Sunday, February 28, 2010


the throne
[Some say,] "But pacifism is so impractical!" As if Christian ethics were utilitarian, as if there were a calculus for shalom! ... In any case, it is not as if the whole church has tried pacifism and found it wanting, the fact is that the whole church has not tried pacifism at all.

~ Kim Fabricius ~

from his book,
Propositions on Christian Theology: A Pilgrim Walks the Plank

Today you are reading my 600th post on this blog. Welcome--or welcome back. Thanks to all of you who keep showing up here, commenting, reading, asking questions, following...anything to keep me from hearing my own words echo off the bathroom walls.

I try to...
  • inspire
  • make you think
  • make you laugh
  • be honest
  • answer your questions
  • give you useful information
  • entertain
  • express myself
  • be disciplined
  • share thoughts and quotes that reflect my values
Thanks for joining me on this journey.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

cat's life

(view #2)

I think I want my Saturday to be like this. Enjoy yours no matter what you do!

Friday, February 26, 2010

buddha laugh

(honeyboy showing his buddha tummy)

Laugh often, long and loud. Laugh until you gasp for breath. And if you have a friend who makes you laugh, spend lots and lots of time with them.

~ Unknown ~

Some days feel like nothing but roadblocks. It's as if the whole world is screaming, "Go home! Rest! Take care of yourself," but we can't because there is all that important stuff to do.

Just before I sat down with the 'puter this morning, I was re-reading an old Ode, the laughter issue. Got me thinking that next time I feel my blood pressure rising and my ears turning red like they're going to burst into flames, I should make myself laugh till I'm doing a full-belly Laughing Buddha laugh, he of the rotund tummy, crinkly eyes and wide-open, mirthful mouth.

What do you think, Wanda? Would it help? Ooooh!Ooooh! Ooooh! Did I just ask Wanda something? :*) (Truth be told, I wish lots of people would find this and Ask Wanda, because I love to see your responses.

Kathryn Grace (of Building Ordinary)

Hey...did you know that "grace" is my word of the year? I love it that you keep checking in and reminding me of that.

Will laughter help in those moments when progress is only a word in dictionary? Abso-friggin-lutely!

Laughter won't change the fact that I got stuck in traffic, lost a contact lens, tweaked my back, and had to spend hundreds of dollars on the washing machine. Laughter will change my experience of it all and reduce my stress significantly.

I still remember one day when I was in college. I had gone shopping with a friend. The clutch cable broke on my VW. We switched to his car and his transmission was doing something funky, too. We laughed. We drank soda pop and ate crackers and jelly. (Hey--we were poor college students.) We spent the day schlepping around trying to get our cars fixed and we laughed some more.

I can tell you that I have had many more bad days than that one, but I remember this one because we laughed and had fun while all of the crappy things were happening. We couldn't prevent any of them, so we enjoyed each other's company and did what we could.

Laughter is one of the things my sister and I do best. I always feel better when I am with her. We have been through some hard times together but laughing our way through them has kept us sane and connected.

I haven't been one to make myself laugh or "fake" laugh when I am in a situation that I don't find funny. So far that hasn't been appealing to me. If you try it, let me know how it goes. Far be it from me to discourage that if it works. The experts say it doesn't matter if you are laughing for real or pretending. The body responds the same. Furthermore, if you start out pretending, eventually it becomes real.

Will it help? Yes.

If anyone tries it, let me know how it goes.

And Kathryn, thanks for the question. Please feel free to let others know that I am entertaining questions...hopefully, in an entertaining fashion.


Thursday, February 25, 2010

love thursday 02.25.10 ~ update on do

1) The washer is working. Hallelujah. However, it needs another fix that will be even more expensive than we thought the first one was going to be.

2) I found a contact lens in a case in the drawer so I didn't have to buy a new one.

3) Didn't go to the office so I didn't have to deal with the traffic on that road. I'll skip that road again today.

4) Got all the speed dials restored to my phone. Not so difficult, really.

5) Saw the cracklepractor and immediately felt better. Scheduled a follow up to make sure that everything stays where it belongs and keeps moving like it should.

For those of you who are still laughing, I am glad. And Kathryn, I will respond to your question soon.

Love. Period.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

express yourself

Express everything you like. No word can hurt you. None. No idea can hurt you. Not being able to express an idea or word will hurt you more. Like a bullet.

~ Jamaica Kincaid ~
Caribbean-American novelist and professor

I still choose my audiences carefully. And maybe no ideas can hurt, but how people behave as a result of an idea...that can hurt.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

do over

Apparently yesterday's "blessing" felt like a curse to some of you, so I would like to modify it:

May your week be short and your weekend be long...or vice versa. Your pick.

Here's why I'd like my week to be short:

1) The washer won't spin = repair bill.

2) I lost a contact lens.

3) I got caught in road repair traffic on my way to work. I had to do a u-turn in the middle of the road and take an alternate route to get there in time for my appointment.

4) Tried to call a friend using the speed dial on my cell phone, only to find that somehow all...yes, speed dial numbers had been erased.

5) Tweaked my low back and now I can sit or I can walk. Bending and getting up and down? Not so much.

And that my friends was Monday. The first four were before noon. (Well, the washer stopped this weekend, but I had to call and get a repair order started on Monday morning.)

So, you can have it your way, but if the rest of the week is like Monday? I'm sticking with the original.

Monday, February 22, 2010

another day

Happy Monday!

May your week be short and your weekend be long.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

things i did not do on saturday

(don't let this sweet kitty fool you)

1. Kill the cat after he climbed the window screen in the kitchen while chasing a fly.

2. Kill the cat after he broke the bamboo planter by knocking it off the window sill while chasing the same fly.

3. Kill the fly that the cat was chasing. (SO did.)

4. Wait 10 years for my neighbor boy (he's 2) to be old enough to mow the lawn. (However, I did tell him and his mom that I would hire him in 10 years.)

5. Find a pot to replace the one the cat broke. (See #2.)

6. Catch up on my bookkeeping.

7. Sleep in. (Did I mention that I have cats?)

8. Make a second pot of coffee--but I thought about it.

9. Work on my story.

10. Take my pills.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

update: foot and ankle

I am calling prolo #3 a success. Today, I am experiencing very little discomfort--no pain to speak of. In fact, I think I will mow the lawn today. I am hoping that is a sign of healing and progress.

On another note...

Deb asked about the stump....

Many of you know that my dad, a logger--a timber faller--for most of his career, died last month. When we drove to the cemetery for his burial service, right next to the entrance, someone fell this tree. And during a lull in the ceremony we heard a chainsaw running far in the distance...the loggers' version of the 21 gun salute.

(I may use this photo in my book.)

Friday, February 19, 2010

thank god for understanding

I have not the courage to search through books for beautiful prayers ... Unable either to say them all or choose between them, I do as a child would do who cannot read -- I say just what I want to say to God, quite simply, and [God] never fails to understand.

~ Saint Thérèse of Lisieux ~
French Carmelite nun, canonized in 1925

Thursday, February 18, 2010

love thursday 02.18.10 ~ that's all...just love

(leftover sticker from valentine's day found on my walk)


Wednesday, February 17, 2010


“Dogmatism and skepticism are both, absolute philosophies; one is certain of knowing, the other certain of not knowing. What philosophy should dissipate is certainty, whether of knowledge or ignorance.”

~ Bertrand Russel ~

Today I am certain in my knowledge of my ignorance.

Guess I need a new philosophy.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

who ya gonna call?

Government support in the fight against poverty is crucial. Yet the year [of travel and observation] taught us never to sit back and rely on such commitments. Our politicians, in the final analysis, will follow our lead, not vice versa.

~ Jeffrey Sachs ~
from his book The End of Poverty




or maybe even

The President (and Vice-President).

And then there's your local government.

If you go here you can take your pick.

"...government of the people, for the people, by the people."

Monday, February 15, 2010


The one resolution, which was in my mind long before it took the form of a resolution, is the key-note of my life. It is this, always to regard as mere impertinences of fate the handicaps which were placed upon my life almost at the beginning. I resolved that they should not crush or dwarf my soul, but rather be made to blossom, like Aaron's rod, with flowers.

~ Helen Keller ~

Can Monday be considered a handicap?

May you blossom today.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

valentine's day love list

I love... Manx boys (remember when they had blue eyes?)




...being productive

...good service

...a clean car

...finding something I thought was lost forever

...people who "get me"

...sleeping all night without coughing


Saturday, February 13, 2010

politics...not as usual

But the life that no longer trusts another human being and no longer forms ties to the political community is not a human life any longer.

~ Martha Nussbaum ~
O Magazine, November 2003

Trust and politics are two words that rarely go together--unless one of them is formed in the negative. I admit, trust is difficult for me in many cases. Politics even moreso.

I never thought that I could have an impact on the system. Yet, I think that is changing--both my belief about it and the reality of it.

There are some good people who are working for the people in politics. Not all of them are lining their pockets with lobbyist perks. Some of them are truly working to make a difference for us--all of us.

Some of you may remember that Obama was not my first choice for president, though I must admit that by the time the election came around, my mind changed. I must also admit that I am somewhat disappointed that the President (and legislators) haven't delivered more by now.

Nonetheless, I trust. Obama is our leader--not our dictator. He continues to ask us, the People, to speak up and make our wishes known to our senators and congresspeople. Our constitution begins like this:

"We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America."

We, the People, are the ones who give the government the power to do what they do...or don't do. At least that is how it should be. Over the years--and I won't name any names here--some of our presidents have misused their position to assume unilaterally far more power than I am comfortable with. Obama seems to be giving back...encouraging us to take...leading us into our power.

That kind of paradigm shift takes more than one year.

I have started to speak up. I have called my legislators to make my opinion and wishes known. I have voted my conscience. I have written to my congressman and senators about issues that are important. I have supported my local representatives--even those not in my district--who are similarly working to return the power of government to Us.

Leaders can't do it all. You can't steer a parked car and you can't lead passive people. Oh, you can rule them, but you can't lead them. This leader inspires me to do my part. And I know that there is plenty more that I can do.

I am all for the paradigm shift. It is up to me (and you) to participate in making it happen. It is up to us to insure...

...that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

Friday, February 12, 2010


(misi...the other kitty in the house)

The gap between the rich and the poor is the most dangerous threat to world peace we have.

~ Hubert Humphrey ~
U.S. vice president 1965-1969

My Friday list:
  • fix the leak in the sink...again
  • drink coffee
  • work on my story
  • go for a walk...even if it is raining
  • revise list as needed

Thursday, February 11, 2010

love thursday 02.11.10 ~ callings



Inspiration is not the exclusive privilege of poets or artists generally. There is, has been, and will always be a certain group of people whom inspiration visits. It's made up of all those who've consciously chosen their calling and do their job with love and imagination. It may include doctors, teachers, gardeners -- and I could list a hundred more professions ... A swarm of new questions emerges from every problem they solve. Whatever inspiration is, it's born from a continuous "I don't know."

~ Wislawa Szymborska ~
from her lecture upon winning
the Nobel Prize for literature in 1996

May you do what you love and love what you do.

Happy Love Thursday...every day.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

dietary supplement safety act?

Did you know that 8,000 people a year die from over-the-counter Tylenol?

If Tylenol or aspirin were being introduced today, neither would be available without prescription.

And yet a bill has recently been introduced into the U.S. Senate which, if passed, will severely limit our freedom of access to nutritional supplements. Euphemistically termed the "Dietary Supplement Safety Act," it will drastically restrict supplements, as has already occurred in Europe.

Here is a link to more information, including a petition you can sign and pass along to others, and another one here.

(I can't help but think that Big Pharma and greed are involved in wanting this to pass.)

Tuesday, February 09, 2010


(just a second before this, each one of them was in a sink)

It is a glorious destiny to be a member of the human race, though it is a race dedicated to many absurdities and one which makes many terrible mistakes: yet, with all that, God ... gloried in becoming a member of the human race.

~ Thomas Merton ~
from A Book of Hours

Perhaps one of those absurdities is that many times I wish I were a cat--at least one of my

Monday, February 08, 2010


(mijo being mijo)

I've seen and met angels wearing the disguise of ordinary people living ordinary lives.

~ Tracy Chapman ~

I am so glad for the angels in my life...the furry four-footed ones and you.

Sunday, February 07, 2010

one seagull said to the other....

Your party is pro-life right up until they cut the cord and then you turn your attention to electing judges who promote shortening the waiting time on death row.

And for Pete’s sake your party has an issue with gay people, but you gladly send your straight children to war while telling gays they cannot serve. This one, more than any other, has me scratching my head. Aren’t you just delaying their eventual trip to Hell?

~ Margaret ~
(on the Republican party)

read the whole post here

No offense intended to my moderate Republican friends and family. However, I do think she makes a point about talking out of both sides of one's mouth.

We all do it.

I hope I am getting better at seeing the beam in my own eye and not just the mote in others'. Even though some days, I can't find the back of my hand in the dark without a flashlight, I keep examining the shadow. Sometimes I can even make some sense out of it and admit to recognizing what I find as mine.

Really, people...what would really happen if we took our beliefs, put them into practice in our minds, and worked them through to a logical conclusion. Not just what we want to see happen, but what would likely happen--in this day and and now.

Pro-life and pro-war? Anti-abortion and pro death penalty? Every one for himself and no compassion?

How's that working so far? Feel free to share your thoughts.

(Boy, I sure have more questions than answers today.)

And...I happen to think that Margaret and Helen are really funny most of the time. (I know not everyone will agree.)

Saturday, February 06, 2010


Silence frees us from the need to control others ... A frantic stream of words flows from us in an attempt to straighten others out. We want so desperately for them to agree with us, to see things our way. We evaluate people, judge people, condemn people. We devour people with our words. Silence is one of the deepest Disciplines of the Spirit simply because it puts the stopper on that.

~ Richard Foster ~
from his book Freedom of Simplicity

So...based on that, I guess I got nothin' to say today.

Hope your weekend is all you want it to be.

Friday, February 05, 2010


The gem cannot be polished without friction, nor man perfected without trials.

~ Chinese proverb ~

Just want you to know...I'm getting to be pretty darn near perfect.

Thursday, February 04, 2010

love thursday 02.04.10 ~ philanthropy

Philanthropy is commendable, but it must not cause the philanthropist to overlook the circumstances of economic injustice which make philanthropy necessary.

~ Martin Luther King Jr. ~

Philanthropy. The love of mankind...humankind. If we truly loved humankind, wouldn't we try to make sure that everyone had what they need?

Happy Love Thursday, everyone. I hope you all have what you need.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

a list i wish i'd written*

1. I think part of a best friend's job should be to immediately clear your computer's history if you die.

2. Nothing sucks more than that moment during an argument when you realize you're wrong.

3. I totally take back all those times I didn't want to nap when I was younger.

4. There is great need for a sarcasm font.

5. How in the world are you supposed to fold a fitted sheet?

6. Was learning cursive really necessary?

7. Map Quest needs to start their directions on #5. I'm pretty sure I know how to get out of my neighborhood.

8. Obituaries would be a lot more interesting if they told you how the person died.

9. I can't remember the last time I wasn't at least kind of tired.

10. Bad decisions make good stories.

11. You never know when it will strike, but there comes a moment when you know that you just aren't going to do anything productive for the rest of the day.

12. Can we all just agree to ignore whatever comes after Blue Ray? I don't want to have to restart my collection...again.

13. I'm always slightly terrified when I exit out of Word and it asks me if I want to save any changes to the ten-page paper that I swear I did not make any changes to.

14. "Do not machine wash or tumble dry" means I will never wash this -- ever.

15. I hate it when I miss a call by the last ring (Hello? Hello?) but when I immediately call back, it rings nine times and goes to voicemail. What'd you do after I didn't answer? Drop the phone and run away?

16. I hate leaving my house confident and looking good and then not seeing anyone of importance the entire day. What a waste.

17. I keep some people's phone numbers in my phone just so I know not to answer when they call.

18. My 4-year old son asked me in the car the other day "Dad what would happen if you ran over a ninja?" Just how do I respond to that?

19. I think the freezer deserves a light as well.

20. I disagree with Kay Jewelers. I would bet on any given Friday or Saturday night more kisses begin with a Budweiser than Kay.

*sent to me by a friend who didn't know the author either

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

good grief

(cedar that i meet on my walk)

Never in your grief be afraid to laugh or smile.

~ Patti Smith ~

My sister and I got the giggles at my grandmother's funeral. We get the giggles a lot so it is not really a surprise that happened.

At my dad's service we didn't giggle. However, people did smile and talk and have a good time. And at the graveside service we had a few laughs as we told stories and shared our memories of him.

We celebrated his life. We did a lot of our grieving over the years of his decline. We are sad now, yet in a very different place for having watched him in pain. He is free of all of that. We are, too.

It was a celebration and it was good. It is good to laugh at celebrations...even in grief.

Monday, February 01, 2010


The difference between what we do and what we are capable of doing
would suffice to solve most of the world's problems.

~ Mahatma Gandhi ~

I went for a walk today. I am starting to look at trees. I need to take pictures for my blurb book and most of them will be of trees...and light.

It's all light, isn't it?