Sunday, December 27, 2009

Endings and Beginnings

Well friends we are at the end of another year...only four more days to go and we will start all over again, hopefully with new dreams, new inspirations and new hope for ourselves, our families our country and our World! The World as we have known it in the last 10 years has been spiraling into the abyss of despair for our Human family everywhere.Will we begin a New World attitude this coming year five days away? We can only ask ourselves that question and answer it for ourselves in the choices we make to better ourselves that in return we will have something different to offer to the World for the better. I have spent the year of 2009 finding my voice through blogging even if no one really heard me...I heard myself...that was the goal! In hearing myself I realized that I now want to do more. I want to be present with me and share myself with others in ways that I can make a difference just by sharing my stories more. I have decided that I will create a circle...Women of Wisdom will be my goal and it will be about sharing our stories, sharing our strength, sharing our resources, sharing our wisdom, sharing ways of becoming, sharing love and losses. I've read great books, seen great movies, sang great songs, danced great dances, and shared great lives. It is time to let others know that life is all about cycles...they come and they go but most important, with love we Survive...No Matter What.

I watched "Invictus", the movie and what I took away from it was the "poem". The words that inspire are always what stays with us forever. I could relate to Mandela finding strength in the words to this poem because I have been able to survive life and death through the words and stories of others by realizing that if another human could survive, so could I. I want to share these words so you can feel them too:

The poem was a source of inspiration to Nelson Mandela during his captivity and he wrote out a copy by hand for the captain of the rugby team to inspire him to lead them to the world championship. The title is Latin for "unconquered." The poet, William Ernest Henley, wrote it from his hospital bed. His indomitable spirit led him to triumph over the amputation of his leg.
Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.
In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.
Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds and shall find me unafraid.
It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

I also have been inspired by Isabel Allende, I would like to share some of her "Reflections Today", from "Women of Wisdom". by Kris Steinnes:

I have come to the conclusion that the most precious gifts women can give to each other are their personal stories. By sharing our experiences, our pains and joys, our fears, hopes and desires, we create a sacred space where we can find new strength. Allow me to tell you about the only subject that I know really well: my own life. In doing so, I hope to encourage you to do the same and share your stories.

I tried to look as honesty as possible inside myself, to go deeply into my memory and my heart, to search in the dark place where all the fears come from and in the luminous place where the creative force is generated, looking for the motivations that have driven me forward and the uncertainties that have pulled me back. What are the fundamental issues that define my personality and determine my life? Two themes come to my mind: love and losses.

Another one of her reflections that inspires my experiences and encourages me to share is:

"Now that I am over fifty, I can tell you that there is nothing more liberating than age. As we get older we can be ourselves, wear sensible shoes and speak our minds; we don't have to please everybody anymore, only those we really care for. At fifty we have more cellulite, but we are also wiser. If we had a choice, maybe most of us would rather have thin thighs than wisdom; but we don't have a choice, so we better make the most of wisdom."

After viewing "Julie and Julia"(the movie), I realized many things about following your passion so that your dreams will not die within you. I also realized that when you go to your "jobs", if you can not "dance", then you are internally dead for 8,10 or 12 hours while you are just existing to punch the clock. I will find a moment every day to dance my dance towards my destiny, of living every moment. I'm beginning my New Year right now and passing it on to all those around me!

Friday, December 25, 2009

The Christmas Spirit

Today I want to share a tradition that I do every morning to start my day with Spirit. My morning reading puts me in the spirit of why I was given another day and it reminds me to take time to remember to keep the balance. I want to share a poem on this "Special" day and the thoughts of Sarah Ban Breathnach in "Simple Abundance: A Daybook of Comfort and Joy":

If, as Herod,we fill our lives with things, and again with things;if we consider ourselves so unimportant that we must fill every moment of our lives with action, when will we have the time to make the long, slow journey across the desert as did the Magi? Or sit and watch the stars as did the shepherds? Or brood over the coming of the child as did Mary? For each one of us, there is a desert to travel. A star to discover. And a being within ourselves to bring to life.
-Author Unknown

"Oh, would that Christmas lasted the whole year through,as it ought,"Charles Dickens lamented.Would that the spirit of Christmas could live within our hearts every day of the year."

But what is the Chritmas spirit?Perhaps the Christmas spirit, like the nature of the Beloved, is meant to be a Holy Mystery. Perhaps the Christmas spirit is our soul's knowledge that things, no matter how beautiful, are only things;that we were created,not always to do,but sometimes to simply be. Perhaps the Christmas spirit is a loving reminder that we must make time for the long, slow journey across the desert; we must take time to discover our star; we must honor the time necessary to brood over the coming of the authentic women we were created by Love to become. It has been said many times that our lives are gifts from God-that what we do with them is our gift in return. Today is the perfect day to remember this.
Sarah Ban Breathnach

Yes, may we remember the spirit of Christmas every day the whole year through but for today enjoy the moment as every moment of Joy! Merry Christmas and God Bless everyone all over the World! May the children capture the spirit of Christmas from each of us.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Sharing Christmas Chicken Spaghetti

This was a wonderful response I got back from a best friend when I wanted to know how to prepare the spaghetti recipe she sent me for Christmas. Just had to share the love of Christmas and the Spirit of Giving!


My Question:
Thank-you...mmmm,mmmm...good! Now, does this whole process take place on stovetop or final you bake?


My Answer:

“all stove top. no baking. i actually haven't seen this done before so i'm going off chef notes. M's mom's recipe. but it is all stove top. basically cook the peppers onions and celery down and then add the soup chicken and other stuff to that. noodles separately cooked. then drained and added to the soup chicken mixture. add cheese once it cools. we got into a discussion about what 'cool' meant -- why -- how long - very interesting if a little nitpicky. but we're paralegals. we do the nitpicky. she basically sorted it out as a cooling down of the mixture so the fat in the cheese doesn't separate. serving it with garlic bread and salad...and a sofa close by to fall on when full. she's also making tomato basil soup. apparently because i worked half a day, i don't get to chop anything. Casey, on the other hand, is now chopping basil. hardly seems fair.”

1 hen, cooked and chopped

2 large bell peppers, chopped

2 large onions, chopped

4 or 5 sticks of celery

1 can mushroom soup

1 small jar pimento, chopped

2 tbsps chili powder

1 lb grated cheddar cheese

1 box spaghetti

Divide broth in half. Cook peppers, onion and celery in half of it until tender. Add water to rest of broth and cook spaghetti in it. To vegetable broth (containing onions, pepper, celery), add soup, pimento, chicken, chili powder and spaghetti. Cool a little before adding the cheese.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Cinderella’s Fantasy Christmas

The month of December can be some peoples saddest time of year. On every television channel one is reminded of what Christmas is suppose to look like. The model Christmas is what every child wants to have mirrored in their home but that is not the case for a lot of household’s in America. Especially, this year is one of the hardest financially for families in a long time. Lost jobs, lost homes, lost families, lost hopes and lost dreams is something that most Americans are recognizing this year. Sure we have had some great things to happen to restore hope but not enough that there aren’t some real sad realities still lurking behind a lot of household doors.

The television sets of America are airing shows that remind us of families gathering in homes of their childhood days, people exchanging gifts, people sharing holiday feasts, and everyone enjoying each other through the opening of presents, singing of carols, and all of the other festivities that are customary from generations past. I’m hearing from families that are still losing jobs, trying to figure out how to pay the rent, light bill, buy groceries for every day of the week (not just a holiday feast), make the car payment, get enough gas to make it until next payday, trying to figure out what else to cut out to live off one paycheck instead of two not to mention taking care of their health in order not to have to take a day off work(God forbid)!

Now if you never knew these holiday celebrations firsthand in America you’re probably faring ok, because you won’t relate to the child that feels like the step-daughter Cinderella who is just waiting for someone to come along and rescue them for a fantasy Christmas. I was a child that never experienced the Christmas spirit as a child because my mother had to pay all the excessive bills of winter and she was deprived of the festivities as well because of poverty. I think we pass on what we experience as children.

Sometimes people try to create customs with their children that they didn’t get to experience. Do they do this in hopes that they can capture a feeling that they never experienced? Can one really pass on a feeling that they never identified with as a youth? Can you get water from a dry well?

Maybe the spirit of Christmas for someone that didn’t experience it as a child, lays in the service of giving at Christmas to the less fortunate. Since the reason for the season is giving, then maybe for some the feeling of Christmas comes through gratefulness. Maybe when one can reflect on how grateful they are regardless to how things appear, then the spirit of Christmas is captured. Just maybe Christmas is not the same experience for everyone. Sometimes one may have to create their own authentic spirit of Christmas. Giving of oneself at a time of year when others have lost all hope can create a feeling possibly that will surpass every expectation of a Cinderella Fantasy Christmas.

Maybe this year would be a good time to reach out to someone less fortunate and create a feeling of good cheer. Feel free to create your own kind of Christmas outside of traditions and TV Fantasy. After all, the reason for the season is; giving! The giving of yourself, your time and your unconditional love is irreplaceable. Have a Happy Holiday creating your own realities!!

Thursday, December 3, 2009


Here I am again, wondering if I’ve made the right choice about a pet. Two weeks ago a co-worker was talking to me about the beautiful pups she was trying to place for her son. It just so happened that I had been looking online for about two months at pets and my heart was just longing for a furry little critter to love. My children say that it’s just a phase for me and if I just pass it by, it will fizzle out. I guess I don’t have a very good track record of sticking out the hard part, the training…whew, speaking of training, one of these little girls (puppies) just farted. “OMG, could you warn somebody please I am screaming in my mind!” To say that they passed gas would be just too mild for what I have to tolerate while typing my thoughts out in my journal.

Now, where was I? Oh yeah, wondering about the pet choice thing! I try to look at the reason I wanted a pet to determine if I will make it this time through the training part. I remember thinking how good it would be at this time of my life to have a best friend in my corner while I gracefully age into this phase of my life at 53. I don’t mean to say that I feel old or anything, it’s just a time of reality checks about what I do like and don’t. I really don’t care much for the phoniness of parties or clubbing anymore on a regular. A private party every now and then is ok. Even a night out on the town sometime is ok but in this North Carolina town there is not much going on anyway.

Pets can be very entertaining but they also require a lot of attention and responsibility. For example, I get up at 3:00 am in the mornings to go to work and I try to be quiet as possible to not awaken my partner. Now, I have to be concerned if these new babies of ours will go back to sleep after I leave for work. My partner and I work different shifts. She tried to tell me that this was a huge task I was venturing into but I don’t think I knew just how much was involved. Don’t get discouraged…I haven’t thrown in the towel yet and she doesn’t want me to either! (She’s the puppy person anyway…I’m learning…it was a compromise:-)

The first thing I experienced after getting our new babies Tobi and Cami was the trip for shots and deworming at the vet. We met three other pet lovers while we were there and we all wooed over each other’s babies. This reminded me of my proud mothering days and that was a little scary. Was I wanting to return to those days of great responsibilities or is it possible that my children made me feel worthy of life and now I wasn’t able to find a reason for joy in my life? That’s deep and maybe I will ponder that over the next few weeks. I have questioned in the past whether or not people were buying pets to replace human relationships that reflect their flaws to be addressed. I have also given thought to the idea that at a certain age you no longer want the overall analysis that is required in a human relationship in order to grow.

I remember reading about the relationship between Shirley MacLaine and her dog Terry in “Out On A Leash”; I was overwhelmed with the joy she received from her furry friend, unconditionally. I loved the idea that through their eyes one could see the spirit of nature and the simplistic gratitude of sharing their lives together in boundless love. I have always been a hopeless romantic but never actually experiencing it other than behind a big bucket of popcorn, a Coke, some tissue and a good mushy movie. I am hoping that I can have this kind of experience with our new babies. I have had to learn about sticking to something long enough to see the benefits through my most resent relationship for the last seven years with my partner. I figure that in order to experience what I felt from reading about Shirley and Terry I will have to go through some things to appreciate the “Nature of Reality and Love”,( taken from, “Out On A Leash”).

While I think of unconditional love, I also am listening to my doctor’s diagnosis…, “You have a fracture and I think you’re going to have to wear a boot for a while. Luckily the bone is not broken”, she smiles while asking me, “Now, tell me again what happened!”

“Do you want the theatrical version or just the blur vision of events”, I say while laughing. “It was Monday after Thanksgiving at 8:30pm when I had just chastised Cami for peeing on the carpet for about the 10th time! I put her along with Tobi in the kitchen and put up the baby gate, it was a little “time out” tactic. I decided that I would get me a piece of sweet potato pie for the movie. Coming back across the gate my left toe caught the top of the gate and the comedy began…the pie went one way, the plate went one way, the fork went one way and I went the other. Tobi ran behind the trash can just shivering from all the noise…Cami came up to the gate crawling on her belly as if to say, “are you ok mommy”! Between the crying and laughing I took down the gate when I was able to get up off the floor to pat her on the head and say thank-you for loving me unconditionally. I had to coax Tobi out from behind the trash can before she was sure it was safe and then I loved on both of them. Well Doc, that’s my story”, I said still laughing as I retold it. I was asking God, “what was the message in it all”, when I realized, it’s only with animals that we get to experience instant forgiveness and unconditional love regardless! Did I make the right choice in getting pets? I think so but I think I have a long way to go in knowing for sure the benefits. To my furry loving friends along with Shirley MacLaine and Terry, I hope I can write a book one day about everlasting love and furry memories. I think I’ve got a good start!

PS: I'll have a week at home to think about this experience and time to bond with my furry babies. Stay tuned to hear the stories as they unfold in my awareness. It will be interesting to say the least. Good writing material, I'm sure...hum...maybe they are my writing angels...just a thought:-)