Thursday, February 28, 2008

The Awakening

these meaningful thoughts come via Robin M. and her mom, Brenda J.
Robin and I had a chance meeting in a fabric store, brought together by Wyanne.
I consider everyone of you who reads this blog a friend and so I hope you will take time to read this to the end.
It's certainly timely as we wait in prayer for Rose to awaken.


A time comes in your life when you finally get it -- when, in the

midst of all your fears and insanity, you stop dead in your tracks and

somewhere the voice inside your head cries out "ENOUGH!"

Enough fighting and crying or struggling to hold on. And,

like a child quieting down after a blind tantrum, your sobs begin to

subside, you shudder once or twice, you blink back your tears and begin

to look at the world through new eyes. This is your awakening.

You realize it's time to stop hoping and waiting for something

to change or for happiness, safety, and security to come

galloping over the next horizon.

You come to terms with the fact that you are neither Prince

Charming nor Cinderella. And that, in the real world, there aren't

always fairy-tale endings (or beginnings, for that matter). And that any

guarantee of "happily ever after" must begin with you -- and in the

process, a sense of serenity is born of acceptance.

You awaken to the fact that you are not perfect and that not

everyone will always love, appreciate, or approve of who or what you

are...and that's OK. They are entitled to their own views and opinions.

And you learn the importance of loving and championing

yourself -- and in the process, a sense of new-found confidence is

born of self-approval. You stop complaining and blaming other people for

the things they did to you (or didn't do for you) and you learn that the

only thing you can really count on is the unexpected.

You learn that people don't always say what they mean or

mean what they say, and that not everyone will always be there for you,

and that it's not always about you.

So you learn to stand on your own and to take care of yourself --

and in the process, a sense of safety and security is born of self-reliance.

You stop judging and pointing fingers and you begin to

accept people as they are and overlook their shortcomings and human

frailties -- and in the process, a sense of peace and contentment is

born of forgiveness.

You realize that much of the way you view yourself and

the world around you is as a result of all the messages and opinions

that have been ingrained into your psyche.

And you begin to sift through all the junk you've been fed about

how you should behave, how you should look, how much you should

weigh, what you should wear, what you should do for a living, how

much money you should make, what you should drive, how and where

you should live, who you should marry, the importance of having and

raising children, and what you owe your parents, family, and friends.

You learn to open up to new worlds and different points of view. And

you begin reassessing and redefining who you are and what you really stand for.

You learn the difference between wanting and needing and you

begin to discard the doctrines and values you've outgrown, or should

never have bought into to begin with -- .and in the process, you

learn to go with your instincts.

You learn that it is truly in giving that we receive. And that there is

power and glory in creating and contributing and you stop maneuvering

through life merely as a "consumer" looking for your next fix.

You learn that principles such as honesty and integrity are

not the outdated ideals of a bygone era but the mortar that holds

together the foundation upon which you must build a life.

You learn that you don't know everything, it's not your job

to save the world and that you can't teach a pig to sing.

You learn to distinguish between guilt and responsibility

and the importance of setting boundaries and learning to say NO.

You learn that the only cross to bear is the one you choose

to carry and that martyrs get burned at the stake.

Then you learn about love. How to love, how much to give in

love, when to stop giving and when to walk away.

You learn to look at relationships as they really are and

not as you would have them be.

You stop trying to control people, situations, and outcomes.

And you learn that alone does not mean lonely.

You also stop working so hard at putting your feelings

aside, smoothing things over and ignoring your needs.

You learn that feelings of entitlement are perfectly OK, and

that it is your right to want things and to ask for the things you want

-- and that sometimes it is necessary to make demands.

You come to the realization that you deserve to be treated with

love, kindness, sensitivity, and respect -- and you won't settle for less.

And you learn that your body really is your temple. And you

begin to care for it and treat it with respect. You begin to eat a

balanced diet, drink more water, and take more time to exercise.

You learn that being tired fuels doubt, fear, and

uncertainty and so you take more time to rest.

And, just as food fuels the body, laughter fuels our soul.

So you take more time to laugh and to play.

You learn that, for the most part, you get in life what you believe

you deserve -- and that much of life truly is a self-fulfilling prophecy.

You learn that anything worth achieving is worth working for

and that wishing for something to happen is different from working

toward making it happen.

More importantly, you learn that in order to achieve success

you need direction, discipline, and perseverance.

You also learn that no one can do it all alone -- and that

it's OK to risk asking for help.

You learn the only thing you must truly fear is the greatest

robber baron of all: FEAR itself.

You learn to step right into and through your fears because

you know that whatever happens you can handle it and to give in to fear

is to give away the right to live life on your own terms. And you learn

to fight for your life and not to squander it living under a cloud of

impending doom.

You learn that life isn't always fair, you don't always get

what you think you deserve, and that bad things sometimes happen to

unsuspecting, good people. On these occasions you learn to not

personalize things. You learn that God isn't punishing you or failing

to answer your prayers. It's just life happening.

And you learn to deal with evil in its most primal state รข€“ the ego.

You learn that negative feelings such as anger, envy, and

resentment must be understood and redirected or they will suffocate the

life out of you and poison the universe that surrounds you.

You learn to admit when you are wrong and to build bridges

instead of walls.

You learn to be thankful and to take comfort in many of the

simple things we take for granted, things that millions of people upon

the earth can only dream about: a full refrigerator, clean running

water, a soft warm bed, a long hot shower.

Slowly, you begin to take responsibility for yourself by

yourself and you make yourself a promise to never betray yourself and to

never, ever settle for less than your heart's desire.

And you hang a wind chime outside your window so you can

listen to the wind. And you make it a point to keep smiling, to keep

trusting, and to stay open to every wonderful possibility.

Finally, with courage in your heart and God by your side,

you take a stand, you take a deep breath, and you begin to design as

best you can the life you want to live.

~ Author ~

~ Virginia Marie Swift ~

Sunday, February 24, 2008

two great movies!

I'm definitely not up on the latest movies, but I've seen two that made me laugh and cry and that's about all I can ask of a movie.
Oh, and the music is still going around in my head.
Waitress and The Bucket List.
Let me know if you agree.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

My sweet husband

Look how cute he looks, singing his heart out, to bring joy on Valentine's day.

Friday, February 22, 2008

It's been a long time

Politics is not in my vocabulary. It's been a long time since I even gave more than a passing glance to who was running, but Obama has touched me, so I've actually donated to his campaign. Who'd have thought???

Thursday, February 21, 2008

This prayer takes me back

This prayer takes me back to a time in my life when I actually did have a day for laundry, cleaning, grocery shopping. Ironing and mending didn't take up whole days, but certainly there was a time when women did spend their days doing that instead of driving kids around. I think we should all take a moment to honor those women who went before us.

Monday - Wash Day:
Lord, help me wash away all my selfishness and vanity so I may serve you with perfect humility through the week ahead.

Tuesday - Ironing Day:
Dear Lord, help me iron out all the wrinkles of prejudice I have collected through the years so that I may see the beauty in others.

Wednesday - Mending Day:
God, help me mend my ways so I will not set a bad example for others.

Thursday - Cleaning Day:
Lord, help me to dust out all the many faults I have been hiding in the secret corners of my heart.

Friday - Shopping Day:
O God, give me the grace to shop wisely so I may purchase eternal happiness for myself and all others in need of love.

Saturday - Cooking Day:
Help me, my Lord, to brew a big kettle of neighborly love and serve it with clean, sweet bread of human kindness.

Sunday - The Lord's Day:
O God, I have prepared my house for you. Please come into my heart as my honored guest so I may spend the day and the rest of my life in Your presence.
—Author Unknown
"A Little Prayer for Every Day"
New Morning Treasury
This comes fromfaithstreams
along with this first light photo from St.Kitts. Can't wait to see my own first light in St. Kitts.

Friday, February 15, 2008

The Importance of CREATIVITY

from Artella comes this article:
studies, including one in December 2007, by The University of Texas at Austin, have proven that people who regularly engage in creative acts are healthier and feel better. Why is this so? Here's a report from Artella's Creative Surge General with reminders for all of us!

The Top 5 Ways Creativity Is Good For Your Heart
Creativity is relaxing. When we engage both our mind and body in something that we enjoy, our bodies release powerful hormones that relax us, undoing all kinds of damage caused by stress in day -to-day life.

Creativity is a healthy distraction. There is no better way to forget our troubles, challenges, and pain than to get involved in meaningful creative projects. A creative project is a great way to focus on what IS working in your life, rather than what isn't.

Creativity gets our heart pumping. From the adrenaline that gets going when we're happily engaged, to the often quite physical nature of art, creativity gets our insides moving and shaking. Painting, sculpting, writing (especially via longhand), and running around town looking for "art junk" at flea markets is GREAT exercise. :-)

Creativity gives our self-esteem a boost. Endless studies have been done on the effects of positive self esteem on general health. When we create something that we're proud of, we get a huge psychological boost that has endless rewards. Think of the small child who shows off a drawing and says "Look what I did!" We all need a healthy dose of that kind of pride!

Creativity offers great opportunities for connection with others. You share your art or writing with someone else and it sparks a meaningful conversation . . . you post your work in an online contest and others comment on it . . . you collaborate on a creative project to create something from two heads instead of one . . . you donate your work for a charitable cause that makes a difference to others. These are just a few examples of many the kinds of connections that creativity can provide. They all remind us that we are not alone on this planet, or in our pursuits of creativity. Connection with others makes us healthier and happier, and truly part of the fabric of the world.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

thinking Embroidery

Thank you for bringing me back to embroidery. Have many samples around my house from years and years ago, but would never have gotten back to it if it weren't for your art quilt class.
This is from aimeeray.
She has many more pieces on her site.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Look at these beautiful cousins of Wyanne's

These beautiful day old CCI pups are from Makia, Wy's grammy, and Kirsch, Wy's uncle.
Happy, healthy, working puppy wishes!

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Yael Naim - New Soul

what a happy visual!

Pioneer Woman, Photog extraordinaire

This is George, a lab on her ranch.
PW is one of the most entertaining bloggers I've read lately.
If you love horses or anything to do with ranch life, you'll love her pictures, free for the copying.
The is the caption she has under George's picture, "I dare you to look into his eyes and not feel better about the state of the world.

Go ahead. Try it."

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Three Cups of Tea

how relevant that Robin should send me the 64 days, just as I'm finishing Greg Mortonsen's story, Three Cups of Tea.
It's opened my eyes to a whole different world and hope to be able to see him when he comes to San Diego week after next.

Here's a link to the scheduled events.

Even CCI pups in training do a job!

If it were not for Wyanne being such a lovely well behaved dog in a fabric store, I would never have met this remarkable woman, Robin.
In her spare time she makes these joyful percussion instruments to share with children. She works full time at a busy marketing job, has rescued numerable dogs, but knows what the gift of making music can mean for a child.

She also was kind enough to send me this non-violent proclamation which would serve us well to follow.
Thank you, Robin.

Season for Nonviolence
Greater Dallas Task Force

There are also some very inspiring videos for each day on youtube if you search 64-days

64 Daily Practices
WEEK 1 (17)
Nonviolence begins with learning how to be less violent and more compassionate towards ourselves. We
learn by building the courage to speak and act with respect, honor and reverence for our own being.
Day 1 – COURAGE (Jan. 30)
Eleanor Roosevelt has urged, "You must do the things that you think you cannot do." Practicing these 64 Ways will
challenge you to do things that you think you cannot do. Today, light a candle and accept the courage to practice 64
Ways of living nonviolently.
Day 2 – SMILING (Jan. 31)
Buddhist teacher Thich Nhat Hanh said, "If in our daily life we can smile…not only we, but everyone will profit from it.
This is the most basic kind of peace work." Today, share a smile with at least three people, knowing that your smile
contributes to peace.
Day 3 – APPRECIATION (Feb. 1)
Louise Hay says, "Praise yourself as much as you can…The love in our lives begins with us…Loving yourself will help
heal this planet." Write down 10 things that you appreciate about yourself. Read aloud what you have written.
Day 4 – CARING (Feb. 2)
According to Peter McWilliams, "Nonviolence toward the self is caring for oneself. It is what the Greeks call reverence
for the self." Real caring is not just what we say, but what we do. Make a list of at least five ways that you can take
better care of yourself. Practice at least one today.
Day 5 – BELIEVING (Feb. 3)
Author Wayne Dyer writes about the impact that our beliefs have on our daily lives. Today, believe that you have all
the resources to move your life in the direction of peace. Be aware of simple demonstrations of peaceful responses you
(Feb. 4)
To simplify is to invite peacefulness. Think of three ways you can simplify your life and put at least one of them into
practice today.
Day 7 – EDUCATION (Feb. 5)
Knowledge strengthens your conviction and deepens your wisdom and understanding. Learn about the power of
nonviolence by educating yourself. Read or watch on a subject that relates to nonviolence. Learn about human rights,
diversity, ecology, history, and politics, forgiveness, spirituality, peace studies, biographies of heroes and more.
WEEK 2 (814)
Personal centeredness gives us the inner peace and calm to respond to situations with nonviolent means.
Building that inner center is the first act of peace making.
Day 8 – HEALING (Feb. 6)
Writer, poet, activist, and professor Maya Angelou turned a traumatic childhood experience into a catalyst for creativity
and achievement. Today, choose a painful incident in your that and find the “gift” it has given you. Consciously share
this gift with others today.
Day 9 –DREAMING (Feb. 7)
Martin Luther King, Jr. had a great dream. What is your dream for peace? Write it down. What is one thing you can
do to honor your dreams? Do it today.
Day 10 – FAITH (Feb. 8)
When Cesar Chavez was organizing farm workers, he challenged them to say, "Si, se puede" (yes, it is possible) when
they didn't know how they would overcome obstacles. Today say, "yes, it is possible," even if you don't know how your
goal will be realized. Have faith, and say "it is possible” until you find, or are shown, a way.
Day 11 – CONTEMPLATION (Feb. 9)
For at least three minutes, relax, breathe, and let your mind be fed by "whatsoever is good and beautiful and just."
Sacred scripture states, "as a man thinketh in his heart, so is he."
Day 12 – GROUNDEDNESS (Feb. 10)
Gandhi said, "To forget how to dig the earth and tend the soil is to forget ourselves." And Black Elk said, "Some little
root of the sacred tree still lives. Nourish it, that it may leaf and bloom and fill with singing birds." Today place a seed
in the earth, plant a tree or nurture an open space.
Day 13 – CREATIVITY (Feb. 11)
The worst thing you can do to a human soul is to suppress its natural desire to create. Identify at least five ways in
which you express your creativity everyday. Today, allow something unpredictable and joyous to express through you.
Day 14 – HUMILITY (Feb. 12)
Making mistakes is a part of learning and growing, simply an "error in approach." Today, freely acknowledge at least
one mistake you made today, and reflect for a couple of minutes on what you have learned.
WEEK 3 (1521)
By practicing nonviolence with ourselves, we begin to see how it might apply toward others. Each personal
practice can be turned into a practice toward another. Try it.
Day 15 – REVERENCE (Feb. 13)
Environmentalist John Muir said, "Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where Nature
may heal and cheer and give strength to body and soul." Today, go for a walk and realize the beauty around, above and
below you.
Day 16 – GRATITUDE (Feb. 14)
On her show Oprah Winfrey frequently promotes the daily practice of gratitude. Begin the day by listing five things for
which you are grateful and end it by sharing with one person all of the good in your life today.
Day 17 – INTEGRITY (Feb. 15)
Do the right thing. Spike Lee used these words as a title for one of his movies. When faced with a choice today, listen
to your conscience. You know what's right. Do it.
Day 18 – FREEDOM (Feb. 16)
Civil rights activist Diane Nash said, “Freedom, by definition, is people realizing that they are their own leaders." Take
a leadership role today in your own life. Find one way you can be more expressive of who you truly are.
Day 19 – ACCEPTANCE (Feb. 17)
"Resentment, fear, criticism, and guilt cause more problems than anything else," says Louise Hay. Today, choose not to
judge yourself (your looks, your capabilities, your expressions). See all the ways you are unique, loving, capable and
(Feb. 18)
When you judge yourself, you tend to believe that who you are is what you have or don't have. Knowing that who you
are is greater than all these things, today, forgive yourself for forgetting the good that is in you.
Day 21 – INSPIRATION (Feb. 19)
Think of at least two people who exemplify for you the practice of nonviolence. What is it you admire about them?
Practice these behaviors today so that other people may be inspired.
WEEK 4 (2228)
“The nonviolent approach does not immediately change the heart of the oppressor. It first does something to the
hearts and souls of those committed to it. It gives them new selfrespect;
it calls up resources of strength and
courage they did not know they had.” Dr.
Martin Luther King, Jr.
Day 22 – MISSION (Feb. 20)
"My life is my message." says Gandhi. Write down what you want to stand for in your life. Note at least one way you
can show through action that you stand for your beliefs. Take this action today.
Day 23 – PRAYER (Feb. 21)
"Prayer from the heart can achieve what nothing else in the world can." said Gandhi. Begin and end the day with a
prayer for peace. Let peace begin with you.
Day 24 – HARMONY (Feb. 22)
Choosing not to engage in any form of gossip today contributes to harmony and peace in relationships. Today, choose
to see the good in others rather than finding fault.
Day 25 – FRIENDLINESS (Feb. 23)
To humorist Will Rogers, strangers were simply friends he hadn't met. View those you encounter today in that light.
Make a new acquaintance.
Day 26 – RESPECT (Feb. 24)
Gandhi taught, "Language is an exact reflection of the character and growth of its speakers.” Today, respect yourself
and others be choosing not to use any profanity or "put downs."
Day 27 – GENEROSITY (Feb. 25)
Mother Theresa said, "There is a hidden poverty more pervasive than lack of money. It is the poverty of the heart."
Find three ways to generously give of your time, attention and resources to others.
Day 28 – LISTENING (Feb. 26)
Today, stop what you are doing and take five minutes to listen to the feelings behind someone's words to you. Be fully
present for the conversation and interested in what the person is saying.
WEEK 5 (2935)
In order to create a peaceful world, we must learn to practice nonviolence with one another in our daytoday
Day 29 – FORGIVENESS (Feb. 27)
When we forgive, we are free to let go of the past and move on with our lives. We do not condone the hurtful behavior
but we realize that there is something within us that is more powerful and important than this wounding experience.
Today, write a letter to forgive someone. You do not have to mail it.
Day 30 – AMENDS (Feb. 28)
Make amends today. Apologize to someone you may have hurt and mean your apology sincerely.
Day 31 – PRAISING (March 1)
Appreciation helps people to grow and lets them know that they matter. Offer praise to at least three people today for
their personal qualities, achievements, or helpful service.
Day 32 – PATIENCE (March 2)
According to Cesar Chavez, "Nonviolence is not inaction…It is hard work…It is the patience to win." When your plans
seem delayed, choose to be patient by identifying at least three ways that you can constructively use this time to support
your goal.
Day 33 – ACKNOWLEDGEMENT (March 3)
Tell someone today what a difference he or she has made in your life. Acknowledge that person for being there for you.
Make this a day when you don't take people for granted.
Day 34 – LOVE (March 4)
Gandhi wrote, "Nonviolence is based on the assumption that human nature…. unfailingly responds to the advances of
love." Today, focus on what you appreciate most about the person you like the least.
Day 35 – UNDERSTANDING (March 5)
Thich Nhat Hanh says, "When you understand, you cannot help but love…Practice looking at all living beings with the
eyes of compassion." Send a silent thought of love to ten people today. Share your experience with someone.
WEEK 6 (3642)
To require others to change for us to be more peaceful does violence to us both. By choosing to be
peaceful in relationship, we invite others to nonviolence in return.
Day 36 – MINDFULNESS (March 6)
If we just act in each moment, with composure and mindfulness, each minute of our life is a work of art. Be aware of
the motivation behind your action, the intention behind your words, and the needs and experiences of other people. By
doing so, you are making life beautiful for others.
Day 37 – GRACIOUSNESS (March 7)
When you are out driving today, slow down, and let the other person in front of you. Stop and let pedestrians cross the
Day 38 – KINDNESS (March 8)
Everyday we hear of random and senseless acts of violence. Participate in the counterrevolution
of kindness started by
Anne Herbert. Perform three random acts of kindness and senseless acts of beauty.
Day 39 – DIALOGUE (March 9)
Marianne Williamson describes a healthy society as one in which "those who disagree can do so with honor and respect
for other people's opinions, and an appreciation for our shared humanity." In the Desiderata by Max Ehrmann, he says,
"Speak your truth quietly and clearly, and listen to others." Today, speak up but do not enter into the spirit of argument.
Day 40 – UNITY (March 10)
Differences give variety to life and are often only on the surface anyway. Today, look for three ways to see beyond
outer differences in opinions, appearances, or goals. Find the meeting point of underlying unity that exists in diversity.
Day 41 – OPENNESS (March 11)
A Turkish proverb says, "He who builds himself a fence, fences out more than he fences in." Today, be open to
understanding ideas and people that you have previously opposed.
Day 42 – ACCOUNTABILITY (March 12)
In conflicting situations, personal accountability allows us to take responsibility for how we contribute to the conflict.
Today, take responsibility for how you contribute to a conflict and make a different choice that can lead to a peaceful
WEEK 7 (4349)
Relationships based on nonviolence are built on the ability to see and understand another human being,
whether or not we agree. Seeing people from our common ground gives us practice for bringing
nonviolent actions, choices and behaviors into our communal life.
Day 43 – UNIQUENESS (March 13)
Dale Carnegie says that the greatest need people have is for love and approval. Praise, compliment, and honor the
uniqueness of at least five people today. Notice the positive impact you make by valuing the individuality of each one.
Day 44 – COOPERATION (March 14)
When we work together, we are stronger that when we work alone. Today, find one significant way your can cooperate
more effectively with the people in your family or workplace, school or community. Do it.
Day 45—MASTERY (March 15)
Labor organizer Cesar Chavez teaches, "If you use violence, you have to sell part of yourself for that violence. Then you
are no longer a master of your own struggle." Breathe deeply, silently counting backwards from ten to calm yourself
and cool off before your speak or act with impatience or anger. Do this at least once today.
Day 46 – COMPASSION (March 16)
Mother Theresa implored us to "find someone who thinks he is alone and let him know that he is not." Today, do as
Mother Theresa suggests.
Day 47 – DISARMAMENT (March 17)
Have a conversation with someone today about what the world would be like if there were no weapons nor any need for
them. Imagine such a world.
Day 48 – ECOLOGY (March 18)
Value the earth by conserving natural resources and avoiding the purchase of products that deplete the rain forests or
exploit labor forces. Practice recycling today by using at least one recycled product or by recycling something.
Day 49 – HONOR (March 19)
Albert Einstein said, "There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as if
everything is." Before each meal today, stop and honor all the hands that brought it to you and to bless the earth for its
WEEK 8 (5056)
Nonviolence challenges us to stand for Truth by taking action that honors the dignity and worth of
every human being.
Day 50 – CHOICE (March 20)
Be aware today of any jokes or remarks that show disrespect toward ethnic groups, women or men, classes of people,
religious groups, gays or lesbians. Be considerate of every person's dignity and choose not to participate in
disrespectful conversation.
Day 51 – ADVOCACY (March 21)
"When someone stands up to nonviolence," says Thich Nhat Hanh, "a force for change is released. Every action for
peace requires someone to exhibit the courage to challenge violence and inspire love." Today be an ally. Without
blaming or judging others, speak out for those who are disrespected.
Day 52 – EQUALITY (March 22)
Have you ever noticed the groups of people who are under represented in your activities and lifestyle? Find one way to
connect with a person from these groups today.
Day 53 – ACTION (March 23)
"Each of us can work to change a small portion of events and in the total of all those acts will be written the history of
this generation," said Robert Kennedy. Today, find a way to make one, small change that will contribute to the wellbeing
of your home, school, workplace or community.
Day 54 – GIVING (March 24)
Practice generosity by sharing time, energy, and material resources with those in need. Clean out your closet, bureau
drawers, or garage. Are there things you aren't using that might be of value to someone else? Today, give away what
you are no longer using.
Day 55 – RESPONSIBILITY (March 25)
The quality of your community starts with you. Take responsibility for the quality of your community wherever you
are. Today, pick up trash that is not your own, whether at home, at the office or on the street. Every little bit helps.
(March 26)
People need the dignity of work and the opportunity to provide for themselves and their families. Economic selfsufficiency
is a requirement for a nonviolent world. Today, create a job for someone or help someone to find
employment (for example, help them with a resume or application, help them make phone calls, dress appropriately, or
practice interviewing).
WEEK 9 (5763)
Nonviolence challenges us to stand for Truth by taking action that honors the dignity and worth of
every human being.
Day 57 – SERVICE (March 27)
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said, "Everybody can be great…because anybody can serve. You only need a heart full of
grace and a soul generated by love." Sign up to volunteer a minimum of two hours this month with an organization of
your choice.
Day 58 – CITIZENSHIP (March 28)
Robert Muller, former assistant secretary general to the UN, urges, "use every letter you write, every conversation you
have, every meeting you attend, to express your most important beliefs and dreams.” Today call or write one of your
legislators and register your views.
Day 59 – INTERVENTION (March 29)
Alcohol and drug abuse is both a consequence and a cause of violence. Today have the courage to intervene in a caring
way. Through your honest and straightforward communication, encourage yourself and others to get educated, get help,
and get sober and free from drugs.
Day 60 – WITNESSING (March 30)
"We are each other's bond," writes poet Gwendolyn Brooks. Those who practice nonviolence cannot close their eyes to
injustice or cruelty. We are here to be a witness for justice and compassion. Today, be willing to stand up for Truth by
your presence, your words and actions.
Day 61 – PEACE (March 31)
Thich Nhat Hanh wrote, "Practice watering seeds of joy and peace and not just seeds of anger and violence, and the
elements of war in all of us will be transformed." Today, make a choice to meet each experience with an intention for
Day 62 – COMMITMENT (April 1)
Spend five minutes reflecting on your commitment to nonviolence.
Write down what it means to you and what you
are willing to do as a consequence of your commitment to it. Make your commitment public by sharing it with at least 2
Day 63 – RELEASE (April 2)
A Sufi proverb says, "When the heart weeps for what it has lost, the spirit laughs for what it has found." Today look at
how far you have come during this 64 day journey. Release the weight of your past, judgments of yourself and others,
and the idea that world peace is not possible by acknowledging that you do make a difference.
“Nonviolence should mean a complete freedom from illwill,
anger and hate and an overflowing love for
all …. The nonviolence I teach is active nonviolence of the strongest. But the weakest can partake in it
without becoming weaker.” – Mohandas K. Ghandi
Days 64 and 65 – CELEBRATION (April 3 and 4)
Today, rejoice in the work that you have done. Celebrate the journey that you have made with countless others who
believe that every individual can move the world in the direction of peace with their nonviolent choice and action.
"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that
ever has." Margaret

Happy Chinese New Year

The year of the rat.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Baby Deinhammer!!!

Thank you, God. Looks like two arms and two legs.

Way to go, Rod!!!

Rod's hard work is being rewarded!!! Texas Instruments is sending Rod and his lovely wife to St. Kitts for a week the end of April. Puppy sitting anyone???? Woohoo!!!

St. Kitts-Nevis
Breadfruit tress line the roads as a warm breeze lazily sweeps the pavement. Converted plantations are everywhere - no longer housing sugarcane but visitors to St. Kitts island. And though St. Kitts and Nevis are forever interlocked as sister countries, both remnants of British colonies, each island has different ways of getting by. Though one thing they both have in common is: how well your day went is generally directly related to how many hours you spent in a hammock. And while relaxation is the norm along the beaches of the Caribbean, it is taken to new levels in St Kitts and Nevis.

Nevis sells itself as the untamed half. There are no traffic lights on the entire island. You are equally likely to find a wandering goat on the road as you are a vehicle. But only the former will try to eat out of your hand. While the greater percentage of visitors arrive by ferry, making Nevis a day-trip afterthought on many a Caribbean vacation (preferring the more refined St Kitts beaches, restaurants and nightlife), the untapped wildlife and high-quality resorts make Nevis a great place to stay. While a lot of the St. Kitts hotels are converted sugar plantations, there is hardly another form of lodging on Nevis. They are uniformly prestigious and well-maintained, operated by locals living on-site. The only drawback is that they are often not on the beach – but given the small area that Nevis occupies, “not far” from the beach is certainly a relative term.

St. Kitts island is the more popular of the two islands. Larger, with more beaches and a wider range of places to stay, this island also offers far more in terms of activities and opportunities. Rain forest hikes and horseback riding are common pursuits for travelers, and the fantastic golf courses are another important aspect of St. Kitts tourism. Both of the golf resorts are attached to a St. Kitts hotel and offer discounted prices for their guests.

St. Kitts island also is home to Mt. Liamuiga. This dormant volcano, nicknamed Mt. Misery, is a sloping hike through the rain forests where, if you look closely, you may be able to see some of the Vervet monkeys that call the forest home. Don't worry about the nickname, though. The hike is far from miserable.

Friar's Bay, just a short cab ride away from the main city of Basseterre, is by far the most popular St. Kitts beach. Many of the plantations converted to St. Kitts hotels are in the general vicinity and this bay is also where you'll find the small vestiges of bars that pass for nightlife – which is actually a good thing, as it's never hard to find where both locals and tourists are, especially in the small hours of the night.

Sometimes overlooked in favor of St. Martin and Anguilla as far as destinations for fine cuisine, these islands more than hold their own in comparison. Both St. Kitts and Nevis also have an assortment of fine restaurants – meals here are generally considered highlights of any Caribbean vacation. Although they have little more than the usual Caribbean fare found on most islands, quality is definitely put before quantity on these islands. Nowhere will you find better Arawak chicken or fresher lobsters.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

More Lenten Thoughts

Lenten fasts have a tendency to be oriented toward things like giving up food or television. But there are many other creative ways we can welcome Jesus’ healing touch this Lent. Below are some suggestions you may want to consider.

Fast from anger and hatred. Give your family an extra dose of love each day.

Fast from judging others. Before making judgments, recall how Jesus overlooks our faults.

Fast from discouragement. Hold on to Jesus’ promise that he has a perfect plan for your life (Jer. 29:11).

Fast from complaining. When you find yourself about to complain, close your eyes and recall some of the little moments of joy Jesus has given you.

Fast from resentment or bitterness. Work on forgiving those who may have hurt you.

Fast from spending too much money. Try to reduce your spending by ten percent and give these savings to the poor.

One blog leads to another

While searching for quotes about Lent, I found this very intriguing, "Jesuit-flavored" blog,
Catholicism, holiness and spirituality
While I will keep searching for Lenten quotes, I think these will work for Valentine's Day:
Love God with all your being, and love your neighbor as yourself – Jesus

May it please the Beloved that we never fail to love each other, because if we do we are lost – St Teresa of Avila

Love shows itself better through deeds than by words – St Ignatius of Loyola

Love one another, or you perish – Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, SJ

If there were love of neighbor there would be no terrorism, no repression, no selfishness, none of such cruel inequalities in society, no abductions, no crimes – Archbishop Oscar Romero

Love decides everything – Pedro Arrupe, SJ