Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Lang may yer lum reek! And all the Best when it comes!


yes, a repeat vid from last year...but since there are a many of you 'chillin', I thought I'd help warm ya up! :)

Happy New Year! :D

Friday, December 26, 2008

Green Onions


Well, hopefully the Christmas went well for ya'll! Here's some music to 'chill' with as we wait out the new year; or as my wee friend would say, "all the best when it comes". :)x

This song has fun memories,...sometime ago during early Uni days; early in the year, early in the eve, in San Francisco with this rather inebriated rugby player dancing up on the pub table...ah, yes...rather a fun evening all in all... :)

Monday, December 22, 2008

Buying wine for Christmas


For UK/Ireland readers, I came across this info at UnLaoised.
For US readers, may I suggest wines from Chateau St. Michelle (WA) and Chateau St. Jean (CA).

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Egyptian reggae, Johnathan Richman


Tired of the Christmas music?

...take a break and listen 'hear'
(this is a song from the "Son of Rambow", a film definitely worth the watch.

Winter Wonderland for a Day







Wednesday, December 17, 2008

"Baby, it's cold outside "by Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Jordan

The sky is falling!

BELAY THAT ORDER TO PROCEED. ALL SYSTEMS STOP!


IT'S ACTUALLY SNOWING!!!

Really, for sure, totally dudes!...it's snowing in Southern California. Awesome!


I have the proof...pics to follow....


Baby it's Cold Outside

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Can't see the forest for the trees

(pic: Summer 08, Eastern Sierras)

....."An expression used of someone who is too involved in the details of a problem to look at the situation as a whole."

Raising a teenage boy has definitely been much different from raising a teenage girl. If it can be broken, he will break it. If it is a chore needing to be done, he will wait to the last minute, half do it, or come to find out later didn't do it at all. Schoolwork...hahahaha...right. Don't get me wrong, my son is a good kid; just, well, a 14yr old boy who is stuck in the tween state of child and adult.

While I've been busy with uni, my hubby and son have become well absorbed with an X-Box live internet game; and, have developed a team of people from all over the world who play together and take on challenges from other teams, etc. I've encouraged it, as it allows for 'male bonding' time. Now, why am I speaking of this, you might wonder? Back to the teenage boy. He's managed to decimate three pair of not that inexpensive Turtle Beach headsets. The first pair were somehow mangled...the 'boogeyman did it'...(they were probably trampled during a running-thru-the-house nerfgun war with his friends (they had somehow forgotten that the house was neutral territory). The second pair were vacuumed over; he was too lazy to move the wires. The third pair my hubby had just bought. They were in the house about thirty seconds, when teen boy, eager to help open the package because he knew he had just wrecked the second pair....managed to cut the wires to the headset as he was opening the package..........

He knew he blew it, and went to his room upset, very upset. My hubby wasn't sure whether to laugh or be angry. The teen daughter had just warned the teen son to slow down, be careful with opening the package. You see, the teen son has a problem with paying attention to detail and hurrying through things. It's an ongoing battle; an ongoing sit down and talk; an ongoing trying to help form character; ongoing test of patience to let them grow at their own pace, rather than forcing the issue. We could have chosen to punish, to yell, to become angry at the money wasted; however, I really think that would have crushed his spirit. He really was honestly sorry, honestly angry with himself. The one thing I do love from these situations is turning them around for teaching times. This is not always easy, mind you. It's easy to become emeshed in just the immediate problem before you; see only what is going on in 'the now'.

I'm really hoping this lesson of the headsets will forever be a reminder for him in the future...to slow down, pay attention to detail and not hurry through things...when driving a car, operating machinery, or anything else that may come his way as a young man. The hubby sat the teen boy down, and managed to repair the vacuumed head set using some old parts from one of the other pair; the teen volunteered to pay for the replacement wires for the newest set. Hopefully another lesson of resourcefulness and responsibility was taught. Sometimes raising a child means that you have to not only see the individual trees but also the big picture of the forest. Being a parent isn't always easy, but it's been the best 'job' yet.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

I Rack


Listen to the end.

Christmas 018 ~ Christmas In The Trenches


This is a very moving story and song. Well worth the listen.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Thursday, November 27, 2008

For Presence


"Awaken to the mystery of being here and enter the quiet immensity of your own presence.Have joy and peace in the temple of your senses.Receive encouragement when new frontiers beckon.Respond to the call of your gift and the courage to follow its path.Let the flame of anger free you of all falsity.
May warmth of heart keep your presence aflame.May anxiety never linger about you.May your outer dignity mirror an inner dignity of soul.Take time to celebrate the quiet miracles that seek no attention.Be consoled in the secret symmetry of your soul.May you experience each day as a sacred gift woven around the heart of wonder."

-John O'Donohue,
"To Bless the Space Between Us: A Book of Blessings"

(credit for poem source goes to Lucy)

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Laughter, truly the best medicine, part? five


After a pensive morning, see below, my kids shared with me a video sent to them last night by their friend. If you like animals, you'll love this video. Prepare to laugh....

Aignish (Capercaillie)

'Ailein Duinn'

Pensive Thoughts

The house is quiet, the children still asleep. This morning has found me somewhat reflective as we received one of Those phone calls last night. My husband (TB)'s father is in hospital and is critical. We knew this was coming as he's advanced in years and with cancer. Still, it's never easy. We gave a teary goodbye last night, as TB left for the airport to join his sisters at their father's bedside. As we all could not go, I'm glad TB is with his family, and they with him.

Such is the cycle that we must endure, the pain of separation with death. The sting of death came early for me when my father died when I was only 6yrs old. This has affected me even today, as I can still be slow to gain the trust with making deep emotional bonds with others for fear of the loss. Thankfully, this is one area in which I've grown knowing that I am better for the shared bonds of friendship with others. It is the bond of friendship that gets us through the tough times. Unfortunately, one only has to look to history to be reminded how cruel times can be. All the more poignant a reminder to embrace the joyful times!

Emotions still run very close to the surface for me, as it is almost daily that I think how I came so close to having died just a few months ago. So many emotions, so hard to put to words. I know that I am not alone in this desire to share thoughts and feelings, we all just have different ways of expressing things. Music is very much a part of my expression; and to me, the Celtic songs just have a way of reaching into the heart of the human spirit, expressing both the depths of sorrow, and the heights of joy that life brings.
Ceart go leor. (right enough)

MacCrimmon's Lament - Martyn Bennett (H.Q.)


This is a lovely combination of tunes, played by an incredible musician (RIP). Thanks to tomtscotland on YouTube for the selection.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Is it School break, yet?


Why must we learn advanced algebra and trig? I suffered through it barely passing, and now my eldest daughter is asking me, ME, for help with her class. I told her, best of luck, can I hire you a tutor.... Luckily for me, she is one smart cookie, and is doing well enough with her teacher's help. I told her, just Pass the class, that's all.... I also told her real math is important, like balancing a check book, or in my case for work, I do use basic algebra, or her dad who uses geometry with his carpentry. And, since I don't expect she's interested in building a space lab any time soon, I whispered it one more time.....just pass the class.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Reflections



"We frail humans are at one time capable of the greatest good and, at the same time, capable of the greatest evil. Change will only come about when each of us takes up the daily struggle ourselves to be more forgiving, compassionate, loving, and above all joyful in the knowledge that, by some miracle of grace, we can change as those around us can change too."

-Mairead Maguire

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Taps


To never forget those who've died, and those who came home. Thank you.

Remembrance Day - The Last Post



Sunday, November 2, 2008

Oh, the Drama


Election Day is looming upon us. Everyone is anxious to know the results. The air is charged with excitement and aprehension as we ready to march off towards the Ballot Box. Will there be riots in the streets, will there be celebration? Even the Prairie Dogs are nervous.



Even those abroad wait with anticipation to see the election results.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Breaking Through Poverty with Microfinance - Grameen Fdn



Helping people to help themselves.

Check out KIVA, also a good program (bottom right of blog)

Monday, October 27, 2008

Jack White - Wayfaring Stranger (Live)


Life is but a journey. What footprints are you leaving?

Only Time Will Tell



















There was a time when a few men went over-mountain with a man named Daniel Boone to the wilds of the unknown in now what is East Tennessee. They went to carve a life for themselves and their loved ones; and, to remove themselves from political unrest and oppressive taxes. Beyond the government boundaries, they met with the local natives peacefully and leased land from them. They worked the land, expecting handouts from no one. Their women and children worked alongside, all contributing in their own way. A government council, known as the Watauga Association was set up to allow the order of law and was democratic in fashion. All was well for a while. Times being what they were, and with tea dumped into the Boston Harbor, peaceful times were not to be. Unfortunately for the settlers, their Native American neighbors were influenced by a king's government who would quash any insurrection. Being self-determined, they chose to side with those who would seek the freedom of self-rule. It was difficult decision for some, because there were Native Americans and those loyal to the crown who were their friends; and, then there were the formidable red coats to consider. Lives were taken, lives were spared but they all had their own resolve in the matter and would not be swayed. History played out at the Battle of Kings Mountain, and as such they say the tide of the war was turned much to the determination of these mountain men....names such as John Sevier and Davy Crockett who might be familiar; and, much lesser known names such as Gillespie, Bean, Lane, Russel of whom I have to thank in part for my being here.


History is fascinating to me, especially stories of people caught up in times greater than themselves. It seems there is always something we can learn from their story. Yet, as

fascinating as it is, I'm not sure that I am one to wish for this responsibility. The American election is looming and unfortunately, I think the ugliness will only worsen. There's a lot at stake for this country and for the world. Can we meet this with integrity and forbearance? How can a nation with a history of great men and women produce the leaders it has these last two decades and into the present?

Some say that this country already practices socialism; yet, aren't helping the poor and needy biblical principles as well? I think what is feared is heavy taxation of those who Do work, only to redistribute to those who don't, but could work. This will only continue the cycle of welfare dependency, ignorance, entitlement, juvenile delinquency, crime and incarceration, and support of illegals; and, to continue to deepen the troughs of the government itself. This is not the ethic that this country was founded upon.
I've investigated both sides of the debate, and have found both sides to be lacking. I see the strengths and weakness of both arguments and see that nothing comes without hard work and sometimes sacrifice. I question the one who is promising so much, he fairly tickles the ears. If it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is.
They say if a lie is repeated enough, soon people will accept it as fact. So much of this seems to be going on. Review the last 25 yrs of history, and see what has played out. Take the time to question what is really going on. Count the cost. Vote with conscience and informed decision, not emotion.



We live in a country where we have the right to voice our dissent, the right to self-defense, the right of habeus corpus, the right to work hard and better ourselves despite our social station but there are so many who seem to take this for granted or forget that not everyone is as fortunate as we are. What I don't understand are those who would undermine the very foundations and principles of what this country was founded upon. We have an obligation to ourselves, to the world, and to the next generation to make a moral choice as to which person will be the best to continue the light to so many, that of the American Dream. Or, is it time to awaken, the dream is no more. We've allowed the dream to fade away as Rome self-imploding through moral decay, complacency, corruption and loss of sense of self. Only time and the history books will tell.
"Only a moral and virtuous people are capable of freedom; the more corrupt and vicious a society becomes, the more it has need of masters."
-Ben Franklin

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Falling Forward!

Your Autumn Test Results
You are a dynamic, vibrant person. You aren't afraid to pursue your passions.

When you're happiest, you are outgoing and expressive . You love celebrations, and you enjoy showing off a little.

You prefer change to come slowly. You need a long transition period when your life changes.

You find love to be the most comforting thing in the world. You feel at peace when you're with your loved ones.

Your ideal day is active and full. You like to keep busy with your favorite things, and you appreciate a routine.

You tend to live in the moment. You enjoy whatever is going on, and you don't obsess over the past or future.

http://www.blogthings.com/theautumnquiz/

I know, I know, one of Those tests.
The weather is changing!! The long, hot, dry, dusty, windy days of live-in-an-oven summer are over!! It actually rained the other day. Just a light rain, mind you, but we all were outside lickety-split; me hobbling on my crutches as fast as I could go. Even the cat joined us in a game of chase and catch when the kids would throw things for him. (We would have asked the dog to join us, but she is not as good as the cat at playing chase and catch, unless it was after the cat, of course!)
Fall means sunny skies and brisk air, rainy days fresh and cool; yummy scents filling the house from things baking in the oven, warm fires and hot cocoa (with Baileys and Kahlua added for the grown-ups), my favourite sweaters/jumpers or a cozy cardigan, continued family adventures with snowshoeing, long horse rides without getting heat exhaustion, high electric bills from continued use of the air conditioner fading away into the sunset at last....ah, sorry, getting carried away here...!! :D
Don't get me wrong, I love our summer evenings just after sunset, sitting outside in our garden, sipping a nice Merlot.....
...well,.....It's all about attitude, I suppose....surely there's a handy quote....

"A great attitude does much more than turn on the lights in our worlds; it seems to magically connect us to all sorts of serendipitous opportunities that were somehow absent before the change."
-Earl Nightingale

Friday, October 3, 2008

Follow Me


Twenty Years Strong
...just a bit more wear and tear is all! :)

Courage, Belief, Responsibility, Friendship



"All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them."
--Walt Disney

"The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams."
--Eleanor Roosevelt

"In dreams begins responsibility."
-- William Butler Yeats

"Nothing but heaven itself is better than a friend who is really a friend."
-- Plautus


Things have been busy here, and my current condition leaves me easily tired, pained, and even a wee bit grumpy! Still, with doctor visits, and Physio to attend to, we've undertaken to replace our work truck that was totalled. Things being what they may, this has been no easy task. But, I'm not really here to talk about trucks. Really, I've just a quick post about decisions. Decisions regarding following the pursuit of dreams; and trying to be in step with your life partner. This unfortunately is no easy task, especially when you both seem at odds with each other. Even after all these married years, you would think we would be more mellow with our opinions about certain things. Ugh!!

There's a lot to be said about 'following your dreams'...there's a lot that entails making them happen, including sacrifice. I do know, as frustrated as we can get with each other and as different we can be with our approaches, our dreams would be less without each other. Our Song to start us out was "Follow Me" by John Denver. Sometimes, I think I need to powerdown, and just think of those words from 20yrs back. I've no doubt sometimes he feels like he's dragging me along the 'path', and I'm yelling you're moving too fast and too close to the edge!

ah, Life! :)








Monday, September 22, 2008

Secret Garden - Dreamcatcher


"Take this kiss upon the brow!
And, in parting from you now,
Thus much let me avow
You are not wrong, who deem
That my days have been a dream;
Yet if hope has flown away
In a night, or in a day,
In a vision, or in none,
Is it therefore the less gone?
All that we see or seem
Is but a dream within a dream."
-Edgar Allen Poe

Thoughts?


(update: unfortunately, this wonderful video and music was removed by the user....this is the song that was played:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3xZlhaLT7IY&feature=related)

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Who knows what the tide could bring?


I've always longed to gallop a horse along the shore. Ideally, I picture it being along the rugged coastline of Ireland or some place similiar. While on holiday ages ago, I was able for a brief moment to ride along the North Sea shoreline. Though the ride was fun and the moment exhilirating with the realization of being in that part of the world, it lacked the freedom and passion that I longed for in the experience. I'm still thankful for that opportunity, but my longing for the other has not ebbed. It's been a few weeks now since my car crash, so I've had time to continue on the journey of physically healing. My emotional and mental state is still in the ups and downs of things, as I go through the 'grief' cycle; however, I've not come to any life altering realizations or revelations. People have asked me, do you see life differently now, and appreciate more....well, I say, I work in a critical care baby unit and therefore am privy to seeing tragedy; so, really all in all, I'm thankful everyday for what I have. Sure I've had my 'moan' moments, but I think that is just being human.

When I allow my mind to go back to that night, and relive each millisecond of the crash, thankfullness and tears do come when I think about what I was spared, what my family was spared. If anything, I am more purposed now to aim for making dreams come true, not only my dreams, but for my loved ones, as well. I still think/ask, God? what's the game plan? and hear only silence; yet, when I hear a certain song or glimpse at a picture that causes my spirit to stir, the chest to tighten, my heart to skip a beat, a tear to fall and know that is so right...I need to hold onto that feeling, that thought, and believe in it. My wish if anything is to live less selfishly, not by denying myself my dreams, but perhaps in fulfilling them, if this makes sense. I only ask that my dreams be in accordance with God's will and not from some selfish ambition. With this said, I do believe that in pursuing what's on my heart, fulfilling those dreams, becoming the best that I can be, in this, others will be blessed. Often in the past, I've become discouraged, thinking what I have to offer isn't much, my desires to learn this or that won't amount to anything or be useful; I could go on, but I won't. I think we all have our doubts with things. In this post, I just want to encourage readers here to consider your dreams, consider what you have to offer. Nothing is too small, not even something the size of a mustard seed.


"The purpose of human life is to serve and to show compassion and the will to help others.”
--Albert Schweitzer

"...And I know what I have to do now. I have to keep breathing. Because tomorrow the sun will rise. Who knows what the tide could bring?"
--Tom Hanks, in the film Cast Away

Friday, September 12, 2008

Summer Visitor


The desert has lots of brambles, sage, and goatheads but in the many years of living here, rarely have I seen thistles. In fact, in the past few years I've seen three plants; two of them were found in our yard separate years, separate sides of the house, the other was at my work out in the parking area. Somehow, I just find this strange....maybe there's a message? I have been praying about a few things on a consistent theme for these past few years.
Or, maybe I'm just full of silly notions and I just need to see to the weeds? :)


“The kingdom of God does not come visibly … because the kingdom of God is within you.”
--Luke 17:20-21

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Nuttin' But Stringz • America's Got Talent Semifinals 2008


These guys are great! HipHop is not really my thing, but their violin playing is incredible; and, it all comes together for a very unique, energetic, passionate sound. They have my vote!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Have You Had the Flu?


"Laughter is the closest thing to the grace of God"
--Karl Barth, Swiss Theologian


Have You Had the Flu?

Miss Beatrice, the church organist, was in her eighties and had never been married.She was admired for her sweetness and kindness to all. One afternoon the pastor came to call on her and she showed him into her quaint sitting room. She invited him to have a seat while she prepared tea.

As he sat facing her old Hammond organ the young minister noticed a cut-glass bowl sitting on top of it. The bowl was filled with water, and in the water floated, of all things, a condom! When she returned with tea and scones, they began to chat. The pastor tried to stifle his curiosity about the bowl of water and its strange floater, but soon it got the better of him and he could no longer resist.

'Miss Beatrice' he said, 'I wonder if you would tell me about this?' pointing to the bowl. 'Oh yes' she replied, 'Isn't it wonderful?' I was walking in through the park a few months ago and I found this little package on the ground. The directions said to place it on the organ, keep it wet and that it would prevent the spread of disease. Do you know I haven't had the flu all winter'

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Dolly parton, Emmylou Harris,Ronstadt, Those memories of you


Bluegrass to drive the blues away...and a gentle reminder (to self), there's always someone whose got it worse than you, so quit your whining. ;)

Farther Along



This photo was taken last month on a road trip up to the Eastern Sierras. Here we are with the beautiful backdrop of the mountains, open pasture with grazing cattle, the early morning air fresh and clean, and across the stream I hear the chirping of little ducklings. We used to raise Mallard ducks, so I do absolutely adore the wee ones. I spied them across the stream, which you may be able to see in the photo. They were ever so young, and were chirping with scared little chirps. The mother was no where to be found. They were helplessly wandering up and down the stream staying in a little line following the leader, who also seemed frantically lost. I wanted so much to rescue them, but knew that wouldn't be possible. This observation probably has so many parallels that could be drawn from it.

Right now, I'm just thankful that my little ducklings have their mother. I'm really trying not to get down about things. This song kept coming to mind, as I grew up with these southern bluegrass style songs.
Bad things happen to good people. Good things happen to bad people. We don't understand why,
but maybe, we will farther along.



I'll Fly Away - Allison Krauss


A little BlueGrass and a neat video

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Thankful to be Alive


Hi all. I've had a wee bit of a fender bender this week. Luckily for me, I was driving our work truck due to my car being in the shop, or it's the concensus of everyone that I would not be here on this earth. You could say it was one of those God-things. Leaving work that night, I felt moved to thank God for this truck, and so I did; little did I know what was in store for me.
All's said and done, I've survived a head-on collision that was estimated to be over 110mph combined speed. My medical situation is stable, and I'm about with crutches for my left ankle and right knee, and as my 'bell was rung', my head's still in a bit of a daze. The firemen, deputies, and the people who stopped to help were absolutely wonderful. My husband and kids have been great, and so have been my friends and family who have called and brought meals. I am truly blessed. Praise God.
My hubby, TB posted on this, and the above photo collage is his creation.
So many have said, that God has kept me around for His purpose. I am humbled.
"The question is not whether we will die, but how we will live."
-- Joan Borysenko

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Maw Broon's Tipsy Laird Trifle Tryout



I love packages in the mail. It so offsets those other rite of passage to adulthood letters that we receive and have to tend to every month. You know, the B word. However, bills and money spent for fun or to fix things is not what I'm posting about. My wonderful cousin, Peajay, has sent me a fun cookbook she found while on her holiday in the wilds of Scotland. I have a few of the old Broon cartoon books, so I've rather enjoyed this new addition to my library. Of course, I'll try out the trifle recipe first, not that the Drambuie added is influencing me at all! ;D

(not sure about copyright issue for posting the recipe here as I couldn't find it on the web, but if you want the recipe, just email me; this is a similiar one I found, but the Broon's version sounds better)




Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The Power to Influence




The ups and downs of life, be what they may, can be so affected by our attitudes. Life wasn't promised to be a piece of cake, as much as I wish it were. I'm not going to lecture on the shallow, be happy be positive....it's really much deeper, yet much simpler than that. TB has a good analogy of making choices; choices either rooted in fear or rooted in love. Much of my personal growth has been improved by stopping myself, and asking what is my behavior rooted in, what energies am I putting out. I think becoming aware of how much we can positively, or negatively, affect ourselves, and others is the first step...

Is your core generator producing positive or negative energy?


"We are what we believe we are."

-C.S. Lewis


"Tread softly because you tread on my dreams."

-William Butler Yeats

The Wisdom of a Smart Ass




I do try to be nice, and kind, and considerate, polite, ladylike and above reproach...but sometimes, I'm just too tired, and need to say it like it is.
Life is too short.
I suppose what put me in the mood was what DC posted about today, and the disclaimer that followed. (I can so relate to disclaimers)
In all honesty, I get so riled by people who live in their perfect little worlds, with hardly a clue at what's going on out there in this imperfect world, yet get offended when you speak of it and happen to use the world's terminology. Oh, well, some people prefer blinders and earmuffs, it's safer.
Ps. this is in no way any reference to my blogger pals...You all have your own style, but you tell it like it is...or I wouldn't be readin' it!! :)




Thursday, August 14, 2008

Perspectives on Discomfort



When one considers Discomfort, most people would say that having discomfort is a bad thing. Naturally, being uncomfortable is the last thing anyone would want to be. Yet, isn't this what usually brings about introspection and change? Isn't being uncomfortable, or in need, sometimes a catalyst for invention?

Usually a spur in the side of a horse brings about forward motion. Not always, though, as there are some horses that would prefer to buck, rear, and go sideways rather than to just simply go forward. I wonder if humans aren't similar to this in some ways. Perhaps a gentle look at oneself to assess how one deals with discomfort is in order. Do you resist, fear, do your best to avoid discomfort, or the change that may be brought about by it? Or, do you embrace the challenge, not to be defeated by the discomfort, but to learn and grow from it.

Hmm, and I won't quite say that I speak from experience but I've been known to be stubborn and resistant to change, rather wanting to just argue the point at times. Not to mention avoidance of discomfort and thereby avoidance of change/growth! ;) This has definitely been a growing area for me, in that discomfort can be a good thing; and should be embraced and explored, rather than feared and avoided.

I borrowed this prayer from ER's post on Discomfort.
(and thanks, ER, for today's post inspiration)

"May God bless you with discomfort
At easy answers, half-truths, and superficial relationships
So that you may live deep within your heart.

May God bless you with anger
At injustice, oppression, and exploitation of people,
So that you may work for justice, freedom and peace.

May God bless you with tears
To shed for those who suffer pain, rejection, hunger and war
So that you may reach out your hand to comfort them and turn their pain into joy.

And may God bless you with enough foolishness
To believe that you can make a difference in the world,
So that you can do what others claim cannot be done.
To bring justice and kindness to all our children and the poor."
-St Francis of Assisi

And, thanks to CT for bringing this quote to mind today:

"Behold I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves, be ye therefore wise as serpents and harmless as doves"
--Matthew 10:16

Monday, August 11, 2008

Flowers by a Mountain Lake


Our schedules being what they may, we were able to get away for a 'weekend' to our favorite local haunt, the eastern Sierras. We had an excellent time, all in all, and were unimpressed to return to the "grind". However, due to reading a recent post elsewhere (ahem, HM) I'm reminded to be thankful for the "grind" for that is what allows us to provide for ourselves and to help others. :)


"I find that the great thing in this world is not so much where we stand as in what direction we are moving: To reach the port of heaven, we must sail sometimes with the wind and sometimes against it--but we must sail, and not drift, nor lie at anchor."
--Oliver Wendoll Holmes

Sunday, August 3, 2008

A Change in Perspective, "The Story of a Sign"


This short film, The Story of a Sign, was sent to me the other day. It is simple yet heartwarming. I won't elaborate any further, as I don't want to sway your first impressions. :)

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Torrey Pines, and a hike up a cliff


Since I'm working backwards, (I always forget that, with these mulitple pic posts)....this is a photo from the top of the cliff, that we just traversed up....don't worry, there were no ropes and caribiners involved, just wonderfully convenient steps and paths perfect for tourists holding camaras. I spied this photo op, but the teen assisted me with the working camara as with these other photos. (lesson learned, plug in camara to charge battery) :)

Up the cliffs we go


Looking south to La Jolla


We were on a short holiday to the San Diego area for a wedding. Wedding said and done, we were off to the beach for some photo ops, sand castle making, and hiking up and around the cliffs of the Torrey Pines area near La Jolla. The buildings in the backround are of La Jolla, but unfortunately it was a bit overcast that day.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

George Carlin's View on Aging


This brilliant 'email forward' came to me via Peajay; so, as I've been neglectful here of late, I thought I'd share this quick post (instead of working on my uni. paper!) :)

"Do you realize that the only time in our lives when we like to get old is when we're kids? If you're less than 10 years old, you're so excited about aging that you think in fractions. 'How old are you?' 'I'm four and a half!' You're never thirty-six and a half. You're four and a half, going on five! That's the key You get into your teens, now they can't hold you back. You jump to the next number, or even a few ahead. 'How old are you?' 'I'm gonna be 16!' You could be 13, but hey, you're gonna be 16! And then the greatest day of your life .. . You become 21. Even the words sound like a ceremony . YOU BECOME 21. YESSSS!!!

But then you turn 30. Oooohh, what happened there? Makes you sound like bad milk! He TURNED; we had to throw him out. There's no fun now, you're Just a sour-dumpling. What's wrong? What's changed? You BECOME 21, you TURN 30, then you're PUSHING 40. Whoa! Put on the brakes, it's all slipping away. Before you know it, you REACH 50 and your dreams are gone.But wait!!! You MAKE it to 60. You didn't think you would!

So you BECOME 21, TURN 30, PUSH 40, REACH 50 andMAKE it to 60.You've built up so much speed that you HIT 70! After that it's a day-by-day thing; you HIT Wednesday! You get into your 80's and every day is a complete cycle; you HIT lunch; you TURN 4:30 ; you REACH bedtime. And it doesn't end there. Into the 90s, you start going backwards; 'I Was JUST 92.'Then a strange thing happens. If you make it over 100, you become a little kid again. 'I'm 100 and a half!' May you all make it to a healthy 100 and a half!!

HOW TO STAY YOUNG
1. Throw out nonessential numbers. This includes age, weight and height. Let the doctors worry about them. That is why you pay 'them.'
2. Keep only cheerful friends. The grouches pull you down.
3. Keep learning. Learn more about the computer, crafts, gardening, whatever. Never let the brain idle. 'An idle mind is the devil's workshop.' And the devil's name isAlzheimer's.
4. Enjoy the simple things.
5. Laugh often, long and loud. Laugh until you gasp for breath.
6. The tears happen. Endure, grieve, and move on. The only person, who is with us our entire life, is ourselves. Be ALIVE while you are alive.
7. Surround yourself with what you love , whether it's family, pets, keepsakes, music, plants, hobbies, whatever.Your home is your refuge.
8. Cherish your health: If it is good, preserve it. If it is unstable, improve it. If it is beyond what you can improve, get help.
9. Don't take guilt trips. Take a trip to the mall, even to the next state; to a foreign country but NOT to where the guilt is.
10. Tell the people you love that you love them , at every opportunity.

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

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Perspectives


Just a quick post, as I am still on a borrowed computer, and my new 'old' desktop moves at a snail's pace, thus the main reason for the absence of my activity...

My family was forwarded some email funnies that played fun at the American Southern dialect the other day. My hubby made a comment to our kids about how we base our perspectives on what we know or what we have been exposed to in our lives. This can sometimes create a limited view, unless we are able to think 'outside of the box', so to speak.

For example, traditions are usually thought of as a good thing, something done for time over, something you can depend on, feel comfortable with. But, do you ever wonder what some of them are based on? I like the story of the daughter who taught her daughter who taught her daughter that you always cut the end of the roast off before putting it into the oven. It was a family tradition; something that Grandma had always seen her mother do. One day, they were visiting great-grandma in the nursing home, and the subject of the tradition of cutting the end of the roast off came up for some reason. Great-grandma just shook her head and chuckled, and said she had only cut the end of the roast off because her roasting pan was too small.

This story is just a glimpse of a belief system that someone (the first daughter) came to trust in, only to find out that maybe things or perspectives were skewed. Although this post is just a generalised reflection on things: how we take in, process information and react accordingly, it is something I've been pondering on for a while now. Maybe it was "mid-life" motivating me, but in the last few years, I've gone thru and"redone" some of the thought patterns I learned as a child. As I may have mentioned before, I've also been questioning some of what I considered foundational beliefs bringing them to either crumble away and leave me searching, or in some cases to solidify them even stronger.

Thinking outside the box, questioning perspectives, critical thinking, free thinking...as an exercise of a free society. Hmmmm, I may be back to post some more on this.

What are some of the things that you've come to question? Care to share? I'd love to hear your thoughts.


Oh, and those mighty fine Southern jokes: :D

Alabama

The Sheriff pulled up next to the guy unloading garbage out of his
pick-up into the ditch. The Sheriff asked, 'Why are you dumping
garbage in the ditch? Don't you see that sign right over your head'.
Yep', he replied. 'That's why I'ma dumpin it here, cause it says
'Fine For Dumping Garbage'.

Georgia

A Georgia State trooper pulled over a pickup on I-75.
The trooper asked, 'Got any I. D.?' (pronounced more like, "Ideer" which can also mean "Idea")
The driver replied, 'Bout whut?'


TENNESSEE

A man in Tennessee had a flat tire, pulled off on the side of the road, and proceeded to put a bouquet of flowers in front of the car and one behind it.

Then he got back in the car to wait. A passerby studied the scene as he drove by and was so curious he turned around and went back. He asked the fellow what the problem was.

The man replied, 'I got a flat tare.'

The passerby asked, 'But what's with the flowers?'

The man responded, 'When you break down they tell ya to put flares in the front and flares in the back. Hey, it don't make no sense to me neither.'

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Miner Forty-Niner, more images of a Ghost Town




We had more adventures in a ghost town, on our holiday retreat. We were able to introduce the kiddies to Yosemite Valley, and then stopped over to our favorite old haunt, the old mining ghost town of Bodie. It's really hard to even envision how difficult their lives must have been. Trust me, I've lived without electricity, running water, and indoor, ahem, necessities. It was pretty inconvenient to say the least, but I was never in fear of my life being 'shortened' due to my choices or circumstances. These people did have this happen. So, when I see the rising fuel prices, that alarm clock is ringing loudly again, or I'm grumbling due to my computer being (currently) crashed, and having to borrow this one....well, I ain't got it that bad! ;D


I blame the following fragment of thought that suddenly came to me due to the lateness of the hour...Much has been talked about of late on the news; and it's hard to decipher what is news, hype, and/or spin...so, with that said, here's a totally unrelated quote, other than my above mention of fuel prices; but it may have relation to world goings ons, and our up and coming elections, etc...
-Mark Twain

Monday, June 30, 2008

Sunrise over Mono Lake




"Nothing has such power to broaden the mind as the ability to investigate systematically and truly all that comes under thy observation in life."

-- Marcus Aelius Aurelius

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Coincidence?




Your Noble British Name Is:



Lady Ilona Poppy Hastings





These internet quiz-generator thingys have always been silly, fun, and a general exercise in wasting time rather than getting on with more important things. However, the answer to this one left me, ahem, well, rather spooked! There must be a vortex in the space-time continuum!! You see, while I have no idea about the name Ilona, Poppy was the nickname for my grandfather, who recently passed away, and Hastings was his surname.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Back Home



Hi all! I'm back from the wild western adventure, safe from cougars, bears, and the stray marmot or two! Hubby has all the photies, and as he's still up there with the wild animals....the children stayed with him ;)
... my sharing of the photos will have to wait
(I had to come back and work...drat the need for a paycheck!).

This is a spring photo of our backyard. The trees are live Christmas trees that we planted ages ago, and now make great shade for the 'melting' days that are upon us. (There's a climbing rose that's made its way almost to the top of one of the pines)

"It is not so much for its beauty that the forest makes a claim upon men's hearts, as for that subtle something, that quality of air that emanation from old trees, that so wonderfully changes and renews a weary spirit. "
~Robert Louis Stevenson

Banning DiHydrogen Monoxide - Penn and Teller


This was sent to me in an email....I'll quote my friend: "This is a good reminder to not follow the pack but to lead and get educated yourself!"

Saturday, June 14, 2008

High Sierra Reflections


"Having spent many years trying to define the essentials of trust, I arrived at the position that if two people could say two things to each other and mean them, then there was the basis for real trust. The two things were: 'I mean you no harm' and 'I seek your greatest good.'"
-Jim Meehan, Psychologist and Poet

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Gone Fishin'


Hi all!

The mountains beckon......catch ya'll later!!

Ps. My computer? is not behaving, and won't post this song from YouTube; either that or there will be multiple YouTube postings here when I get back.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Ewok kin found in Scottish Highlands!




Another Comedy relief post! Work and life have been busy, of late so it's hard to find the energy to write something 'significant'. Hopefully, I'll have time here soon to write something with some depth, other than copy and paste. Meanwhile, I've been enjoying visiting my blog favs and all that you've been writing about and photographing....Keep up the good work! :)



A good laugh and a long sleep are the best cures in the doctor's book.
-- Irish Proverb

The human race has only one really effective weapon and that is laughter.”
-- Mark Twain


Highland photo credit

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Opera Lucia di Lammermmor-il dolce suono


Another year older today....thought I'd treat myself to some Opera. :D

(This is a clip from a movie that is an old family favorite of ours. OOOH, did I use the word, Old?! ;p)

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Captain Kirk for President

video

This is quite funny, and a tad rude.....

Monday, May 26, 2008

Remembering their Sacrifice





In Flanders Fields
by John McCrae, May 1915

"In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe: To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep,though poppies grow
In Flanders fields."





(the following poem came via email, author unknown)
I watched the flag pass by one day, It fluttered in the breeze.
A young Marine saluted it, And then he stood at ease..
I looked at him in uniform So young, so tall, so proud, With hair cut square and eyes alert He'd stand out in any crowd.

I thought how many men like him Had fallen through the years. How many died on foreign soil How many mothers' tears?

How many pilots' planes shot down? How many died at sea How many foxholes were soldiers' graves? No, freedom isn't free. I heard the sound of Taps one night, When everything was still, I listened to the bugler play And felt a sudden chill.
I wondered just how many times That Taps had meant 'Amen,'
When a flag had draped a coffin. Of a brother or a friend.

I thought of all the children, Of the mothers and the wives, Of fathers, sons and husbands With interrupted lives.

I thought about a graveyard
at the bottom of the sea,
Of unmarked graves in Arlington. No, freedom isn't free.

Enjoy Your Freedom & God Bless Our Troops


TESTING THE REALLY BIG KITE


This is little vid clip of my friend's project. My hubby, Talking Bear, is the one in the blue plaid shirt around and about, and driving the forklift.

Perhaps you'll not only see the second documentary on the History Channel, but a film in the theatre as well! They're currently in the early stages of creating a movie: "StoneCrazy"

updates to follow :)

Sunday, May 25, 2008

When are we done with school?



My children are at me every day, isn't school over yet? Can't we just have a half day today? Homeschool has it's ups and downs, the good being a flexible schedule, the bad, well, you are your own taskmaster, which can make it difficult when the weather is so wonderful, and the garden is calling, and not to mention that there are new films in the cinema that are perfect for a day's outing! Is school out yet?? ;D

We were just out to see C.S. Lewis', "Prince Caspian" which was fairly representative of the book. Our next venture will be to see the latest Indiana Jones film. I'm not one to run out to the theatre for the latest movie, but there are some that you just have to see on the big screen.

We've been busy with work, out of town business, and our friend's Egypt project, so May has been very hectic. Hopefully, spring and summer will be a fun time for all, and blogging will return to its norm once the cooler weather sets back in! :)


"It's a magical world, Hobbes, ol' buddy...Let's go exploring!"
Last line of the final Calvin and Hobbes strip

Monday, May 19, 2008




You Belong in New Zealand



Good on ya, mate

You're the best looking one of the bunch

Though you're often forgotten...

You're quite proud of who you are

Friday, May 16, 2008

The Two Wolves



A Cherokee elder was teaching his grandchildren about life.

He said to them, “A fight is going on inside me… it is a terrible fight between two wolves.

One wolf represents fear, anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, hatefulness, and lies.

The other stands for joy, peace, love, hope, humbleness, kindness, friendship, generosity, faith, and truth.

This same fight is going on inside of you, and inside every other person, too.”

The children thought about it for a minute. Then one child asked his grandfather,

“Which wolf will win?”

The Cherokee elder replied…

“The one you feed.”