Friday, September 24, 2010
Legends of the Guardians
The Owls of Ga'Hoole
I just returned from indulging in an afternoon cinema adventure and was pleasantly entertained by the 3D version about owls. I always had an affinity toward these furry creatures and I found myself wanting to reach in the screen and take each one home with me. I think I may have been an owl in a past life and/or definitely have a few as my spirit guides. Today I share what I know about my little buddies.
Owls are nocturnal hunting birds that usually live and hunt alone. They are closely related to hawks. Owls sleep during the day and emerge at night to hunt small prey. Some owls can see well enough in sunlight to hunt by day as well as by night; however, the majority of owl species hunt for food at night. Most night-hunting owls have keen vision in the dark; however, some have such sensitive hearing that they rely very little on vision.
These owls locate and catch their prey in total darkness by listening to the rustling noise the animals make running through the forest. Owls are stealth hunters and their fluffy feathers give them almost silent flight. Owls eat mostly mammals. The larger owls catch rabbits and squirrels, the smaller ones catch mice, rats and shrews. Some owls hunt birds and insects, others have been known to take fish from shallow waters. Like hawks, owls tear large prey into pieces when they eat it. If the prey is small enough, they swallow it whole and later they cough up pellets of undigested bones, fur, scales and feathers. These owl pellets are found under their nests and roosting areas. The owl is at the top of the food web; it has no major predators.
Owls have a large head and large eyes that face forwards (unlike other birds, whose eyes are on the sides of their head.) This eye placement gives them binocular vision and very precise depth perception. There are circles of radiating feathers surrounding each eye, giving them a wide-eyed, alert look. Some owls have feathered ear tufts; these are not ears, but are a part of the owl's camouflage. Many owls have thick feathers that absorb the sounds that their wings make in flight.
There are about 145 different species of owls. They are found throughout the tropical, temperate and subarctic regions of the world and on many oceanic islands. The smallest species is the tiny elf owl, measuring about six inches long, that lives in Southwestern United States and western Mexico. The largest species is the great gray owl that lives deep in woods of Canada and Alaska as far north as trees grow. Gray owls grow to about 30 inches long and have a wingspread of up to 60 inches. Owls are unable to build their own nests and depend on cavities in trees.
Some familiar owls are Barn, Barred, Burrowing, Eagle, Elf, Great Gray, Great Horned, Long-eared, Northern Hawk, Saw-whet, Short-eared, Snowy, Spectacled, Spotted and Western Screech.
To our past ancestors, the animal held great spiritual power and symbolic meaning. In Native American culture, mythology and ancient civilizations, each animal is embodied with its own symbolic meaning and held its own spiritual power. A particular animal crossing your path had deep significance to your life and indeed a strong message to impart. The presence of animal wisdom may appear to you in a dream, on the physical plane or intuitively. We can also utilize and tap into the energy of animal guides around us to assist us in the daily challenges that life sometimes brings to our door. We can ask that we be imbued with the energy and strength and call forth the energy and spirit of a particular guide for their character and special abilities that is unique to that animal. We can utilize that energy to assist us in general life, or in a specific situation we may be facing. To the Shaman, the owl has many special energies, as the owl is a noble and powerful spirit guide.
The owl is a bringer of wisdom. The all-seeing owl possesses supernatural qualities and is often associated with intuition, clairvoyance and clairaudience. The owl's energy is at its peak in the very heart of darkness. When we are plunged into blindness and disorientation, he penetrates the darkness of the blackest night, seeing and hearing that which others cannot. The owl is considered a magical creature of the forest, enigmatic and powerful. If the owl is calling you, or you are aware of the owl being present in your life, dreaming or waking, you are being called upon to open your eyes, ears and mind to the truth of a situation; to listen to the wisdom deep in your heart and soul; that still, small voice is trying to reach you in some way; to assist you or help you in a current challenge you may be facing. Tap into the power of the owl by calling on your own intuition, listen to your own wisdom, for there is something you need to see or hear. As the owl is so strongly associated with the night time, his wisdom may come to you while you slumber. Take the time to be aware of your dreams or make a special effort to remember and write down any important dreams you may have. The owl is a messenger that can bring clarity and illumination.
The owl perceives truths that are unveiled thanks to its silent flight at night. An owl spirit guide is skilled in detecting untruths thanks to its acute hearing which detects what others do not. The legendary intelligence of the owl is indeed a characteristic of the totem and a Shaman with an owl spirit guide is an old soul with much wisdom thanks to this maturity. The symbolism on a totem includes the barred owl which is a very vocal creature that will duel with its mate, is gifted in speech and cooperative with others; the barn owl which is graceful and beautiful, can hunt at night using hearing alone, has the gift of clairaudience, excellent hearing and persistence in difficult situations; the tawny owl is an adaptable hunter, brave and bold, and offers ingenuity, courage and resilience; the little owl is a determined creature that will tackle prey many times its own size and is naturally persistent and optimistic. These are the traits of the spirit guide energies that you may wish to tap into.
I open my heart and soul to the truth
And ask that my life's journey be illuminated before me.
I ask for the wisdom to see
Even in the darkness of life's challenges
And the ability to manifest my true path. xo
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
jon hamm going after the bad guys
Today I am simply sharing what's happening in my life these days. The weekend was enjoyable as we visited with Darcy's mom, Julie, in town from St. Louis to bring her winter attire. We had a nice roast dinner and went to see The Town (how appropriate.) The cast delivered and it is always great to see Jon Hamm on screen. Ben Affleck wrote, starred in and directed this flick and I feel he did a good job (albeit he looked a little old.) Jeremy Renner stole the show. He's the guy from Hurt Locker that I raved about previously. Wow! He was awesome.
Ben and Jeremy
Later that evening we indulged in more movies and rented The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo since Julie highly recommended same. She was right on! What a captivating movie. It has subtitles, but I always watch my shows with captions anyway, so no problemo there.
I do not have a big sweet tooth, hence, do not spend time baking; however, having a sugar and spice girl around the house, I am inspired to offer her some delights. Last week I made simple, basic sugar cookies and this week dark chocolate brownies with walnuts and morsels. Wayne brought some to the office and the women working with him love them. The incentive is to bring some sweetness into the workplace to make the intense workload less stressful. A little sugar goes a long way. Next week I'll dabble in oatmeal raisin cookies.
dark chocolate brownies soothes the soul
Today is leftover day but I prepared a light tuna salad. Megan keeps writing about bacon and I had such a taste for it, but will only sample a few slices and leave the rest. I now have incentive to get in shape for the wedding next year. I don't have a problem with over-eating, but drinking more water is essential. Working out more often will definitely do the trick. Time will tell.
tuna and bacon- yummy in my tummy
I am determined to drink this container filled with purified water each and every day. I am such a slacker when it comes to hydration, but I know it is necessary and now I am on a mission.
This Saturday I have been invited to tag along as Margarita tries on over a dozen wedding gowns at Ultimate Brides on Oak Street downtown. I have not been to the Loop in a while so I am looking forward to spending time in our glorious city.
My friend, Helena, mentioned a new restaurant is opening in the area, so we could possibly have lunch there. I can't wait to see Margarita in a wedding gown. No matter what she tries on, she will look divine, for she was a model for Elite in the recent past. Just envisioning her sashay in the room will take my breath away. It is exciting to spend time with the girls and their moms these days.
We trimmed some trees and bushes last weekend and this weekend. Our pickup in the area is not until the end of the month, so we had to leave the limbs by the air conditioner, not knowing we would have this summer-like weather. It is buried under all the brush. I don't mind, for the sun is shining and the breeze is blowing on this ultimate, balmy day. The other members of the household will not agree but they can tough it out for a day or two.
my one and only mum
This is the only survivor of last year's mum plantings. We put in over a dozen but only this one returned and she is gorgeous, right at our entrance with the wind blowing marker. Next year I will plant them in the spring and get some clippings from my Aunt Diane, for hers are absolutely fabulous.
cute little guy
I forgot what this plant is called but it is so unique, I had to share. I buy one every year because it is so pleasing to the eye and lasts all season. That's about it for now. I am excited to preview all the new seasonal shows this week, a nice respite from listening to all the football during the weekend. My ears still hurt; 'tis the season, I guess. Enjoy this glorious day, no matter where you are. Take time and count your blessings. xo
Thursday, September 16, 2010
I am sensitively attuned to various life forces and energies that surround me and lately have felt a strong, negative force. This happens in life and now I am receiving visits from little creatures. There was a cricket in my bathroom which portends good luck, a sparrow came in my dining room and eventually flew out (sparrows are messengers of warnings), a woodpecker pecked on my family room door and entered and left (warning not to argue within the family, hold my tongue) and a cute little black mouse hung out in the family room all day. I inquired about what the universe is trying to tell me and my Aunt Aletha offered some tips on how to clear the house and prepare it for protection. I smudged with my sage, blessed each room with holy water, and made the sign of the cross with a flashlight at night on each wall and window. I typically clear my home at each Equinox, just a week early.
I heard of many superstitions and found I am in awe at the folklore that inspired them. We want to be in control of our surroundings and if some little action will provide the security we need, the power of our thoughts can increase the chances of positive energy. Now I will share some old wive's tales to be taken lightly, or just as information.
ACORNS should be carried to bring luck and ensure a long life. An acorn at the window will keep lightening out.
AMBER beads, worn as a necklace, can protect against illness or cure colds.
AMBULANCE Seeing an ambulance is very unluckly unless you pinch your nose or hold your breath until you see a black or a brown dog.
APPLE Think of five or six names of boys or girls you might marry. As you twist the stem of an apple, recite the names until the stem comes off. You will marry the person whose name you were saying when the stem fell off. If you cut an apple in half and count how many seeds are inside, you will know how many children you will have.
BABY To predict the sex of a baby, suspend a wedding band held by a pice of thread over the palm of the pregnant girl. If the ring swings in an oval or circular motion, the baby will be a girl; if it swings in a straight line, it will be a boy.
BASEBALL BAT Spit on a new bat before using it for the first time to make it lucky.
BED It is bad luck to put a hat on a bed. If you make a bedspread, or quilt, be sure to finish it or marriage will never come to you. Placing a bed facing north or south brings misfortune. You must get out of bed on the same side that you get in or you will have bad luck. When making a bed, don't interrupt your work, or you will spend a restless night in it.
BEE If a bee enters your home, it's a sign that you will soon have a visitor. If you kill the bee, you will have bad luck, or the visitor will be unpleasant. A swarm of bees settling on a roof is an omen that the house will burn down.
BIRD A bird in the house is a sign of a death. If a robin flies into a room through a window, death will shortly follow. If you see a red bird, make a wish. If a bird flies by while you are driving, it is a message to slow down, either your speed, or your activities in life.
BIRTHDAY CAKE If you blow out all the candles on your birthday cake with the first puff you will get your wish.
BREAD Before slicing a new loaf of bread, make the sign of the cross on it. A loaf of bread should never be turned upside down after a slice has been cut from it.
BRIDGE If you say goodbye to a friend on a bridge, you will never see each other again.
BROOM Do not lean a broom against a bed. Never take a broom along when you move. Throw it out and buy a new one. To prevent an unwelcome guest from returning, sweep out the room they stayed in immediately after they leave.
BUTTERFLY If the first butterfly you see in the year is white, you will have good luck all year. Three butterflies together mean good luck.
CANDLE If a candle lighted as part of a ceremony blows out, it is a sign that evil spirits are nearby.
CAT If a black cat walks towards you, it brings good fortune, but if it walks away, it takes the good luck with it. A cat onboard a ship is considered to bring luck.
CHEEKS If your cheeks suddenly feel on fire, someone is talking about you.
CIGARETTES It is bad luck to light three cigarettes with the same match.
CIRCLE Evil spirits cannot harm you when you stand inside a circle.
CLOCK If a clock which has not been working suddenly chimes, there will be a death in the family.
CLOVER It is good luck to find a four-leaf clover. Clover protects human beings and animals and brings good luck to those who keep it in the house.
good luck cactus
COIN It is bad luck to pick up a coin if it is tails side up. Good luck comes if it is heads up.
COMB To drop a comb while you are combing your hair is a sign of upcoming disappointment.
COUGH To cure a cough; take a hair from the coughing person's head, put it between two slices of bread, feet it to a dog.
COW Cows lifing their tails is a sure sign that rain is coming.
CRICKET A cricket in the house brings good luck.
DANDELION Pick a dandelion that has gone to seed. Take a deep breath and blow the seeds into the wind. Count the seeds that remain on the stem. That is the number of children you will have.
DOG A dog howling at night when someone in the house is sick is a bad omen.
DOOR It is bad luck to leave a house through a different door than the one used to come into it.
EARS If your right ear itches, someone is speaking well of you. If your left ear itches, someone is speaking ill of you.
ELEPHANT Pictures of an elephant bring luck, but only if they face a door.
EYE If your right eye twitches there will soon be a birth in the family. If the left eye twitches there will soon be a death in the family.
FINGERNAILS It is bad luck to cut your fingernails on Friday or Sunday. Fingernail cuttings should be saved, burned or buried.
FISH A fish should always be eaten from the head toward the tail. Dream of fish: someone you know is pregnant.
FISHING Throw back the first fish you catch then you will be lucky the whole day fishing. If you count the number of fish you caught, you will catch no more that day. It is bad luck to say the word "pig" while fishing at sea.
FLAG It brings bad luck for a flag to touch the ground.
feng shui good luck
FLOWER First Flower of Spring: The day you find the first flower of the season can be used as an omen: Monday means good fortune; Tuesday means greatest attempts will be successful; Wednesday means marriage; Thursday means warning of small profits; Friday means wealth; Saturday means misfortune; Sunday means excellent for weeks.
FOOT If the bottom of your right foot itches, you are going to take a trip.
FORK To drop a fork means a man is coming to visit.
FRIDAY THE 13TH how did this day become such an unlucky day?
fear of Friday the13th is rooted in ancient, separate bad-luck associations with the number 13 and the day Friday. The two unlucky entities combine to make one super unlucky day. Personally, this day has been lucky for me in the past.
There is a Norse myth about 12 gods having a dinner party at Valhalla, their heaven. In walked the uninvited 13th guest, the mischievous Loki. Once there, Loki arranged for Hoder, the blind god of darkness, to shoot Balder the Beautiful, the god of joy and gladness, with a mistletoe-tipped arrow. Balder died and the Earth got dark. The whole Earth mourned.
There is a Biblical reference to the unlucky number 13. Judas, the apostle who betrayed Jesus, was the 13th guest to the Last Supper.
A particularly bad Friday the 13th occurred in the Middle Ages. On a Friday the 13th in 1306, King Philip of France arrested the revered Knights Templar and began torturing them, marking the occasion as a day of evil.
In ancient Rome, witches reportedly gathered in groups of 12. The 13th was believed to be the devil.
Both Friday and the number 13 were once closely associated with capital punishment. In British tradition, Friday was the conventional day for public hangings, and there were supposedly 13 steps leading to the noose.
It is traditionally believed that Eve tempted Adam with the apple on a Friday. Tradition also has it that the Flood in the Bible, the confusion at the Tower of Babel, and the death of Jesus Christ all took place on Friday.
Numerologists consider 12 a "complete" number. There are 12 months in a year, 12 signs of the zodiac, 12 gods of Olympus, 12 labors of Hercules, 12 tribes of Israel and 12 apostles of Jesus. In exceeding 12 by 1, 13's association with bad luck has to do with just being a little beyond completeness.
chinese good luck charms
FRIDAY THE 13TH - how is fear of the number thirteen demonstrated?
More than 80 percent of high-rises lack a 13th floor.
Many airports skip the 13th gate.
Airplanes have no 13th aisle.
Hospitals and hotels regularly have no room number 13.
Italians omit the number 13 from their national lottery.
On streets in Florence, Italy, the house between number 12 and 14 is addressed as 12 and a half.
Many cities do not have a 13th Street or a 13th Avenue.
In France, socialites known as quatorziens (fourteeners) once made themselves available as 14th guests to keep a dinner party from an unlucky fate.
Many triskaidekaphobes, as those who fear the unlucky integer are known, point to the ill-fated mission to the moon, Apollo 13.
If you have 13 letters in your name, you will have the devil's luck. Jack the Ripper, Charles Manson, Jeffrey Dahmer, Theodore Bundy and Albert De Salvo all have 13 letters in their names.
FROG A frog brings good luck to the house it enters.
GOOD FRIDAY A child born on Good Friday and baptized on Easter Sunday has a gift of healing. If a boy, he should go into the ministry. Cut your hair on Good Friday to prevent headaches in the year to come. A person who dies on Good Friday will go right to heaven. Shed no blood on Good Friday, work no wood, hammer no nail.
HAIR Pulling out a gray or white hair will cause ten more to grow in its place.
HAND If the palm of your right hand itches it means you will soon be getting money. If the palm of your left hand itches it means you will soon be paying out money.
HORSESHOE A horseshoe, hung above the doorway, will bring good luck to a home. In most of Europe protective horseshoes are placed in downward facing position, but in some parts of Ireland and Britain people believe that the shoes must be turned upward or "the luck will run out." A horsehoe hung in the bedroom will keep away nightmares.
ITCH If your nose itches you will soon be kissed by a fool.
IVY Ivy growing on a house protects the inhabitants from witchcraft and evil.
KNIFE A knife as a gift from a lover means that the love will soon end. A knife placed under the bed during childbirth will ease the pain of labor. If a friend gives you a knife, you should give him a coin, or your friendship will soon be broken. It will cause a quarrel if knives are crossed at the table. It is bad luck to close a pocket knife unless you were the one who opened it.
KNITTING It is bad luck to leave a project unfinished. The intended recipient will get bad luck from the unfinished item. Stabbing your needles through your yarn balls brings bad luck to anyone who wears something made from that yarn. Don't knit a pair of socks for your boyfriend or he'll walk away from you. If you knit one of your own hairs into a garment, it will bind the recipient to you. Knitting for children you may have in the future, but before you are pregnant, is bad luck (it may prevent one from getting pregnant, or bring ill health to the baby.)
LADDER It is bad luck to walk under a ladder.
LADYBUG If a young girl catches a ladybug and then releases it, the direction in which it flies away will be the direction from which her future husband will come. It is bad luck to kill a ladybug.
LEAF If you catch a falling leaf on the first day of autumn you will not catch a cold all winter.
LETTUCE Lettuce is believed to have magical and healing properties, including the power to arouse love and counteract the effects of wine. Lettuce promotes child bearing if eaten by young women, and certain types of salad can bring on labor in pregnant women.
LIZARD To dream of a lizard is a sign you have a secret enemy.
Indian God of Good Luck - Ganesh
MANDRAKE Mandrake is a mysterious plant believed to have powers of preventing sterility in men and animals, causing barren women to bear children, and compelling love. Mandrake is thought to have aphrodisiac and fertilizing properties. Clairvoyants use mandrake to increase their visions to enable them to see strange and wonderful things.
MILK It is bad luck to let milk boil over.
MIRROR To break a mirror means seven years bad luck. It is unlucky to see your face in a mirror by candlelight. A mirror should be covered during a thunderstorm because it attracts lightening. If a mirror in the house falls and breaks by itself, someone in the house will die soon.
MISTLETOE Mistletoe in the house protects it from thunder and lightening. It also cures many diseases, is an antidote to poison and brings good luck and fertility. A girl standing under a mistletoe cannot refuse to be kissed by anyone who claims the privilege.
MOTH A white moth inside the house or trying to enter the house means death.
NOSE If your nose itches, someone is coming to see you. If it is the right nostril, the visitor will be a female; left nostril, male.
ONION An onion cut in half and placed under the bed of a sick person will draw off fever and poisons. A wish will come true if you make it while burning onions.
OPAL Unless you were born in October, it is unlucky to wear opals.
OWL It is bad luck to see an owl in the sunlight.
PENCIL If you use the same pencil to take a test that you used for studying for the test, the pencil will remember the answers.
PEPPER If you spill pepper you will have a serious argument with your best friend.
PHOTOGRAPH If three people are photographed together, the one in in the middle will die first.
RABBIT'S FOOT A rabbit's foot will bring luck and protect the owner from evil spirits if carried in the pocket.
RAINBOW A rainbow in the Eastern sky, The morrow will be fine and dry. A rainbow in the West that gleams, Rain tomorrow falls in streams.
good luck raven feather
RAVEN To kill a raven is to harm the spirit of King Arthur who visits the world in the form of a raven.
RED A red ribbon should be placed on a child who has been sick to keep the illness from returning.
ROBIN A wish made upon seeing the first robin in spring will come true - but only if you complete the wish before the robin flies away.
ROCKING CHAIR If you leave a rocking chair rocking when empty, it invites evil spirits to come into your house to sit in the rocking chair.
ROSEMARY Rosemary planted by the doorstep will keep witches away.
SALT Bad luck will follow the spilling of salt unless a pinch is thrown over the left shoulder into the face of the devil waiting there. Put salt on the doorstep of a new house and no evil can enter. Salty soup is a sign that the cook is in love.
SCISSORS If you drop scissors, it means your lover is being unfaithful to you.
SEA GULL Three seagulls flying together, directly overhead, are a warning of death soon to come.
SEVEN To break a mirror brings seven years of bad luck. The cure: to bury the pieces, or run them in a stream. The seventh son of a seventh son has magic powers, according to Irish folklore, but is a vampire in Romanian legend.
SHOES Do not place shoes upon a table, for this will bring bad luck for the day, cause trouble with your mate and you might even lose your job as a result. It is bad luck to leave shoes upside down.
SINGING If you sing before seven, you will cry before eleven.
SLEEP You sleep best with your head to the north and your feet to the south.
SNEEZE Place a hand in front of your mouth when sneezing. Your soul will escape otherwise. The devil can enter your body when you sneeze. Having someone say "God Bless You" drives the devil away.
If you sneeze on a Monday, you sneeze for danger. Sneeze on a Tuesday, kiss a stranger. Sneeze on a Wednesday, sneeze for a letter. Sneeze on a Thursday, something better. Sneeze on a Friday, sneeze for sorrow. Sneeze on a Saturday, see your sweetheart tomorrow. Sneeze on a Sunday, and the devil will have domination over you all week. One for sorrow, two for joy, three for a letter, four for a boy, five for silver, six for gold, seven for a secret, never to be told.
SPARROW Sparrows carry the souls of the dead, it's unlucky to kill one.
SPIDER Seeing a spider run down a web in the afternoon means you will take a trip.
STARS All wishes on shooting stars come true. Star light, star bright, first star I see tonight. I wish I may, I wish I might, have the wish I wish tonight.
SWAN A swan's feather, sewed into the husband's pillow, will ensure fertility.
TONGUE If you bit your tongue while eating, it is because you have recently told a lie.
UMBRELLA Dropping an umbrella on the floor means that there will be a murder in the house. It is bad luck to open an umbrella inside the house, especially if you put it over your head.
VALENTINE'S DAY If a woman sees a robin flying overhead on Valentine's Day, it means she will marry a sailor. If she sees a sparrow, she will marry a poor man and be very happy. If she sees a goldfinch, she will marry a millionaire.
VEIL A bride's veil protects her from evil spirits who are jealous of happy people.
WOOD Knock three times on wood after mentioning good fortune so evil spirits won't ruin it.
WINDOW All windows should be opened at the moment of death so that the soul can leave.
WISH If you make a wish while throwing a coin into a well or fountain, the wish will come true. If you tell someone your wish, it won't come true.
WISHBONE Two people pull apart the dried breastbone of a chicken or turkey until it cracks and breaks, each one making a wish while doing so. The person who gets the long half of the wishbone will have his or her wish come true.
X The number of Xs in the palm of your right hand is the number of children you will have.
YAWN A yawn is a sign that danger is near. Cover your mouth when you yawn, or your soul can go out of your body along with the yawn.
I am not SUPERstitious, just a little stitious.
Michael Scott from The Office
Good night and good luck. xo
Friday, September 10, 2010
ides of march
We all know that on March 15 (the ides of March) Julius Caesar met his maker, but this is about the
The Ides of March band. This group of guys exudes consistency. Led by Jim Peterik, they have been entertaining for over four decades, without breaking up and making comebacks. Most of the members hail from Berwyn, true home-boys! Last week they were featured in the Chicago Tribune and a reporter researched through the Guiness Book of World Records and found no other band has stayed together this long without a glitch.
I met two of the band members, the heart and soul, Larry Millas and Jim Peterik at Willowbrook Healthclub where Jim's adorable wife, Karen, instructed a body sculpting class a few evenings a week. We bonded after class and have stayed connected. Larry keeps me updated on their events and we like to hear them perform now and then. They recently entertained folks at the Schaumburg festival and will again share their talents in River Forest on Saturday at 9:00pm. On Sunday they will be honored for their continuous charitable contributions and memorable moments at 4:00 pm at the Morton West High School where the town will commemorate a street in their name - the Ides of March Way. These are complimentary events and anyone can attend to celebrate this accomplishment.
You may know some of their famous hits as Vehicle, which Jim Peterik wrote when he was a mere 14 year old boy, then it became a hit when he was 18. The Search is Over was written for his wife, Karen. You can listen to their tunes on youtube. Jim wrote for numerous bands such as 38 Special and is also noted for another widely famous band - Survivor. He is the one who wrote Eye of the Tiger as well. They perform every Christmas Eve at the Holy Name Cathedral and tour everywhere to this day. Larry and Jim continue their passion with music by producing many new and upcoming artists and their business continues to flourish.
They do what they love. Congratulations to you all and thanks, guys, for sharing your passion. xo
Thursday, September 9, 2010
I had the opportunity to attend a fellowship service in Naperville to listen and support my friend as she shared her journey with her fellow church members. The spiritual experience was quite different from my way of praising the Lord, but I am always open to finding new ways of praise. I was enamored at the comfortable surroundings, candles lit on the stage, big screen with inspirational quotes, the live band offering emotional triggers and mostly the connection between those speaking and the audience. My friend has undergone huge hurdles in her life, more than one can imagine, yet she found the courage to divulge her pain with friends, family and many strangers, in the hope that her healing process will inspire others to keep the faith. I already knew what happened in her life and was with her during many hardships, but she said something that stuck with me. The theme was about Trust. She trusted in the fact that if she was a good person, led a clean, healthy lifestyle, helped others in need and followed the way of Christ, she would be blessed with happiness and shielded from extreme pain and suffering. This did not pan out the way she thought. Instead of whining about being a victim after falling down, she dusted herself off, got back up and is taking one step, one day at a time, to continue her journey, trusting that Christ has her back.
We all bring up the karma card when life treats us unkindly, or unjustly. Perhaps we think that we should not be hurt this way without someone else paying a price. We search for reasons why our world has shattered. After all, we think: I am good and giving, why am I being punished? Everything is not a consequence of us. Ego makes us feel victimized. I have learned that whenever a person makes another feel less than their best, either by bullying them, using harsh and judgmental words or even through violence, we have to be strong and stand back, ask ourselves, why would this person want to make me feel so badly? We should discover the only reason is that they are hurting deep inside and all basic bad behavior is due to insecurity. Bottom line. People resort to conflict and arguments, and actually, conflict can be a good thing, when we know how to resolve it. A healthy disagreement can lead to moving forward. We are so unique and hold different thoughts and should be allowed to express ourselves without being judged or ridiculed.
Parents should not have to endure the pain of watching their children be bullied without protecting them, but we also must remember that children are learning and sadly, they learn through their mistakes. We cannot be the one to fight every battle, they have to learn how to do that. We can support and guide them, but when children argue amongst themselves, they are learning to get along socially. This has to be the hardest part of being a parent, but we do our children a disservice when we go overboard.
Getting back to crossroads. This is an accurate word for how we must live our lives. We all have choices to make and sometimes make the wrong decision and take the harder, more difficult road, or the easier path. Many times the easier path today leads to a much more difficult path later. I believe we are on earth today to experience life as best we can and make a little impact by following the example Christ offered us. He never said it would be easy, but if we have love in our hearts, compassion in our actions and strive for a peaceful existence, we can find life is truly beautiful. So many people are in suffering mode due to financial difficulties, illness and loss of loved ones. We are not being punished, but merely living through hardships. The best we can do is trust that our Lord will give us strength to endure these unwanted issues in our life. We must not become too attached to lifestyles, people or things. They are fleeting. Live for the moment, today, the now. Tomorrow may bring wondrous blessings. The past has taught us how fragile we are, and how strong we can be.
We can live by example. If we want others to treat us with respect, treat them accordingly. If we choose to be a victim, so be it. We are only human and we make mistakes. That is ok, but try to learn how to improve. We must accept everyone for who they are. We don't have to always agree, but try to get along. It is harder to live with hate and grudges than with forgiveness and caring. After a while, people will gravitate to the enlightened energy and want to be illuminated by your grace. We want to be around people that make us feel good. We have a choice, a crossroads, to continually be around those who we know will make us feel badly, or stay away. We cannot change the behavior of others, or sway them to love us, but we can change ourselves and how we perceive. We have the control and power to do this. Let go of our egos that want to protect us from any harm and cause us to offend. Let your shield be one of light and love. Hold everyone, especially those you fear, in the light with love. Bless them to their highest good. Everyone has goodness in them. We are all connected and Christ is always around to show us the road. Let go and let God.
When my son, Steven, played DJ at his high school every Saturday, I always requested this mantra song by Five for Fighting. Build your masterpiece. Start now. xo
Got a package full of wishes
A time machine, a magic wand
A globe made out of gold
No instructions or Commandments
Laws of gravity or
Indecisions to uphold
Printed on the box I see
Take a chance, grab a piece
Help me to believe it
What kind of world do you want?
Let's start at the start
Build a masterpiece
Be careful what you wish for
History starts now
Should there be people or peoples
Money, funny pedestals for fools who never pay
Raise your army, build your steeple
Don't be shy, the satellites can look the other way
Lose the earthquakes, keep the faults
Fill the oceans without the salt
Let every man own his own hand
What kind of world do you want?
Let's start at the start
Build a masterpiece
Be careful what you wish for
History starts now
Sunlight's on the bridge
Sunlight's on the way
There's more to this life than Love
What kind of world do you want
What kind of world do you want
What kind of world do you want
Let's start at the start
Build a masterpiece
History starts now
Be careful what you wish for
Wednesday, September 8, 2010
Happy 24th Birthday, Dan!
I vividly remember when I delivered you, our second son. Both Mike and Steve were born on their due date and you were due September 12, but you wanted to come out a little earlier, so when it was time, I stayed in labor for only three hours. As the sun was rising, Elton John's Daniel was on the radio and I knew you were a boy for that was the chosen name if you were a male. You were born with so much black hair - I had to check twice that you were mine, for just 15 months earlier, Mike was born a baldy. Since the cord was wrapped around your neck, they had to take care of business immediately, and after awhile I held my newborn beautiful boy in my arms. Danny, you were such a good baby and slept through the night at six weeks old.
As a young boy you were very active and quite often made somersaults and handstands all around the house. We spent an enormous amount of time at the various parks so you and your brother could spend your energies on all the equipment. Many fathers would remark at how agile you were at such a young age (about 3 or 4) and when we went to Florida you just dove in the big pool - deep section, no less - and scared all the people, for they did not know you were an avid swimmer and were all so amazed.
Your favorite pastime was playing Mario Brothers on Nintendo and we had to limit your exposure, otherwise you would be on it 24/7. Today you play Warcraft. We would giggle when you tried so hard to get to higher levels and through tears, you kept playing until accomplishing your goals. Persistance, perseverence and tenacity are your strengths.
Another thing you loved to do was dress up, not only for Halloween, but while watching your favorite shows. As soon as we put in the tape for a movie, say, Ghostbusters, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (of course, you were Donatello) Superman, Batman, et al, you promptly left the room, only to emerge in full costume as various characters. When they shot at the ghosts, so did you. You always entertained us.
You were only around 10 when you began pursuing roller blading and went all over the area to find places to do this, learning all the different transportation lines that would take you and P.J. to your destination. You even competed in Janesville, travelling to various tournaments in other states. How many trips did we make to Skate Shack?
A little later, you were a student with your family in the American Taekwondo Association and became a 1st Degree Black Belt with us all. We competed in various tournaments and you have loads of trophies to prove your expertise. Your nickname in high school was Bulldog. Enough said.
You never were one to show off and did not like taking pictures so I had to catch you in the moments. Everytime I asked to see your pretty eyes, you closed them. There was never a dull moment with you, dear son. Once you went to the pond at the end of our subdivision and were gone for hours and as I went to retrieve you I saw you walking down Green Valley Road with a huge garbage can loaded with toads and snakes you collected from the pond as well as a huge snake wrapped around your neck. Another time you carried a gigantic snapping turtle all the way home. He could have snapped your arm in half, but you were on a mission.
Danny, you are an excellent drummer, having taken lessons at ProAm for eight years, and again in Junior High School, where you performed many percussion instruments much to our amazement. How many paradiddles have you done in your life already?
As you became a teenager, you joined with the Harmony of Lies band and gave us such a thrill to be your groupies and follow you to all the places you played - North Beach, Double Door, outdoor festivals, Mike's birthday party at Arabian Farms, just to name a few. We have the CD you made and play it often in remembrance. Your band practiced at our home for a long time, twice a week for over a year, and we enjoyed every minute. Thanks for letting us share your moments.
As a middle child, you are more open with your friends than family and we diligently tried not to make you feel left out or ignored. Sitting on the dock fishing in Michigan captures your pensiveness, the quiet serenity and way you keep things private. You did not want your peers to know how intelligent you really were in school (but your teachers and parents knew better) and were very bored until you found the challenge you require in DePaul University, where you are spreading your wings, getting ready to fly and conquer your world. You are a perfectionist, but lighten up a little.
This is my all-time favorite picture of you, with your brother, Mike. As unique as all three sons are, you are deeply bonded. You are blessed to have brothers of the heart in Cody, Rudy, Casey, as well as many others, but family is family. You may not recognize the strength yet, but someday you will see how important it is. Until then, continue to feel our love and know we always have your back. Cherish these days as you begin your journey in the world. Laugh with Darcy, live at home as long as you need (chuckle here) and love, and let us love you back.
Celebrate your new year and make big plans. These are busy times, finishing college, bartending for a buck, maintaining relationships. Dream big, keep playing your beloved DWs, and most of all, be happy. You deserve goodness and greatness. Be your best. We love you. xo
Daniel, you're the star
in the weight of the sky...
We'll celebrate with you on Friday.