Most Influential Blogger Award


doncharisma-org-most-influential-blogger-award-man

A very gracious, “Thank You” to the kind and warm-hearted Sally Georgina Cronin, who blogs at, Smorgasbord-Variety is the spice of life, http://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/.  She has generously nominated my blog for the, Most Influential Blogger Award.  The name of the award itself says so very much, indeed.  If I think about it for more than a minute or too deeply, I begin to question it. “Is my writing worthy?  Have I paid my dues?”  The award was originated by the fabulous, Don Charisma, so there must be thanks sent off to him as well.  Thank you, Don Charisma http://doncharisma.org/.

Regardless, I am truly humbled by Sally’s nomination and deeply flattered to know that she believes in me enough to nominate my blog for the above award.   This is a gift of which I accept with tremendous thankfulness.   Thank you, again, Sally.

The Rules are as follows:

1.  Display the Award on your Blog

2.  Announce your win with a blog post, thanking the blogger who awarded you.  This award may NOT be included together with a “basket” or a “lump” of any other awards.  It is             special.

3.  Present 10 deserving Bloggers with the Award.

4.  Link your awardees in the post and let them know with a comment.

5.  Included an imbedded video of your current favorite song (You Tube has everything).  Just copy & paste into your WordPress Editor.  If a video is not possible, please embed a Sound CloudTrac.

I find it always difficult to choose who to nominate.  There are so many wonderful writers in this blogging world of ours.  I could probably go on and on and on.  Like Sally, I couldn’t stop at ten….

Some on this nomination list may be familiar to readers here.  Others are new with rich, wonderful voices waiting to be heard.  Others still have been in the writing world for a very long time, but are new to the “Blogging” world.  Please visit them to enjoy their various perspectives: poetry, wonderful photographs or rich words filled with deep meaning.  Congratulations to all of them.

  1. http://lorirobinett.wordpress.com/creating-my-path/
  2. http://ajaytaobotanicalblog.wordpress.com/
  3. http://jeteliot.wordpress.com/
  4. http://nestpirations.com/
  5. http://mythoughtsonapage.com/
  6. http://eilynash.com/
  7. http://levithetford.com/
  8. http://pathsofthespirit.wordpress.com/
  9. http://bisforblessed.com/
  10. http://hakescafe.com/about/
  11. http://jamesradcliffe.com/
  12. http://valeriudgbarbu.wordpress.com/
  13. http://vincentegoro.wordpress.com/
  14. http://eddietwohawks.wordpress.com/

The music I chose helps to relax me after a hectic day.  It is a lyrical mixture of tinkling bells, harmonizing flutes and the soothing strings of an oboe.  Great for mediating or listening to in the background during a candlelight massage.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dOEvKulq2sY

 

Peace and Tranquility


photo 3 (18)

Peace and tranquility

There before my eyes

Nothing more beautiful to see

What a gift God has given me

Feeling tingles of His breath

Forming an “O”

Whoooo…

Blowing slightly

Brushing hair beneath my neck

Warming liquid joy within my heart

Barely there breeze

Tickling smiling face

Nature before me

Feeling gratitude to Him above

Treasures of late spring scene

Impossible to pocket away

Shareing with the world for all to glimpse

Today and tomorrow and all the rest

God’s peace and tranquility

 

Caterpillar Lessons and Butterfly Dreams


A bug on the ground, never seen before,

Long and round, so different.

Moving now, it floats on top of  bricks,

No legs in sight, scary I think.

Fuzzy, crawling towards me,

Slowly at first, like babies do.

Kneeling down, not quite trusting,

Sizing it up,  close and cautious.

Brown with yellow,  looking soft to me,

Grandma says, “It’s okay to touch.”

Gentle, with a finger whisper,

Careful not to hurt.

Guess what?  It’s a Caterpillar,

Soon to be a butterfly.

How can this be?

God’s magic, it’s a miracle.

Crawling creature ruffle wings into a breeze.

Lots of questions.

When will this happen?  Is it true?  Will the butterfly be blue?

Will it eat from a flower or drink from the fountain?

Can we see it dance in your garden or flutter near a rock?  Please, Grandma…P.L.E.A.S.E!

Does it fly high in the sky?  Look at me!  Like this, Grandma?  Like….this?

Butterfly, I will see you in my dreams.  Up..up..up.  See, waaay up there…

High in the sky.  Please wave to me with wings of blue on clouds of cream,

I will never forget this lesson of bugs and miracles of God.

Good-bye, Caterpillar.  I love you, Butterfly…..

 

 

 

 

Remember….


Memorial Day.

It’s not simply a holiday of family reunions, leisurely picnics or sunshine and happiness.  Let’s stop to remember………

Please pause to think of the multitude of men and women who have served our country together with those who do so today….willingly.  They protect us on our own soil in addition to all around the world.  Soldiers who risk their lives for our freedom.  Many travel to far off places, other cities and countries, vine-covered jungles or wind whipped deserts to fight wars in the name of, FREEDOM.

Our country’s Armed Forces fight enemies we never thought of before.  Sometimes, the ‘enemy’ wears a mask making him look much like our neighbor next door.  We ask, why?  Why is there hate?  Why do we fight?  Can’t we get along?  Let’s live in peace, be happy, respect each other, love one another and remember God’s word…please?

Young soldiers, men and woman, sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, protect us day and night…summer or winter, spring and fall.  No holidays for them.  We are not their families.  No, they cry tears of loneliness with worry behind closed doors.  A cement sidewalk long ago poured in front.  Across the dewy ground lies an unridden bicycle.  Toys scattered and tossed atop an overgrown lawn.  There is a piece of puzzle missing…yes, it’s Mom or Dad.  If not, it may be a prized son, precious daughter or much-loved brother or sister.  Love is missing.

Dusk settles.  Lullabies in rocking chairs soothe crying babies to sleep.  Toddlers toss in cribs clutching flopping bunnies while ‘olders’ retreat in solitude to rooms where emotions can be stuffed waaay down deep.  They’re too B.I.G. to cry.  No matter the age, children wonder the same… “When is Mommy or Daddy coming home?”

Far too often, the unspeakable happens during war.  There is a knock on the front door.  Neighbors in the distance hear the agony of wailing.  I’ve heard it before.  Like an animal cry.  Low, deep down and guttural at first, then louder to a crescendo like no other.  To the top……as if in slow motion.  W..H..Y?  Life is not fair.

I ask all of you to pray for our soldiers today.  Those who have fallen before together with each of them who protect us during all of our tomorrows.  No matter your belief, ‘right or wrong,’ our soldiers are here for you.  Yes, you.  Doing what they believe is right.  Remember them, please.  If you know any soldiers, call one today.  Say, “Thank You for your service.”  A few minutes on the phone will mean the world to any of them on this day.

Trust me…..

 

 

 

On The Road Again


We stood on red brick pavers in the driveway of my home.  Me and my father.  His big cream-colored four-door was packed to the gills.  The early sun of morning shined, warming us ever so slightly from the east.  A cool breeze whispered, “It’s time to go,” out of the north.  Golden rays of light picked up sparkles of grey in his hair.  We took turns hugging for all the neighbors to see.  I was first to plant a wet kiss on the pink of his waiting cheek.  One on each of them before swooping in a second time to breathe the spice of him in again.

“I love you, Baby.”  That’s what my father said to me.  His voice crackled deep in the back of his throat, as if he might choke.  Climbing in the car, he shut the door with one hand, reaching back to buckle the belt of his seat.  “Click.”  Somehow the loudness of the steel sounded harsh in the stillness of God’s peaceful morning.   My father rolled down his tinted window, wanting to hold on.  One last wave between us.  Aging fingers with thickening knuckles moved slightly back and forth, trying to stretch the briefest of moments.  Plops of damp drops fell below shades of gray protecting crystal pool ponds of blue behind.  His, ‘Big Moon’ face smiled at me.  Our last seconds quickly ticking by….running out.  Nervously, he smacked shivering, quivering lips, slightly.  No one noticed….except me.

Then, off he drove endlessly into baby blue skies that floated fluffy with cirrus clouds like cotton white.  I noted suitcases, boxes of ‘treasures’ and hangers of clothes swaying in the back of a wide rear window.   My brother sat in the back seat.  A special lady sat next to my father.  I liked her…like her.  She is a blessing in my father’s life.  My mother in heaven would approve.  No man should be alone.  Life is short.

Three weeks of ‘travel’ chugged up….up…up…the chipped, paved street.  My eyes followed the rear of cream.  Shiny silver and a flash of black rubber together with clear lights not needed during the bright of day.  I viewed the car climbing a slight hill v.e.r.y.  slowly before rounding the bend…. until ‘tiny heads’ were no longer seen.

Turning around to enter my house, I knew I wouldn’t see my father again until… who knows?  Folding my hands in silent prayer, I thanked God for the special time I had with him.  Moments and hours my family was able to share with him, together.  He is in the midst of a three-week ‘road trip’ to see other loved ones.  My two sisters, his own baby sister, nieces, nephews, cousins, and dear friends.  It is bittersweet, and yet my father is truly blessed with good health oh-so-much-happiness.

Yes, my father is on the road again…………

Suicide – In Loving Memory Of Jerome


Blessings to Jerome. And, to all of those who suffer silently in pain, please reach out to someone you trust. Tell the truth. Be honest. As hard as it is, flush your fears for a few simple seconds. Lock shame away in closets, throwing away keys to never reappear. Breathe in deeply. Make a call. Help is waiting. Someday soon you will soak the warmth of sun upon your face again. Allow the gifts within you to thrive.  Share them with others. We wait with love for you.

Don Charisma

Negative people can distract one from one’s purpose for a while, but never permanently. Their pettiness makes people so little, their troubles are so often so insignificant, it’s pitiful really.

Today the cynics were put in perspective for me …

A mutual friend of ours told me he is visiting a friend today, an old work colleague. His friend has a son who took his own life whilst he was studying at University. I discussed with my friend a little of how we felt, and how difficult it is to deal with such a topic sensitively and compassionately. My friend’s approach was simply to visit the father and “be there” for him as a friend. It’s a simple act of kindness. I am thankful to my friend for reminding me that we all have the capacity for compassion. Our conversation reminded me of another friend, who passed some 10 years ago, Jerome ….

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As Long As You Both Shall Live…..


“As long as you both shall live.”

*Those are the last words I remember hearing thirty years ago today, May 19, 1984.  A few seconds later, I smiled beaming with the words, “I do.” Although only a step or two away from me, the minister’s gravelly voice seemed to echo from far, far away. Off in the distance….perhaps bouncing off trees in a lush forest land.

At the time, I had eyes and ears only for my soon to be husband. There he stood, facing me. His green eyes pierced the blue of my own while he gripped my hands, squeezing them. It was his signal before God that we would always be together. My soon-to-be husband would take care of me, protect me, love me, and be loyal and true. Thirty years later he has proven this together with much more good than I ever imagined.

On our beautiful, warm wedding day in May, the two of us had no idea where the road of life would lead. A fantasy land we did not expect. Nor, the reality we ended up living. Still, neither of us would change a thing, given the choice. We have been blessed beyond our wildest dreams.

When families raise a chronically ill child, there is a 75% or greater chance the marriage will end in divorce. My husband and I raised two children living with chronic conditions. Both were diagnosed at very young ages within six months of each other. I’m guessing our odds of divorcing might have increased at that point…

My husband traveled a minimum of 120 nights a year over a 20 year period as a district manager for an eye care company. He loved his job while I loved it for him. Still, it took a toll on the two of us. When the days and nights were added up, seven years of our marriage were spent apart from one another. I often resented him for being away, while he often resented me for being home to stay.  Eventually, we both had breaking points.

When needed, my husband was there for me, taking a short leave of  absence from work. He jumped right in, took care of our boys, washed clothes and even learned to cook! In return, I did the same for him when the time came. Isn’t that what couples do? We sought outside help to work on our marriage…more than once. No, it wasn’t always easy. I guess that’s why it’s called work. But, early on, we decided our marriage was worth it….we were worth it. For our children, for our family, for the whole of us.

There are lessons learned that I’ll pass on to others, now that I have the opportunity. Take time…any time for couplehood. A walk in the park, a cup of coffee or a simple hour to hold hands and talk. No, not about the kids! Do not lay blame…ever! It’s okay to cry, go ahead and ask God, why? Find a church, ask for help, don’t be proud, seek support, tell a friend, and take a break for heaven’s sake!

Today as I celebrate my 30th wedding anniversary, I am thankful for the best husband one could ever wish for in life. I thank God for every hardship we endured, every lesson learned. How wonderful to have lived through ALL of the good times and the bad, the happy and the sad. We have such a tremendous history filled with life riches together. Memories and moments, and more to come, God willing.

Happy Anniversary to my dear husband, with love, forever and always….

*Two years ago my husband and I never had an opportunity to officially celebrate our anniversary. So we’re off for a few days, enjoying the sun and sand while celebrating thirty years + two! Blessings to all of you.

 

The Hero’s Journey


This is profound. Everyone needs a hero. I learned who my hero was twenty-two years ago. My eyes welled with tears while I pushed the plunger to give my frail six year-old son an insulin shot. His innocent voice stated, “Mommy, tomorrow when I go home from the hospital, I won’t need any more shots!” The trailer to this movie is for everyone. Who is your hero?

Ethereal Nature

http://findingjoethemovie.com

Saw this movie, Finding Joe, last night.   Highly recommend it.  So excellent.

Pretty big synchronicity as well, for recently I have been thinking very seriously about reading “The Hero With a Thousand Faces” .

This meshes so well with my own current journey, and my playful – yet autobiographical – series of blog posts: Quest of the Knight Errant.

Actually, I had better read the book so as to find out which chapter of my journey I’m in.   Would be so good to know where I’m at!   : )

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Beauty in Patience


About a week ago, I shopped at my local nursery to purchase an array of beautiful blooms.  Soon, I spooned moist and musty soil with specks of white from bags of green.  Digging holes to make room for roots, I pushed down plants to fill old pots tip to top, pressing sides, carefully.  Like an assembly line, it was the same for each variety.  One, two, three, carefully….

My husband dragged all kinds of clay from the garage that day.  In the beginning, the sun was shining from east to west with skies as blue as the little boy in a nursery rhythm.  “Where does this one go,” my husband asked?  He did so in the nicest way, holding up a chipped crock of colored lime, swirled in cream paisley.  “Over there,” I motioned with a forefinger covered in gloved rubber.  My other held a frosted glass of plastic yellow.  It was getting oh-so-hot!  “90 degrees,” said the radio.  Drinking water with floating ice in chips, the liquid trickled down my throat, cooling my middle through a straw of red.

Hearing the distinct ‘clink’ of clay on a pattern of patio bricks, I peeked from under the protective brim of my hat to see where my pot of ‘apple-green’ might be.  As husbands and wives often do, there was a slight bit of, miscommunication.  My treasured vessel was nowhere near I thought it would be.  There it was…next to a brown speckled boulder and under a flying bird filled with seeds.

Tired and sweating from the sun, I jumped up to move it.  Exasperated, my husband didn’t understand.  “Why do I try to help you?” he wondered, aloud.  Splish-splash, my glass of cool didn’t last.  Gently, he suggested it might be best to ….”learn the importance of patience, rather than the unimportance of perfection.”

With liquid running cold down my leg, I agreed and apologized to my dear husband.  Clear ice danced in blazing sun, while geraniums, marigolds and petunias waited planting turns before an afternoon of sudden.

How silly was I?  It didn’t matter where a colored pot did sit!  God brushed pictures with nature’s beauty wherever my flowering plants were set.

 

 

 

Afternoon Video – Everyone is beautiful to anyone with an open mind and heart.


A gift from a new friend. It is, “No Mistake” that we are allowed to share in God’s creations, no matter who or what they are. How lucky to peek in from private souls, inhaling the magical moments not soon to be forgotten.