Tuesday, March 31, 2009


(pantry at Navarre)

When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist.

~ Dom Helder Camara ~
former Archbishop of Olinda and Recife, Brazil

Monday, March 30, 2009

follow me...if you'd like

(darth vader playing for change in victoria)

We have to face the fact that either all of us are going to die together or we are going to learn to live together, and if we are to live together we have to talk.

~ Eleanor Roosevelt ~
in The New York Times (1960)

[At the request of graceonline, I added the "Follow Me" widget to my sidebar. For those of you who have already joined me, thanks. I love seeing you there. If you haven't yet, I invite you to join the party. There's always something to see around here.]

Sunday, March 29, 2009

what would wanda do about an alcoholic friend?

Wanda, what would you do ... ?

A dear friend is an alcoholic and prescription drug abuser. She has been on antidepressants for years. She mixes booze and pills, knowing they can kill her. Recently, her shrink prescribed amphetamines to "help her get out of bed."

She talks of suicide every time I see her. She claims her therapist and her prescription shrink know this. I am beside myself with worry that the combination of speed, downers, alcohol and carelessness will finally do her in. What would you do?


Seriously. I would pray for wisdom about what to do in this situation, as well as praying for my friend's well-being. Then I would listen for inspiration--both from my inner voice and from interactions of those around me.

You say this person is a "dear friend." How fortunate that she is dear to you and I presume you are to her, as well. Does your friend know she is an alcoholic? Does she know that what she is doing is abusing drugs? Those may seem like stupid questions, but sometimes people really don't know. They might know something is wrong, yet not know what the problem is. If this is the case, I would talk to her. I would share my concern about her behaviors and her suicidal tendencies and tell her that these are symptoms of something being out of balance for her. Let her know that it is not because something is wrong with her and that with the right kind of help and treatment, she can get some help and relief.

I might offer to go to an appointment with her to share my observations with her therapist and/or psychiatrist. They may, in fact, know about her thoughts and feelings as your friend states; however, she might be relieved if you were to offer to go with her to share your insights and support her through this tough time. If she refuses...well, that is her choice--even though it is a crappy choice she is making. If she won't agree to have you go with her, you can ask her if you might talk (or write a letter) to her therapist and prescriber. Again, she might say no, but what does it hurt to ask? If nothing else, it reinforces for her your concern. If she says yes, mail the letter--don't ask her to deliver it. On the slippery slope of substance abuse, such missives can get lost if placed in the hand of the user. If you call the treaters, let them know that you are aware that they can't share information with you and that you talked with your friend who knows you are calling. They may simply say, "Thank you." They may even refuse to talk to you, but if they listen, you will know that they do know about your friend's alcoholic behaviors in conjuction with her drug use.

Another option is to do an intervention on your friend. This would take planning and I would recommend involving a professional to guide you through the process. Interventions can be life saving for the substance abuser. If her family and other friends will participate with you, the intervention is even more potent. Part of the reason for having a professional involved in the intervention process is to help come up with options, both for your friend and her treatment and for you if she refuses. You need to know what your limits are. For example, will you stop talking to her if she doesn't get treatment? Is she welcome to talk call you only if she hasn't been drinking? What will you do to take care of yourself once she decides what she will or won't do.

And, of course, the bottom line is that your friend does get to make her own decisions. Unless she is threatening to do harm to herself or someone else, she gets to make her own decisions, bad though they might be. If she is threatening to do harm and you believe her, call 9-1-1. Get her help immediately. Don't try to convince her of anything--just get her help.

This is a long answer to a short question about a complex issue. What would I do? I would talk to her. I would do my best to get her some help, share information, be supportive. And...most of all, I would take care of myself. If she refuses to do anything to help herself, I would do what I need to do to set my own boundaries--difficult though it may be.

I send my best wishes prayers to you and your friend. May she choose life.

That's what I'd do.


Saturday, March 28, 2009

who is my brother?

(where's Wanda?)

How do we learn to love our enemy? By seeing him as a brother who is tempted as we are, and attacked by the same real enemy which is the spirit of hatred and of "Antichrist." This same enemy seeks to destroy us both by pitting us against one another.
~ Thomas Merton ~
from Passion For Peace

I watched Milk tonight. While it was a great film, I wouldn't call it uplifting. When will we learn? No...really...when will we learn?

Song running through my head: Where have all the flowers gone? by the Kingston Trio

Friday, March 27, 2009

the beckoning of lovely...by amy

Karen at Chookooloonks comes up with the best stuff. In her Love Thursday post yesterday, she included the link to the video below.

For some reason I cannot explain, it moved me to tears. Good tears. Heartful tears. Yes! tears. Hopeful tears. "Yes, we can" tears.

This is a perfect example of how art brings people together and connects us. Thank you, Karen for introducing me to this wonderful piece. Thank you, Amy, for even coming up with the idea.

Take a look. See if you are moved, too.

May your every day be filled with love.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Larry ~ Love Thursday ~ 03.26.09

If you press me to say why I loved him, I can say no more than because he was he, and I was I.

~ Michel de Montaigne ~

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

i mean no disrespect but from the back she looks like neptune


...so of course, I called her Neptune the entire time we were there. It's just one of the stupid things I did to make my sister laugh. It worked.

And if you look closely, the moment I took the picture, she had a visitor...atop her crown.

Looks like there was a little present left on her bosom, too. See? After that, being called Neptune doesn't seem so bad, does it?

Monday, March 23, 2009

while in victoria, she met a moose of a man and i met a bear of a guy

(here's the moose of a man...and her children approve)

(and my bear of a guy...or maybe a gal?)

(i just love a uniform--don't you?)

*All pictures are from my sister's camera. She took the ones of me and I took the one of her.

Sunday, March 22, 2009


(Victoria phone booth)

The function of prayer is not to establish a routine; it is to establish a relationship with God who is in relationship with us always.... The function of prayer is to bring us into touch with ourselves, as well. To the ancients, "tears of compunction" were the sign of a soul that knew its limits, faced its sins, accepted its needs, and lived in hope.

~ Joan Chittister ~
Quoted in Essential Monastic Wisdom, by Hugh Feiss

Saturday, March 21, 2009


Meet Dennis--"Dennis the Menace," as the guards at the Parliament Building call him. Dennis comes when he is called and takes peanuts from the guard's hand.

(taken by my sister)

He do love him some peanuts.

You knew I had to find a squirrel in Victoria, didn't you? Look how much darker he is than the ones at my house.

Guess I need to see if I can train mine to eat from my hand. How long do you think it will take me?

Oh, and by the way--Happy Spring everyone. It couldn't get here too soon for my tastes.

Friday, March 20, 2009

rest in your work

(big fat snowflakes falling in Victoria on March 16th)

Renewal does not come before mission, but in mission.

~ Mortimer Arias ~
Protestant church worker in Bolivia

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Love Thursday ~ 03.19.09...love your mother...earth & sea

(next to the drain in the street in Victoria)

What hurts the victim most is not the cruelty of the oppressor but the silence of the bystander.

~ Elie Wiesel ~
Holocaust survivor and Nobel laureate

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

agatha and the teacup

(tea at The Empress)

One is left with the horrible feeling now that war settles nothing; that to win a war is as disastrous as to lose one.

~ Agatha Christie ~
Autobiography (1977)

In perusing my photos, I now realize I didn't get that many good shots. I guess we were laughing too hard. No worry. I would rather have the memories and the laughter than the photos. I can always get more pics. Can't always laugh with my sister.

I have a few to share. Fear not....

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

homeward bound

(the mocha we bought in order to get "free" internet time so I could upload my pictures)

Today we travel south. We must get in line for the ferry at 9:00 a.m. then wait an hour and a half before we sail.

My sister came along to play with me (while SO was at a training) and we laughed all over town. Sometimes we laughed so hard we had to find a place to sit down and catch our breath. Was it funny? Most of the time, no one else would think so. But who cares? Laughter is good for the soul and our health. We yucked it up and soaked it in. Ahh.

Have a good laugh today...you'll be glad you did.

Monday, March 16, 2009

bubbles anyone?

(@ Navarre)

I had to look it up. Now that I know, I must say...yes, please. I don't know if it would be considered to be one (technically) but my favorite is sparkling Shiraz.

Note: "vin mousseux" is a sparkling wine, not from the Champagne region.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

no one is too small

You just need to be a flea against injustice. Enough committed fleas biting strategically can make even the biggest dog uncomfortable and transform even the biggest nation.

~ Marian Wright Edelman ~

Saturday, March 14, 2009

having a wonderful time...wish you were here

The truth is these crocuses are in my front yard. I was having trouble uploading pictures from the internet connection in my hotel room so I went to an internet cafe and uploaded the pictures for the week while I am here. I saved them for the day they will be posted. I will probably post the Victoria pictures after I get home. Oh, well.

We have been shopping and taking pictures. We toured Parliament today. It's a beautiful building. They budgeted for $500,000 in 1871 and actually spent $922,000...in today's dollars? A lot.

We may get rain tomorrow. Perhaps snow.


Hold tight. Some Victoria pictures will follow...eventually.

Friday, March 13, 2009

friday the thirteenth

(the wine bar at Navarre)

We must be prepared to make the same heroic sacrifices for the cause of peace that we make ungrudgingly for the cause of war.

~ Albert Einstein ~

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Love Thursday ~ 03.12.09

(on the ferry to Victoria)

Love is an act of sedition, a revolt against reason, an uprising in the body politic, a private mutiny.

~ Diane Ackerman ~
A Natural History of Love

Wednesday, March 11, 2009


I am in Victoria for a vacation. It seems that I cannot upload photos from my hotel room. I'll figure out if there is a way for me to do it before the week is out.

I am tired from the experiences of the last few days and will have to catch up later.

Thanks for coming by. More to come.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

spring is coming

Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.

~ Martin Luther King Jr. ~

Monday, March 09, 2009


No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.

~ Eleanor Roosevelt ~

Sunday, March 08, 2009



Humility is what gives us the vision to look upon our world with fresh eyes. Humility enables us to respect others enough to put down our spurious images of ourselves and open our arms, as individuals and as a nation.

~ Joan Chittister ~

Saturday, March 07, 2009


To the true servant of God every place is the right place and every time is the right time.

~ Catherine of Siena ~
St. Catherine of Siena as Seen in Her Letters

Friday, March 06, 2009

love of money

To take usury for money lent is unjust in itself, because this is to sell what does not exist, and this evidently leads to inequality, which is contrary to justice.

~ Thomas Aquinas ~
Dominican friar and theologian (1225-1274)

Thursday, March 05, 2009

honored i am (Love Thursday ~ 03.05.09)

(a new award at Realizing Ordinary)

Thank you, Kathryn Grace, for honoring me. I look forward to hearing stories of Ordinary Heroes every week because, quite frankly, not enough has been made of all the good things people are doing to save us all...one little bitty (or huge) step at a time.

And just to be perfectly clear, the whole idea of Love Thursday comes from chookooloonks. Karen is one of my favorites as shares her beautiful images and wit and wisdom, bringing bright spots and love into my life and the rest of the world.

So, Karen, I hereby bestow upon you, the Ordinary Hero Award. Thank you.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009


Just a brief announcement:

My taxes are done.
And mailed.


Tuesday, March 03, 2009

tag...you're it! (plus a tip for picking photos of yourself)

(shutter sisters challenge)

1) Sit down.
2) Take a picture of yourself right now--don't primp--just snap one!
3) Upload it.
4) Tag 3 people to do the same.)

I tag:




and you.

Oh, come on. I was brave--you can be, too. Create the post then come on back here and leave me a link.

Do you know anyone who really likes pictures of herself? Most of us cringe when we see ourself reproduced by a camera.

Have you ever wondered why? Well, I happen to know so I am going to share my secret for picking a self-photo that you like. I can't even remember now where I learned it. Either I read it in a magazine decades ago or I learned it from the photographer who took my high school yearbook photo...decades ago.

Nobody's face is completely symmetrical. Some of us are moreso than others, but not one of us is totally even side to side. When we look in the mirror, we get used to that view. Some days when I look in the mirror, I think that what I see is really okay. But if you were to take a photo of me on that same day, I very well might not like it because what I see in the photo is the reverse me. The assymetry I see in my photo is opposite what I see when I look in a mirror--unless, of course, I took the photo of myself in the mirror.

Next time you want to know if you really like a shot of yourself, hold the photo up to the mirror. It's that simple. You will look more like yourself to you. Or open the shot in your photo viewer and do a horizontal flip (it will be the same as looking at yourself in the mirror).

Give it a try. Tell me what you think.

Monday, March 02, 2009

peace, truth, justice, and the cia?

Peace is the experience of justice, and you can't have justice without truth.

~ Ray McGovern ~
Activist and former CIA analyst

Sunday, March 01, 2009

intolerable injustice

I have come to believe that the one thing people cannot bear is a sense of injustice. Poverty, cold, even hunger, are more bearable than injustice.

~ Millicent Fenwick ~
Speaking Up