Sunday, January 31, 2010

blue

A longing fulfilled is sweet to the soul. The Bible

It is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness. Chinese proverb

Every time you praise something, every time you appreciate something, every time you feel good about something, you are telling the Universe, more of this please, more of this please, more of this please... Esther and Jerry Hicks

Look with wonder at that which is before you. Florence Scovel Shinn

Three things in human life are important.  The first is to be kind.  The second is to be kind.  And the third is to be kind. Henry James

Kindness is the heart of living.  It is what makes life bearable, meaningful and delicious. Glenda Green

Compassion can be defined as our capacity to care for other living beings.  Yet it goes a little deeper than that.  Compassion requires action - giving of our time, money, or experience whenever there's a need.  Since it is available in such abundance, we sometimes take this feeling for granted.  But, oh, it's power! Compassion is the ultimate salve we can place upon the universal feelings of despair, pain, or regret.  Which means that even sometimes the simplest act of kindness can define a moment.  Or change a life! Nieman Marcus catalog

I hear and I forget, I see and I remember, I do and I understand. Chinese proverb

After a time, you may find that having is not so pleasing a thing, after all, as wanting.  It is not logical, but it is often true. Spock from Star Trek

Spread love everywhere you go: First of all in your own house... let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier.  Be the living expression of God's kindness; kindness in your face, kindness in your eyes, kindness in your smile, kindness in your warm greeting. Mother Theresa

There is no greater joy than giving and no greater gift that love. Unknown

Friends are Angels who lift us to our feet when our wings have trouble remembering how to fly.  Unknown

Treat your friends as you do your pictures and place them in their best light.  Jennie Jerome Churchill

Others treat us the way we invite them to treat us. Unknown

Life is nothing without desire. Esther and Jerry Hicks

If you're never scared or embarrassed, or hurt, it means you never take any chances. Julia Sorel

It's not in the having, it's in the getting.  Unknown

Things won are done; joy's soul is in the doing. William Shakespeare

The saints are sinners who keep on trying. Robert Louis Stevenson

Anxiety is the space between "now" and "then." Fritz Perls

Faith is like the air in a ballon.  If you've got it, you're filled.  If you don't, you're empty. Peggy Cahn

The deepest principle in human nature, is the craving to be appreciated. William James

Children enjoy the present because they have neither a past nor a future. Jean Delabruyere

A mother is not a person to lean on, but a person to make leaning unnecessary. Dorothy Canfield Fisher

Most kids hear what you say; some kids do what you say; but all kids do what you do. Kathleen Casey Thiesen

There is no such thing as a non-working mother. Hester Mundis

Hold fast to your dreams, for if dreams die, life is a broken winged bird that cannot fly. Huges Langston


Life is beautiful and so are you. xo

Saturday, January 30, 2010

a poem for you

I Wandered Lonely As A Cloud
William Wordsworth

I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
when all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the milky way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay;
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

The waves beside them danced; but they
Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:
A poet could not but be gay
In such a jocund company:
I gazed - and gazed - but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:

For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
they flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.
\

Oh, happy days to you! xo

Friday, January 29, 2010

the path

Bloom where you're planted. Mary Engelbreit

If you don't know where you're going, you'll probably end up somewhere else. Laurence Peter

Life is now in session... are you present? Carol Kelby

While alive, he lived. Malcolm Forbes

What a wonderful life I had! I only wish I had known it sooner. Colette

Life is short.  Live it up! Nikita Khrushchev

If you dwell upon limitations, then you wil meet them. Jane Roberts

Enlightenment begins with acceptance, without judgment of "what is" Neale Donald Walsh

Always forgive your enemies - nothing annoys them so much. Oscar Wilde

Limited expectations yield only limited results. Susan Laurson Willig

All you need is deep within you waiting to unfold and reveal itself.  All you have to do is be still and take time to seek for what is within, and you will surefuly find it. Eileen Caddy

When you "make up your mind" about something, you set the universe in motion.  Forces beyond your ability to comprehend - far more subtle and complex than you could imagine - are engaged in a process, the intricate dynamics of which you are only just now beginning to understand. Neale Donale Walsch

It's a funny thing about life; if you refuse to accept anything but the best, you very often get it. W. Somerset Maugham

Life is something like a trumpet.  If you don't put anything in, you won't get anything out. W. C. Handy

Choose not to crawl, but to soar. Unknown

Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goals.  Unknown

Real joy does not come from ease or riches or from the praise of men, but from doing something worthwhile. W. T. Grenfell

Bless your enemy, and you rob him of his ammunition. His arrows wil be transmuted into blessings. Florence Scovel Shinn

When you are writing, you are at the strongest point of focus. Esther and Jerry Hicks

Be not afraid of Life.  Believe that life is worth living and your belief will create the fact. William James

We are what we repeatedly do.  Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit. Aristotle

There is nothing neither good or bad, but thinking makes it so.  William Shakespeare

Act as if it were impossible to fail. Dorthea Brande

You will never "find" time for anything.  If you want time you must make it. Charles Buxton

The distance is nothing: it is only the first step that is difficult. Marie Anne du Deffand

The essential conditions of everything you do must be choice, love, passion. Nadia Boulanger

There is nothing so foul that intense light will not make it beautiful. Ralph Waldo Emerson

What you do matters.  All you need is to do it. Judy Grahn

Be the light today, illuminate yourself and those blessed to meet you. xo



Gratitude to Lauren Tratar and Fred Casselman

Thursday, January 28, 2010

smile


I had my clothes washer repaired since it refused to rinse and spin.  A penny was the culprit.  While the serviceman, Scott, did his thing, I picked his brain about performance.  He highly suggested the Whirlpool no-nonsense appliances.  I have a Whirlpool dryer but not the washer.  Mike has to purchase a set so now we know which one to choose.  I also learned not to over or underload the machine and never mix shirts with towels.  Use a fabric softener instead of loading the liquid stuff in the washer.  And empty all your pockets!


 More Snapple Fun Facts:

Oysters can change from one gender to another and back again

Penguins have an organ above their eyes that converts seawater to fresh water

A group of geese on the ground is a gaggle; a group of geese in the air is a skein

Ferret comes from the latin word for 'little thief'

There are more chickens than people in the world

An alligator can go through 3,000 teeth in a lifetime

Polar bears can smell a seal from 20 miles away

Buzz Aldrin was one of the first men on the moon; his mother's maiden name was also Moon

Barbie's full name is Barbara Millicent Roberts

Thomas Jefferson invented the coat hanger

The human brain is about 80% water

The human jaw can generate a force up to 200 pounds on the molars

George Washington was the only unanimously elected President

If you had 1 billion dollars and spent $1,000 a day, it would take you 2,749 years to spend it all


I just have to give a shout out to Facebook.  It is one of the most ingenious facets of communication I have ever experienced.  I have been able to connect with family members and current friends as well as long lost buddies and keep updated on their comings and goings and be with them in spirit. If someone posts having a bad day I can offer encouragement in a click.  If someone shares photos of days gone by, I can smile at the joy it must have brought them when they experienced that precise moment.  I enjoy the little thoughts people have each day and and feel as if I am part of their world.  Sharing comments on my personal happenings is more fun than keeping it secret.  If I know someone has a passion for photography I can post their artistry to others who may be looking for someone to take pictures.  Networking is wonderful, and one of things I did as a massage therapist.  It was always fun to connect people with each other just because I was aware of their talents.  Mostly, I am so fond of Facebook because it provides a nice break from whatever I have to do during my day.  I like escaping to see how others are persevering in their little worlds.  I am comforted with the knowledge I have control over who is able to view my personal life with their blocking application.  Some people need to play little games to help them pass the day and others do not.  I really like the options.


Smile by Uncle Kracker

You're better than the best
I'm lucky just to linger in your light
Cooler than the flip side of my pillow, that's right
Completely unaware
Nothing can compare to where you send me,
Let's me know that it's OK, yeah it's OK
And the moments where my good times start to fade

You make me smile like the sun
Fall out of bed, sing like a bird
Dizzy in my head, spin like a record
Crazy on a Sunday night
You make me dance like a fool
Forget how to breathe
Shine like gold, buzz like a bee
Just the thought of you can drive me wild
Oh, you make me smile

Even when you're gone somehow you come along
Just like a flower poking through the sidewalk crack and just like that
You steal away the rain and just like that

You make me smile

Don't know how I lived without you
Cause every time that I get around you
I see the best of me inside your eyes

You make me smile  xo



many thanks to Fred Casselman of earthecho.com for your fabulous artistry






Wednesday, January 27, 2010

metatron


This image is one of numerous possible representations of Archangel Metatron, said to be the archangel closest to God.  Rather than a single entity, Metatron is a collection of many energies.  The image suggests a melding of the feminine energy, the male energy and the light. Metatron is only another aspect of ourselves.  Metatron is charged with the sustenance of mankind.  He has been known as the link between the human and the divine.  The first written record of this angel makes him about 8,500 years old; this is relatively young when we consider that most of the angels were created at the same time as the universe, 15 billion years ago.

In the world of Jewish mystics, Metatron came to hold the rank of the highest of the angels despite his not being mentioned in the Scriptures.  The meaning of his name has never been satisfactorily explained although one interpretation of it is "one who occupies the throne next to the Divine throne."  It could also be derived from the Latin "metator", a guide or measurer. In a number of traditional sources, Metatron is said to have been the prophet Enoch, who was taken up to Heaven and transformed into an angel of fire, with 36 pairs of wings, to continue his days as a celestial scribe.  Sitting next to God, Enoch was instructed in wisdom, and using his skills as a scribe, prepared 366 books.  When he learned everything, a most significant thing happened.  God revealed to him great secrets -- some of which are even kept secret the the angels.  These included the secrets of Creation, the duration of time the world will survive and what will happen after its demise.  At the end of these discussions, Enoch returned to earth for a limited time to instruct everyone, including his sons, in all he learned.  After 30 days, the angels returned him to Heaven.  Metatron has also been identified as the Liberating Angel and the one who wrestled with Jacob; the one who stayed Abraham's hand from sacrificing his son Isaac; and the one who led the Hebrews through the 40 years in the wilderness.
Metatron is said to be the tallest of all the heavenly beings (13 to 18 feet) and became known as Lesser Yahweh.

Metatron is my archangel.  As a massage therapist, I was invited to speak to many nurses at a conference in Madiera Beach, Florida whereupon I met someone who told me same.  This was reinforced later by other metaphysical practitioners.  Carlos Santana shares this gift.  His story was published in the Chicago Tribune after his interview on national television regarding his comeback in 1999.  Santana suffered from depression and did not perform for a few decades and he prayed to Metatron who enlightened him that he would indeed be noticed and his creativity would shine forth;  he would make an impression on the world once again.  This is the time he collaborated with Rob Thomas and Michelle Branch and many other talented artists and he composed Supernatural and Shaman.  Santana's wife was ready to leave him due to his depression and urged him to get help but he refused.  After Santana's comeback to fame he thanked Metatron profusely and asked what he could do to reciprocate his blessings.  Metatron told him to share his story with the world, divulging the source of his mental pain.  Santana was hesitant and Metatron told him once he shares his story, many people will be able to find healing and that people in the Catholic church will be exposed in a negative way for the harm created to others and it is Santana's mission to be an instrument for this healing to occur.  Finally, in an interview with Diane Sawyer on 2-22-02, Carlos Santana shared with the world his misfortune as a young man of being molested.  The number 2 is very significant to him, which is why he chose that particular date. Shortly thereafter, people began to open up about their own abuse by the priests and we all know what happened afterwards.  It took courage to do this.
The following is a message from Metatron shared by Channeler Reniyah Wolf, September 16, 2004.

I AM Metatron, the angel of the nameless, formless void from which all creation springs.  I am the outer manifestation of that which you know as God-Goddess, Source, All-That-Is.  It is I who carry the pure thought of God on waves of sound vibration which form what you know as reality.  All-That-Is cannot know itself if there is no is-ness, if there is no way to differentiate.  Thus God, as pure consciousness in a nameless, formless void, chose to expand, to project into the outer reality of creation.

From this choice, all that you know as real did spring.  From this choice, I did also spring, as the interface, if you will, for God to create aspects of its own self to experience.  As there must be two polarities in order for experience to exist at all, also came my counterpart Sandalphon.  We are known as the Angels who sit at the top and the bottom of the Tree of Life. It is so, in the sense that what is created from the nameless formless void must be anchored into place in order for it to be experienced as real.  Through the two of us, God was able to bring forth infinite potentialities and possibilities of itself, and to know itself more fully.

We hold you, your world, your universe and all the dimensions of reality between us, Sandalphon and I.  We are part of you and you are part of us.  We all sprang forth from the creative thought of God.  We contain within us the Tree of Life.  Whether you know us or not, we share in your experience as embodied consciousness.  We assist you in creating that experience, whatever you choose it to be.  As you came forth from God, seeking to have your own unique experience, you were given the gifts of free will and absolute creatorship.  You have all existed as a part of God always.  You have chosen, at times, to experience yourself as an individual consciousness, and at times as a part of the One Consciousness.  You have chosen to have the embodied experience in materiality that you are now partaking of.

All the dimensions of reality exist as a sound vibration, or frequency.  All is an emanation of sound from the One Consciousness.  Although it may feel and appear that we are separate, you and I, are very far away from one another, this is not the case.  That which you know as the space time continuum is an illusion, a hologram, if you will.  You and I, and all else that is, exist as One in no-space and no-time. The difference between the varieties of experience available throughout the dimensions and myriad forms of life is simply the level of frequency, or sound vibration.

You have chosen, now, in your embodiment, to live in this illusion of space-time for a while.  When you chose that, you descended in frequency.  The sound vibration of God-consciousness is very high, and nothing is perceived as tangible.  In order for materiality, for the solid reality that you are very familiar with, to exist, the sound vibration must be lower and slower.  It was necessary for you to lower the frequency of your portion of God-consciousness in order to experience embodied life.  The only difference between you and I, God, and All-That-Exists, is the level of sound vibration.

Materiality came to be created as a further expansion of God's experience of Self.  It was created from great joy, as is everything that emanates from God. It was created to be an experience in differences, or polarities.  Although by necessity created from a lower frequency of sound vibration, materiality was not created to be anything less than the perfection of All-That-Is.  It was created simply to be another variety of joyous experience. Along the way, the thought came into being that some parts of the experience of materiality were good and some were bad.  All creation continually perpetuates by the thought of God-consciousness, all God consciousness. 

Thus, the thought that some part of creation could be less than perfect came into being.  As more parts of God-consciousness began to agree with that thought, the frequency of materiality descended further.  What was created from the highest frequencies of love and joy descended into the lower frequencies of judgment and fear.  This has been your world, your planet Earth, and all life forms which dwell upon her - living the experience of not-perfect.  You who dwell upon the Earth have, in truth, never been anything other than perfect facets of creation.  You have been having the experience of being not-perfect and separate from the God-consciousness that you really are.

Now, there are those among you that have chosen to have a different experience - that of experiencing your perfection and wholeness once again.  As God-consciousness, you have always had your own free will to create your experience any way that you chose.  As you chose to experience the frequencies of fear and separation, so you may now choose to embrace the frequencies of love and joy.  It is in response to that choice that I come to you and assist you.  I bring the highest frequencies of joy, once again, into the Earth plane, so that you may know and feel your true nature.

I have experienced your pain and fear, for I am part of you.  I am the energy that brings forth all manifestations from out of the void.  I have not been separate from you.  I exist to serve you, and all creation.  I exist to assist you throughout your experiences as God-consciousness, no matter which experiences you have chosen.  The many of you have not been able to perceive me because you have chosen to experience the lower frequency rather than the higher.  I respond now, to your collective choosing, once again, to experience the frequency of joy that is your Divine heritage.  As you choose, so shall it be given.  I bring my energies into your plane to assist you to know your own perfection in embodied form.  You are not now, nor have you ever been, anything less than unique and brilliant facets of God-consciousness.

I AM Metatron

I AM With You Always


This magnificent artwork is by Fred Casselman.  His brilliance has captured my eye and I hope to share more of his fascinating beauty with you.  xo

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

pasta toss

Rachael Ray's Pasta Toss

Chicken breasts, cubed
Penne and  Rigatoni wheat pasta
2 pkgs. grape tomatoes
1 purple onion
5 garlic cloves
Frozen spinach, thawed
Fresh parmesan, asiago or fontina cheese, grated
or
Sharp cheddar cheese, grated
Fresh basil
Fresh argula

Saute cubed chicken in olive oil until browned, so draining is necessary.  Add chopped onion and grated garlic cloves.  When softened, add both packages of tomatoes and simmer until they burst. Add spinach, drained and squeezed of water.  Make sure you cover the pan so this can occur.  Meantime, bring salted water to a boil and add pasta. I have been using whole wheat to keep us healthy and it provides a variety but you can use whatever you like.  Drain pasta and do not rinse.  Add chicken mix to pasta and mix with chopped basil and arugula. Add cheese and mix in huge bowl.  You can use grated parmesan cheese as well but my boys like cheddar.  Indulge your senses!

I really enjoy Rachael Ray's recipes and made note of her top 10 downloaded recipes so I can try them on my boys. They are easy peasy.  I just love the smell of fresh herbs and decided to make sure I include them in my garden this year.  So far my favorites have been cilantro and basil.  I found in the past the herbs can overcome a garden so I will research how to contain them.  I have 3 months to wait until the garden can come to life again.  I hope the 80 tulip bulbs we planted burst with color.  Until then we must undergo freezing weather this week, but as long as the sun can peek through, we Chicagoans can endure our weather. 

What you do matters.  All you need is to do it.  Judy Grahn

Even if you're on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there.  Will Rogers

To love what you do and feel that it matters - how could anything be more fun? Katherine Graham

The distance is nothing, it is only the first step that is difficult. Marie Anne Du Deffand

xo

Monday, January 25, 2010

homeopathy

This is Osis, a pug dog that frequents our home very often.  I believe he is an alien, just like the one on Men in Black.  He acts as if he sees ghosts and when upset, he makes this alien-like noise that sounds like words but screechy.  He is dubbed tornado dog because he makes circles all day long, especially if he gets excited or has to go pee.  I last counted 28 times before a potty break. 
These are tiny capsules of homeopathic remedies.  Aconite, Belladonna, Chamomile, Pulsatilla.  ABC-P.  These are the staples we use for any illness. We have been practicing this health alternative since Mikey was 4 years old, 21 years ago.  Mike did not sleep through the night for the first 3 years.  My  pediatrician at the time was recommended by a family member so I trusted his expertise.  Actually, most new moms believe their pediatrician is god for we really don't know the best way to treat childhood illness and freak out when the kids get sick, which they inevitably do.  We desperately hope the advice given by our child's doctor will be the best treatment needed to keep our kids well in a safe manner.  We put our trust into these doctors and follow their word as gospel.  The doctor we visited suggested I put Mike on an antibiotic, and two other medicines that contained alcohol so he would sleep.  This did not sit right with me; my intuition screamed no way, Jose - get him out of there - fast.  But where do I go for suggestions? 

It so happened I was very involved with a group called Tuesday's Child near Belmont to learn how to discipline my kids without physical abuse, using positive reinforcement.  The moms attending suggested we try homeopathy to help our issue.  The only doctor practicing same was way up in Evanston, Dr. Joel Shepperd.  We were at a loss as what to do so our family of four made appointments and were evaluated.  It took 5 hours to screen us and the doctor asked us about our tongue and nails and some psychological questions.  We were perplexed, but up against a wall so we followed through his procedures.  He offered us remedies that would help each of us, Wayne, Mike, Dan and me with our quest for balance.  As we drove home, Wayne and I both felt this immense rush of energy through our bodies.  As we arrived home an hour later, we felt so good.  It is an indescribable feeling, only of inner goodness.  You know that feeling when you are driving a bike or in a car and you go a little fast down a steep hill, that rush?  That is what it felt like.  Dr. Shepperd has relocated his practice to the Center for Integral Health in Lombard, closer to our home, so it is more convenient to visit him, however, truth be told, our family has not needed medical assistance to be healthy all these years.  If my boys would have ear aches or sore throats, I just called the good doctor with the symptoms and he told me which remedy to get.  It always did the trick.  There was no facility to purchase the remedies besides the Mertz Apothacary up North so we ordered via phone, but now you can obtain the remedies at any health store such as Fruitful Yield. 

The pills are tiny sugar pills that come in increments of 15X,  30X or 100X depending on how they have been diluted.  Actually, the concept of homeopathy is not new, for they used this over 200 years ago when the local doctors thought bloodletting was the answer to all illnesses.  The more you dilute the substance, the more potent it is.  You only need to take 3 pills every 3 hours the first few days until the illness subsides.  I have used a guideline book for symptoms to recognize which remedy was applicable to our illness but when something is extreme, a visit to the doctor is best.

Homeopathy was first proposed by German physician Samual Hahnemann in 1796. Homeopathy is a vitalist philosophy in that it interprets disease and sickness as caused by disturbances in a vital force or life force.  It sees these disturbances as manifesting themselves as unique symptoms.  Homeopathy maintains that the vital life force has the ability to react and adapt to internal and external causes, which homeopaths refer to as "law of susceptibility." This law implies that a negative state of mind can attract disease entities called 'miasms' to invade the body and produce symptoms of disease.  However, he rejected the notion of a disease as a separate thing or invading entity and insisted that it was always part of the 'living whole.'  Hahnemann observed from his experiments with cinchona bark used as a treatment for malaria that the effects he experienced from ingesting the bark were similar to symptoms of malaria.  He therefore reasoned that cure process through similarity and that treatments must be able to produce symptoms in healthy individuals similar to those of the disease being treated.  Through further experiments, Hahnemann conceived of the 'law of similars' otherwise known as 'let like be cured by like' as a fundamental healing principle.  He believed that by inducing a disease through use of drugs, the artificial symptoms empowered the vital force to neutralize and expel the original disease and that this artificial disturbance would naturally subside when the dosing ceased.

A remedy is a technical term in homeopathy that refers to a substance prepared with a particular procedure and intended for treating patients.  Homeopathy uses many animal, plant, mineral and synthetic substances in its remedies.  Examples include arsenicum album (arsenic oxide) natrum muriaticum (sodium chloride or table salt) opium and thyroidinum (thyroid hormone) lachesis muta (the venom of the bushmaster snake).  Homeopaths also use treatments called nosodes (from the Greek noses, disease) made from diseases or pathological products such as fecal, urinary and respiratory discharges, blood and tissue. 

In producing remedies for diseases, homeopaths use a process called dynamisation or potentisation, whereby a substance is diluted with alcohol or distilled water and vigorously shaken by 10 hard strikes against an elastic body in a process called succussion.  Hahnemann advocated using substances which produce symptoms similar to those of the disease being treated, he found material doses would intensify the symptoms so he specified the substances be diluted.  He believed the process of succession activiated the vital energy of the diluted substance.

Prior to our involvement with this alternative medicine, Wayne downloaded over 200 pages from the web mostly from Europe, where this was practiced wholeheartedly and accepted.  Today, more people are embracing alternative medicine and healing practices as acceptable avenues to stay healthy and keep in balance.  We all have choices, but it is important to be aware of what is available.  Homeopathy has worked for our family.  I remember how often nieces and nephews would get ill and my boys remained well and I just smiled, knowing whatever we were doing, whether it seemed like voodoo to allopaths, it worked for us.  The best I could do is offer the suggestion and have people see how healthy we were.  We all have a choice and I am glad people are more open to making choices about their well-being.  Second opinions are great and options are even better.  To life! xo

Friday, January 22, 2010

keep the faith


one day you will

you feel like you're falling backwards
like you're slippin' through the cracks
like no one would even notice
if you left this town and never came back
you walk outside and all you see is rain
you look inside and all you feel is pain
and you can't see it now

but down the road the sun is shining
in every cloud there's a silver lining
just keep holding on, just keep holding on
and every heartache makes you stronger
but it won't be much longer
you'll find love, you'll find peace
and the you you're meant to be
i know right now that's not the way you feel
but one day you will

you wake up every morning and ask yourself
what am i doing here anyway
with the weight of all those disappointments
whispering in your ear
you're just barely hanging by a thread
you wanna scream but you're down to your last breath
and you don't know it yet

find the strength to rise above
you will
find just what you're made of

one day you will

Lady Antebellum

This has been my new rah rah song that I play in the car. It offers inspiration and reminds me to keep the faith.  I hope you get a chance to listen to the melody - it tugs the heart and fills my spirit with hope.  As I write this, Denzel Washington is talking of Martin Luther King's thoughts on hope.  Cool.  I wrote it as he said it. 

don't worry... be happy :)     xo

Thursday, January 21, 2010

the ripple effect


I can live for two months on a good compliment - Mark Twain

Every time you are thoughtful, appreciative, loving, joyful, complimentary, or simply being congenial with another person, your seemingly small act of kindness is like casting a stone in a pond and watching the ripples grow larger and larger until the entire pond is affected.

Imagine that when you extend a simple act of kindness, a ball of light is created that radiates an energy of love within it.  And this ball grows larger with each person it touches, infusing light and joy throughout their beings.  Imbued in the energy of your gift, the person who was touched by your kindness carries the ball of light home with them where each of their family members is also touched by it.  Next, as their family members interact with others, they pass the ball of light onto each of them.  And each of those folks then passes the ball of light and love continues to grow larger and larger with each new person it touches.  In fact, it will grow to such remarkable proportions that it will affect the entire world!

Think about how you feel when someone compliments you.  Great, right?  It sends your frequency soaring, doesn't it?  What a wonderful gift.  What an extraordinary feeling of love!  So don't keep those marvelous feelings inside of you.  Let someone know if you think something wonderful about them.  You might just make their day!

When you receive a compliment, are you immediately suspicious, presuming that someone has an ulterior motive?  If so, STOP.  It's a wrong-way sign.  Instead, be grateful for the compliment.  Thank the person and glow in their recognition of one of your gifts.  If you're a gal and the guys whistle at you, smile back and say, "thank you, you just made my day," rather than walking by with your nose in the air.  Remember, we have all been programmed to assume the negative, so oftentimes our knee-jerk response is to distort and dismiss the good.  So, it may take a little work to consciously retrain yourself to accept the good.  In reality, it's a risk for someone to share with you; so acknowledge and appreciate their courage.  Let them know that they made your day.

A warm smile is the universal language of kindness. William Arthur Ward

Our joy scatters a hundred griefs. Chinese proverb

How far that little candle throws his beams! So shines a good deed in a naughty world. William Shakespeare

Kindness is gladdening the hearts of those who are traveling the dark journey with us. Henri-Frederic Amiel

Those who bring sunshine to the lives of others cannot keep it from themselves. xo





thanks to Lauren Tratar for allowing me to share


Wednesday, January 20, 2010

hazel is in the house


bambi grazin' in the grass

Drop a lettuce leaf into a pot of homemade soup to absorb excess from the top

If fresh veggies are wilted or blemished, pick off the brown edges, sprinkle with cool water, wrap in paper towel and refrigerate for an hour or so

To remove the core from a head of lettuce, hit the core end once against the counter sharply and the core will loosen and pull out easily

A few drops of lemon juice added to whipping cream helps it whip faster and better

Brown sugar won't harden if an apple slice is placed in the container

A leftover baked potato can be rebaked if you dip it in water and bake in a 350 degree oven for about 20 minutes

No more tears when peeling onions if you place them in the freezer for four or five minutes first

A little salt sprinkled into a frying pan of oil will prevent spattering

Vinegar brought to a boil in a new frying pan will prevent foods from sticking

A few teaspoons of sugar and cinnamon slowly burned on top of the stove will hide unpleasant cooking odors and make your family think you've been baking all day!

my aunt and uncle's pretty roses

A few drops of lemon juice added to simmering rice will keep the grains separate

Grating a stick of butter softens it quickly

Ketchup will flow out of the bottle evenly if you first insert a drinking straw, push it to the bottom of the bottle and remove

An easy way to remove kernels of sweet corn from the cob is to use a shoe horn

A dampened paper towel or terry cloth brushed downward on a cob of corn will remove every strand of corn silk

For baking, it's best to use medium to large eggs; extra large eggs may cause cakes to fall when cooled

For fluffier omelets, add a pinch of cornstarch before beating

No 'curly' bacon for breakfast when you dip it into cold water before frying

Cut bacon in half while still in the package for easier frying

Thaw fish in milk; the milk draws out the frozen taste and provides a fresh-caught flavor

You'll get more juice from a lemon if you first warm it slightly in the oven

Popcorn will stay fresh and you will eliminate 'old maids' if you store it in the freezer

After flouring chicken, chill for one hour; the coating adheres better during frying

Tomatoes cut vertically instead of horizontally tend to bleed less

smilin' sunflower just for you!

Loosen grime from can openers with an old toothbrush; to clean blades, run a paper towel through the cutting process

Don't panic if you accidentally scorch the inside of your favorite saucepan.  Just fill the pan halfway with water and add 1/4 cup baking soda.  Boil awhile until the burned portions loosen and float to the top

To clear a sink or basin drain, pour 1/2 cup baking soda followed by a cup of vinegar down the drain.. let the mixture foam, then run hot water

While baking fruit (or chicken pot) pies, does the juice runneth over?  Shake salt into the spills; they'll burn to a crisp and can be easily scraped up with a spatula

Aunt Diane, you are absolutely right - leaving the oven grates in while self-cleaning does wonders and saves a boat load of time - more time to click!  Thanks for this tip.

homemade chicken pot pie

ready made pie crust for top and bottom
leftover homemade chicken soup that has been in the fridge so it is coagulated
1 can of small fava beans
2 tamales

Slightly oil a deep pie pan, secure bottom pie crust, mix leftover soup, drained beans and cooked tamales in a bowl, add to pie pan and top with second pie crust.  Bake at 350 for 1 hour, but make sure you put a pan underneath for spillage.  Enjoy!



Do you realize that having a grateful heart may keep you from needing a transplanted one?

xo


Monday, January 18, 2010

my new ride


Mike did it again!  That guy is so savvy with his car endeavors.  I was fine with the Grand Prix all these years and so happy to finally own it a few months ago.  I put exactly 100,000 miles on it in six years, back and forth to Delavan and Rockford and Michigan, but mostly local driving to and from Hinsdale and the grocery stores.  As expected with all cars, my heater went out and the mechanics found thousands of dollars of repairs necessary.  Forget it - time to move on to something more dependable.  I have coveted the Lexus cars for many years and once I took a look at one of my clients' car I was hooked.  No matter how many models we viewed at the auto shows, I always gravitated to the Lexus.  I did consider the Pontiac Solstice when my chauffeur days are over but until then I require more room.  I remember when Mike was a wee kid and wanted to test drive a model many moons ago so we went to the Lexus dealer in Westmont and they gave me free tickets to see Mikhail Baryshnikov perform - third row seats.  It was during my dance era so I so appreciated seeing this icon at his best.  Who knew I would own one someday. 

Yep! That's my license plate on my new car.  It is perfect in every way - I wanted beige interior with woodgrain and it has all the bells and whistles, and what a smooth ride.  The best part of all this is how much of a deal we were able to secure.  I vowed to never have another car payment and kept to it.  I thanked my GTP for servicing me these years and said goodbye.  Then I wrote a check and hit the road in my new vehicle. The key to negotiating with car dealers is to be realistic and patient, and have Mike play closer. If at first you don't succeed with a mutually satisfied price, walk away - they always call you back and work with you to get the right deal.  Thanks to Mike's buddy, Norman, for giving it a look see first to make sure all the mechanical devices are in order.  I like the confidence knowing I have someone competent to work on my cars if they need repair down the road.  And cars always need some type of work eventually. I must give a shout out to my cousin, Bill Lutz, for Wayne and I picked his brain about Toyotas and Lexus cars and he is very knowledgeable about his profession.  If anyone wants to take advantage of the Toyota deals, call him at the Naperville dealer.  He gave us the advice we needed to make our decision.

We put the mats upside down for now so as not to get them dirty in the winter.  Mike knows everything when it comes to cars.  This is a true testament to anyone worried about their kids early on - if they are interested in something, they will succeed with flying colors.  He was always car boy and we often used mini cars as rewards instead of the usual gold stars.  I think one day I counted 500 hotwheels in the house.  While most kids sleep with blankies and boo boos, Mike held his little car toys.  He has a posting of all his big boy auto purchases since 15 and I believe it comes to 20 so far.  And he is nowhere near done yet.  Actually, his hobby is buying and selling cars; and he makes a profit everytime.  Just a few months ago he bought this cute Mustang, put about $300 into it and sold it within a month making a $900 profit.  The best part is he loves every minute of this hobby.  Do what you love.

Last night I was leaving to retrieve Steve from his buddy's house and when I opened my front door there were six bambi dogs hanging on our front lawn.  I didn't want to disturb them and ran to get Wayne and Dan to see and as we watched them, they casually began walking away - down the sidewalk - I was able to capture them with the camera but it was so dark I only got a pair of eyes.  I have to figure out how to take clearer shots in the dark.  All those tiny white lights are the deer watching me watching them. This morning we saw a woodpecker on our front tree.  I love being surrounded by the nature out here and I am happy to be able to appreciate them while I am home more often these days. 
Happy Trails! xo

Thursday, January 14, 2010

flag man


My Uncle Ray Mielzynski (Mallow) aka flag man.  We brought our boys to visit him in Pahrump, Nevada early April 2003 to see our land. 

Our journey began at the Venetian Suites in Las Vegas.  What a gorgeous way to enjoy this part of the country.  We spent our time visiting just about every hotel on the strip and in the surrounding area, eating hot dogs at Nathan's in New York and watching the shark exhibit in Monterey Bay.  We walked and walked all over.  The only places we did not see were those not already built such as the Wynn Hotel which could be our next destination so we can see Garth Brooks perform.  I heard his show is awesome.  The entertainment in Vegas is spectacular, with Cirque de Soleil, burlesque, wax museums, tons of restaurants and gorgeous pools.  Wayne and I frequented two strip joints recommended by a friend of ours, Jaguar and Sapphire.  I got my first lap dance there, but enjoyed Jaguar so much more.  Classy.  These places love when women visit and make sure they let you know same.  Believe it or not, we did not gamble once while in this gambling mecca.  My goal was to learn to shoot craps but upon our arrival I had absolutely no desire to throw the dice.  It was probably due to the fact we wanted to spend every moment with our boys touring.  Our senses were so overwhelmed by the slots and colors and lights, it was not necessary.  I could still hear the sound of the locals flipping the stripper cards on the street while we walked the area.  Besides, our goal was to visit our uncle. 

Steve and I spent down time watching an oriental channel, pretending we knew exactly what they were saying. 

Once we hit Pahrump, my boys were in heaven.  Uncle Ray relocated about 40 years ago and pursued his passion of buying and selling land.  Sometimes he would barter land for cars or gold.  Such a cowboy!  He found his niche with his patriotism and walks a mile everyday with a flag promoting justice to all.  He is a frequent visitor of the courtrooms and oftentimes brings coffee for the prisoners.  His random acts of kindness have the locals dubbing him flagman and he expresses his views on the local news station and has articles printed about him.  He lives simply and loves his life.  The hardest part of living in the area is the duststorms.  They can be treacherous, but worth living the life he does.  Uncle Richie lived with him for a few years but passed away from cancer.  The four brothers, Ronnie, Bob, Ray and Richie were tight-knit and always defending each other.  I remember visiting Grandma Mielzynski on a Sunday and the brothers would entertain us in the basement.  They had a band called Apollo's Apaches and even cut a few records, one of which I still have labeled Cry Me A Lie.  Good times, let me tell you. 

We sat for three hours and my boys were just amazed at his life history.  Uncle Ray showed them his instruments and they were hesitant to visit his bomb shelter, fearful of the snakes.  When Dan went to sit on his sofa at the trailor home, something was bulky so I lifted the pillow and there was a gun, used for shooting the snakes.  Yikes!  Rattlers are everywhere in this part of the country.  He has about 9 doggies to make a path wherever he goes.  Uncle Ray made his own water pond on his land.  Pussy willows grow there.  Who can do that?  Water is valuable in the desert.  Dirt is the best investment so we purchased a few acres with my sisters Marilyn and Karen.  It is still out there waiting to be sold at the right time.  Now is not.  Someday my boys can retire on the sale. 
My dad phones his brother every Saturday and they chat about whatever is up.  Their bond is deep and we need to get Dad back out to visit him very soon.  Perhaps we should just make arrangements with Aunt Diane and Uncle Bill and take a trip. 

We don't like to gamble, but we love the warm area.  There is so much stimulation; we could never be bored.  We have so many destinations on our list of places to see this year, San Antonio, the East coast to see the whales in October, and Punta Canta in the Caribbean, but Pahrump is like a second home and it feels so good when you have a relative to connect with in a different land. 

Until we meet again, flag man.  Be well. We love you. xo