads it. And unless you have chosen to use this media as your personal journal, time comes when you let it go.

Smoking cessation  and sodium reduction are my two pet projects...for everyone.  I've become the sodium police here at work, and part of me wonders if my co-workers are not getting sick of hearing me point out the dangers in the food they eat. But, high blood pressure is truly the silent killer...and I am proof of that.  Perhaps I am a bit over-zealous, but it is only because I care so much.  And forget smoking, I am always at my clients, educating them on the dangers and the benefits of quitting.  Sometimes I tend to forget how people once did that to me...and how put off I was that someone was trying to 'stop me from something I loved to do.'  Perhaps backing off should also go on my list of things to do.  

Well, now that I've rambled on and bored most of you with my little tidbits of things to do, I'll leave you with the following before I head out to work.
Hope is wishing something would happen. Faith is believing something will happen. Courage is making something happen. 
Author Unknown

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

The Kaballah Centre

 The obstacles and challenges that appear in our lives are not really our "enemies." In fact, the difficulties we face were created to help us gain strength for the spiritual growth that is the true purpose of our lives.

 Kabbalah Centre

Every once in awhile, you will spotlight quotes made by a special person I admire.  Truth be told, sometimes I just can't think about what to write about.... and by taking advantage of this opportunity, I am gifted with the opportunity to introduce you to  some of my favorite people and places, to those who I may have never met, but touched my life. Karen and Michael Berg are two of those people. I've come to know them through my special interest in the Kabbalah Centre, an organization that teaches the mystical side of Kabbalah. Their teachings help one to feel more balance in your life I have been affiliated with them for several years and have received their newsletters for just as long. 

I first met Michael when I read "The Way: Using the Wisdom of the Kabbalah for Spiritual Transformation and Fulfillment", a delightful book that teaches one how to utilize the Kaballah to improve your life. It was truly a great book for someone new to the Kaballah as I was. His mother, Karen, is the author of "To Be Continued: Reincarnation & the Purpose of Our Lives"a wonderful book that discusses the soul's journey back to the light. 

  The following are some of my favorite quotes by these authors:

"Our past choices determined where we start in this life, but it's our present choices that will determine where we go next." 
 Karen Berg, 
From the Book"To Be Continued: Reincarnation & the Purpose of Our Lives"

"In the quiet of the night, if you listen carefully enough, you might hear the flutter of a wing. Each one of us can learn to hear angels." 

Karen Berg

"When we forgive others for wrongs they have done to us then our negative actions are forgiven as well. In order for this to become our nature we need to practice forgiveness often, knowing that in this way we remove any negative effects of our actions from our lives."

Michael Berg

It’s easy to get stuck in the details of life and to miss the big picture. We perform actions without any regard to their future consequences. As the apple is contained in the seed, every effect that materializes in our lives has its origin in a prior action performed by us. 

Kabbalah Centre

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Readings From My Personal 'Book of Wisdom'

There may be days when you get up in the morning and things aren't the way you had hoped they would be. That's when you have to tell yourself that things will get better. There are times when people disappoint you and let you down, but those are the times when you must remind yourself to trust your own judgments and opinions, to keep you life focused on believing in yourself and all that you are capable of. There will be challenges to face and changes to make in your life, and it is up to you to accept them. Constantly keep yourself headed in the right direction for you. It may not be easy at times, but in those times of struggle you will find a stronger sense of who you are, and you will also see yourself developing into the person you have always wanted to be. 

Life is a journey through time, filled with may choices; each of us will experience life in our own special way. So when the days come that are filled with frustration and unexpected responsibilities, remember to believe in yourself and all you want your life to be, because the challenges and changes will only help you to find the dreams that you know are meant to come true for you. 

Deanna Beisser

Sometimes when I've nothing to do, I dig out my "Book of Wisdom" and read through it until I find something that catches my eye.   My "Book of Wisdom " is actually a collection of quotes and poems that caught my eye. I've been working on this book for nearly 20 years now, ever since hubby and I met.  Hubby is actually the one who got me started on this little book.  He always wrote down little things that interested him, and seeing this, I decided to give it a try.  I'd always kept a journal and often pull out a year and read.  That's why the above caught my eye last night. 

As I read through my journal, I realized that there have been many days when I awoke with the feeling that things weren't as they should be, and in my life there have been many people who let me down--my parents, my ex husband. And while some of my choices left others shaking their heads,  they were MY choices and MY life's journey. Indeed, I have lived a life filled with challenges, and I am still here to talk about it...because without struggle, there would be no growth. In fact, if problems are viewed as opportunities for growth, they can be much easier to deal with. 

Think of how boring your life would be if everything you ever wanted just fell into your hands.  To be sure, none of us wants to be constantly struggling, but, when you take time to think about it, really think about it, if everything was handed to us on a silver platter, and we never had to face a challenge, how boring life and meaningless would be! 

"The truth is that our finest moments are most likely to occur when we are feeling deeply uncomfortable, unhappy, or unfulfilled. For it is only in such moments, propelled by our discomfort, that we are likely to step out of our ruts and start searching for different ways or truer answers." 

Monday, February 25, 2013

Monday This and That

I have to be alone very often. I'd be quite happy if I spent from Saturday night until Monday morning alone in my apartment. That's how I refuel.

Audrey Hepburn

As Monday rolls around again, I wonder where this weekend.  I actually did NOTHING this weekend, but accomplished a lot.  Saturday it rained all day, and I stayed nice in comfy in my flannels which happen to be one of my favorite parts of winter.  I love the feeling of them against my skin. I also love hearing the sound of the pouring rain. It gives me such a feeling of peace. I did a lot of reading and exploring.  Went through my herbal books, found a great candle magic spell for healing which I performed late Saturday night, and dug my crystals out and cleansed them. Now they are ready to work their magic.   

I also did a lot of thinking and processing what I had been told.  You are right.  There is no word to focus so much on the 'C' word.  It was the fear talking, that's all.  Today I woke up in a more positive frame of mind. I guess I just needed some time for processing this latest doctor's visit.  To be honest, I'd gone in there scared, yes, but also talked myself into believing that I'd be told it was a mistake, that the lesion had miraculously disappeared, and when that didn't happen, I fell apart. 

The pulmonoloogist has referred me for another Pet scan. I hope it is approved this time.  Last time the insurance company turned me down. "We're sorry, but we cannot approve this test because we have no proof that this person has wide-spread cancer".  How cold and unfeeling is that? Had they approved the Pet scan before, perhaps this nightmare would have been over by now.  At least I would have known what was going on.  And I really believe it is the unknowing that scares one the most.

Tonight we will be celebrating the Full Moon. Actually, it you had been at my job, you would have thought it was on Friday. The clients were all 'feeling their oats'. I could barely hear myself think. This Full Moon is known as the 'Snow Moon' or the 'Full Snow Moon'. Traditionally, February is the time of the coldest temperatures and when the heaviest snow falls. Some tribes used this name for the January moon they called the February Moon the 'Hunger Moon' or 'Full Hunger Moon' due to the challenging hunting conditions. Other names for this Moon are the 'Quickening Moon', for, although the days are still short and cold, new life is beginning to stir. It has also been called the 'Storm Moon' and 'Little Famine Moon'.

This is the perfect time for one to do a spell to help in facing life's challenges. Consider a spell that will focus on helping you accept the challenge and make it through. I plan on performing my usual simplel little ceremony later this eve--candle lighting, calling on the old ones, and prayer. And don't forget. The Moon is in Virgo, meaning that this is a time for all of us to take some time taking care of our needs--physically, emotionally and spiritually.I see this as the perfect Full Moon for me to do some inner work.  Gosh knows, I have my challenges to face.

May you have warm words on a cold evening, a full moon on a dark night and a smooth road all the way to your door.
Irish Blessing

Friday, February 22, 2013


 Fear cannot be without hope nor hope without fear.
Baruch Spinoza

I'd been fully prepared to post when I got home from the doctors yesterday, but needed some time to process the news that I had just been told. Actually, processing consisted of crying my eyes out and going to bed. I usually go in hoping for the best yet preparing for the worst.  This time I was so sure it was going to be nothing but good news so I was totally unprepared for what the doctor had to say. There is good news and bad news. The good news is that my blood pressure has dropped some (144), and I stopped at my doctor's office and had my medication changed.  Hopefully that gosh awful tickle will go away.  The bad news is that there is a second nodule on my lung.  It is actually quite small and the doctor feels it may have been there and hidden by my heart.  My next step is a biopsy.  The good news is that if, and the doctor stressed if, it should prove cancerous the nodules are so small they will be able to remove them with no chemo necessary.  That's the second biopsy I need.  And, I really am afraid, but whatever happens, will happen, and I will have to learn to deal with it. I have faced the "Dark Night of the Soul Before", and I have survived.

 If we never experience the chill of a dark winter, it is very unlikely that we will ever cherish the warmth of a bright summer’s day. Nothing stimulates our appetite for the simple joys of life more than the starvation caused by sadness or desperation. In order to complete our amazing life journey successfully, it is vital that we turn each and every dark tear into a pearl of wisdom, and find the blessing in every curse.” 

Anthon St. Maarten

It's funny.  I've always been the strong one..or always thought I had to be.  I had to be there for everyone else, and now I don't know how to act. How do I stop putting up that front and admit that I am not as rock solid as the image I project? Hubby's been great and supportive, but I've yet to tell my sons.  They lost both their dad and grandmother to cancer.    Just the word is enough to send them into a tailspin. I wouldn't want that unless I knew for sure. Enough of this morbid talk.  Heck the weekend's here.  It's happy time.

Needless to say, we've some bad weather heading our way this weekend, so I am seeing some much-needed down time headed my way.  I'd been planning on getting out and doing a few chores, but really, none of them are necessary...and, besides, right now I have no money to spend.  It's always been too easy for me to drown my sorrows with shopping, so a cold, rainy weekend is really a blessing in disguise. 

Gosh, is it that time already?  Need to stop rambling and shower and dress and get my butt out of this door.  Talk to you all on Monday.

Wishing you all the best for the upcoming weekend.  May you find nothing but joy and peace on your doorstep.  Love you all.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

A Little This and That on Thursday Morning

Sometimes I feel as if no one here will ever see me as I am…The threads of my life are tangled in the web of all the other lives here…"

Tamras in When Women Were Warriors Book One: The Warrior’s Path by Catherine M. Wilson 

I just knew it before I began reading it.  "When Women Were Warriors: the Warrior's Path" was going to be the 'real thing' for me.  I cannot put this book down, even snuck some reading time when I was supposed to be working.  I see Part Two and Three on he horizon. I am not usually a fiction reader, but stories about priestesses or warrior women get me every time. It is hard to explain.  They just seem so familiar to me, almost as if I were there. Perhaps I was a lifetime long ago.

Were there once only women warriors, Mother?”
“Don’t know.”
“Oh.” I started to get up.
“Makes sense,” she said.
“Who else should take a life? No man ever brought a child out of his body.”
Something about that explanation bothered me. “Do you mean that a woman may take a life because she can give life back?”
“No, no,” she said. “Think of a woman whose body has made a child. Who gave birth to it. Cradled and nursed it. Loved it. She will hold life dear differently than someone who has not.”
I wondered if once only mothers had been warriors.

When Women Were Warriors             

I believe in reincarnation.  I believe that this one life cannot be all there is. If that were the case, then why weren't we all given an even chance? Why are some born into a life of ease and others into a life of toil? I believe we come into this life searching for what we know.  This is why I was led down my life path to become an Ordained Minister and a counselor long before I had my past life reading done by the A.R.E. It was within me even before I was born.

As per my social security benefits.  I went on line and pulled up my account.  66 is indeed my full retirement age.  I also began the process of pulling everything together yesterday.  I finally got my picture taken for my half-fare card (something I should have done a long time ago), applied for Medicare,  and found out some information about my pension from my other job.  I also downloaded some information about programs and forms I will need in order to apply. I must look into this further, but from first glances I read if one reaches full retirement age, one may still work and collect their benefits.  If that is the case, I may apply before I retire and keep banking the money, but there are questions I need answered first.  For one thing, is it counted along with your salary as income, and if that's the case it would really bring me way above my tax bracket...meaning I'll have to pay it  back in taxes.  Don't want that, but it would be nice to build a little nest egg over the year before I fully retire. But, like I said, nothing will be done in haste.  One step at a time and everything well researched before decisions are made.

Speaking of half-fare cards.  Something happened on the way to work that I wanted to share with you.  The nerve of some people bewilders me.  I waited patiently in line to add some money onto my metrocard, and when it was my turn, I handed the clerk my card and the twenty dollars, and just as I did a woman came out of nowhere yelling that her metrocard wasn't working. She continued to carry on, hollering at the token booth clerk, and I was afraid he would lose his concentration and make a mistake, so I said to her, "Please, let him finish." She responded, "Well, I have to get to the physical therapist. I have a law suit." I wanted to say, "So?", but I didn't. She then added, "I work for a lawyer." I thought to myself, 'is that supposed to scare me into letting you cut in front of me?' I finished with my business and walked off. 

As I waited downstairs for the train, I could hear her screaming at the poor clerk because he would not replace her card on the spot. She was threatening him with a lawsuit if he did not do as she asked, as if she really had a leg to stand on. The MTA has a protocol which is always followed in the case of cards that don't work. The token booth clerk provides a form that is filled out and sent to the MTA along with the non-working metrocard. A new card is then mailed within a few weeks. I've had to do it several times. Yeah, we all want instant gratitude, but life just doesn't work that way. Sometimes we just have to wait for the things we want. Besides, the woman was lugging around one of those big book bags that come on wheels, and it was 'full'.  I have to wonder what kind of injury she has if she can lug that thing up and down the subway stairs.  I know I couldn't.

Well, today is the day I see the pulmonologist for the results of my cat scan.  I'm really scared.  Please say a prayer that all goes well for me.  I'm leaning on all of you for strength. Thanks for being here.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Wednesday Ramble

 After a lifetime of working, raising families, and contributing to the success of this nation in countless other ways, senior citizens deserve to retire with dignity.
Charlie Gonzalez

Yesterday I received an email from a friend I had made on my old Yahoo group.  She wanted to tell me she had finally done it....retired....and asked how I was making out.  I told her I was still working and planned to work until full retirement age so as not to lose any benefits.  I'm also eligible for a pension from my other job, but only after I reach full retirement age, thinking it was 67. "But, isn't your birthday next month?" She asked.  "Yes", I responded, "but I will only be 66.  I still have a year to go."  Well, it turns out that I was wrong.  Because of my year of birth, I will be eligible to retire with 'FULL BENEFITS' next month when I reach my 66th birthday.  I am speechless.  Speechless because I had thought I was going to be forced to work another year to get all my benefits...and speechless because I can't believe I have reached the retirement age.  Where has the time gone?

It seems like only yesterday I walked into my first job...a tiny restaurant in my old neighborhood.  I was barely 16, and I turned out to be a terrible waitress.  I was always forgetting who got what and without fail, I'd end up holding an extra hamburger after the lunch run.   As terrible as I was, the man didn't fire me because I was a neighborhood kid trying to do the right thing.   Years later, when I worked in catering to put myself through school, I did so much better because everybody got the same thing.

So, how am I feeling now?  Well, I think it only natural that I feel kind of sad.  What has been a huge part of my life has almost ended.  I'll be 66, and I have worked since age 16.  That is 50 years of my life I will be saying good-bye to.  But, the other part of me is feeling so exhilarated.  I will finally be free.  My time will be MY time. I will be able get up and go to bed whenever I please because there will be no alarm clock to go off bright and early in the morning.  And if I feel like rocking in my chair all day and reading a book, I can choose to do so without feeling guilty about taking a day off. More importantly, I will no longer have to deal with those dreadful subways on a daily basis suffer from depression because I am overworked at my job and see no way out. It feels good to know that I can walk in there next month and hand in my resignation letter rather than feel trapped as I have been.

Of course, there is no way I am going to do that.  Those were the kind of things I did in my youth.  I thought nothing of quitting a job because I knew there was always going to be something else out there waiting for me.  Well, that's not true anymore.  Who's going to hire a 66 year old woman who walks with a cane?  Besides, I don't have it in me to start over now. So, before I hand in my letter, there is so much planning to do.   must have an income and medical insurance in place. Any tips from retirees will be greatly appreciated. 

All in all I am feeling good right now.  That hopeless feeling is gone, and I feel as if a 500 pound weight has been lifted from my shoulders. It hasn't been easy on me traipsing back and forth to work with my cane, in pain, and not seeing any way out for another year.  Yes, it will be sad to say good-bye, but it is something we all have to face one day, and if I fill my days with things I enjoy, I won't miss it as much.  There IS life after work.

Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass under trees on a summer's day, listening to the murmur of the water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is by no means a waste of time.  

J. Lubbock


Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Dear Ancestor

Spent some time over the long weekend placing some flowers on graves family members who were veterans starting back from the Revolutionary war.  

The headstone of my fifth great grandfather is plainly distinguished by this inscription: "John Walton, Died July 30, 1787, 87 years of age." His wife, Anne lies next to him. She died at age 73 in 1791. John had a farm between Mt. Hope and Middle forge which was right down the road from where I once lived and is near the Walton Burial Ground (above)  which is located in Rockaway, Morris, New Jersey and is now a part of Picatinny Arsenal.  It amazes me that I lived so close, yet we were so far apart. I didn't know he was there. It touched my heart when I found the above picture on Ancestry one night when I was doing a bit of genealogical work.  It means someone other than me cares.


Your tombstone stands among the rest;
Neglected and alone.
The name and date are chiseled out
On polished, marbled stone.
It reaches out to all who care
It is too late to mourn.
You did not know that I exist
You died and I was born.
Yet each of us are cells of you
In flesh, in blood, in bone.
Our blood contracts and beats a pulse
Entirely not our own.
Dear Ancestor, the place you filled
One hundred years ago
Spreads out among the ones you left
Who would have loved you so.
I wonder if you lived and loved,
I wonder if you knew
That someday I would find this spot,
And come to visit you. 

Author Unknown

The above is St. Micheal's Church in Barton Turf, Norfolk, England.  My 2nd great grandfather is buried there. Richard never fought in a war.  Actually, he hardly had time to do much in his life. He was only 21 years old when he died.  Yet, he lived long enough to have a child, Constance Mary, my great grandmother.  

Above are the stones of my 9th great grandparents, John and Mary Prescott.  John was the founder of Lancaster, Massachusetts. The inscription on his original grave marker (not above) reads simply:




A memorial stone erected a long time after John Prescott's death reads:

Here With his children about him lies John Prescott Founder of Lancaster and first settler of Worcester County Born at Standish Lancashire England Died at Lancaster Massachusetts Dec. 1681 Inspired by the love of liberty and the fear of God This stout hearted pioneer Forsaking the pleasant vales of England And encountered [sic] wild beast and savage To secure freedom For himself and his posterity His faith and virtues have been inherited by many descendants Who in every generation have well served the state In war, in literature, at the bar, in the pulpit, in public life, And in Christian homes.

And finally, a repost of a photo of the Old Prescott Burial ground in Lancaster that I posted two years ago.  Notice the orbs. It sure does appear that the Prescott family were paying a visit on that day.  

Friday, February 15, 2013


My free time at home is usually spent emailing, listening to music, reading and talking on the phone. I wish I was on the phone less, but I have been fortunate to stay in touch with so many incredible friends. 

Steve Nash

Wow!!!  Friday already.  This is a pay week so it means  Saturday will be a day spent with shopping and cooking.  But I did have a rather pleasant surprise yesterday.  I'd forgotten that Monday was a holiday until I saw the fliers up announcing that Monday the office was going to be closed. Talk about elation. Another three day  weekend...the second in a row. How great is that?  I can bust my butt on Saturday and still have two days to rest.

Hope you all had a nice Valentine's Day. I did.  When I arrived home from work I discovered that hubby had cooked me a nice Dominican style dinner--Pernil, gondulas and rice, salad. It was fantastic. I wish he'd do this more often because he is actually quite a good cook. Many years ago he worked in a fancy restaurant in downtown Brooklyn so he knows what he is doing in the kitchen. I know he can chop better than I can. He chops his onions and peppers just like you see the chefs on television do.  I've never learned how.  What I do is 'slice'. 

I asked  him not to get me chocolates; I just don't like candy anymore.   Wow, does one really outgrow chocolate, I wonder? Besides, Valentine's Day to me is more about love and  how important love and compassion  is in the world.  And with that, I'll end this week with the following verse from the Bible...

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” 

1 Corinthians 13

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

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Happy Valentine's Day

According to one legend, the Roman god of Love, was hurrying to the council of the gods, carrying a vase of nectar to the gods on Mount Olympus when he stumbled and spilled a drop on the ground. This drop grew into a beautiful rose, the most endearing flower to give a woman on Valentines Day.

As usual, holiday time always stirs up some fond childhood memories, and Valentine's Day is no exception. In elementary school, this was such a special day for us kids, and for weeks we prepared and looked forward to our classroom party. See if you can remember the following....

...passing out Valentines to all the kids in the class...

...and receiving one from the cutest boy in class, but, of course, he 'really' hadn't singled you out.  Back in the day, we were required to give a Valentine to each kid in the class.  That way no one felt unwanted.

...cupcakes with confetti or heart shaped bits on them. 

... Spending hours making lacy Valentine’s Day cards out of construction paper, white paper doilies, and paste for our family and friends. 

 ...heart shaped candies with sayings such as 'Be Mine" 

...stretchable heart shaped candy necklaces and bracelets 

Happy Valentine's Day!!!

  Go, Cupid, and my sweetheart tell
    I love her well.
    Yes, though she tramples on my heart
    And rends that bleeding thing apart;
    And though she rolls a scornful eye
    On doting me when I go by;
    And though she scouts at everything
    As tribute unto her I bring -
    Apple, banana, caramel -
    Haste, Cupid, to my love and tell,
    In spite of all, I love her well!
    And further say I have a sled
    Cushioned in blue and painted red!
    The groceryman has promised I
    Can "hitch" whenever he goes by -
    Go, tell her that, and, furthermore,
    Apprise my sweetheart that a score
    Of other little girls implore
    The boon of riding on that sled
    Painted and hitched, as aforesaid; -
    And tell her, Cupid, only she
    Shall ride upon that sled with me!
    Tell her this all, and further tell
    I love her well.

Eugene Field

A Few Short Words of Thanks

In everyone's life, at some time, our inner fire goes out. It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being. We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit.

Albert Schweitzer

Just a short note today to tell you all how much I appreciate you.  When I am feeling down, you are there to pick me up.  And when I experience joy, you are always there to celebrate along with me. That is what friendship is all about...and I am truly blessed. Thank you for being there.

When presses hard my load of care,
    And other friends from me depart,
    I want a friend my grief to share,
    With faithful speech and loving heart.

    I want a friend of noble mind,
    Who loves me more than praise or pelf,
    Reproves my faults with spirit kind,
    And thinks of me as well as self--

    A friend whose ear is ever closed
    Against traducers' poison breath;
    And, though in me be not disclosed
    An equal love, yet loves till death--

    A friend who knows my weakness well,
    And ever seeks to calm my fears;
    If words should fail the storm to quell,
    Will soothe my fevered heart with tears--

    A friend not moved by jealousy
    Should I outrun him in life's race;
    And though I doubt, still trusts in me
    With loyal heart and cloudless face.

    True friendship knows both joy and grief,
    The sweetest pleasure, keenest pain;
    Its sharpest pangs are ever brief,
    Mere flitting clouds before the rain.

    But soon the joy returns again
    With bluer sky and brighter light;
    The grief proves but a narrow glen
    All full of flowers, though hid from sight.

    And e'en in darkness we inhale
    The fragrant odors love emits;
    Friendship like this can never fail--
    On love's strong throne its monarch sits.

    True friendship is of greater worth
    Than words, though they were solid gold.
    To all the glittering gems of earth
    I it prefer, a thousandfold.

    One Friend I have who knows my heart,
    And loves me with a changeless love;
    I love Him, too--nor death can part
    Us two, for we will love above.

    A woman's love to His is faint;
    No brother cleaves as close as He;
    No seraph words could ever paint
    The love this Friend now bears to me.

Joseph Horatio Chant

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Tuesday Ramble

Sunshine is delicious, rain is refreshing, wind braces us up, snow is exhilarating; there is really no such thing as bad weather, only different kinds of good weather.

John Ruskin Read
Needless to say, yesterday was one of those days that made you really wish that you had called in sick. It was downright 'nasty' in the morning. The rain was coming down in torrents making early morning travel quite treacherous, especially the sidewalks in front of those homes that hadn't been shoveled. The slush had become quite icy, and I found myself hanging onto fences with one hand and the cane with the other. No matter where you live there is always some who are inconsiderate of others and refuse to shovel. 

Take the house next door to my building, for example. Actually I was kind of surprised.  After all, they not only own a big three-story house in which they rent out two apartments, but they also have a parking lot next door which fits about eight we know that they are raking in the dough. Yet, not one bothered to shovel. Heck, if they didn't want to do it, why not pay some kid $25 to do it. It's not that they are not out there trying to earn a buck. I know that there are some who are elderly or disabled who cannot afford to pay someone to do it. In that case, wouldn't it be nice if the neighbors chipped in to help? That would be the kindly thing to do. 

The old man who lived upstairs from me in my old home used to do that.  A rare breed, he always shoveled for our shut-in neighbor, and he was almost as old as she was. He was nice that way, but also had his idiosyncracies.  I'll never forget when he rang my bell and told me I should store my garbage in my freezer.  He was always offering such odd advice as that.  But, then he passed and his irresponsible addict son took over and the war began between he and my landlady, each trying to put me in the middle. I read where they sold that house in January.

Went for my cat scan yesterday. Now I will be on pins and needles until the 21st when I see the pulmonologist.  When the radiologist wished me 'good luck' yesterday as I was leaving, immediately I thought that he had found something. My next stop will be the needle in my thyroid to draw out the fluid and biopsy it.  OMG, will I be glad when all of this is over.  I also stopped yesterday at the clinic to see my doctor, but found that she doesn't work on Monday.  I've developed a fairly constant tickling in my throat which has caused a chronic cough...almost always when I am at bed, in my rocking chair, even seated at my desk at work.  On the train, people look at you like you have the plague, and I don't blame them. 

One morning I was watching Fox news and their regular doctor came on and began talking about how some blood pressure medications can cause this.  I looked it up and sure enough, my Lisinopril will cause this.  For a couple of months I have been racking my brain and blaming just about everything...sinuses, thyroid, post nasal drip...and now I know.  And, as I recall it began when she raised my dosage. 

Wow, I am certainly pretty long-winded, aren't I?  I only started out to say a few things, and I wrote a chapter in a book.  Sorry about that.  Speaking of books, I cannot seem to put "On the Right Path" down.  The more I read, the more I see myself...from her disillusionment with Christianity, to having your childhood friends turn against you, to her smoking and drinking days of her early twenties. Like the author says about herself, after having led such a sheltered life, "I was like a child exploring life for the first time" and did not know how to act. My gosh, this book could have been written about me. It has me totally mesmerized. 

Well, have to run now.  Gonna be late if I don't get a move on.  Remember...

It is during our darkest moments that we must focus to see the light.

Aristotle Onassis

Sunday, February 10, 2013

We Dodged a Bullet

The photo above, taken on my cell phone, is a picture of the sun making its appearance between the two buildings on the morning after the storm. 

Monday morning after the storm.  We got about 8 inches here.  Not bad at all. Now comes the sloppy part.  City snow never looks pretty for very long.  In one day it turns into a dirty, gray, icy slosh.  Needless to say, I move fairly slow on these days.  Actually, I didn't get to seem much of it.  The bulk of the storm occurred at night during sleep hours, and by the time I arose on Saturday, the prettiness had already begun to wear off.

I was so glad this wasn't a cooking weekend for me.  For one thing, we had plenty of food on hand since cooking weekend is also shopping weekend....and, I didn't have to venture out in the snow to buy anything. Last weekend I tossed a few ingredients into the pot and made a chicken soup that was out of this world.  I took containers out for my Saturday lunch and, along with some white rice, a Sunday dinner. Ingredients included: chicken, red, yellow, orange, and green peppers, carrots, celery, spinach, tomatoes, onions, no salt chicken broth, garlic powder, rosemary, fresh basil, and a touch of cayenne to add a little spice to it.  I always use different colored peppers when I cook, something I learned way back when when I took a course in catering.  We tend to eat with our eyes first, and the even the simplest foods taste amazing when they look pretty.   

On Saturday I made some applesauce.  I'd told hubby to buy me some fruit for snacks as we prepared for the storm, and he'd forgotten that I cannot digest apples so he came home with six of the most beautiful apples I'd ever seen.  Made my mouth water to look at them, but I knew better than to even try so I cooked them up. Afterwards, I just sat in front of a marathon of Valentine's Day love stories on Hallmark and did some off and on reading. Finished my book on birds and picked up "On the Right Path: Walking Through God to Get to the Goddess" by Tara Black, a somewhat true story of one woman's  transition from Christianity to witchcraft. Here is the book description:

From hallelujahs to spells, and crosses to cauldrons, On the Right Path:Walking Through God to Get to the Goddess, is the story of one woman trudging her way through Christianity and organized religion, until she found the right path for her. That path happened to be Witchcraft.
Tara is a confused child with open minded parents, stuck in a fundamental Baptist school. This contrast fuels her on a life-long journey to discover what it all really means. After a failed stint as a wanna-be pastor, she stumbles onto Witchcraft and slowly discovers the Goddess.
Funny, serious, and informative, this story takes you through a struggle to live without the confines of organized religion through the eyes of a woman.
It's not my usual type of book, but I have to say, it is truly engaging and I love it. There are parts of it that remind me of the young me who searched for belonging during childhood.  And, although my church was very liberal, I could relate to the author on several levels--fear of going to hell, thinking myself as 'bad', feeling like the 'odd girl out', and bursts of hyper religiosity in order to 'save' myself. 

And so now, it is time to shower and prepare myself to venture outdoors and onward to work.  After being housebound for three days, it certainly isn't easy.  It's weekends like this that remind me how easy it would be for me to become a hermit.

Hoping you all have a great Monday and a fantastic week. 

Friday, February 8, 2013


Out of the bosom of the Air,
Out of the cloud-folds of her garments shaken,
Over the woodlands brown and bare,
Over the harvest-fields forsaken,
Silent, and soft, and slow
Descends the snow.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

(Scene from our last storm)

Hip Hip Hooray.  It's Friday, and I took a vacation day, a 'real' vacation day, not one where I have to run to see a doctor or go for some medical test.  This day is MINE. The whole weekend is mine.  No cooking.  No shopping.  Just me in my jammies for three days.  And, I will finally be able to sit in my rocker, by the window, and watch a snowfall.  

Actually, I decided to ask for the day when I heard the weather report.  I don't get around too well in this kind of weather anymore.  And, I am afraid of slipping and falling.  That could put me out of commission for who knows how long.  Used to laugh when I slipped and fell in the snow.  It is not so funny to me anymore.

Last night coming home from work it was obvious a storm was on its way. The air was cold, crisp and there was that heaviness in the air, and even though the streets were crowded with cars and people surrounded me there was that muffled silence that signifies that snow will soon be here.  Hubby and I are well prepared. He was due to pick up his meds tomorrow, but I chased him out this morning to get them.  Last week was a cooking weekend so we have plenty of food. All we need is a few snacks.  I know this may sound silly, but I really had the urge for ice cream. 

I always have plenty of candles on hand so that is not an issue and flashlights, batteries, water and other supplies we had in place for Superstorm Sandy and didn't need. My Kindle and phone have both been fully charged. My only fear of is loss of power and connection with the outside world. They say it is going to be a rough one, beautiful, but rough. Prepare my friends.  All in the line of the storm, please be sure to be prepared.

O the snow, the beautiful snow,
Filling the sky and earth below;
Over the house-tops, over the street,
Over the heads of the people you meet,
Dancing, flirting, skimming along.
James W. Watson

Please, everyone, be safe.  See you all on Monday.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

One Billion Rising, February 14, 2013

 Please spread far and wide.

The following was posted on I Am Woman but I thought it important enough to be posted here is well.  Valentine's Day this year will be about more than candy and flowers.  Indeed, this is a day for women...and men, to rise up and take a stand against the violence imposed on women the world over.  One in every three women on the planet will be raped or beaten during her lifetime.  It's time to end this violence.  That is why Eve Ensler wants YOU to join her campaign.  

Events are planned throughout the world.  To find an event near you Go here.  Personally, I have signed up to attend a screening of the film "From Fear to Freedom Ending Violence Against Women". As a survivor, this day is so important to me that I plan a vacation day around it. 

ONE BILLION RISING will move the earth, activating women and men across every country. V-Day wants the world to see our collective strength, our numbers, our solidarity across borders.

Will you be one of the One Billion Rising this Valentine's Day?

Leave your work, leave your school, interrupt the day, dance, and demand an end to the violence!

Join V-Day on 

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Wednesday Ramble

But by taking the time away, getting myself off the treadmill, and just slowing down and learning, I felt I had so much more to give back. And maybe thatwas something that needed to happen for all of us.

Lindsey Buckingham

Well, here we are, half the week already over.  I took off work yesterday. I was really feeling burned out. After grabbing a few extra hours of much needed sleep, I spent part of the day glued to a "Outer Limits" marathon.  This was not the old version, but a newer version of some great psychological dramas.  Hubby's cold has turned into bronchitis, and I've not gotten a decent sleep in over a week. He coughs all night, even in his sleep.  On Sunday, he coughed so hard that he blacked out.  Now, that was scary when he went down in the hallway.  

Besides, it was dreadfully cold with light snow in the morning. I know my boss probably thinks it is the snow that scared me off because I already told him I'm scared of falling, but the fact is, the snow had nothing to do with it. I just didn't have it in me.  Used to be that nothing stopped me from going to work, but that is when I 'loved' it and my body didn't hurt so much.  Aging has slowed me down which can be a 'good' thing, especially for someone who has lived their life as a workaholic.  I never took off.  In fact, when I left my last job to come here they paid me for five weeks vacation, but I lost 56 hours vacation, two personal days, and 153 hours of sick time...all because I never took a day off.  I'm determined not to let that happen this time.

Speaking of cold weather, for the life of me, I cannot understand how these young women do it.  How can they wear ultra short skirts when it is 20 degrees or high heels on those icy days.  Instead of snow boots one sees them 'looking' pretty in those spiked heels, and the odd thing is, nothing seems to bother them...unless they are better actresses than I am. My legs get cold just by looking at them. To be honest, in my youth I, too, wanted to look pretty, but never at the expense of comfort. I've never liked being cold.

Not that I was a prude.  I've been known to wear a short skirt now and then.  After all, I came of age during the time of the mini, and although I preferred, and still do, the long flowing skirts of the hippies, I did have occasion to don an outfit that fell well above the knee.  Bet you're surprised to learn that one of my early jobs here in the city had a dress code that involved wearing a red bodysuit while tending bar.

But, that was then and this now, and I know now that 'true beauty' comes from within.  It is not dependent on how much cleavage or leg we show. True beauty comes from within and lasts forever. It is not what we look like, but it is who we are. It begins within the heart.

The difference between pretty and beautiful is-pretty is temporal-whereas beautiful is eternal.

Author Unknown

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Soul Sisters

I’ve been more in touch with my own anxiety and sadness. I’ve allowed myself not to hide it under a pile of achieving busy-ness. I’m allowing myself to cry when I feel sad…..and then I feel better….more balanced, whole…That’s part of me, too. 

Lately I have had the feeling that something is missing from my life. I have a wonderful caring husband whom I love with all my heart and two very special boys, but I lack "Soul Sisters".  Since I began blogging, I found all of you and cherish the friendships that we have built. You all mean the world to me, but what I am talking about are those friendships that we make during childhood that remain with us forever, those friends who attend our wedding, those friends with whom we shared experiences of motherhood, those friends who, although they may move away never lose contact, those lifelong friendships that carry so much meaning. I cannot really say that I am unhappy.  Perhaps what is really bothering me is curiousity.  What happened to all of my classmates? Are they remembering me as I remember them?

"Soul Sisters", with the author's wonderful tales of lifelong friendships, made me so aware of that part of my life that I gave up so many years ago. It was me who 'chose' to part ways in my early twenties, and I never cared about looking back...until now. I was young, and very, very impulsive in my youth.  I tended to dive right into things without forethought and was sure that I knew what was best for me. And that meant cutting ties with everything to do with my past....and that included all my friends. One of those silly little mistakes we make in our youth that one day we live to regret.

I can recall a night some 40 odd years ago.  It was about two weeks before I packed up and moved to the city. I received a telephone call from an old friend who I had grown up with. My fondest memories were of picking tomatoes from her father's garden and making tomato sandwiches, gobbed with mayo. Oh, how we loved those lunches. Well, that night I had been surprised to hear her voice on the phone because it had been quite a few years.  We'd lost contact when my mom pulled me out of the school and sent me elsewhere, thinking a geographical change was all her 'wild child' needed. It never occurred to her that maybe the fixing had to come she and my dad.

She asked me how I was doing, and then said something I never forgot. "I envy you because you are such a free spirit.  I'm young, yet saddled to a marriage I don't really want." Mary Ann had done exactly as we women from our small town were supposed to do back then. We were supposed to get married right out of high school and raise our husband's children.  Women were not expected to do any more than that.  Mary Ann was the last person from my past who I spoke to. 

Names have been popping up in my memories, and I spent some time this past weekend Googling them, but found nothing. There was Elaine whose mom was generous enough to take me in when our house burned.  Elaine and her sister even loaned me clothes to wear to school.  Then, there was Carol and her brother who were the ones who finally clued me in that Santa did not exist.  Oh, I was mad at them for days. And, of course, there was Kathleen, my very first friend when I was 5 years old.  I still hear her voice outside my window, "Little girl.  Little girl.  Can you come out to play?"  That was a friendship that could have been lifelong had her parents not moved her away...or perhaps I would turned away from her as well. 

This past weekend I  joined the Dover High School Alumni Group and left a message, hoping that someone will open it and respond, but so many years have passed that I wonder if they remember me as I remember them. If there is no response then so be it, but at least I can say that I tried. And, it someone 'should' respond, I will be singing from the rooftops that someone did remember me, remembered that I was there. One of the best closing lines ever from a  film comes from  "Gangs of New York"...

In the end, they put candles on the bodies so's their friends, if they had any, could know them in the dark. The city did this free of charge. Shang, Jimmy Spoils, Hell-cat, McGloin, and more. Friend or foe, didn't make no difference now. It was four days and nights before the worst of the mob was finally put down. We never knew how many New Yorkers died that week before the city was finally delivered. My father told me we was all born of blood and tribulation, and so then too was our great city. But for those of us what lived and died in them furious days, it was like everything we knew was mildly swept away. And no matter what they did to build this city up again... for the rest of time... it would be like no one even knew we was ever here.

I don't want that to be me. Thanks for letting me share today.