Friday, December 28, 2012

Tea. That's Right. Tea.



Hello My Blog Friends!

Hope you had a great holiday!

What do you think of the new template?  I decided it was time for a change.



Let's talk about tea today. Do you love it?  Do you hate it?

What's your favorite? 





Here's my current obsession.



You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me.

--C.S. Lewis

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas!





Merry Christmas one and all!  

Hope you are having a wonderful day surrounded by friends and family.

Sending you all hugs on this special day!


Monday, December 24, 2012

Happy Christmas Eve!



A re-post of one of my favorite Christmas memories. 

Sending you all happiness on this Christmas Eve!



Our family's tradition was to get our Christmas tree the first weekend in December. It was a day I looked forward to.

Since we lived out in the country, we had our pick of any number of trees surrounding our farm. Inevitably, the tree would come from our neighbor's field. I am not sure why. Perhaps it was because the field that had such trees was near the road and we could eye them from the car for months ahead of the date and watch for the the one that we liked.

After we brought it in, we made the star for the top out of the Cheerios box and wrapped with aluminum paper. We also spent quite a bit of time cracking English Walnuts directly down the center, separating the two halves, hollowing them out and then placing a dime in the center and gluing the halves back together with a string coming out of the top. We'd wrap these in aluminum paper too and hang them on our tree. Then there was the stringing of popcorn and the paper chains made from newspapers.

Oh yes, it was a big day for all. I was in my element, the family was together and at tree smelled oh-so-good.

The Christmas I was twelve was turning out to be a pretty dismal Christmas. Three of my sisters had already left home and one had the nerve to get married, meaning we would have to share her with her husband's family.  The solid Christmas traditions of Christmas Eve dinner and Christmas morning present-opening were starting to break down in order to accommodate everyone's different schedules.

As the youngest, I watched as things changed and did not like it one bit. However, I clung to the knowledge that we would still get the tree on that first weekend in December though and I had my tree picked out.

The day arrived. It was time.

My sister who was four years older than I was already in the unattractive teen angst years we all go through. She had to be prodded to go on the tree expedition, but she finally agreed, hands thrust deep in her coat as we received instructions from my Mom, who never went with us--this was a Daddy and girls' tradition.

Mom was holding a yard stick. "Now, I want you to take this with you and and bring back a tree no bigger than this. I want a decent-sized tree this year." I was so sad when Daddy took the yard stick and said, "OK. We won't get you a tree any bigger than this one." 

Mom was the boss of such things and I knew Daddy would not risk going against her. Our living room was a small one and the trees we usually got crowded us more than usual. She was determined it was not going to happen this year.

On the ride up to get the tree I sat there, trying not to cry. Our traditions were changing, my beloved older sisters had left me, the one sister I did have left at home was entering some strange teen territory where I was not welcomed, and to top it all off, now we had to get a little tree.

We arrived at the field. Daddy lifted up the barbed wire so we could duck underneath. We walked through the deep snow until he spotted a small tree and he held the yard stick up to it, pushing it down into the snow. It didn't even make it up to the top of the three foot mark. He swung the axe lightly, brought it down and we took it back to the car, silent. I looked up at my sister and her sneer down at me confirmed that life was hard and I had better get used to it.

I had my hand on the car door when I heard Daddy say, "Well, we got your Mother' s tree; now let's get one for us."

I stood for a minute, stunned, but then danced back over to the tree I had picked out and Daddy swung the axe hard to bring it down. I may have even detected a slight smile on my sister's face in the car on the way home.

Daddy carried Mom's tree in the house first and she praised us to no end for getting a "decent-sized tree."

We were about to burst and then Daddy carried in our big tree and set it down in the corner. I was excited to see how big and beautiful it was in that little room, how it crowded out some of the emptiness I had felt earlier.

Mom protested, of course, but Daddy said "Now, we followed your instructions. We brought you back a little tree." She pretended to be disgruntled, but we could tell she was happy to see me so happy.

I decorated the tree that year with an unmatched fervor. I glued chains together until my fingers were sore. More aluminum foil
-covered walnuts than ever before swung from red embroidery thread on the branches. My mom took her little tree, set it up in coffee can with rocks and decorated it too. For several years she had her own little tree and we had our big one.

When traditions change it's most likely the youngest children in the family who feel it most acutely. They are just getting on board the train and enjoying the ride when people start to get restless, want to slow down or speed up, change the route, or just get off the train completely.

I have no idea if my dad knew what he was doing the day he let us get that tree. Those changes that had pushed their way into our lives would continue to push and shape our traditions in totally new ways, some for good and some not.

But for that holiday season, when I needed it the most, time slowed down and those changes were held back, if only briefly, by the lush green branches of that big beautiful tree.

Merry Christmas, Everyone!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Jewels


Last Christmas season I was a mess.  Divorce proceedings were in full swing.  My stomach was in knots as tensions rose and lawyers battled back and forth.  It was sickening and I just wanted the holidays to go away.  My son, far away in college, was not coming home for the first time in his life.  My future was uncertain, I cried constantly, and all around me were happy people, decorating, celebrating, and singing.  

Ugh.  I just wanted to be placed in a coma and awakened after it was all over.

This year?  Ah, I am making up for lost time.  The outside of the house is ablaze with lights, my tree is lit up most of the day, and I am decorating anything that stands still for more than three seconds. Don't believe it me?  

Here's my cat Zelda.




I wake up singing Christmas carols and I go to bed wearing my Santa socks. Both of my sons will be home this year and a Certain Very Nice Man will be joining us on Christmas morning for the opening of presents.  

In short, I am one happy woman.  Bring it on, St. Nick.  Bring it on! I am SO ready!

I was out for my morning walk the other day, humming along to the Christmas carol playlist on my I-Pod, when across the street I saw an older woman I recognized.   She had been our neighbor years earlier when we had lived at a different address.  Six months ago, I had seen her husband’s obituary in the newspaper.  She was walking slowly and seemed to be absorbed in thought.  

I thought about calling out to her, but selfish little voices inside of me just urged me to keep walking.  Talking to her might slow me down. It would be easy to walk on by. It had been over twenty years since I had spoken to her.  She wouldn’t remember me.  What good would it do for me to stop and talk to her?  Maybe she wanted to be alone with her thoughts.  If I said anything about her husband, it would be awkward and might make her even more sad.  

I listened that that insecure chattering for a few seconds and then a knowing arose inside of me and I called out her name and crossed over to her.

I had to tell her who I was and how I remembered her.  It was clear she was a bit confused and I really don’t think she recalled us being her neighbors.  I told her I had seen her husband’s obituary and how sorry I was to hear of it. He had always taken in our trashcans after they were empty.  It was such a simple, but kind act and I told her that I passed that kindness on to my neighbors now because of his example.  

Her eyes welled up with tears. She talked about his final days, how much she had loved him, and how she had taken care of him up until the end.  It was clear she needed to talk. Finally, she said,  “And here it is, December already,” her eyes drifting across the street to some decorations.  

Though our situations were different, I recognized what was the same.  I nodded, a lump in my throat, and said softly, “This will be a different kind of Christmas for you, won’t it?”  She seemed almost relieved to hear me say those words.  

She looked right into my eyes, nodded a tired nod and said, “Yes, it will be.”  

We talked a bit about how she would make it through the holidays and how much she would miss him, how she still kept his chair where it always had been and how empty it would be on Christmas morning.  

Finally, I told her goodbye, gave her a hug and said I’d be looking for her on my future walks.  

I walked away, my eyes filled with tears, my heart filled with a mixture of emotions.  

In talking to my old neighbor, I remembered last year and how lonely I felt, even when surrounded my loving friends and family.  I am grateful that my life is no longer like that.  I am grateful that now I feel true happiness and joy in this season. 

This may sound strange, but I am also grateful beyond belief that I remember so vividly the pain I felt last year.  

It has taken me a long time realize this, and even longer to appreciate it, but along with hideous, gut-wrenching, soul-sucking events there come certain gifts, and one of those, for me, is the gift of empathy.

I am embarrassed to say that I almost passed right by my old neighbor. It makes me wonder how often  we hesitate, listening to those small voices of our delicate egos warning us of the risk of rejection or awkwardness when instead we should instinctually reach out to others?

We all have gifts that we can give to one another.  Whether we do so or not is up to us.
  
As for me, this new reservoir of understanding and compassion has been hard-won. If I don’t use it to help others, then what’s it all been for?  

I never thought I would be grateful for anything having to do with the divorce, but I am finding that even amid the rubble of loss and the pain, some jewels have emerged that enrich my life.  

Just like most jewels, their real value and beauty come out when they are shared with others.



Monday, December 17, 2012

Monday Morning Flowers




Good Monday Morning to you all!

Lean close and get your flowers. 

I send them all to you with good wishes for the week ahead.


These recent events certainly give us perspective, don't they?



Life is precious.  Time is precious.  People are precious.



Let's make the most out of our time here on earth.


 When you have the choice to be right or be kind, always choose being kind.

--Dr. Wayne Dyer

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Puddles of Sunlight






It's the end of the semester at the community college where I teach.  

You can see the stress on the faces of both students and teachers.  I look at the stacks of papers I need to grade and wonder how I will ever get them all done. I am tired and my eyes hurt.  I am probably not as patient as I should be in answering the same questions over and over again.  

Meanwhile, students are working on still more and projects to turn in.  Their nerves are frayed as well.  They come to class looking tired, hassled, and discouraged.  They wonder why all these teachers are not as patient as they should be.

The other day in my Intermediate Composition class, after a review for the final, we had about 20 minutes of class time left.  I had a board game in my cabinet and I suggested we play it.  The students moaned and groaned and it was clear they were ready to leave.  So, I said whoever wanted to stay and play it could and whoever wanted to leave could do so. 

 I told them it would be FUN!  That we would have a GREAT TIME!  However, to be honest, a little part of me counted on them all leaving so I could grade a few more papers before I went back to my office and grade even more papers.  

To my surprise, some of my students stayed.  Sure, some were the students I had grown to know best, but others surprised me and gathered around the board too.  Some had to be cajoled by their friends to join in on the game, but they consented and stuck around.

Now, I grew up with board games and made them a regular part of our family when my kids were growing up, but I could tell that a lot of these students had not played board games for a very long time. 

(Many of them were 18-19 year-olds and, well, board games are just not cool, I guess and playing a board game with your English teacher?  Forget about it!)  I joked about there being no controller, no flashing lights and told them they would get used to it.

So we started playing a very simple game called "Blurt." I looked at the clock, figuring on one quick game and then I could get back to that grading. 

Perhaps English teachers get to know their students better than teachers of any other discipline.  Though I would not claim to know my students well, I do read what they write to me and they often reveal their pasts or the struggles they are having in the present.  

When I looked around the board, I not only saw the mixture of students that only comes together at a community college, I saw their stories too.   Carl, my fifty-five year old mechanic with two gunshot wounds was kidding with Hector, the nineteen year-old who will be a father next month.  There were Maria and Paola, who had come into the class as strangers, but who are now best friends.  There was my student Emily who has scars on her arms she tries to keep covered, laughing as hard as she could, next to Erica, a very talented student who is headed to a university next year.  Across the table was Emmy who barely spoke this semester but who was now loudly directing the action of the game.

You know how a cat will linger in a puddle of sunlight, enjoying all the blessings of light and warmth, perhaps sensing that it all goes away too quickly? 

That's exactly what I did.

I just sat and watched my students and listened to them laugh and kid each other over the board and I was incredibly happy. It was a moment of sunlight and serenity in an otherwise dim and busy time.   I watched these students, all of whom have challenging and complex lives and schedules, enjoy themselves and share in this very simple time together.  

Their backpacks full of work awaited them on their desks.  Their complicated lives awaited them outside the classroom, but all that was suspended for this brief time.  They invited me into the action of the game.  I glanced over at the stack of papers I had to grade and I smiled, no longer worried about falling behind on grading.  I knew there would be time and space for me to grade later.  Now, I was determined to fully appreciate this small puddle of sunlight that we all shared for this limited time.

One game led to another and after about 40 minutes, we all reluctantly said goodbye. I sat there in my empty classroom, packing up my books and folders and despite the work I had ahead of me,  I realized how privileged I am to have the job I have.

My heart was full.  I stood in my empty classroom which still somehow held the echoes of all that laughter and whispered a prayer  I heard on Garrison Keillor's "Prairie Home Companion" years ago.  

"Thank you God for this good life and forgive us if we do not love it enough."  


Here's wishing you puddles of sunlight during this busy season.  




Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Christmas Parade!


Saturday was our town's Christmas parade.

Man, I LOVE this parade!

I go every year and hoot for the participants.  



This is the band that formed since the band programs were taken out of the individual schools.

I cheered extra loud for them.  Go Band Kids!



It was a gorgeous day here in southern California.  There were lots of sundresses and shorts.



This is a breed of horse developed in our city in 1911.  There are only 20 such white horses.  




Big balloons have made it into the parade line-up in recent years.  This reindeer was having some problems, but there were plenty of people around to help get him back up.




I thought this parade participant captured the spirit of the event quite nicely!


Do I really have to wait another year before the parade comes around again?

Ah Shucks!  Counting down the days....



Monday, December 10, 2012

Monday Morning Flowers!



Happy Mondays, My People!

Hope you had great weekends.

It is time to face our week ahead with vim and vigor!

Do you have your Happy Shoes on?


I had a great weekend and got to visit with a lot of great friends.

I went over to my friend Lori's house and saw these exotic creatures in her back yard!

Whooooo!




Here's a succulent for you to ponder.


OK.  Pondering time is over.  

Let's get out and there and do kind things for one another.

Happy Monday!



We must be willing to let go of the life we planned so as to have the life that is waiting for us.


                                                                                  --Joseph Campbell

Friday, December 7, 2012

Sex and the Single Betty




Ah!  The Single Life! 

Where does a girl start? 

If you’re a literary gal like Betty, you go straight to a book for information.  I found this copy of Sex and the Single Girl at the thrift store.  Sure, it was published in 1962, but, hey, it was only twenty-five cents and things couldn’t have changed all that much in fifty years. 

Right?

This little gem offers all the advice a gal like me could want on how to meet men, how to dress, how to decorate, and how to be utterly fascinating to the opposite sex.

I’ve already met a Certain Very Nice Man, but in the interest of educating my reading public here are some suggestions I gleaned from the book about meeting men:

First of all, it’s OK to have a friend help you meet someone.  You bet!  After the initial meet-up, though, you are on your own.  As Helen Gurley Brown states, “Do let your friend help rope.  You tie!”

Yee-Haw.

Seek out those people who can introduce you to men.  “Think carefully now.  Who do you know with information that can lead to the capture of a most-wanted fugitive?  Act now.  Other bloodhounds are on his trail.”

Back off other bloodhounds!


Want to be “Man Bait”?  I know I do!

Here are some ways to get those coveted men to start up a conversation with you:

Wear unusual jewelry, but not too unusual. 

Carry a controversial book around like Lady Chatterley’s Lover or Marx’s Das Kapital. 

When at the beach have the wildest towel on the sand and play solitaire on your towel. 

Drive a funny car and paint it orange. (I really don’t get this, but I’ll do it anyway if it means attracting a man!)

Dress well and be the girl who walks everywhere.  (OH!   I’ve already got this covered with my morning walks around the neighborhood in my shiny spandex pants and Nordic Walking Poles!  I am INDEED Morning Man Bait! Now I know why everyone stares at me!)



Flirting!   Here’s some advice:

“A man is talking to you, nothing very personal.  Look into his eyes.  Never let your eyes leave his.  Concentrate on his left eye…then his right…now deep into both. Smooth operators never take their eyes off a man even when the waiter spills a tray of drinks.”

Expect to have your cigarette lit.

Sit on your side of the car until he comes to open the door for you.

Have difficulty with packages.


Is your abode a Man Trap?  Here's how to have one!

Have Gobs of Pictures

Travel Posters

Books

Hi-Fi

A Small TV

A Sexy Kitchen (Have at least thirty spices!)

Be sure to have an ashtray with two fresh cigarettes and matches in the bathroom.


It is essential for a single girl to cook well.  However, it is NOT COOL to cook for a man too much when you are single!  NO!  As the book states, “Part of the price bachelors pay for staying single is to spend money taking girls out.  No use in making their bachelorhood easy by feeding them like little mother.”

Presents?  Heck yes!  He’d better be willing to hand ‘em over. 

“’I can’t give you love,’ is real depression era stuff.  There must be something else you can give—a book of poetry, one perfect rose, if he’s a struggler; a vicuna coat, if a tycoon.  Don’t expect a Thunderbird from anyone just because you have bestowed your most precious gift.”

(What? I don’t get my Thunderbird? How about a Ford Focus?  A used car?  A bike?  A ride to work?)


So, what if that stubborn man just won’t make the all-important commitment?  That’s when you bring out The Ultimatum:  “Hardly any bachelor wants to get married.  Even the most adorable, non-phobic one has to be gently but firmly prodded into matrimony.  If the truth be known, many of your married girl friends whom you thought were the pursued darlings used everything from vapors to bloodletting to get their man.  It’s nothing to be ashamed of.”

Bloodletting?  Well, OK!  Bring out the scalpel and some old towels!


I hope you’ve learned a little something from this post today.  I know I’ve got quite a bit of work to do around here if I am to remain Man Bait and keep that Nice Man interested in me.  I’ll be seeing him later today and intend to keep my eyes placed firmly on his, feed him very little, and struggle to carry my copy of Lady Chatterley’s Lover.  Oh yeah.

Now you’ll have to excuse me. I have to go put on my girdle, start up the hi-fi, and put fresh cigarettes in the bathroom.





Thursday, December 6, 2012

Something's Fishy


I had a great time recently at the Denver Aquarium.

Here are some of the fine creatures I met!














As I see it, life is an effort to grip before they slip through one's fingers and slide into oblivion, the startling, the ghastly or the blindingly exquisite fish of the imagination before they whip away on the endless current and are lost for ever in oblivion's black ocean.
                            
                                                                        -Mervyn Peake

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

The Gifts We Remember


Note:  Last night I gave a speech at Toastmaster's.  I used one of my favorite blog posts, added a section in the beginning and one at the end to make it applicable to Christmas.  Some of you may recognize the majority of the body.  Think of it as an ice cream sandwich.  The ice cream is the same, but there are two new cookies.  In any case, I hope you enjoy and thanks for reading!



Christmas is coming up, and like many of you I am preparing by buying, wrapping, and putting presents under the tree.  Of course, I am looking forward to giving and receiving these presents as well, but let me ask you something.  Quick—do you remember the gifts you got last year?  

Chances are you don’t remember too many of them. Most of the time, those gifts of material objects are transitory.  In this season, of gift giving, I’d like to expand the concept of giving a little and think about gifts of the spirit, the gifts that we receive from others that live within us and stay with us our entire lives.

When I was about eight years old, I announced to my dad one evening that I was going to learn to milk cows. We had about 12 milk cows at the time and my father milked them by hand every night and every morning. My dad just smiled at my suggestion that I would be able to help him once I learned.

So, determined to do this, I followed him out to the milk barn, which was a small, low building back of the big barn. The path to the barn was made up of large stones, strategically placed in the dirt and manure that made up the lot. They were placed for my father's long stride, so I had to jump from stone to stone to get the barn. I got there just as my dad opened the door and called the cows in.

They were lumbering giants, these cows. They were beautiful in the way they responded to my dad's voice, their big, trusting liquid eyes watching him as they all went to their spots and stood, placing their heads in the v-shaped grips on the walls, their tails toward the door. 

I stood, my back to the wall, and looked down the line at these massive animals. The smallness of the barn and their close quarters with one another only emphasized their enormity. Their square rear ends were now still, their tails periodically swinging to the loud country music my dad always had on the radio in the barn.

Sitting on his T-shaped stool, my dad began milking the first cow, humming to the radio. He stopped before the first bucket was full and poured the warm, foamy contents into a large pan that sat at one end of the barn. Instantly, about ten barn cats showed up to lap up the milk. These feral beauties I had never been able to get close to, were now within arm's length and they were letting my father pet them. 

My head swam with happiness. It was the warm summer evening, and I was filled with bliss, being in the barn with the cows, the cats, but most of all being with my dad, in his domain, watching the way he sang, and worked. The tension he sometimes carried while he was in the house seemed to slip off his shoulders here and he was totally at ease and best of all, I was with him.

It was while I was in this blissful state that I noticed with great interest that the cow directly in front of me had raised its tail and I could see its crusty anus, twisting and turning like the shutter on a rusty camera. 

I was transfixed there by this sight:  it was if it was a real camera and I had to remain still until the picture was taken. 

I heard my dad's voice, "I wouldn't stand behind that one if I were you" but still I didn't move. I was memorized, hypnotized, transfixed. I heard my father's voice again, this time more urgent,  "That one's sick. You need to move."

Then it happened: the camera shutter opened, my eyes grew wide and my mouth opened in surprise, as the projectile diarrhea shot directly towards me. I felt the warmth coat my entire body and I sputtered as I stood, draped, covered, cloaked in runny light brown goo. I immediately started crying. (Not a good idea.)   Each gasp brought a new assault to my tongue and throat.

"Oh. Oh," my dad said calmly as he came my way. 

That's all he said as he surveyed the situation. There was no scolding, no admonishment, no kidding, no teasing. 

All he did was put down the bucket of milk he was carrying, gently take my hand, and helped me over the large stones, back through the big barn, and down the path to the house. I could barely see out of the small holes I had managed to make around my eyes. 

The evening was a warm one and I could feel the hardening of the crust on my skin. I felt low. I felt... well, like one does when one is covered in cow poop, but I also felt my hand in my father's hand and knew at least I was headed in the right direction.

I remember at least one sister screamed when she saw me and I remember the (understandable) shrinking back (I did look like a walking Snicker's bar, quickly turning into a Crunch bar) and then some shouts for my mom. She came out of the house, took my hand from my father and led me to the bathroom to get cleaned up. I felt remarkably clean and good after that bath though I would continue to find residue of the adventure in my ears and scalp for weeks.

I received a great gift from my father that day.  

He gave me this lesson: there are times in life when we all feel just the way I did that day and the greatest gift we can receive is for someone to quietly, and without negativity, put down the work he or she is doing, take us by the hands, help us maneuver our way over the big stones in our lives, and gently guide us back home to get cleaned up.

Sometimes in life we are the ones who need the help and sometimes we are the ones who offer the hand. In the end, both situations are gifts.

So, this Christmas, I’ll be grateful for the presents under the tree.  Heck, I’ll probably be the first one there Christmas morning, ready to rip through that shiny paper and find out what’s in that package.  

I’ll thank those who thought of me, but amid all of that hustle and bustle, I’ll find some time to be grateful for the gifts of kindness and dignity from those who showed me how to be a better human being. 

Those are gifts that we keep with us our whole lives and if we are lucky, they are gifts that we can pass on to others.








Tuesday, December 4, 2012

What's Your Sign?



Back in August, I was not looking forward to what would have been our 31st wedding anniversary.   When the day arrived, I adopted a just-keep-your-head-down-and-make-it-through attitude.  

I came home at noon that day, tired and drained, and found a package in my mailbox.  It was this shirt, sent by my Sonny Boy and his girlfriend.  



 I laughed as I opened it up and looked at it. My whole attitude changed.   I believe I even said aloud, “Damn right I am!”   I slipped the shirt over my head and went back out in the world, my head held high, feeling great, feeling strong.


That experience led to an icebreaker exercise I did with one of my classes.  On the first day of the semester, I gave each of the students a piece of paper, a marker and some tape.  I told them to write a word on the paper that described them in some way and then tape their signs to their shirts.  Then, they had to go around the room, find someone with a word that began with the same letter as their word, talk to that person and then introduce him/her to the class. 

It worked beautifully.  We had a wide variety of signs: “Smart,” “Motivated,” “Funny,” and the ever-popular, “Athlete.”  The students had a good time getting to know each other and it gave me a chance to talk about the power of language.


Unfortunately, about two weeks into the semester one of my students died.  Though they did not know each other well, I thought it would be best if I told the rest of the class members so I made the somber announcement at the end of one session.  

There was silence in the room.   

Someone said, “He was the guy who sat over there, right?” pointing to the empty chair.  I nodded.  More silence, and then I heard, “Hey, wasn’t he the guy who wrote ‘Loved’ on his sign that first day?”  I smiled, suddenly remembering that fact.  

Then I heard one of my older students say, “Well, you can’t get much better than that—going out loved.”

It’s near the end of the semester now and so just out of curiosity I asked the students yesterday if they remembered the signs.  They did indeed. They all remembered their own signs and more importantly, at least one person in the room remembered another person’s sign.

Amazing.

I think we go out into the world every day with a word on our chests. Invisible though it may be, it is still powerful.  Maybe it is something we are, or maybe it’s something we want to be.  Whichever it is, we alone have the power to to select the word and project it.    

So, (you knew I was going to ask, didn’t you?) what sign is on your chest as you go out into the world today? 





Monday, December 3, 2012

Monday Morning Flowers!


Happy Monday, Everyone!

Hope your weekend was a good one. 

It was a rainy one here in southern California.  Between the showers, I ventured out to gather your Monday Morning Flowers.




I have to give the roses around here credit.  They hang on and keep going even through the wind and rain and what passes for cold here.

The rain was welcomed by everyone.  When I took my morning walk, I found these large white mushrooms had sprung up in the green grass.


Aren't they gorgeous?


The rain stopped this afternoon long enough for many of my neighbors to go out and hang their Christmas lights, so when I took my evening walk in the light rain I was treated to many sights like this.


Bonus!

Hope your week ahead is a good one!

Let's go out there in the world and make it a better place, shall we?


Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.  

              ~Leo Buscaglia