Monday, April 28, 2008

General Colin Powell's Rules to Live By

1. It ain't as bad as you think. It will look better in the morning.
2. Get mad, then get over it.
3. Avoid having your ego so close to your position that when your position falls, your ego goes with it.
4. It can be done!
5. Be careful what you choose. You may get it.
6. Don't let adverse facts stand in the way of a good decision.
7. You can't make someone else's choices. You shouldn't let someone else make yours.
8. Check small things.
9. Share credit.
10. Remain calm. Be kind.
11. Have a vision.
12. Don't take counsel of your fears or naysayers.
13. Perpetual optimism is a force multiplier.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Yes, I Chose Yellow, For Real!

What Your Front Door Says

You are social, giving, and very community oriented.

You like to feel like you're making a difference in the world.

Friendly and optimistic, you are a very welcoming person.

You like to bring people together. You are the perfect host.


I Didn't Really Need A Test To Tell Me This :)

You Are Disturbingly Profound

You're contemplative, thoughtful, and very intense.

Taking time to figure out the meaning of life is a priority for you.

Because you're so introspective, you often react in ways that surprise people.

No one can really understand how you are on the inside... and that disturbs them.


Too Big For Quogr!

All blame is a waste of time. No matter how much fault you find with another, and regardless of how much you blame him, it will not change you. The only thing blame does is to keep the focus off you when you are looking for external reasons to explain your unhappiness or frustration. You may succeed in making another feel guilty about something by blaming him, but you won't succeed in changing whatever it is about you that is making you unhappy.
--Wayne Dyer

Wednesday, April 23, 2008


In order to keep my professional credentials up to date I have to take regular continuing education - as many people have to do. The latest course was a nutrition refresher class, and of course it covered the basics but more interestingly the course taught the new knowledge relating to nutrition.

The basics of Food Labels, the RDA (recommended daily allowance) of nutrients, where energy comes from (carbs, protein, and fat), and all the other basic foundations of nutrition are always interesting to me, and I never tire of reviewing and learning. I mean, just discovering all the healthy whole grains available to us today is enough to give me goosebumps!

But the best part of the class is learning about things that can help us make a difference in our health, as well as new knowledge and research. One terrific source of information and personalized help is HERE .

One of the things I like about the pyramid is the addition of some type of physical activity. The pyramid also stresses the importance of getting some of everything in our food intake - yes, even fats. Perhaps a smaller amount of fat than many of us consume, and smaller portions of protein than we generally eat, and healthier carbohydrates than we're accustomed to choosing, but some of everything is very important.

Balance and moderation are what Nutritionists and scientists have discovered.

I was delighted to learn that all of the nutrients we need can be found in a variety of different foods, so if there's a food I really dislike, I don't have to eat it - I can obtain the healthy benefits of that food from some other food source. So don't let your Mom tell you that you must eat your brussels sprouts - there's some other way to get the nutritional benefits found in brussels sprouts. :)

Although, I must confess that most of the vitamins and minerals we need each day can actually be found in green leafy vegetables. Even nutrients like calcium, iron, vitamins A, & C, although almost all nutrients are found in the dark green leafy veggies!

The reason I mentioned calcium, iron, vitamin A and vitamin C specifically is that these are considered by scientists to be the "Leader" vitamins. These are considered so important that they are listed on Food Labels while all other vitamins and minerals are optional. Scientists have learned that if we consume the RDA of these "Leaders" through foods then all other vitamins and minerals will be consumed at or near the RDA too. This is why the lesser vitamins and minerals do not have to be listed on food labels. Get your RDA of iron, calcium, A & C, and the rest will fall into place automatically!

And the list of what happens in our bodies as a result of having enough of these nutrients is inspiring, the health benefits are well worth eating your spinach! Likewise, the negative impact on our bodies when we don't get sufficient nutrients is also enough to inspire us to make sure we eat those veggies!

Perhaps I'll have a chance to share that info soon. Right now it's waaaaaay past time to put this princess to bed!


7.5 years ago my girlfriend and I took our sons on a day trip to New York City. We drove to Jersey on an August morning and took the Staten Island Ferry into the city. I snapped plenty of pictures of the boys and the Statue of Liberty and the Manhatten skyline on the trip over and back.

This is before I had a digital camera, so I dropped the 35mm film off to be developed after our trip, and picked the photos up on September 10.

That was in 2001, and the very next day after picking up the photos the twin towers were no longer standing.

Of course, there was a lot of tragedy that day, and the actual missing towers is the least of it when compared with the death and destruction of peoples' lives. Nonetheless, the photos I have of the skyline with those 2 towers is special to me, and something I treasure both for the fact that this look and shape of the Manhatten skyline no longer exists, and for the remembrance of all that this nation endured that day, and in the years since. These photos help me to remember, and help me honor the many who perished.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Insomniac Rocks!

Spyro the Dragon (1, 2, & 3 - as made for the Playstation) are among the very best video games ever made! I say this partly because I love playing them, and have for years, and because my son, the almost 17 year old "professional gamer", even considers the Spyro games to be serious gaming. He has a profound disdain for "casual gamers" - and the "casual" games they play. I won't go into which games he considers casual, but basically they seem to be the kind which don't require skill or strategy or critical thinking.
Anyway, since Spyro is appropriate for children to play, I gave these games to him when he was younger, and he played them, as did I.
Fast-forward, he has moved on to PC gaming, XBox 360 gaming, occassional Wii gaming, and suffice it to say he has sold off or lost almost everything else. He recalled how much I enjoyed playing the Spyro games, and so found a set of used games on Ebay and bought them for me for my birthday. :)
And yes, I STILL love to play Spyro the Dragon! But mostly I really like sitting with him and playing these games while chatting with him. The teenage years are never easy, but the difficult moments are actually dissipating, so talking with him is more and more pleasant. I'm truly blessed, and have always known that. He's an amazing person, and I love the thought he put into my birthday gift!


Spring Is Sprung :)

Yes, that's O/our front flower bed - the one that's been overgrown and neglected for at least a year! We spent the weekend working on this, as well as the lawn - laying down soil, spreading seed, raking, watering - you know the drill. And the other side of the house where the shrubs were becoming overgrown got a nice trim, and the deadly rose bush and some other dead shrub were removed, as well as the trellis (well ok - the trellis isn't completely gone yet, but almost!)

Let's see - lots of dirt, even more mulch, plenty of grass seed, some weed 'n feed, fertilizer, assorted other items - idk - about $200?

But - the sight of a nicely turned, planted, cared-for yard - Priceless!



Saturday, April 19, 2008

The Zune

OK - awhile back I wrote about FREE STUFF available just for playing games. I played 20,000 tickets worth of games and was able to order my very own ZUNE for free! (If you don't know, Zune is Microsoft's version of the iPod).

Now here's the truly unbelievable part, at least for anyone who actually knows me - instead of getting the regular black or brown Zune, like the one my son earned for free with the same games, they sent me a pink Zune!

I mean, omg, it's PINK!!!


So, if what goes around comes around is true (and we all know it is) then I have been a very good girl!


Thursday, April 17, 2008

Nothing But Nets

Below is an excerpt from the Nothing But Nets website which tells how the organization began. The good that this campaign does is life-changing. For a tiny $10 donation (tax-deductible) a bed-net is sent to the places where mosquitoes are spreading malaria - Africa largely - and is given to children to help keep them malaria-free.
  • Nothing But Nets is a grassroots campaign to save lives by preventing malaria, a leading killer of children in Africa. While the UN Foundation has been working with the UN to fight malaria for years, it was a column that Rick Reilly wrote about malaria in Sports Illustrated, challenging each of his readers to donate at least $10 for the purchase of an anti-malaria bed nets -- and the incredible response from thousands of Americans across the country -- that led to the creation the Nothing But Nets campaign..

  • The reaction to Reilly's 815 words made clear that thousands of people were ready to help the million children dying unnecessarily each year of malaria. Within a few short months, Nothing But Nets raised over 1 million dollars. And so Nothing But Nets was born.
I hope you'll check out the website to see how destructive malaria is, and to see what a big difference your small donation can make.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

String Cheese Incident

Lyrics: Robert Hunter
Music: Kyle Hollingsworth
No matter when it comes
One thing sure, it comes too soon
Fame, death, love, all find us
Never quite prepared, or in tune
You can hunger through the years
For the proper combinations to appear
At long, long last it's crystal clear
You really cannot get there from here
Others seem to know
When to make their moves
But that may not be true
More likely, they're as hungry as you
For the moment, everything clicks
The fat lady's tiger rolls and does his tricks
Forty fifth of November
Twenty six ten on the clock
In the future, we won't remember
What will they make of such talk?
Learn the art of compromise
Pass the days when nothing works out right
We keep the faith of years
Or we blow the whole thing up in one good fight
Forty fifth of November
It's twenty six ten on the clock
In the future, we won't remember
What will they make of such talk?
Feed me sweet lemon wine
Squeeze the juice from the peel
Play strip poker with time
And it's your turn to deal
Forty fifth of November
Forty fifth of November
Forty fifth of November
Remember the day
Forty fifth of November
Remember the day

Tuesday, April 15, 2008


The limits of the mind are often mistaken to be the limits of the world.
-Immanuel Kant
Sometimes things don't go, after all,
from bad to worse.
Some years, muscadel faces down frost;
green thrives; the crops don't fail.
Sometimes a man aims high, and all goes well.
A people sometimes will step back from war,
elect an honest man, decide they care enough,
that they can't leave some stranger poor.
Some men become what they were born for.
Sometimes our best intentions do not go amiss;
sometimes we do as we meant to.
The sun will sometimes melt
a field of sorrow
that seemed hard frozen;
may it happen for you.
-Sheenagh Pugh
If you (or someone you know) feels discouraged lately, facing another set back or discovering yet another obstacle, you know it can be tempting to just sigh and give up. And sometimes it is challenging to remain optimistic when more bad news arrives (even motivational speakers sometimes want to punch a wall or curl up in a ball and ignore the sunshine!).
The quotes above remind us that there is hope and that while things may get yucky at times, there are other times when good things happen, when the RIGHT thing happens, when the BEST thing happens!
Maybe you can practice being just a little more optimistic this week, or just today, or heck for even five minutes. It might help you, it might help those around you; it might even change the world.
The above is from a weekly newsletter I get called Ripples! This is one of the better ones I've found, reminding us all that we can make a difference in the world, one little pebble at a time. Each pebble tossed into the puddle, pond, lake, or sea creates a ripple, which spreads out from the place where that pebble entered the water. Those ripples spread in concentric circles which just get larger and larger and larger - just like the tiniest of positive actions we take. :)
Yes, we can bloom where we're planted, and yes, we CAN make a difference, no matter how small we feel.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

The Hive

I've just begun reading this book, and so far it's been a good read. I'm always interested in the behavior of others - human and non-human alike. It turns out honey bees are members of very complex societies, and humans have been trying to learn from the behavior of bees for centuries.

Anyway, as I progressed through the beginning of the book, the author explained about the role and behavior of the queen bee. Basically, the queen is the baby-maker. They do nothing else in their entire life than to mate and lay eggs. When not engaged in those activities the queen is being tended to by the other bees. They clean her and feed her (special food just for her, much better than what the worker bees eat!) She does nothing in anyway to contribute to the daily running of the hive - her sexual activities and egg-laying not withstanding.

Hmmm...sounds like pretty good work, if you can get it!

So then the author shares something she found written by Xenophon, an ancient Greek historian and huntsman. This guy lived 430-355 B.C. and after studying bees he decided that Greek wives could and should certainly take a lessen from the queen.





Makes one wonder what this Xenophon guy wanted young Greek brides to do all day!!!

OK - well actually he talks about how the queen is industrious and keeps the hive clean and doesn't suffer the worker bees to be idle and how she receives all the fruits of labor from the worker bees and keeps everything neat and tidy and clean and the stores stocked and ready to keep them all fed throughout the winter. According to Xenophon the queen portions out the food to each one carefully, and she raises the children carefully, and on and on and on.

He didn't have a clue then, about the actual role of the queen bee, or else he wanted Greek women to be lazy, slutty baby-makers.

This is probably boring you to tears, I just had to share it because as I read it (page 22 in case you want to read it too) I just laughed out loud! I mean really, where can I sign up?????



So for the third year in a row W/we celebrated my birthday at "The Melting Pot" restaurant. I know, I know, it's tough, but I'm a very good submissive, and a very obedient little girl, so I go along with it and humor Master.

I'm thinking it's a tradition...ain't tradition great? :)

This year was a little different than the past 2 though, O/our son joined us for dinner. It seems he now feels that he should have joined us in the past to help celebrate my birthday, you know, making that sacrifice to do the "good son" thing. He would put up with the food, just to make me happy. Wow - what a great kid - so considerate of others. ;) He even willingly ate the salad, (he gives me a very hard time at home, insisting that salad and other vegetables will kill him.) When he uttered the words "this is good," after taking a bite of his salad, I wasn't sure who was more amazed - Sir or me! Perhaps one of the nicest things about my birthday this year is the simple joy of spending time with my son, and being able to enjoy his company without the struggle and angst that the teenage years have been frought with so far. He actually gave me a HUG a little while ago after I opened my gifts.

Thank you Sir, for a delicious and delightful dinner, and an all-around wonderful birthday!

"On The Night You Were Born"

by Nancy Tillman

On the night you were born,
The moon smiled with such wonder
That the stars peeked in to see you
And the night wind whispered,
“Life will never be the same.”
Because there had never been anyone like you…ever in the world.
So enchanted with you were the wind and the rain
That they whispered the sound of your wonderful name.
It sailed through the farmland
High on the breeze…
Over the ocean…
And through the trees…
Until everyone heard it
And everyone knew
Of the one and only ever you.
Not once had there been such eyes,
Such a nose,
Such silly, wiggly, wonderful toes.
When the polar bears heard,
They danced until dawn.
From faraway places,
The geese flew home.
The moon stayed up until
Morning next day.
And none of the ladybugs flew away.
So whenever you doubt just how special you are
And you wonder who loves you, how much and how far,
Listen for geese honking high in the sky.
(They’re singing a song to remember you by.)
Or notice the bears asleep at the zoo.
(It’s because they’ve been dancing all night for you!)
Or drift off to sleep to the sound of the wind.
(Listen closely…it’s whispering your name again!)
If the moon stays up until morning one day,
Or a ladybug lands and decides to stay,
Or a little bird sits at your window awhile,
It’s because they’re all hoping to see you smile…
For never before in story or rhyme
(not even once upon a time)
Has the world ever known a you, my friend,
And it never will, not ever again…
Heaven blew every trumpet
And played every horn
On the wonderful, marvelous
Night you were born.
Thanks Katie! It was just wonderful to see everyone this morning - what a great way to start a birthday! :) This story has always been special to me, and even more so now that every time I read it or think of it I will remember YOU! Truly, we are ALL equally incredibly wonderful and marvelous, in our own unique way.
Ren, thank you so very much for taking the time to organize such a wonderful get-together. I so appreciate you, and your friendship, and I know that your hands are full with all that's going on in your own life right now! The dragonfly bag is simply gorgeous - thank you!
~koritzee~ and Regina, what a blessing you both are, and how lucky I am to have your friendship. Thank you both for the shopping trip to one of my favorite places! :) But more than that, thank you for your presence at the table (the literal and figurative table!) I know O/our son certainly enjoyed himself this morning, and he's even more incredible than I knew him to be already since he was able to keep up with the verbal sparring, and gave the perfect delivery that cracked us all up!
It's been a wonderful birthday "Weekend" thanks to my dear Sir! He began Friday evening, continued Saturday, and finished it up today. I'm a very lucky girl!

Saturday, April 12, 2008


On the day when the weight deadens on your shoulders and you stumble,
may the clay dance to balance you.
And when your eyes freeze behind the grey window
and the ghost of loss gets into you,
may a flock of colours, indigo, red, green, and azure blue
come to awaken in you a meadow of delight.
When the canvas frays in the currach of thought
and a stain of ocean blackens beneath you,
may there come across the waters a path of yellow moonlight
to bring you safely home.
May the nourishment of the earth be yours,
may the clarity of light be yours,
may the fluency of the ocean be yours,
may the protection of the ancestors be yours.
And so may a slow wind work these words of love around you,
an invisible cloak to mind your life.
This "beannacht" or blessing, is my gift to myself on the celebration of my birthday. Many such gifts I give to myself, for truly, are we not the only ones who can give gifts of blessing and peace and love unto ourselves? Thank you to John O'Donohue for putting words and voice to such beauty.

Ain't It The Truth!

A farmer went out one day and bought a brand new stud rooster for his chicken coop. The new rooster struts over to the old rooster and says, "OK old fart, time for you to retire."
The old rooster replies, "Come on, surely you cannot handle ALL of these chickens. Look what it has done to me. Can't you just let me have the two old hens over in the corner?"
The young rooster says, "Beat it: You are washed up and I am taking over."
The old rooster says, "I tell you what, young stud. I will race you around the farmhouse. Whoever wins gets the exclusive domain over the entire chicken coop."
The young rooster laughs. "You know you don't stand a chance, old man. So, just to be fair, I will give you a head start."
The old rooster takes off running. About 15 seconds later the young rooster takes off running after him. They round the front porch of the farmhouse and the young rooster has closed the gap.
He is only about 5 feet behind the old rooster and gaining fast. The farmer, meanwhile, is sitting in his usual spot on the front porch when he sees the roosters running by. He grabs his shotgun and - BOOM - he blows the young rooster to bits. The farmer sadly shakes his head and says, "Darn.....third gay rooster I bought this month."
Moral of this story?
Don't mess with the OLD FARTS - age, skill, and treachery will always overcome youth and arrogance!


Wednesday, April 9, 2008


This afternoon was all about trying to figure out how to get home from work. There was an incident on I-95 which shut down the highway and sent all traffic onto the surrounding roads. And since that's where I live, it suddenly became impossible to get "there" from "here".
Besides trying to get home from work there were appointments scheduled and things to do for my recuperating Mom (who lives on the OTHER side of 95 and it's parallel roads - and I just couldn't get there from here!)
So the appointments were rescheduled and Mom too. And yes, it was all a huge inconvenience. But I can't get too stressed about the situation, because I'm alive, Sir is alive, my son is alive, I'm not laying in a morgue, cold and lifeless, nor am I having to cope with the loss of a member of my family. And that's just what the people surrounding the incident on the highway are doing right now, trying to pick up the pieces and go on. Through no fault of their own, their loved one won't be coming home, because their loved one went to work this morning as a highway worker and didn't live through the day.
Just puts all our troubles into sharp relief - we're alive, everything else can be dealt with, lived through, handled, and moved on from. No matter how terrible we might think our lives are, we can still fix things, change ourselves, and make things right. But the 37 year old man who died on I-95 today can't.
My thoughts and prayers to the family of the victim.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Roto-tom Fills

She told him she'd rather fix her make-up
Than try to fix what's going on
But the problem keeps on calling
Even with the cell-phone gone
She told him that she believes in living
Bigger than she's living now
But her world keeps spinning backwards and upside-down
Don't say so-long and throw yourself wrong
Don't spend today away 'cause today will soon be
Gone, like yesterday is gone
Like history is gone
Just try and prove me wrong and pretend like you're immortal
She said He said live like no tomorrow
Every day we borrow brings us
One step closer to the edge Infinity
Where's your treasure where's your hope
If you get the world and lose your soul
She pretends like she pretends like she's immortal
Don't say so-long you're not that far gone
This could be your big chance to make-up
Today will soon be
Gone, like yesterday is gone
Like history is gone
The world keeps spinning on
You're going, going, gone
Like summer break is gone
Like Saturday is gone
Just try and prove me wrong and pretend like you're immortal
We are not infinite
We are not permanent
Nothing is immediate
We're so confident in our accomplishments
Look at our decadence
Gone like Frank Sinatra
Like Elvis and his mom
Like Al Pacino's cash
Nothing lasts in this life
My high school dreams are gone
My childhood sweets are gone
Life is a day that doesn't last for long
Life is more than money
Time was never money
Time was never cash
Life is still more than girls
Life is more than hundred-dollar bills and roto-tom fills
Life is more than fame and rock and roll and thrills
All the riches of the kings end up in wills
We've got information in the information age
But do we know what life is
Outside of our convenient Lexus cages
She said, He said live like no tomorrow
Every moment that we borrow brings us closer
To the God who's not short of cash
Hey Bono I'm glad you asked
Life is still worth living
Switchfoot - "Gone" (The Beautiful Letdown Album 2003)

Kudos to anyone else who knows what a roto-tom fill is - I know :)

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Good Article

Adult Children, Parents and History

How To Create More Understanding and Intimacy in Your Life
Stephen R. Treat, DMin, LMFT

April 7, 2008

Many adults face difficulties in their relationships, because becoming intimate with another person can be a daunting task. Challenges and hardship in childhood; family dynamics; societal challenges around feeling loved, included and acknowledged all contribute later in life to the ability to choose a mate well, or allow a partner to get close to you. Being vulnerable is hard. It's often translated and experienced by people as a fear of the danger of being used or taken advantage of.

In understanding issues of intimacy, personal growth or therapeutic intervention, it can often be helpful to explore an individual's childhood experience, development throughout their life and skills of interaction and relationship. Another helpful direction, which can be very difficult but also holds great rewards, is connecting with your parents, processing issues out loud and discussing personal history. The health of an adult's relationship with his/her parent(s) is very highly correlated with the ability to form a healthy intimate relationship with a partner.

It takes courage to have a meaningful and in depth conversation with a parent . The following are a few ideas which might contribute to a better experience:

Speak to each parent alone, not together. When together, parents sometimes defend the other or add their own editorial and the dynamic is changed. You're aiming for a one-on-one, adult child to parent conversation.

Ask your parent about their own upbringing. Your understanding of your parent’s perspective about his/her life and the and the difficulties he/she may have experienced can create context and foster empathy.

Create a safe environment for your parent to open up. Try to listen as an equal, with an empathetic ear. They are no longer raising you. Whatever mistakes they made are hopefully in the past. Try to stay in the present as you speak/listen. You are now an adult and your anger and judgment can greatly hinder the openness and intimacy you'd like to have in your relationship, or at least in this conversation. Resist the (natural) urge to repeat old harmful dynamics, which just re-injure both parties.

If anger or hurt overwhelm you, stop. It might be worth the small investment to hire a qualified family therapist to help guide the process.

Remember that with pain in one’s background, a person usually tends to have "all or nothing" perspectives. Work at transcending all or nothing thinking and explore history and relationships from multiple and balanced perspectives (not just yours). We are all human beings with strength and weaknesses. Practice forgiveness, compassion and understanding... and you'll be amazed at the effect it has on your own relationships and life.

Dr. Stephen R. Treat is CEO and Director of Council for Relationships. He is a Senior Therapist, Speaker, Teacher and regular contributor to TV, Radio and Newspaper programs. He can be reached at 215-382-6680 x3123.
For more relationship advice, check out our Archive of Relationship Tips.


Big Day

This poor baby had a pretty traumatic day not long ago. He and his 2 kitty siblings went to the Vet for annual check-ups. After a check up and 4 shots he's just done-in!

Friday, April 4, 2008

The Universe In Action

Just yesterday morning they let me know you were gone
Susanne the plans they made put an end to you
I walked out this morning and I wrote down this song
I just can't remember who to send it to
I've seen fire and I've seen rain
I've seen sunny days that I thought would never end
I've seen lonely times when I could not find a friend
But I always thought that I'd see you again
Won't you look down upon me, Jesus
You've got to help me make a stand
You've just got to see me through another day
My body's aching and my time is at hand
And I won't make it any other way
Oh, I've seen fire and I've seen rain
I've seen sunny days that I thought would never end
I've seen lonely times when I could not find a friend
But I always thought that I'd see you again
Been walking my mind to an easy time my back turned towards the sun
Lord knows when the cold wind blows it'll turn your head around
Well, there's hours of time on the telephone line to talk about things to come
Sweet dreams and flying machines in pieces on the ground
Oh, I've seen fire and I've seen rain
I've seen sunny days that I thought would never end
I've seen lonely times when I could not find a friend
But I always thought that I'd see you again

(Fire & Rain by James Taylor)


Wednesday, April 2, 2008

For PirateDaddy

My pirate name is:

Red Bess Cash

Passion is a big part of your life, which makes sense for a pirate. You're musical, and you've got a certain style if not flair. You'll do just fine. Arr!

Get your own pirate name from
part of the network