Sunday, December 30, 2012

December Moon

The moon is veiled tonight and it seems to have a lace mantilla over its glowing face that simply adds to the beauty of the night. Tonight is is filled with a puffy light snow that glitters in that same moon glow and looks quite like a painting filled with mystical light.  

I am away from home again spending time with my grandpup, McCarty and am enjoying the quiet and peace with a large mug of hot chocolate.  These nights around the Christmas Holiday always seem magical when it snows so lightly that the moon can peek through and gaze down on our world. 

Winter is a problem for many who must get out and battle the roads to get to work, and though I am one of them too somehow it does more to fill me with a real sense of wonder that slows my usually harried daily life and seems to bring winter’s gentle breath, and my own to a much slower pace.  

We’ve not had much snow thus far this winter so tonight is a gift for one who relishes the time to curl up in a chair and knit, or read a good book.   My projects for Christmas are done and though the craft projects for spring birthdays have just been begun I haven’t a lap full of things to finish knitting or bookmarks to cross stitch that must have an “i” to dot or a “t” to cross.  It’s not quite a lazy time, but a more tranquil one where I can contemplate the snowfall, the quiet, and a hazy moon that begs to be gazed on longingly.  

Oh, that the New Year might bring the same peaceful times to cover my cares with such a blanket of a white and to find a solitude and stillness under during the busy times of daily living.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Yes, I Am a Pirate

I have been changing my tune lately.  Though the Celtic vibes still roll through this old brain, I have gone back to those favorite days of my youth where music was pop, and early rock and roll.  Though the artist I've been playing really doesn't fit in either of those categories, he has created a little niche for himself that seems to keep growing into newer and younger generations.  The first song he sang of course is one probably everyone knows.  Here's a bit of a hint - he considers himself a "gulf and Western," singer.

Can't guess who he is?  Here's another little hint....well, actually a BIG hint!  His first song was in 1977 and it's definitely his signature piece - Margaritaville!  Yes, it's that smiling master of fun, Jimmy Buffett.  I do have CDs by him and have been finding myself humming his tunes a lot lately.  He's really something because with his taste for the Caribbean sound no one thought he would be so big for so long.  I really believe his longevity is directly responsible to the songs, and the way his concerts always seem to take you away from life and give that sense of a mini-vacation with each song he sings.

One of my favorite songs at the moment happens to be a little diddy that takes in the realm of the shark - those on the land, that is!  His song Fins is silly but it really has quite a catchy tune.  If you haven't seen any of the videos of the song online go check them out.

During these fall days a bit of Jimmy and his Caribbean reality is a true gift on a cold rainy fall day.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

My New Title

I've had many lives in my work-a-day world.  I traveled from the world of babysitting, to cleaning specialist, to teacher, and writer and today I am returning to where I began.  I am what I now call a "Child Care Specialist." Jobs are slim these days in my neck of the woods and this new job at a local fitness center includes some cleaning and doing laundry too!  But the fun of it lies especially with those I work with and that makes this change a good move for me.

Though I have resumes out there, as well as a few proposals for radio shows at various radio stations around here, the one that came through was a position I did not expect to come through.  It takes me back to simpler times and I am enjoying it right now while trying to make further connections on my proposals.  Who knows, maybe the next time I write I may be a producer as well as a radio personality as well!!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Music, Music, Music

The Irish/Celtic music is calling me today and it isn't even St. Patrick's (Pádraig) Day!  For the past three days I've been listening to some of one of my new CDs of the most fabulous world music - in my humble opinion of course.

It's amazing to me how music is such a driving force in our world these days.  Everyone seems to have an MP3 player of some kind, and it seems everyone walking, running, or even driving past me these days seems to be groovin' to some tune!

As a child of the 60s I was exposed to so many music genres and I learned early to love folk and of course the early forms of Irish music that hit our shores here in the States.  (I also have to admit there was a certain bit of rock music that I enjoyed as well!)  But since my life has developed a craziness about it lately I've seemed to be going back to my musical roots.  From the Irish and Celtic, to the many shades of folk and folk/rock I find myself deeply immersing myself wherever I happen to be - in my car, on my iPod, or on my home stereo.

My biggest challenge this year has been to put together compilations and share the music with my grandkids.  And I have certainly discovered they love it as much as I do!  From those good ole songs of the folk era during the 60s, to my constant companion the Irish music, they are enjoying and singing the tunes wherever we are at the top of our lungs!  We have even drowned out a few thumping cars at the stop lights which I can not believe!  The looks we get as those occupants heard the thumping beat of our song, "We're the Boys of Belfast," by the Irish Rovers will stay with me for a very long time!

Yes, I believe music drives all of us these days, as it has throughout the centuries.  Whether it was through listening to the organ, lute, tape player, CD player, or MP3 player we certainly all can find our own personal groove any time we want, and thankfully music has always been a source of fun and that's been a great thing!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

A Neighborhood Bombing Run

I'm enjoying a time away from the home by house sitting at my son's while they are away and watching his best buddy, a golden retriever named McCarty.  I enjoy being with this big guy and have spent quite a bit of time with him over the summer.

Today we spent quite a bit of time indoors because he has severe arthritis, but I decided we needed some fresh air so we adjourned to the deck out back.  McCarty did something he seldom does which is hide under the eaves and it made me wonder what was up since he usually enjoys laying out where he can catch the breezes on the corner of the deck.   I suddenly discovered the reason for his move to the protected area, for as I sat enjoying the breeze and the lovely shade I was bombed!  Really!  I think I had better explain.

I usually sit in the front yard when I watch the grandchildren but seldom do the back yard as it can be hot in the summer because the wind seldom closed yard since it is buffeted all around by neighborhood houses.  Since the weather this week has been cool and comfortable and the wind was actually coming through the back slider, so I decided to enjoy the back deck.  That was a totally wrong move on my part because no sooner had I settled in with my knitting than I began to be bombarded by small round objects.  I looked up and got hit square on the cheek bone this time!   Running quickly into the house I barely missed being bombed again by another object...I mean an acorn for that's what I saw it was as I looked out from the safety of the house.  At first I was sure some squirrel was on the war path from the trees, but no it was the oak trees on the property that were "throwing," those acorns!  I stood inside the slider watching those mini bombs hitting the deck - hard! 

McCarty sat comfortably under the extended roof line looking sideways at me.  He almost seemed to be smiling as if to say, "See?  I knew what I was doing!" 

I did go back out to braved the barrage of acorns to retrieve my knitting, but decided there and then it was safer to spend the rest of the afternoon indoors.  As I sat indoors I listened to those mini bombs hitting the deck and wondering if the trees enjoyed their bombing run and the reaction they elicited from the civilian casualties in the neighborhood.

Friday, August 10, 2012

God's Gardening

Wild flowers have been a passion of mine for years, and about 7 years ago I had the side yard where grass has never grown well tilled up and went to the local farm store for seeds that were normal for the wild flowers found in the West Michigan area.  The first spring of my new garden I had a bevy of annuals and the beginnings of a few cone flowers which are perennials wildflowers known here along the roadsides and highways.  Each year, I attempted to plant more seeds.  And each fall after that I especially gathered along the wooded areas two of my favorites, the milkweed and Queen Anne's Lace, and each spring after that I looked for any signs of either flower in the beginnings of each new spring.  Nothing happened.  Needless to say I was frustrated and repeated the action each fall.   It seemed like each spring though the garden grew and throve with each new wild flower I found and added the two I longed for never seemed to set foot among the the others in this garden.

And then last summer two plants I did not recognize surfaced among the many cone flowers and yellow daisies.  As I watched they slowly grew into milkweed and flowered profusely and that year my special garden's aroma was heavenly because of those two additions.

Of course I was please to have the milkweed, but I kept trying with the seeding and this spring was finally rewarded in abundance with the stately Queen Anne's Lace.  They started slowly, and I really needed to water there to keep this dry summer from taking these prizes to help establish these beauties, as well as keep the rest blooming.

In July the flowers bloomed, and are blooming still.  Though the milkweed isn't right now I did have them doing so in early July and now have the most glorious crop of milkweed pods that I hope to share with some of my friends for their gardens.  My special addition to the yard has had a bonus as well.  All kinds of birds from the surrounding neighborhoods come here to ride the long flower stalks, and I also have the monarch caterpillars here and the butterflies, too.

I really feel quite blessed to have been able to watch this small piece of earth develop like this, and though the efforts may have seemed to be all mine, I know that these wonders we call wildflowers are not of my making in this small space I call my wildflower garden.  This summer despite everything it has become a little miracle in our urban setting for me.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

The Best Part of a Tiny Job!

I have a tiny, new job!  I'm a hired gardener for a lovely garden along our Lake Macatawa.   This week was rather intense because I had to clean out the weeds and dead head all over including the loads of hostas along many of the irregular borders of this garden.

Tonight was a fabulous night to work in any garden and this one is makes it fun.  As I arrived some large, immature Bald Eagles were circling low over the edge of the the property where I was working as well as out over the lake across the road.  It made it hard to focus on the plants with those gorgeous raptors circling above.

As I waded through the hostas cutting their flower stalks a group on five Harleys roared past and were waving and shouting hellos to everyone who would listen.

Though the weather here has been unbearable most of the summer, at least there have been a few days of what I call real gardening weather.  I would love to be a gardener on a regular basis if the weather were cooler than this summer has been.  Maybe I need to move to Ireland where the cool (and even sometimes dry weather!) is the norm!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Friday, July 20, 2012

Changing Our Children with Respect

We all act in our contacts with others.  We all hide ourselves behind walls or faces that aren't our own.  As adults we seldom feel we can be ourselves because, "what might others think of us?"

But learning the value of respect and caring really begins when we are young.  As young people we often find ourselves mistreating others because someone we're trying to emulate and impress.  We do it without thinking and without feeling at all.  That is part of growing up, but it doesn't need to be.

Adults can step in, instead of standing back and nodding and noticing.  They need to do that more.  They can say something, or simply step forward and be the example of caring when someone is is being bullied.

Why don't we step forward more?  For some it is because they are mired in their own fears.  Sadly, I know for me that has in the past been a driving force.  I think we all need to take a page out of one my own personal heroes' books.  Leo Buscaglia realized early on that caring for others was more important than looking good in other people's eyes.  In his story about is entrance into school in the U.S. after moving here with his family told not of success but of the love he learned about in a class for those who are handicapped.  If I remember the story correctly, he was put there because he couldn't speak English.  There he saw more love shown through hugs and caring than in any normal educational setting he has seen since then.

We can do so much through caring - we can do little but create hate through anger or aggression.

Pass on the love.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Where Has All the Kindness Gone...

I am reissuing this blog because I believe it hits the mark for what we need to remember as Americans, and citizens of the world too.  Pass the kindness on!

A play on an old song is such a valid question these days in our terribly hurried society.  We no longer are taught to value the fellow travelers on our journey, it almost seems like it's okay to devalue, or worse still to be cruel or rude to someone who slows us in our own personal race.

This rant comes along side of one that I read today from a blogger friend that bemoaned the fact that people are often threatening, or cruel to people with disabilities.  It's sad, but our society seems to value more what we see as the whole and perfect as apposed to those who might have a physical attribute that slows their pace, or frustrates the mind and blocks our general rush through life.

How have we so quickly forgotten the gifts given to the world by Professor Stephen W. Hawking, or Helen Keller?  Where is our awe for people who have the gifts of a Christoper Reeves, or Christy Brown (The Academy Award winning film My Left Foot profiled his life.)? 

In spite of the constant examples daily of those who continue to contribute so much to our lives through science, music, and the world of words I see such a loss of respect for those who might move more slowly either mentally or physically than those considered normal.  I often wonder where that term comes from - normal.  Because some of the most normal or the kindest souls I know are those who are labeled learning disabled, and some of those who help the hardest in any kind of disaster are those who are often handicapped with emotional burdens. 

I wonder when we'll learn that we all are disabled in one way or another - we are simply able to hide that fact from a world that devalues those who aren't considered perfect....

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Kindness, and More

I ran across a cool new blog today and want to share it.  "That's Write," is a writer's blog of course, but what drew me to it was this great button she has there as well as the explanation I found to describe it (Which by the way is now on my blog on the top right.).  She is right about kindness being relegated to the back of the bus in our lives, and I think we need to be reminded that for many of our small, simple kind acts or comments are the only real meaningful contact they have some days.  And of course those of you who know me know that I am more than passionate about being kind!

Why not stop by her blog and take a peak?  You won't be sorry!

Thursday, April 5, 2012


Spring's here.  That isn't anything new in the Southern part of our country, but here in the Midwest we should just be coming out of our ice and snow.  This year is an unusual in everyday.  Our weather pattern for this part of the world for March is Snow and cold, and instead many of our spring flowering plants, bushes, and trees are blooming quickly and fading fast in a month that has been mostly above the mid 70s and often in the 80s.

But tonight, we dip back into the icy cold, and I'm more than a little glad I didn't begin to garden too soon.

Spirit-filled, Courage

Today, in spoken word, text, and thought I have been faced down with the word courage - 3 times.  Each time I have explored in a thoughtful, almost spiritual manner chewing on the consonants and swallowing the harshness that comes from my own fear of stepping up and being courage-filled when I have always held back and been more follower than leader.

I have to admit that the idea of being courageous has often put me to flight if not in actuality, then at least in my mind.  There are so many reasons for my fearfulness, all of them tied to the past.  You'd think I would be able to step beyond that history and find a way to stand tall,but it isn't as easy as that sounds.

So, today I tell myself out loud that I'm really brave.  I can truly stand up for myself.  When I have little successes I smile, but even the little ones are so difficult at times.

I often feel like the wind, sometimes strong and powerful, while wispy and zephyr-like at other moments.  There is no constancy in my nature many days no matter how hard I try.  But I do feel I know my strengths better, and my days seem to be better. I think I know me better and understand who I am, and what I can actually do in my small world, today.

I've learned to at least like change, especially in my computer.  I'm taking pride in problem solving when there are new programs, and glad when I prove myself when conquering everything new.

My computer is actually where I do the strongest work on me.  I know my computer is a friend, even when there are changes.  At least there fear does not rule.  No, there challenges and success are the norm.

Now to get it to carry over into the rest of my life.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

It's Poetry Month!

It's Poetry Month!  And if you need your poetry fix like I do, check out Knof Publishing's a poem a day emails.  I live them!

Check it out!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Who are Heroes

I don't believe in heroes.  

Heroes in the past seemed super-human, 
and no one is that unselfish.   
We all do so much for show and to impress these days. 

Our brains and hearts hope for that John Wayne 
to walk into life and beat away the painful 
while building and rebuilding the good, 
but in reality 
we're usually left alone to swing and miss 
at that which tears us down.  

We do pass on good to each other, 
but seldom is it really selfless.  
We cry, 
and hide who we are 
because we are told
no one wants to handle our pain...
no one really wants to listen. 

All that is acceptable 
are positive realities.
Imaginary and hollow.
Life is 
all encompassing.

How do we embrace all of who we are, again?   

This was written not because of doubts or anger, but rather from the so many questions I've had over the years.  I have often wondered what actually sustains us through life.  

For me it is the laughter as well as those who care in my life.  

We need to learn how to listen, and hear again - not simply text.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

My Reason to Be...

Words are my personal, "raison d'être," even in my everyday life.  It's funny how our English language, whether in writing or speaking, is so intimidating to most people here in the United States.  So many I know tell me, "I can't write!"  Knowing how writing has been and is taught these days, I have to admit that I really can't blame them.   

There have been so many years I've asked myself the question of why written words mean so much to me and there really isn't an easy answer.  I've always been a prolific reader and I think that's where my love of stories and writing began, but i've also had a journal where I wrote stories and sometime simply about life as I saw and see it. 

Well, I have been away from my computer and my writing for quite a while, but will hopefully be returning in the next week.  I did not know how much I would miss it, but it has also given me a great deal of time to look seriously at who I am and what I want out of it in this faze of my life. 

See you soon with something new!