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Sunday, December 12, 2010

The Power of Prayer


As always, at this time of year, I am reminded to count my blessings, as so many in this world have nothing to count. It is hard to imagine, from my vantage point what having nothing would be like. I only know that I do not really want to find out.

This brings me to discuss using the power of prayer to give oneself over to a greater power than your mortal self. As religion and prayer are very personal choices, I will use the term "higher power", which can be interpreted as God, Buddha, Mohamed, the Great Spirit, and other words that signify "God"for each reader.

I came across a very good article from the book Beginner's Grace: Bringing Prayer to Life, by Kate Braestrup. Braestrup says that "prayer is deliberate, intensive thought, offered silently or spoken aloud. It's a tool that allows us to be more conscious, like meditation. . . .Prayer is likely to be our default mode for managing the fear and pain that sometimes come with human experience and for engaging the sacred dimensions of that experience."

I like the author Marianne Williamson, who has written several books for women, including A Return to Loving , and a Women's Guide to Worth. From Real Simple magazine, May 2010, Williamson has an article called: 10 Ways to Stay Spiritually Connected. The 10 steps included: Recognizing your Creator, Set time aside each day to spend in spiritual reflection and contemplation, and Bless the world--all very important activities that we need to find time to practice.

It seems to be very difficult for me to stay focused and in the now. I tend to rush ahead getting things done, or problem solving. It is hard to get me to stay still (right Mom!). However, when I do center myself it is a wonderful feeling.

With the Christmas/Holiday season approaching, I find myself running out to get presents, and then more presents. I don't usually stop until I get whatever I have "scheduled" for myself done. The good news is I am almost done! Then I will have time to enjoy celebrations with loved ones. The thing that I look forward to the most.

Have a joyous time this season! Share your love, and spread joy!

Here is a quote from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.--" Take the first step in faith. You don't have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step."

Peace!

Joan

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

We Gather Together!

FOR TURKEY--ETC, ETC!

But seriously, folks, this is the beginning of the season we love so much, because it involves being with our loved ones (and eating!). It is a wonderful time of the year.

In keeping with the season, it is time to look introspectively and count our many blessings. In a state of less than perfect economy (I'm trying to be gentle!), we still have so very much in comparison to many in the world.

Let's take time during our Thanksgiving celebrations to say aloud something(s) that we are grateful for. I personally am thankful for my home, loving family, wonderful friends, food (I know--again!), a fantastic dog, and my health.

I will be with my husbands family in Pensacola, Florida this year. We are traveling tomorrow; it is about an 8 hour drive. I am bringing hot and cold packs for my back and neck, and pillows!

Please keep the season in your heart, and share it with others!

Peace to all,

Joan

Saturday, October 30, 2010

All Hallows Eve--Beware!

My Other Broom is a Car!

Actually, the car is in the shop due to mine being rear ended Tuesday evening. I'm fine--just some sore muscles, neck, back--but fine! I got a rental yesterday and am loving the freedom of driving. I wish I did have a broom, it would have come in handy!

I have a sack full of candy for the trick or treaters. I always feel a little guilty as a dental hygienist handing them potential cavities! But, the occasion is for some scary fun, and I can't deny the kids that.

It is too bad that the full moon didn't wait for Halloween. Its windy, and that moon would be just the finishing touch!

Here is a poem from the unpublished book Naturescapes. If I were in North Carolina, this would be what I would see.

Have a safe and scary Halloween!

BOO!

Joan

Fall's Last Stand

Late October
And its raining
Leaves!
Brilliant reds, golds
And Yellows
Carpet the forest floor

With winter nigh
Squirrels dash madly
Securing nuts and acorns
Storing their pirated booty
In secret woodland
Treasure troves

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Leaftopia


Magnolia and the Fall Leaves


What an awe-inspiring time of the year! I know that I am very blessed to be able to retreat to the mountains of western North Carolina and feast my eyes on the foliage.

We had a nice trip; but, busier than we anticipated being. We did remember to relax a little bit. I so miss sleeping later. I have been dragging this week, trying to get back to "normal".

Here is a poem that I wrote for an unpublished book called Naturescapes. Enjoy and have a lovely week! Spend some time with a wonderful person--that would be you!

Ciao!

Joan

Leaftopia

Its mid-October
And the mountain's trees
Transition their
Leafy jungles
Of jeweled emerald,
Citrine and peridot
Turning timidly, at first
Then becoming
Brilliant baubles
Ablaze with color

Boldly, Mother Nature
Shows off her
Patchwork quilt
Of autumn finery
Dogwood's garments
Will go garnet
Sumac ripens ruby red
Oaks are tiped topaz
And Maples flash
Their royal red robes

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Autumn Is In The Air!


Oh Those Lovely Leaves!

They are so vivid, yet so fleeting. The foliage and the chill in the air combine to make autumn is my favorite time of year.

Later this week, I am coming up to enjoy the coolness, drink in the beauty, and relax, perchance to write. I am imagining my favorite perch on the front porch--can't wait!

As we enter this invigorating season, let us use the gorgeous landscape to renew our creative souls. I think that it is impossible to ignore this time of heaven on earth. We need to do whatever it is we do to celebrate, be it baking, painting, writing, or giving thanks.

May fall jump start your engine's, dahlings!

Peace,

Joan

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

This Is Your Brain On Menopause

There it is! I knew I left it some place!

Seriously, sometimes I do wonder if I have one! I love to whistle that tune, "If I Only Had a Brain" from the Wizard of Oz.

Menopause does come with some cognitive problems. Some of these are related to having less estrogen; some of them are from not getting enough sleep, or lack of restful sleep.

What's a woman to do? Well, there is hormone replacement therapy, or HRT. This may be risky and should only be decided after talking to your physician. Some supplements may help that contain plant estrogen. Another supplement is the herb Black Cohosh, which may help night sweats. Additionally, Valerian Root may help as a sleep aid, and your doctor may be able to prescribe prescription medications for you.

I have gone to bed with an ice pack under my neck. This does cool me down so I can go to sleep. I used to have a Chillo, but it wore out--it's about the same as a reusable ice pack.

Regular exercise may help to lessen menopausal symptoms. Just don't exercise two hours before bed, as you will energize your body, and get hot!

Also, watch out for spicy foods as they may keep you awake at night--think HOT! Alcohol is another issue, as you will wake up in the night after sleeping for a while. And guess what? You will be hot! Soy foods and other sources of food that contain plant estrogens, like flax, should help your symptoms.

Remember, you are still hot, only now it comes in flashes!

Think cool!

Joan

Sunday, September 5, 2010

GOOD VS BAD PROCRASTINATION?


My Friend Marion Pretending to Procrastinate!

It is amazing to me how quickly technology can squash you. I am rewriting this blog post due to the beastie below. He quite literally ate my text!

Here I was waxing profusely about writing an article about procrastination that was keeping me from working (i.e. procrastinating ) on my query letter. Suddenly, BAM! that little sucker took the text with him when I tried to move him!

I guess there is some justice in that happening. But, seriously, there are 3 types of procrastination, a) doing nothing, b) doing something less important (like errands, domestic engineering--that's cleaning!, and c) doing something more important (like the query letter).

Obviously, I am Queen of "b", with a small amount of "a" thrown in there. I have real trouble with "c". Generally that has to do with not having much confidence in getting said work published or accepted, as it is poetry. All you poets know that aside from poetry chapbooks and contests, how difficult it is to publish a poetry book--it's "just not main steam enough", blah, blah, blah.

In short, I am discouraged from sticking my poetic neck out again, if not plain scared to do it. But, fear not, I will make progress, even is it seems like a snail is working on this book at times.

So take that beastie! May the pen be mightier than the sword! Don't you dare eat my blog this time!

Rotten procrastination beastie!-->

Don't let him get you! Ciao! Joan

Friday, August 27, 2010

Love Is In The Air!


Congratulations Melissa and Brian!

I wish many blessings to this newly wedded couple. May all of your dreams come true!

I got to attend this lovely affair this past weekend. The wedding was beautiful and the reception was first class!

Here is a poem for Melissa and Brian that I wrote for them.



Right Beside Me

I'm not sure how long
You waited for me, but
One day I looked over and
You were right beside me

I felt a flash of destiny
The heavens aligning for us
And with time a sense
Of our one-ness developed

You are a good fit for me
As yin to my yang
You begin where I end
Together we are complete

As I wed you today, know that
Truly, madly, deeply in love
I join my partner in life


For Brian and Melissa In Holy Matrimony August 21, 2010

And a very happy 61st anniversary to my parents who are still dancing! I love you!

Joan






Sunday, August 15, 2010

Being Present in the "Now"


Presence, this is surely where I long to be; in reality, I am rarely there. But, I am getting better at it. To get there, you must be "selfish" enough to give to yourself a small block of time where you are doing nothing but being present.

Ekhart Tolle, from the book The Power of Now, writes "Presence is needed to become aware of the beauty, the majesty, the sacredness of nature. . . You have to put down for a moment your personal baggage of problems. . .your total presence is required."

From an article from USA Weekend, writer Laura Hoxworth discusses authors Susan L. Smalley and Diana Winston, who co-wrote Fully Present. Hoxworth says that the authors advocate "paying attention with openness and curiosity to the present moment." This article states that "Mindfulness is based on heightened sensory awareness, and studies suggest it can help reduce stress, increase attention span, boost creativity and strengthen the immune system."

This topic always resonates with me, as I have always been such a busy person. I think perhaps I tend to do this to show my worth to myself and others. More recently, I have learned that to truly love yourself, you must give yourself the gift of "stillness". Sit down and contemplate the beauty around you, read something uplifting, or just share love while caressing your pet (one of my favorites and it definitely is good for both of you!).

I like this experiment from Ekhart Tolle: "Close your eyes and say to yourself, I wonder what my next thought is going to be. Then become very alert and wait for the next thought." Tolle says that it will be quite a while before a thought arrives. "As long as you are in a state of intense presence, you are free of thought. You are still, yet highly alert." I have tried this and it is so interesting when a thought finally gets through.

So give yourself a break this week. Sit down here and there for a little stillness. You'll be glad you did!

Please enjoy a poem from my book Water Running Downhill!; and may peace be with you!

Joan

Exercise in Morphology

Hush
Be very still
With eyes closed
And imagine you are
As a blank, white canvas
A page not yet written upon

Concentrate
On this image
Within your mind
Then use this background
To paint who you truly are
Using previous life as a guideline

Envision
The beautiful being
That you have within you
Sculpt and recreate yourself
With your dreams as the bones
Then flesh out the rest by sheer will

Live who you want to be!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Honoring Inspirational Author Sue Patton Thoele


This week I have decided to honor a fellow author and poet, Sue Patton Thoele. Sue has written several inspirational books. I have mentioned Sue's book Growing Hope in a previous blog.

Lately, I have been reading Autumn of the Spring Chicken, which is poetry, and very similar to my writing style. I am about to start the book The Courage to be Yourself, and am awaiting delivery of her newest book, The Mindful Woman.

Please feel free to visit Sue's website at http//www.suepattonthoele.com.

Here is a poem from Autumn of the Spring Chicken:

A New Day

Each day is
A newborn child
Living and dying
In the scant hours
Between dawn and dusk

It is our sacred responsibility
To nurture each day,
Unique and precious child
Of our waking hours,
Into the twilight
Of its perfect maturity


Have a lovely and blessed week!

Joan

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Thursday, July 29, 2010

KARMA AND THE TWISTY CONE

Granddaughter Number One With Green Apple Cone!

It has been a whirlwind lately! We spent time with wonderful grandchildren, and with the above Miss Twisty Cone in particular. She was visiting us from the Seattle area.
During the course of the visit, Grandpa would frequently dangle the possibility of getting ice cream from the Twisty Cone. This did not happen, until. . .
We took this grandchild to the airport to head back last evening. As we were checking in we were made aware of a problem with the flight coming in from Atlanta. It was to be delayed for an hour and 3/4, and the connection would not be met. It was a dilemma that was solved by rescheduling the flight to early this morning.
Our Granddaughter was not happy! She was ready to go home to her Mom and friends, why did this have to happen, etc. As we were leaving the airport parking lot, I had a epiphany--it was Karma who was delaying us, and Karma wanted us to have a Twisty Cone!
We had a good laugh at this, returned home and feasted on pizza. Then we merrily drove to Twisty Cone, had ice cream (even the dog), and satisfied Karma.
Granddaughter got her flight this morning and arrived in Seattle this afternoon. We will miss her, but all is well! Are you happy now, Karma!

Have a playful week!

Joan

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The Sister Connection


I just had to do it--call my little sister! If I don't, I walk around with a feeling rattling around in the back of my brain that tells me I have forgotten something important.

So you make the call and reconnect. Even if it is a short conversation, it's enough to say, "hey, I'm here and I'm thinking about you". It's good to strengthen these family connections. No one knows you as well as a sister. And amazingly they usually like you, regardless!

I like the quote: A sister is a forever friend. I hope that this will always be true!Align Center

Here's to all of our sisters--blood relatives and chosen ones! Let us share our love with them!

Love you Sis!


Sunday, June 27, 2010

Wasting Time

Where I would like to be!

As I am getting ready for a trip to the Carolina's, I find myself goofing off a little, and getting ready to goof off a lot!

I haven't written anything all week. I have had a little time to be quiet within; I almost fell asleep and napped on Friday!

The only writing related tasks I have spent time on are reviewing books to compare with the new book that I am procrastinating "birthing".

It's not that I don't want to, poetry is hard to get printed! It's just not mainstream enough for most of the world. Now if I only were a rapper--that is certainly a form of poetry--just not mine! Hmmm, now I have to write a rap poem--here it goes!

Get your poetry flowin
Get your booty goin
Do it, do it, do it, uh huh
Move it, groove it, do it, uh huh

No excuses, no duck duck gooses
Let loose those juices, uh huh
I'm talkin to yousez, uh huh
Be the engine, not the cabooses
yo baby

Peace out!

Joan



Sunday, June 20, 2010

The "B" Word

My Other Car!

Why is it that women get labeled as bitches when we are successful, driven, competent, talented, upwardly mobile, etc., etc.? Men call us that, and we call other women that "B" word.

Perhaps it is jealousy, or fear that causes the outburst. I have been known to drop the word (silently, or to friends) when I have experienced, well, bitchiness!

I do think there are bitchy men out there as well as women. I'm sure you may agree with this!

I'm thinking that it is time to re-label the word--make it more of a power word than an unflattering one. Lets make a statement. Like Lady Gaga says "I'm a free bitch, baby!"

Here is a poem for the occasion!

The "B" Word

An unkind word, perhaps
Evolving into new meaning
Representing a strong, resistant woman
Confidant and unshakable, someone who
Might make you uncomfortable and resort
To name-calling to stem the underlying
Emotion evoked from the mega-feminine
Persona in control
Causing the word "bitch"
To fall from
Taut lips


Have a wonderful, powerful week!

Ciao!

Joan

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Tribute to Aunt Sybil


Sybil

Today they bid a final farewell
To their mother
She was stolen from them
Years before by the mind thief dementia

It took her piece by precious piece
Shuttering her mind, finally
Locking her up
Her body a prison cell

Years passed within this body/cell
Finally death arrived, releasing the
Captive soul, she flew out soaring
Higher and higher, rising like a white dove
Joyfully ascending
To heaven's waiting embrace


Joan Ellen Gage
6/12/2010


Thursday, June 10, 2010

Nullifying the Negative


In with the good air out with the bad. Or should it be in with the positive, out with the negative!
The airwaves seem to be shrouded with the negative. Apparently gloom and doom await us! Perhaps it does.

Really, I'm not a Pollyanna. I have my moods and obsess on what is not good, not perfect, not what I want, or what is out of my control. At some point I try to get over it. Eventually, the "issue" becomes less important.

So much of how we view and live our lives is a choice. We can choose to be miserable or we can choose to be happy--or at least not miserable!

There will always be someone who crosses our path that has lived through, or is getting through a tragedy. Listening to this person's story helps us realize how small our problems are.

In order to look at the positive side, we need to count our blessings. This must be done often!
It is so easy to chow down at mealtime and not stop to be thankful for the sustenance on our plates. Even when it is something we don't want to eat.

It is the little acts of gratitude that tell our families and friends that we love them. Let's take a few seconds of our precious time to do this.

So, to all of you out there, thank you for being there!

Spread the love,

Joan

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Fanning the Flame of Creativity

A Flame Azalea


I am experiencing a lovely AM, punctuated with rain showers and bird song. I have the luxury of a quiet house--so delightful!
I took myself out to the screened porch to write a little. Yes, I am finally back on that horse, since yesterday. It takes a series of steps to get me there, namely, having some peace and quiet, watching nature, and reading something uplifting for a bit (actually more than one book is key). Then I can usually come up with something that resembles writing!
This is such a lovely way to start the day. Why can't I do this everyday? Yeah, I know--working for a living. I seem to do best when I start this routine in the morning. The brain is more functional then, I believe.
One of my books I am revisiting is The Woman's Book of Creativity, by C. Diane Ealy, Ph.D. Ealy writes about how the creativity process differs with women; apparently, we create holistically, not in linear form, as do men. I can't wait to read the chapter: Quieting the inner you--that is something I can use!
Finding what it takes to turn on your creativity differs from individual to individual. Trial and error may be one way to get there. Certainly centering oneself and tuning in to your heart and soul are keys to starting your process.
This week try to find some quiet time and tune into your thoughts and feelings. Trying to meditate for a bit each day may help, also.
Have a peaceful and thoughtful week!

Joan


Sunday, May 23, 2010

The Waiting

The Clock Is Ticking! Tick, Tick, Tick!

Today I am waiting for my computer wizard friend to do a little file extraction surgery from our computer's hard drive. It is a little like waiting for news of a baby that is being delivered.
Hopefully, I will be able to recover some documents, and 6 months of photos that I did not have on disc. If not, life goes on! At least I have all of my faculties intact. O.K., don't start with me, mostly intact!
After today, I need to move out of my vegetative state and into a more creative state of mind. I have become complacent, and used to not creating for me.
It's easy to get caught up in the mundane existence of working, cooking, cleaning, laundering, etc. I am not very motivated these days. Solution: I need to kick myself in the butt to move forward!
Note to self--have a heart to heart with you today. Discuss: What is your problem?
Hey all you whirling dervishes out there! Could you send me a little mental energy? Perhaps I need to change the batteries in my brain!
Enough of the self-examination! May everyone have a stunningly fantastic week! Take time to love and encourage yourself. Take time for you!
Ciao!

Joan

P.S. Check out new quotes at:
http://www.waterrunningdownhill.com

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Oh Where, Oh Where Have My Little Files Gone!


The Author Treading Water!

You are not going to believe this--I have no computer files, no photos, no email addresses, saved emails, documents, etc., etc.! Scary, huh?
My wonderful husband did a complete backup to an external hard drive. Then the hard drive was wiped clean, as there was a DLL(?) file that was corrupt--per Microsoft help. All this to install Windows 7.
Now all my husbands files are restored. We can't find mine. This is an item to be addressed this week with "help" from the external hard drive manufacturer, and probably Microsoft.
Why I had not saved important documents to disc, I cannot say. I thought that backing up the files to the external hard drive meant backing them all up! In my defense, I had backed up my current manuscript in January 2010. I had backed up all of my photos; but, only to last October.
I have lost Christmas NC photos, photos of my little Granddaughter celebrating Christmas with us, and her 4th birthday party photos (I can get a copy from my Stepdaughter-whew!)
I lost a photo shoot for my book cover. I have a copy of an email of the final (tentative) product which I sent to a friend. I'm not sure I can recover it and use it.
Anyway! No use crying over disappeared files! I have recovered most of my good nature--really, I am trying! I will try to salvage what I can; I have not drowned in the sea of hopelessness, yet!
The lesson here is put your files on something where you will not lose them!!!!!!!! I cannot emphasize that enough!
Meanwhile, have a pleasant week. May all your problems be small ones!

Peace!

Joan

Sunday, May 9, 2010

FINDING TIME FOR CREATIVITY

CREATIVE: Any place that makes you say "ooh" and "aah"--an art museum, the ballet--is a good place to get a creativity makeover. And if you feel inspired to try your hand at something creative right after your visit, go for it! (from Stop Doing Start Being, by Leigh Anne Jasheway-Bryant, FAMILY CIRCLE, April 2005).

If you are like me, all kinds of distractions come between you and your soul's need for some creative time. That's just life swallowing you whole; throwing tasks and chores at you until you yell "enough"!
We can't have a distraction-free life. What we can do is find a little space in the "now" to get in touch with the left side of our brains.
Taking a time-out can be as simple as finding a quiet corner to deep breath and meditate. Listening to music or singing can bring out your creative soul, as well as writing, drawing, looking at art, or observing nature/gardening.
I find that color inspires emotions for me, particularly the color purple, or a melange of colors. Even vibrant greens evoke feelings of well-being and relaxation--all those spring trees do this for me!
Silence is key for concentrating on the one thing that you love to do. That is why I am typing this now. There is no one in the house at the moment, no TV, no radio. Just me and my breathing.
Julia Cameron, author of the Artist's Way books says that "unleashing your inner artist . . . can allow passion and growth to become a part of your everyday life. People . . . eat better, have vivid dreams, and get the most out of their lives" (from Your Inner Life, Keep it Creative, by Anna Davies, REDBOOK MAGAZINE December 2009).
Cameron is big on journaling. She calls the process "morning pages", as she wants individuals to write before they get out of bed, so that you are aware of what you are thinking.
Another process involves making a date with yourself every week, to go somewhere that interests you where you have not yet been. Apparently you are naturally drawn to things that are "creativity cues".
Thirdly, Cameron recommends walking alone in your neighborhood and observing the world around you. This will connect all three processes together. Interesting. . .
I did read the The Artist's Way A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity, several years ago. I found it stimulating. I am just not very good at following other people's advice; although I usually take from a book or speaker a component that I will modify and use as my own.
This week, try to take a little time to do that thing that you love to do! Do not think of it as selfish time, think of it as "self" time. Remember this: we cannot grow in a stagnant medium. We must be immersed in the flow of life!
Enjoy your week!
Happy Mother's Day to all Mother's in the world! May you be blessed!

Peace,

Joan

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Replenishing The Soul With Nature




I have just returned from a respite in western North Carolina. What a literal breath of fresh air! The weather was perfect, albeit cold a couple of mornings.
Every morning, with the exception of one rainy one, my trusty Shepherd and I trudged up the hill to the top of the mountain. I have nicknamed this climb the "stair-stepper", as it definitely gives one that workout!
I loved the quiet moments that were spent admiring the newly green leaves and the blossoming shrubs. A particular favorite time of mine was spent languishing on the front porch and listening to the birds trilling. Is there anything more lovely than this?
There is nothing like a bit of nature to replenish the noise weary soul. I feel that I have aired out all my brain's winter cobwebs; although there are some new spring ones starting!
This week, try to take a few minutes every day to reconnect with nature. Try a stroll or walk, or just sit and look at some greenery to soften your eyes to the living world. Oh, yes, and remember to breathe!

April 2010

Spring Again
Colors reload
Then shoot open
The vibrant newly-greened
Oaks, Dogwood, and Sourwood
Tree egos puff up their leaves
Vieing for your attention
Easily outshining the somber
Darker green of the
Mountain pines

Sunday, April 18, 2010

"Gilding or Re-building" the Lily?

How lovely these Amaryllis are, proudly holding up their heads. They are like young women, adorned with colorful garments.
I love being the age I am; I do not like the aging part. These days I am spending more time "gilding" the lily. Just holding those wilting "petals" up requires a good diet with supplements, enough sleep (this is often lacking!), lots of exercise, investing in some good skin-care products, and lastly, make-up.
I was very fortunate in my youth, as I had good skin. I tried makeup, however, it just melted off in the Florida heat. So, I rarely used any powder or liquid makeup. I think that alone was an important factor in the clarity of my skin.
Now, past mid-fifty, I am applying makeup more and more often. The complexion seems a bit blotchy no matter what I do. Also, since I wear a mask when I work, this doesn't help. Masks create heat and, yes, I am always sweating!
Reconciling oneself to their aging profile is not easy. These things do happen slowly, and that helps. But, self-esteem is sometimes compromised, as we feel good when we know we look good. Maybe I have to give up magnifying mirrors? They are so NOT our friends!
I guess the face-lift and/or other surgery (AKA "re-building the lily") is a possibility. I think I am too much of a coward to go through with that; knives scare me! Furthermore, I'm not sure I can afford these procedures. Perhaps a laser peel? Hmmmm.
Unfortunately, society is not kind to the aging woman. Men are allowed to age "gracefully", their graying hair is "sexy"etc, etc. Women are reduced to hags. It's the American way, and it is a crock!
Let's band together and give each other the support we need to just love our aging selves. We are beautiful, through and through--we should know this!
Here is a poem from the upcoming book, which I tentatively renamed Embracing Your Inner Hippie! Have an outstanding week!

Fountain of Spoof

First come the little
"Smile" lines by the eyes
After a while, lines deepen
And are followed by brow-furrows
Complemented with "marionette" lines
On each side of the mouth
[I swear that is what those "in the know"
Are calling them!]

Our first defense consists of lotions
And creams that we literally slather
On our skin; most of these products
Don't do much, or live up to our expectations
I personally will attest to this
Still, I continue to try the latest and greatest
(Within budget) hoping for a mini-miracle or
At least some hint of positive progress

I guess I'll settle for maintenance
i.e try to stay where I'm at
Rather than trying to reverse the
Hands of time on the "wrinkle clock"
We certainly need to smile more
Nothing looks better on us!
Let's work on keeping our chins up
Even if we have to pull 'em up and tie them there!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

SOLITUDE AND THE ELUSIVE "NOW"

Love that Magnolia girl!

Good morrow to you all! It is a gloomy, breezy day here. Still, it is green, lush, and lovely! If only the pollen would quit--achoo!
I have finally gotten to my quiet moment. The washing machine has quit; I decided to wait to run the dryer. The dog is sleeping, the spouse is out. It is so calming to hear nothing!
I don't know how we do it? Day out, day in, we have some much noise and distraction. It is no wonder we are running around stressed to the max. We need to tune out the noise and tune in to nature.
I had some moments of "now" this week. I had to force them on myself; then was glad that I had. I will continue to subdue myself on a regular basis--it is for my own good!
I have a quote on my calendar "Peace is a quiet mind", no author noted. That hits home for me. An author I have quoted before, Sue Patton Thoele, writes from her book, Growing Hope, "being still allows the murky waters of our minds to clear and invites the light of heart and soul to shine on and from our inner and outer lives."
Eckhart Tolle, author of The Power Of Now, tells us that "Presence is needed to become aware of the beauty, the majesty, the sacredness of nature." Additionally, a quote by Virginia Woolf says that "In solitude we give passionate attention to our lives, to our memories, to the details around us". Finally, Anne Morrow Lindbergh writes, "There is a quality to being alone that is incredibly precious. Life rushes back into the void, richer, more vivid, fuller than before."
This is great "food for thought", and good inspiration for my addled ADD brain. Here is a poem from my book, Water Running Downhill. Have a wonderful week with moments of solitude!

Joan

COCOON

Creating calm
In your life
Is as essential
To your existence
As oxygen

We have become
Hurried, harried
Hustling husks
We have forgotten
To breathe

Nullify the noise of
Modern Life
Shipwreck yourself
On your island Aerie
Nurture your native side

Unplug the phone
Cut off your cell
Become incommunicado
Turn off the tube
Acquiesce to quiet

Bask as bird song
Blends with the
Beating of your heart
Knowingly choose to be
A universe of one

Then, gratified and grounded
Will your authentic
Sated-self slip
Into your cocoon
Of silence

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

TRYING TO TRAVEL AT THE SPEED OF "NOW"!

It is spring, yes! My Azaleas are spectacular, thanks to the cold weather. It is one part of the yard that looks good. I'm still not sure if some of the plants are alive. Some severe trimming will reveal all.
Mi esposo has been in NC putting some electric into his shed/workshop with the help of his son. I have done a wonderful job of amusing myself, by being a social butterfly, and reconnecting with friends and family in South Florida. I've also had dinner and/or snack fests with friends.
I have not yet put pencil to paper! I'm good at turning on the new big screen TV and distracting myself. What I need is quiet; it is the only way that I can focus on writing.
Last night I turned off the television. This morning I walked then had breakfast on my porch. I do love being in the "now". As a potentially A.D.D. person, it is my habit to eat quickly, not mindfully. I am trying to do this today--savor the flavor, texture, and scent of food, watch nature, and breath.
Author Sue Patton Thoele, in the book Growing Hope, calls finding yourself through solitude and quiet "defragging your inner hard-drive. I like that. One of her examples in defragmenting includes "writing down bothersome thoughts, releasing them by burning, tearing, or putting them in a little jar of water in the freezer (on ice)", clever, no?
I make a resolution, today, to make a little more quiet time in my life. I will chew slower, pray more, and breathe slower.
Here is a poem from my book, Water Running Downhill:

THE ZONE

While sequestered as a willing tenant in
Your self-made prison of busyness
Dream of ways you can be free

To give yourself the gift of
A precious few moments, no distractions
Lock out your outer "life" and meditate

Find that it is almost a new experience, as
You may have forgotten the sensation
Of pure awareness, and nothing else

So used to being the "amazing balancing act"
You have found it hard to stop doing and planning
And just become still

Discover that one can see so much clearer
When traveling at
The speed of now

Quotes:

There is a quality to being alone that is incredibly precious. Life rushes back into the void, richer, more vivid, fuller than before.
--Anne Morrow Lindbergh

Every now and then go away, have a little relaxation. For when you come back to your work, your judgment will be surer.
--Leonardo Da Vinci

Have a blessed week!

Joan

Saturday, March 20, 2010

SPRING IS IN THE AIR!

Spring has arrived; at least it has in Florida! The weather was spectacular, today! High pressure is keeping us sunny, although the wind is blowing pretty heartily.
Oak leaves and pollen are showering us constantly. You get out the blower and clean it up, a few hours later it looks like you have done nothing!
We have been working on cleaning up the yard; actually Rob has been doing all of the hard part. Since he's retired, he has taken over most of that activity. He has been removing some of the dead plants and tops of plants that suffered during the freezing winter weather. I did some planting this afternoon, a little weeding, and cleaned up the dirt and those dratted oak leaves!
Along with the season of spring comes a need to open up and air out the house. I have been doing some spring cleaning for the past couple of weekends; reorganizing closets and donating some things. I have a long way to go! But, I am making headway.
There is something wonderful about clearing out clutter. Apparently it makes us feel lighter in spirit, also. As if the mental clutter goes out with the clothes and shoes, etc. Plus you get a good feeling when you donate items that can help others.
I challenge you to consider starting a similar project, this week, to see how it makes you feel. Let me know how it went!
Here is a spring poem from my unpublished book, Naturescapes. Have a bountiful week!

Peace!

Joan

Spring Forth

Brilliant multi-hued
Easter egg shades
Illuminate and complete
The transformation
From stark winter-bare
To the richly adorned
Newly verdant landscape

Spring awakens and
Brings forth
Sleepy bulbs from
Their cozy winter beds
Nodding and stretching
They unfold their
Many colored heads

Sunday, March 14, 2010

"PET " OF MY HEART

Pets, how we love them. They are forgiving, constantly giving us love and affection in turn. Here is the lovely Magnolia with my friend Ruriko. This dog will snuggle forever, as long as you snuggle her!
Domestic pets give us more than love. Animals also help us to have lower blood pressure and enable greater healing for patients who have had heart attacks.
Studies show that pet owners have less depression, greater self-esteem, and more social contacts. Apparently, the dog or cat can act as a social catalyst between the owner and another person. Furthermore, pet owners report being happier and having a lower stress response, which lowers blood pressure.
I know that my sweet dog makes my life happier. She is playful and joyful. I am more present when we are sharing a moment.
Here are some quotes:
An animals eyes has the power to speak a great language--Martin Buber
We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals--Immanuel Kant
My little dog, a heartbeat at my feet--Edith Wharton
A cat is a puzzle for which there is no solution--Hazel Nicholson
Who can believe that there is no soul behind those luminous eyes--Theophile Gautier
Dogs are not our whole lives--but they make our lives whole--Roger Caras

Have a marvelous week!
Joan

Sunday, March 7, 2010

THE QUEST FOR HAPPINESS!


A Joyous Good Morning to You All!
How is everyone today? I think that the weather has improved for a great deal of the country. Florida is finally getting a warm-up. It has been crazy cold here! But, I'm not complaining. So many of you have been freezing--literally!
My theme today is The quest for happiness, something that seems to elude so many of us. Much is written about finding happiness. Many sources speak to the difficulty of this search. Apparently, many of us deny ourselves happiness, as we think we don't deserve it. Or we think that if we are happy, now, that something terrible is coming to dispel it.
So what do we do? "Practice acceptance", says M. J. Ryan, author of The Happiness Makeover,"try not to judge yourself or others critically. . .they're (you are) doing the best they (you) can". Ryan also speaks about thankfulness, for today, and for what you have. She emphasizes celebrating good things, as this creates joy.
Sonja Lyubomirsky, PhD, author of The How of Happiness, says that there is a "genetic component to happiness". But, she says that it is also "a skill you can learn".
Other habits to break are, ruminating (circular thought patterns) and negative thinking. Keep an open mind! (jan 10 family circle 99 , Happy Talk by Steve Calechman)
More good reads are Happiness Now, by Robert Holden, PhD, and Shortcuts to Bliss, by Jonathan Robinson. If you are not into reading self-help books, look to the internet for articles and quotes to make you smile.
Oh, by the way, today's photo is of my friend Dani, who is exploring and hacking her way through the jungle of life. I love this picture, Dani reminds me of Lucille Ball here. Too droll!

Quotes:
Think of all the beauty still left around you and be happy--Anne Frank
Optimism: a cheerful frame of mind that enables a tea kettle to sing though in hot water up to its nose--Unknown
Happiness is not in things; happiness is in you--Robert Holden
When one door of happiness closes, another opens: but, often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has been opened for us--Helen Keller

And lastly, a poem from Water Running Downhill!

State of Grace

I sent this message
Out to you
Grasp it
Let it define you
Live it
Take it to heart

The revelation is
This is the moment
The present, and
Nothing else exists
Be here
Seize the "now"

Be your bliss
And therefore
You shall be
Blessed

Have a great week! Smile!

Saturday, February 27, 2010

The Chicken Diva of Dunnellon

Last weekend my husband Rob and I went to visit the Chicken Diva in Dunnellon, Florida. This is my friend Elisa, collecting fresh eggs! Visiting these friends is like staying at a B&B, with lovely accommodations.
Elisa and her husband Dario have a mini-farm complete with 5 dogs, a few rabbits, 2 roosters, and several hens. Oh, and Dario is a chef! He prepared gnocchi with a red sauce and sausages--it was fabulous! I got to help the chef; I riced the potatoes and added flour as needed.
It was interesting to watch the older rooster, Norton, run the female population around. Stellino, the younger cock of the roost, was gentle and reserved. This was unusual for a rooster.
Stellino had tried to mate with Mimi, Elisa's free range hen and kept falling off! So, Mimi would run away from him "She doesn't think he knows what he's doing", Elisa confided.
After we returned home Sunday afternoon, I called the "farm" and wanted to thank our hosts again. I was saddened by the news that Stellino had just leapt up and keeled over, dead. Perhaps the reason he was so "tender hearted" was that he had a tender (bad) heart. We'll never know.
Here is a poem for Stellino:

Ode to Stellino

You were gentle
Crowing quieter than
King Norton who strutted
Cocky testosterone-filled
He a ladies man
You shy, untried

Rest well feathered friend
One remembers you
Who held you when
You were small
You took a peck
Of her heart
With you

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Valentines Day!


Greetings Valentines!

It is the much touted romantic day of days, Valentine's Day. We have exchanged the traditional cards and greetings with kisses.

I made pancakes this morning to sweeten the day. Baby-back ribs are planned for dinner, with sweet potatoes, baby spinach salad, and Key Lime pie for dessert. We actually travel to South Florida for the ribs, to Torchio's in Boynton Beach. They have the best meat and have true baby- back ribs. This is not a gourmet feast like Sam, From My Carolina Kitchen, would make (check out her blog!); but, it's simple and tasty.

Saint Valentine's Day, per Wickipedia, "is annually held on February 14 celebrating love and affection between intimate companions. The holiday is named after one or more early Christian martyrs named Valentine and was established by Pope Gelasius in AD 496. It is traditionally a day on which lovers express their love for each other by gifts,cards, etc. The holiday first became associated with romantic love in the circle of Geoffrey Chaucer in the High Middle Ages, when the tradition of courtly love flourished. "

Courtly love sounds so romantic, doesn't it? I could enjoy being courted with gifts and flowers! Oh, and how about courting me with some house cleaning, or with cooking or doing the laundry? Oh romance, how you have changed! Although taking me shopping with no limits would work! Hmmm. . .
Here are some quotes for you love birds!

Soul meets soul on lover's lips.
~ by Percy Blythe Shelly ~
I love thee, I love but thee With a love that shall not die Till the sun grows cold And the stars grow old.
~ by William Shakespeare ~
One word frees us Of all the weight and pain in life, That word is Love
~ by Socrates ~
Paradise is always where love dwells.
~ by Jean Paul F. Richter ~
The most eloquent silence; that of two mouths meeting in a kiss.
~by Unknown
~ Love is the emblem of eternity: it confounds all notion of time: effaces all memory of a beginning, all fear of an end.
~ by Germaine De Stael ~

Lastly, here is a poem from an unpublished love anthology that I wrote for my husband, called As Souls Meld:


DÉJÀ VU

I believe
We have met before
Another time, another life
It is the only explanation
That explains our closeness
And our chemistry together

I touch you
And it feels as natural
As breathing in and out
My skin knows yours
Intimately
Our scents mingle as one

I cannot imagine
Life without you
It would be like
An empty void
Lacking all familiar

I would strain
To hear your laughter,
Your music, your voice
My eyes would search
For signs of you

But we would leave
This world
Only to be reborn
And meet again
My love-
Deja Vu

Sunday, February 7, 2010

The Art of Patience


Welcome Friends!

This truly is my Achilles heel--lack of patience! Usually I do well, throughout the day. I work with dental patients, and exercise great patience with them. Unfortunately, I tend to tire from a long day, or week of this. So, it is my private life that tends to suffer from occasional bouts of impatience. I need to learn to develop my "patience muscle"!

Here are some ideas that will help all of us to practice greater patience. First from M.J. Ryan, author of The Power of Patience (article from Womans Day 4/1/05):

1) Take 10 minutes each day to take care of our needs, and set priorities for the day.
2) Keep a pebble in your pocket and switch it to the other pocket when you are losing it!
3) Give yourself all the time you need to accomplish something--no stopwatch!
4) Snack healthy, sleep more, have less caffeine.
5) Note and compliment patience in others.

Destina Moga of MakeoversLife.com, offers a meditation exercise for patience.
1. Find a quiet spot.
2. Sit down. Get comfortable.
3. Close your eyes.
4. Clear your mind.
5. Say to yourself, “I have an ocean of infinite patience that trickles in all
of my relationships and daily actions.”
6. Repeat this phrase until you begin to feel like you are creating a space
for infinite patience in your inner dialogue.
7. End the exercise by saying to yourself, “My work is done now.
Thank you. Peace.”
8. Practicing this exercise daily will bring patience into your life.
9. In time of impatience, say to yourself, “I have an ocean of infinite patience"

Lastly Jeanne Zornes from PowertoChange.com, suggests we:
1) Laugh off Murphy's Law
2) Lower our expectations, look for excellence instead of perfection
3) Allow others to fail you--don't expect perfection from others, be gracious
4) Pray or meditate instead of fretting

These all seem to be great fodder for the impatience monster. I am willing to practice these suggestions. Hopefully, I will subdue the critter!

Here are some quotes:

Patience is the companion of wisdom.

--Saint Augustine

Have patience with all things, but chiefly have patience with yourself.

--St. Francis de Sales


Patience and fortitude conquer all things.

--Benjamin Franklin


Have a peaceful and patient week!

Joan


Saturday, January 30, 2010

The Recovering Worrywart!

A good day to all!
It is surprising that we have spent January already! It seems like Christmas was just a couple of weeks ago. I have gotten mired in normal life, again. Which is not bad at all. Unfortunately, being on vacation does not pay me well.
Today we'll touch on the subject of worrying. We all do it at times. Those of us who are more obsessive certainly do it more. Raise your hand if this is you--I knew it! O.K. It's me, also!
Apparently, constant worrying, brooding, or ruminating is not healthy. Susan Nolen-Hoeksema Ph.D., author of Women Who Think Too Much, says these thought patterns are over-thinking. Nolen-Hoeksema says that this behavior is also a negative way of thinking. The author says to use strategies to help you keep worries at bay:
1) Don't trust your negative thoughts
2) Fight back (interrupt the process)
3) Switch your focus (get out and do something!)
4) Banish night worrying (get out of bed and do something pleasant)
5) Schedule a worry session (no more than an hour, and do it when you are feeling up)
6) Write your problems down (to clarify them)
7) Talk to someone (sharing can help you find prospective)
8) Do something joyful (to enhance your feeling of well-being)
9) Let go and let God (pray or meditate)

Nolen-Hoeksema also advises us to take control of your situation to calm your mind, try to find self-acceptance, forgive yourself, and forgive others. Some other suggestions are to set reasonable goals, put more fun into your life, and make more friends.
M. J. Ryan, author of The Happiness Makeover, says to "figure out if you can do something about it", when you find yourself in "worry mode". "Plan for the presentation you have to give", or, if it is something out of your control, "make a list of all of the possible good outcomes".
Richard Carlson, Ph.D., author of Don't Sweat The Small Stuff . . . and it's all small stuff, writes that one should "look at a situation as if it were happening in a year from now", and "ask yourself the question will this really matter a year from now?"
This is good advice; I'll try to take it to my heart. I do need to!
Here is a poem from the yet, unpublished book, tentatively called Waiting for the Rest of Your Life:

Patch, Patch, Patch
Why is it?
Just when
You think things are going to be
Rosy
Life sideswipes you and
Throws you in the ditch!
I seem to spend
Half of my life
Patching things back
Together
The other half I spend worrying
About
Whether of not the patch will hold!
Oh, no!
Don't tell me
Is that another
Leak
I hear?

Have a worry-free week!

Peace,

Joan

Sunday, January 24, 2010

You Gotta Have Hope!


Welcome!


Today I want to speak to you about something that we cannot live without--hope. Hope is something that the world is starving for. To hold hope in your heart one must nurture positive thoughts.

I believe we make the choice every day to have a positive and hopeful heart. Negativity invites failure. Studies show that people with a high level of hope do better in life, including professional success and well being.

Today I am featuring author Sue Patton Theole, who wrote the book "Growing Hope". Theole writes that there are four factors that have been driving the erosion of hope and the growth of despair.

1) Personal pain and how we deal with setbacks, stress, and tragedy

2) Media mayhem and madness--the constant onslaught of bad, ugly, and violent news

3) Economic iffiness--leaving us feeling economically vulnerable

4) Sandpapered senses, due to the bombardment of constant stimuli: cell phones, noise, black-berrys, to-do lists, too much caffeine and sugar--causing us to numb-out, and/or "blow a fuse"

Theole advises us to find balance in your life and to create a personal oasis. We will be talking about these things in the weeks to come.

Here is an exercise Theole calls:

A PRACTICE FOR GROWING HOPE IN YOUR HEART

"Take a moment now and focus on your heart, allowing yourself to sink into and absorb the love that naturally emanates from it. In the theater of your mind, visualize warm, cool, soft, breezy. . .? Talk to your heart even if you feel silly doing so. Thank it for all it does for you, and ask what it would like you to do for yourself, and the greater good. Pay attention, and accept any insights or feelings that come, or don't come. Simply hanging out with your heart provides a wonderful and potentially healing oasis. Try this exercise whenever you're feeling devoid of hope."

Here is a poem from my unpublished book tentatively named "Waiting for the Rest of Your Life". Enjoy!

This Is Your Brain; This Is Your Brain On Overload!

I obsess, I must confess--
Obsess about obsessiveness!

That tune in my head that plays over and over
The fondness I feel for that dark Russell Stover

Lost for hours shopping in T. J. Max
Searching and pawing through racks and racks

Lying awake at night at 1:05
Figuring out plots from Desperate Housewives

Feeling distracted, my time is not free
With television, laptop, Blackberry, and Wii

Caffeination, frustration, discombobulation
Could I please have a real vacation?

And:

Hope is the thing with feathers

That perches in the soul,

And sings the tune without the words,

And never stops at all,

And sweetest in the gale is heard;

And sore must be the storm

That could abash the little bird

That kept so many warm.

I've heard it in the chilliest land

And on the strangest sea;

Yet, never, in extremity,

It asked a crumb of me.

--Emily Dickinson


When the world whispers

"Give up,"Hope whispers, "

Try it one more time."

--Author Unknown

Resources:

"A Plan to Make Your Hopes Happen", Judy Jones, September 2009 more.com

"Growing Hope", Sue Patton Thoele, Conari Press, 2004

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Relax And Renew-It's Up To You!


Greetings and Felicitations!

Today I want to talk about something that we rarely do, or rarely do well--relax! If you are like me, you have that inner agenda inscribed on your mind. Therefore, even if you do sit down for a little bit, perhaps from exhaustion, do you really unwind? That is my friend Renee, above, a yoga instuctor, doing just that!

Here are some tips that I have gleaned over the years.

1) Don't watch the clock, and remove your watch occasionally. This will slow you down.

2) Take a "Zen" break, close your eyes and count your blessings while waiting in line, or waiting in general.

3) Stretch, this relaxes the tension in your body. Inhale and lift your shoulders up to your ears, then exhale and loser them.

4) Listen to music, keep is soft--New Age, Classical, Soft Rock. This lowers anxiety levels.

5) Recite the Serenity Prayer; pray to "Accept the things I cannot change, have the courage to change the things I can, and have the wisdom to know the difference".

6) Time Out! Turn off your TV, computer, cell-phone, and Blackberry for a few hours each day.

7) Practice a slow hobby--gardening, yoga, Pilate's, needlework, painting, writing, etc., with meditative qualities.

8) Take a scented bath--lavender produces alpha waves, which relax you.

9) Pet your cat or dog

10) Breathe with slow deep breaths, breathe in for a count of 5, hold for a count of 2, breathe out for a count of 5. This mimics your sleep breathing.

And!

"There is more to life than increasing its speed." --Mahatma Gandi

"Nothing excellent can be done without leisure."--Andre- Gide

"Take rest; a field that has rested gives a bountiful crop."--Ovid

"To be quite oneself one must first waste a little time."--Elizabeth Bowen


Here's a poem about relaxing from my book, Water Running Downhill! Enjoy!


THE ZONE

While sequestered as a willing tenant in
Your self-made prison of busyness
Dream of ways you can be free

To give yourself the gift of
A precious few moments, no distractions
Lock out your outer “life” and meditate

Find that it is almost a new experience, as
You may have forgotten the sensation
Of pure awareness, and nothing else

So used to being the “amazing balancing act”
You have found it hard to stop doing and planning
And just become still

Discover that one can see so much clearer
When traveling at
The speed of now


Peace out!

(: >) Joan

Resources:

Carl Honore, In Praise of Slowness: How a Worldwide Movement Is Challenging the Cult of Speed.

Reinhold Niebuhr, The Serenity Prayer.

Lori Erickson, "Not So Fast, How to Take it Easy In a Hurry-up, Stressed-out World", Family Circle, 11/29/05.

Norine Dworkin-McDaniel, "Love Your Life", Family Circle, 10/18/05.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Looking At The Positive Side! Featuring The Happiness Project


Welcome all! It is a new year and perhaps it is time to get an attitude tune-up! I realized, of late, that I had not been being thankful as often as I should have. It really is something that needs to become a habit--like flossing your teeth--ha, ha!

If we take the time to realize how fortunate we are to have shelter, clothing, food, family, friends, and love, how can we not be thankful? And being thankful makes us glad at heart, which leads to a happier attitude, right? Right!

Spreading happiness is contagious! Today, take the time to share a phone call with a friend and send them a smile.

I have seen references to a website and a book called The Happiness Project, by Gretchen Rubin in several magazines lately, so I checked out this interesting site. There are many different quotes and positive information available to the viewer. Access her website at:


Here if a New Year's poem for you from my book, Water Running Downhill!

I've just posted new quotes at http://www.waterrunningdownhill.com/
Enjoy the day! :)

Joan


NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS

We have a new year
They seem to be arriving
At lightening speed
In this new decade

Think of this year as
An opportunity
To grow and celebrate
Toast the women you have become

Forget the past mistakes and
Focus on what makes you
Content and joyous
Be your own best friend

Live life now, not later
For later may not
Be here for you

And:


There is no exercise better for the heart than reaching down and lifting people up.

--From an old English prayer

The greatest glory is not in never falling but in rising up every time we fall.
-- Confucius (551-479 BC) Chinese Philosopher

If we are facing in the right direction, all we have to do is keep on
walking.
-- Buddhist Proverb



A Message by George Carlin:


The paradox of our time in history is that we have taller buildings but shorter tempers, wider Freeways , but narrower viewpoints.

We spend more, but have less, we buy more, but enjoy less. We have bigger houses and smaller families, more conveniences, but less time.

We have more degrees but less sense, more knowledge, but less judgment, more experts, yet more problems, more medicine, but less wellness.

We drink too much, smoke too much, spend too recklessly, laugh too little, drive too fast, get too angry, stay up too late, get up too tired, read too little, watch TV too much, and pray too seldom.

We have multiplied our possessions, but reduced our values. We talk too much, love too seldom, and hate too often.

We've learned how to make a living, but not a life. We've added years to life not life to years. We've been all the way to the moon and back, but have trouble crossing the street to meet a new neighbor.

We conquered outer space but not inner space. We've done larger things, but not better things.. We've cleaned up the air, but polluted the soul.

We've conquered the atom, but not our prejudice. We write more, but learn less..

We plan more, but accomplish less. We've learned to rush, but not to wait..

We build more computers to hold more information, to produce more copies than ever, but we communicate less and less. T

These are the times of fast foods and slow digestion, big men and small character, steep profits and shallow relationships.

These are the days of two incomes but more divorce, fancier houses, but broken homes.

These are days of quick trips, disposable diapers, throwaway morality, one night stands, overweight bodies, and pills that do everything from cheer, to quiet, to kill.

It is a time when there is much in the showroom window and nothing in the stockroom. A time when technology can bring this letter to you, and a time when you can choose either to share this insight, or to just hit delete...

Remember; spend some time with your loved ones, because they are not going to be around forever.

Remember, say a kind word to someone who looks up to you in awe, because that little person soon will grow up and leave your side.

Remember, to give a warm hug to the one next to you, because that is the only treasure you can give with your heart and it doesn't cost a cent.

Remember, to say, ' I love you ' to your partner and your loved ones, but most of all mean it. A kiss and an embrace will mend hurt when it comes from deep inside of you.

Remember to hold hands and cherish the moment for someday that person will not be there again.

Give time to love, give time to speak! And give time to share the precious thoughts in your mind.


AND ALWAYS REMEMBER: Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away..

Sunday, January 3, 2010

To the New Year





Greetings Friends!

I cannot believe it is January, and that it's 2010! Time is just spiraling out of control--it will be Christmas, again, before you know it!
Did everyone have good holidays? We did, although we did not get the snow that I'd hoped for. I wanted winter photos! We had snow flurries as we were driving out of the southern Appalachians. I think they were taunting us--"nah, nah, you missed us!" But, we were glad to get somewhere that should be warm. News flash! It was 37 degrees this morning, and we have a frost warning for this evening for east Central Florida.
Not to worry, it will warm up, eventually. Cool nights are good for sleeping, they seem to keep the hot flashes down somewhat.
As promised I have enclosed photos of our tree falls. This was quite a storm; everywhere around the area there were downed trees, and remnants of chain sawed falls that were across roads.
Here is an unpublished storm poem for you! Stay warm and cozy, everyone!
Blessings in the New Year!
Joan

Winter Wind-OH!

Woooooooooo! Wooooooooooo!
Wooooooooooo!
Woooooooooo!
Wooooooooooooo!
Wooooooooosh!
The Wind rises, higher and higher still
Winter rushes in, its timid whisper becoming a mighty
ROAR!
Perched on the crest of each swell of frigid air
Wind “surf” crashes onto storm-tossed trees
Sending a wake of autumn leaves splashing down
They skitter away like sand crabs
In advance of the next wave
Brrrrrrrrr!
Snow caps are approaching!