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Adversity, Challenge, Opportunity

Adversity, Challenge or Opportunity?
When I hear someone say or assume they have no power over their own life, when someone says that life is too hard. I think, hard? As compared to what? When I hear of someone walking away when they should have stayed, I wonder… who’s needs are being met…
So life is not always easy. If it were, would we be able to identify the good times? What would we use to benchmark our good days against? Are we not always comparing and contrasting? A great meal is noticeable only because we have had a few that were somehow less than good. If they were all perfect, we would only consider them food, not great food.  So we know how good a day is, or an experience is because we have something to compare it to. This works the same for employment, relationships, illness, dying, death and grief; in fact, in every facet of our lives.
We need life’s challenges because they let us grow, they provide opportunity. They encourage us to stretch mentally, physically and emotionally. We are not paralyzed by challenges, but rather we discover who we are by the way we face them, and overcome whatever adversity they may hold.  The very measure of who we might become is determined by the way we demonstrate our mettle during tough times. The way I see it is, challenges faced and conquered let us know greatness. Adversities overcome, allow us to know and recognize our own strengths.
“At the timberline where the storms strike with the most fury, the sturdiest trees are found.” Hudson Newsletter
The trees there may be wind bent, shy on leaves, but they are rooted deep. They are strong and sturdy. A person who has never known real adversity can not know himself fully.  That rare bird cannot advise a friend for he has no firsthand knowledge of how to stand strong in his most vulnerable moments. He cannot bring to the table his wealth of experience staring down the jaws of trouble. On the other hand, we face big problems and come up with GREAT solutions. A chance to test ourselves against all life throws at us. We not only survive, we thrive. Because we are those trees at the timberline. We have been blown and tossed by life’s storms. We sink our roots deep in the good earth and
stand tall.
“The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees opportunity in every difficulty.”  Winston Churchill
Facing the challenges gives us a life that is interesting, but overcoming life’s adversities is what makes us stronger, our lives more meaningful.
In closing, we do not ask for the lightest load, but rather the strongest back to carry the load. We find in ourselves, the ability to face any adversity, to rise to each challenge before us, with our own inner strength. Sometimes we have to use our voice to speak what is needed, to take a stand, to advocate, to demand, to get in the face if you will until things are made right. The knowledge that we are strong, that we are already enough. WE all posses or can find a “can do” attitude if we want it badly enough. WE all can be the force during times of heartache, during times of adversity, challenges and change !
The force you are… walk on.
 ~ ~ ~
My prayers go strong for a life long family who stood by, advocated for the matriarch who left this world this morning at 2:31am. May she walk on as she is reunited with so many… I love you all and am with you in spirit. It was not an easy walk for any of you, and “not like the brochure said it would be”. 
RIP Jean… finally you are free from pain. May the reunion be glorious, the girls will be fine…
~ ~ ~ ~ 
Walk in beauty,
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Take some chances being amazed

It is rather amazing when you look around.

Great Expectations, Great Disappointments.
No Expectations, No Disappointments.
But how sad and self limiting to face this destiny….. To expect so little that we can never realize any disappointment in our lives. I would rather fall flat on my face  weeping and cry from the sheer height from which I fell. Feel the pain, moan and groan occasionally, than crawl along, close to the ground, never soaring to any height just to prevent the fall.
My strongest belief is LEAP and the net will Appear!
Take some chances. OK so yes, we may fall and we may fall from great heights, but, it’s just a fall. We can bounce back. We are resilient! We are strong. We can choose to be strong, even when we momentarily find ourselves flat on our face. Remember when you were a kid and fell off your bike a thousand times before you could race up the street a million miles an hour?  Same thing. Fall. Go ahead and fall, pick yourself up, eventually you will get it right.
How else do we really live? Really feel the life energy we each have. We only know the joy of the ride, the freedom of the sky if we have experienced the ride.
 I am not encouraging reckless abandon all the time. But I fully support some wild moments. Taking some chances. After all, we have this moment to live life to the fullest. Not to always follow the safe and sure path that is predictable.
Sometimes we should LEAD,  Not Follow. Sometimes we should step out there. Turn on the dazzle, sparkle, just because we can. Often we find ourselves surrounded by joyless souls. They have the capacity to suck the joy out of life if we let them.  Why would we want to give up our personal power to these bleak, sad, angry souls. Better that we consider surrounding ourselves with lighter spirits. Be the light others need to see, and create for ourselves our own excitement, our own happy place.
By leading with our own light, we choose our own path. Straight up the hill,  not winded, sprinting the last hundred yards to the very edge of the cliff, with great expectations, great determination, sweat on our brow…a joyous CELEBRATION!  Leave the grouchy, hateful
dark souls at the base of the mountain if you must. Jump on a cloud, take the ride across the rainbow, and laugh all the way down.
OK so maybe it’s REAL risky to think that a real cloud will provide a soft landing from the top of the mountain, but you get my drift here, right?
Live with GUSTO. Take some reasonable chances. Look for MAGIC in your life. Create a good life, a great life. Work hard to achieve the life you want, dare to dream for. Laugh, love, sing, dance.
And no, not in your mind. Get out there today and CELEBRATE YOU!
Feel the earth beneath your feet, look up at the sky, touch the magic within YOU…
Walk in beauty,

if the Shoe Fits…

Life is like shoes, some fit, some don’t… Patti Labelle is known for her stage presence, her passion, her pipes… she is also known to take those shoes and throw them off on stage! Why? Not cos’ she doesn’t like them, not cos’ she doesn’t look good in them. BUT, because her darn feet hurt after a while! She knows it’s alright to change things up, to get comfortable, to not care what others may think …
I really don’t like all the shoes that may fit me from time to time.. So my thinking is, change shoes. The fit may be better or the “shoe” more welcome. I say this in returning to the theme of today being random acts of Kindness… BE kind to you, to all that you see or meet along your path. Be the change you want to see in your home, your community, your world.
You know how some things just resonate? Michael Jackson’s “Man in the Mirror” That song still
 replays in my head often. If you want to make a change, look in the mirror,
BE the change you want to see. So how do we translate this musical expression of wisdom into our own lives? It really does begin with us.
Lonely? Feeling unloved? Befriend someone. Get out there and make a friend, and acquaintance. Be the friend you wish you had and the universe will “gift” you a friend. Find something you are passionate about and make a contribution. Have a dream? Does it scare you at times? If not, you are not dreaming large enough! Spend time smiling at everyone you meet. The smile is contagious. You give one, you may get one. What happened to old fashioned pleasant greetings? Tip you hat, nod and smile… These small gestures are the way to begin the change. Do it so often it becomes your habit.
Unhappy and stressed? Laugh. Watch a funny movie or go to the local comedy club with a buddy. Go people watching, that’s surely a great and inexpensive way to get your laugh on!  Lots of funny books in the public library. Better yet, make someone laugh. I know it’s tough to do when you feel crushed by everyday stress. You are clever, and bigger than that potential bottomless pit of stress. Inside of each of us (or most of us) is the desire to be happy. This is only achieved internally. Happiness is not taken, it is given. Give of yourself, in the giving, you will receive so much more than you give. I promise.
Say what you mean, mean what you say. Be honest in all your interactions. Not hurtfully honest. But ethical, stand behind your promises. Don’t make a promise you can’t or won’t honor. Just be you. Remember, being you is the best you have to offer. So, be you. Be the best you that you can be. Make the changes necessary. Strive to make yourself better in some meaningful way everyday. Like a snowball, small changes lead to big results.
Look hard in the mirror where only you really know what that reflection means. Is there something about your life, your behavior that you want to change? Little steps lead to big changes. Each of us are responsible only for what we contribute to the mix. Good in, eventually leads to good results. So put something worthwhile out into the universe and reap the rewards. Not because you want more for yourself, but because it really is in the giving that we receive.
Go ahead, smile at the sun, throw a snowball, hug a tree. Recycle. Smile. Hug, really hug a friend. Speak kindly for it is easier to eat you own words when they are tender.
I close by asking everyone to listen again to Michael Jackson’s song “Man in the Mirror” and own the message it offers. I have, and am blessed by it. I wish you enough.
Enjoy your life, live it. You are the change agent in this world. Live well, love, be loved and laugh often. I wish you enough.
Walk in Beauty,
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Do The Right Things…

“Always do right, This will gratify some people and astonish the rest.”Mark Twain
Be the beauty you want to see….
We must not fall in to the habit of taking the path of least resistance. We must always do the right thing. Because it is the right choice for our lives. The fact is we all know right from wrong. We know when we are talking ourselves into a “sorta right” action because it suits the moment, but to do right on a day to day basis is to live a good life. If we silently grapple with justifying some action that throws someone else under the bus, we do know that deep down in our heart, where our soul lives, we are making a bad choice.
It may sound like a cliche, but be honest. Honest in word and deed. Honesty must be the standard we all live by. We honor others with truth, we respect ourselves by being unfailingly truthful. Truth, offered up with kind intention can be made palatable even in the worst, most difficult encounter.
An honorable person is trustworthy. A trustworthy person is gold. Pure gold. So, be honest in all your endeavors. Be kind, forthright, do the right thing. When all else around you fails, you will not have failed yourself, nor those you value. Doing the right thing requires no explanation and no apology.
If I knew no one would ever find out what I have done, I would still do the same right thing. Because, I will always know what I have done. I am responsible for my integrity. I am the only one that will forever live with the consequences of the person I am and the person every choice leads me to become. I choose good deeds, worthy thoughts, and esteem to always live up to a high standard. It is the foundation of our character.
“You do not wake up one morning a bad person.  It happens by a thousand tiny surrenders of self-respect to self-interest.”  ~Robert Brault~
Others may, attempt to derail your reputation, your integrity will speak for itself. Speak truthfully, act with integrity, be honest and kind, loving, compassionate, considerate, giving and thoughtful. In doing so we honor ourselves, and the life we are meant to live.
Live well. Do the right thing, because you can. We must. Be the best version of you as you strive for excellence from within.
The fire is burning brightly, the embers are hot, the sage is filling the air.
My thoughts and prayers are surrounding old friends today as they sit bedside with their beloved Mother/Grandmother who is transitioning to the other side. May they find the courage to say all that is needed to be said, to touch her with amazing love and grace while finding humor as they talk to her and with her in the final hours. Godspeed and blessings to you all there dear lifetime friends… My heart is with you all.
Prayers going strong today,

DLB, Dot/COB/Mom, Angela, Kamryn Elijah, D’Vante, Olivia, Joan,  Linda McDonald, Laura, Mitch, Eileen, Mary, Kelley, Joanna, Renie, Jean, K & A, Tony, Audrey, Anne, Patti R., Pat, Stephen, Matthew, Jane, Walter, Jen, Snoop, Lance Dyer, Dakota, Bev, Erik, Shari Taylor Webster, Stephen Bright and family, Gayle, Chris W., Penni, Suz, Chase, Jaxon, Matthew, Bryan, Corey Richardson (Kokie), Dave, Eric, Paul, Rick, Alexis, Bill, Tom, Bob, Kurt, Dianne, Suzannah,
Elizabeth Gardiner Myers, her beloved sister-in-law and family,  little Rylie, Jan, Charlie, Eagan, John D, John S., Kurt, Kendra, Matt, Stoney, Regina, Suz, Corby, TK, Ericka, Louise, Tommy, Joan, Bob, Fluff, Scott, The Korabek/Shram tribe, AnneMary, Shirley, Karen, Lori, Tanya,  Kendra, Kurt, Joan, Jack, Tom, Chris, Sabian, Rus, Stan, Greg, Scott, Christian, Mike, Richy, Areila, Penny, Ford, Bob, Frank, Eric, Kurt, Bob, Chases Cows, George, Justan, Phillip, Deion, Hunter, Pop, Ledg, Matthew, Stephen, Pat, Jennifer, 

ZERO, soar on dear one, we miss you always yet know you are with us in all the familiar places …Prayers and strength for Alexis and her family, Chelsea, Baby Florenzo, and Sara may the Creator welcome you all home to the Ancestors…   Those in Christiansburg VA and surrounding communities for strength and healing, VAAP, Stephen Deirslen and family,  Kurt, Ali, Jeremiah, Pop Spring, Joe, Rachel, Matthew, Nick, Leanne, Leslie, Stephen, Gayle, Karen, Janet, Perry, JT, Moses, Little Nicholas, Karen, Ericka, young Peyton, Bill, Shauna, Dixie, Kurt, J&L, John, Alexis, Kassity, Kelsi, Bob, Lauri, Larry, DC, Courtney and baby, Choctaw Nation, SODA, Kari, Jamie, Tiffany, Bob, David, The Durant P.D., Windhorse, Hezra and Dan, Pat, Joan, Jane, Mickey, Cynthia, Rubuye, Patches, Charla, Kurt, Lyle, Bear, Sylvia, Heidi, Samatha, Marcus, Brenda McQuire, Jan, Joan,  Louise E. Duckwork and her family, friends, Brother Michael Belford, Rev Bev and family,Erin, Bear, Ellie, Andrei, Maggie, ED, Mary, Ari, Kostas, Jean, Rene, Joanie, Stevie, Nat, Matt, Jamie,
For Sandy Hook and those in Newtown CT., for all those who have been touched, shattered and devastated by violence we are with you here and pray for an end to such horrible things happening in our world. 

For our warriors, We are fighting alongside you and thinking about you.

Rebecca, Hudson, Peyton, Dottie, Zero, George, Peyton, Billy Ray, Yvonne, Les, Lana, Lanita, Kelly, John, Bill,
~ `~


Erin, Ellie, Andrei, WM, Yvonne Cassie, Mildred, Michele, Evelyn, Kelly, Betsy, The Faulkner Family, Stan, Dan, Christie, Ledge, Rick Paul, Colin G Brady, 

NYPD, Guardian Angel Hospice and those there, Lanita, Dana, Leslie, Dottie, Kelly, Molly, Evan, Jeff, Ruby, Kevin, Scott, Dakota, Ruby, Dottie, Todd, John, BK, Clare, Yvonne, Evelyn, Sonny, Trace, Lyle, Michael, Beverly, Shauna, Dixie,

Julia Skinner and her NRV ELITE in Christiansburg VA,thank you for a wonderful year.
Coach Woodka, the Tarpon Springs Basketball team, Coach Carb and family, Cooper, Mark, Marvin, Zaden, Zamerion, Daniel, 

Carol, Sandy, Carrie and her family in Aurora,Ali,BK, Carolyn, Karen, Kelly and her family up North,

For those who have asked and we are standing with you in your time of sorrow, angst, difficulties.
   Heidi and family, Dianne, Ken,  Lori, Cynthia, Scott, Ali Legend, and children,  Heather Belle, Carolyn, Rog, Dusty, the 5,000 guardians now standing in the memory of Thomas O’Brien, the family of Trayvon Martin,

  Harriet, Sherry Reed, Mary Grace, Shirley, BK, Stephanie, Lorrie, Pop and his family,

Sherry C.,  Katie and Bill Majestic, Marvin, Layne, Lori, Jim, D, Heidi, Julia, Rolling Thunder, The Patriot Guard, Carol,The Schram/Korabek family, Kyle, Mark, Todd, Yvonne, Harry, Kevin, Jen, Charles,  Glenn, “the littleOne”, Anne Klein, Monica Graff, Penny, Chris, Joy, Anne, Sara, Jenn, Shirley, AnneMary, Michael, Jeannie,Patti Labelle and family, The Wounded Warrior Brigades,   Warren Buffet, Best of health be yours sir, Kyle Jones in TN; a magic maker, a musician and a good man, M Dave Glenn Alley a talented musician who is extending himself in service to others, blessings to you friend,BK, Kevin, Dash, Graham, Suzannah,

Seth Greenberg and family, Eileen D. and family, Steve and family, Anne, A, Sandy, “EI”, Kev, Chris,
Lyle Emerson and his family in Buffalo and little Kendra fighting Lymphoblastic Leukemia,


Bernice Etsitty and the life of her son, gone too soon Garrett Joe,Joey, Sam, Tyler, Robbie, Elizabeth, Tommy,

Duke Limongello gone too soon,

and all the children of all colors, all ages, and causes
gone to soon.

Sandy Hook Elementary School
in memory and prayers:
  Charlotte Bacon, 2/22/06, female
- Daniel Barden, 9/25/05, male
- Rachel Davino, 7/17/83, female.
- Olivia Engel, 7/18/06, female
- Josephine Gay, 12/11/05, female
- Ana M. Marquez-Greene, 04/04/06, female
- Dylan Hockley, 3/8/06, male
- Dawn Hochsprung, 06/28/65, female
- Madeleine F. Hsu, 7/10/06, female
- Catherine V. Hubbard, 6/08/06, female
- Chase Kowalski, 10/31/05, male
- Jesse Lewis, 6/30/06, male
- James Mattioli , 3/22/06, male
- Grace McDonnell, 12/04/05, female
- Anne Marie Murphy, 07/25/60, female
- Emilie Parker, 5/12/06, female
- Jack Pinto, 5/06/06, male
- Noah Pozner, 11/20/06, male
- Caroline Previdi, 9/07/06, female
- Jessica Rekos, 5/10/06, female
- Avielle Richman, 10/17/06, female
- Lauren Rousseau, 6/1982, female (full date of birth not specified)
- Mary Sherlach, 2/11/56, female
- Victoria Soto, 11/04/85, female
- Benjamin Wheeler, 9/12/06, male
- Allison N. Wyatt, 7/03/06, female


and for
OUR President and his family

of our United States of America,
those who are serving our Nation and their service animals
and all who have served

and their families,those who have fallen and are still missing we honor and thank you,

May the Creator bless you for holding us in your arms to protect our freedoms.

We  remember.

 Jenn, Bill, Denise, Ashe, Stuart Jr,  Barry Gibb, his family, Whitney, the Houston family, the family of our disco queen Donna Summer ,
Andre, Bill, Taft Abras, Mary Labyaks’ family , Andrea, Patti, Jamie, Sasha, Kerri, Josh, Kar, Cash, Neil, Lori, Cindi, Tom, Shasta, Bill Simpson and Family, Jenn, Steph, Dana, Kari, Sandy, Marty, Marsha, Wanda, Ellen, Cindee, Peggy, Joyce Cruz, a CANCER survivor working at Southwest Airlines *it was an honor to meet you dear one*, Ike Davis, in New Mexico, an artisan who plays in the mud and creates beautiful tings out there, *http://www.negroartist.com/* what a joy you are to so many of SOUTHWEST, thank you for visiting with me, prayers of continued success and tobacco to your Pueblo uncle! and for Christos Fandaros, Thomas Galvin, John Knudson, Curtis, Susie Langham, Stasia and Billy Hall, Christina Chavez and Rick and Ryan, Pam Meyer, Whitney, Diane Bystista, Susan, Leann Vincent, Roxanne Duran, Carole Poppendeck, Mary Jo H-shortes, Bridget, Robert Tanner Mara Tanner, Yolanda L Acosta, Antonio F. Balderrama, Denise Flowers, Lisa Balance, Sherry Stedman, Rose, Marquette, Acosta, Ortega, The Pueblo Peoples,
All those I was honored to spend time with in
” Choctaw Nation, IN, VA, DC, MD, FL, CT, PA, Ohio, Michigan, South Dakotas, Geisinger Medical Center, Michigan, Oklahoma, Ohio, Solaris Hospice, Evercare, Hospice of the Western Reserve, Gesinger, Guardian Angel Hospice,  Crossroads Hospice, New Hope Hospice, Comfort Keepers KS, El Paso, Santa Fe, Albuquerque”
Jeremy, Florence, Cal, Sarch, our friends of Portugal, Mike, AnnMary,Stephanie, Jimmy, Keli, Kasi, Katherine, Julie, Allan, Lynda,LeeAnn, KS Comfort Keepers, Stephen Bright, Linda and staff Melody,Brenda A and children Sarah, David Rachel; Gloria, Pete, Fred, Max, JJ, Barb and Leo Henning, Rick Fechner, Ryan Baurain, Melissa Reid, “Probation Professional pals”, Jim Vander May (*who has been working in the Professional field for 45 years in Michigan*, Dale, Herschel, Bonnie, Louise, Holly, Jerry, Faith, Yvette, Happy, Audrey, and Rod Markowski and family, Lynn, Ryan, Jordon, Darryl Markowski, I thank you for your service) Brian Markowski, Shannon Becker, Nick, Reagan, Dr Iris Taylor of Detroit Medical Center,, please take best care of you) Sandy R. Carol, Stephanie, Geri, Chris, Matt, those in Oklahoma City, in Tulsa, In Ft Worth, Dallas, Ike, Isabel, Teresa, Janelle, Patricia, Susan, Karen, Laura in Yuba City CA, The Walter Reed Warrior Transition Brigade, Hope Hospice, Crossroads Hospice and those who care out there working and walking the walk, Perry, Clayton, George, Janet, and all in green! Rick, Calley, Ron, Rebekeh, Brenda, Becca, Audrey, Gabe, Dena, Beth, Lill, Jay Hanson, Jennifer, Beth Jett, Huntsville AL, Sheri, Wendy Reese and family, Sandy, Toby, Edith Vaughn and family,Susan, Greg and Kyle Korabek (Landon Korabek on the other side now), Stephen Bright and family, Walter Littlemoon, Jane, Laura, Mitch, Jenn, Chris, Mary, Taft, Martha Deaver, Morris, Dahlee, Rose Brick, The Baitinger Family, The Yaslowitz Family, The St Petersbug PD, Congresswoman Gabbie and her family, Dahlee in NJ, Judy Kelley, beloved husband and family, Jennifer, (now being watched over by her beloved husband and child), Norma, and Angel eyes Jack, Daniel, Dave, Cindy and Steve, Marty, Jeremy, Dennis, Darrel, Greg, Leroy, Rebekka, Carly, John, Diana, Crystal, Karen, Janet, Callie, Lorie, Laura, Larry, Clive,
2 Wolves and Jinx in SD, (http://www.2wolvescreations.com/)

Kelly and family,Judy W and her 4 sons up there in New England, Cherokee Wick, Benni, Gayle, Jonathan, Great Aunt Effie’s family, Marilyn Warren, Ilene,  Jen and Brian, Ericka, Shannon, Hannah Sherabow, Pam C. and family, Susan S., Angela A., Nancy W, Sue G, Kelly and family, Susan Brouse, Cindy and Stevie, Kim, Olatz, EVB, Yiva, Mary, Sandra and family, Christina Helen, Dotti B., Susan and Greg, Amy, Becky and Barry Long, Christina, Matt and children, Aaron, Lisa and family, Freda, Linda Katie, Pat D, Tink and Mitch, LITTLE Ben, Jerry, Trish, Barb, Anastasia, Mary, Rylee, Lindsay, Ann, Sarah, Ruth, Johnny, Bobby and the Tucker Family, The Spraker Family,Kenny H, Michelle, Sandy, Addie and family in Canada, Sandy, BraveHeart, Rowena, Chris, Robyn Elizabeth, Jean, Duke,Rowena, Chris, Baby Robyn Elizabeth, Diane Smallze and family, Patti and family, The Korabek Family and friends, The Gasse Family and Friends,

Officer Crawford of St Petersburg, The Kocab Family, baby Lilly Nicole Kocab, The Curtis Family, Tarpon PD, those serving here and there in Uniform… Those now walking The Thin Blue Line, (far to many joining that line recently across our Nation),
Mylee, Mikey and family in DC, Jack M & Janis in OC, Stephen, Stuart Wittel  of the US MARINES and his parents Sandy and Stuart, Lavie Coltrane and family, Andrea Gasse and family here and in New England, Ali and family, Randy and Winnie in New Mexico, Jill Wheaton L, Dr Peter in NY, Dr Rev Bev, Irene M, Bernice, Eileen and family, Vicki, Matthew and family, Chris, Lovie, Nancy, Pedro and Our adopted family in BRAZIL,  The Windcross Convservacy and those beautiful Spanish Mustangs known as “pocket ponies”… the dolphins , always our most remarkable dolphins!!!
AND for:
Anne, Jim, JADE, Cynthia, Joseph, Cathy Madden, Nathan, and her family., Cindy in NC, Liz, Lee, Molly, Joanie, Jude, COFA, Judi, Ken, Matthew, Nick, Matt, Mark’s family and many friends , Pat, Irene, Kevin, Dr D, Deb, Randy, Dr B, Isabelle, Kelsey, Sabrina , Charlie and family, Jean, Julie, Rhonda, Victoria, Mildred, Andi and family, Faith, Denise, Jim, Tom, Joey, Shelby friends and family, Judi, Phylis, Joyce, Gina, Tonya, Beverly and Family, Janeth, Melissa,Virginia, Stacey, Elizabeth, Nita, Gary Siegal, Adrienna, Brian Mawbey, the Boyan Family, Jean R and friend Christy Rider, Victoria and hubbie, Stephen, Gayle, Steph, Chris, Erica, Eileen, John, Mindy, Jack, Susan Werth Becken, her brother Mike and family, Craig James Lightfoot and his family, Kenny, Audrey, Ed Saner, Patty Crowley, Bennie, Gail, Jonathan, Moe, Beverly, Dennis, Peter, Trish, Cynthia, Heidi and her family, Kathy Knights family, Edith Vaughn, Candy, Cynthia, Jenn, Eve, Edith, Jason, Karen, Linda, Joyce, Belinda, Jeanette, Jennifer, Patti, Sandy S, and . .. 

(Feel free to let me know if you would like to add your/or a friends name to our prayer bowl.

Walk in beauty

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Cupid’s Day and Hallmark laughs!

to everyone out there
But someone
just tell me
how in the world…
the representative of
Valentine Day
*you know the day of romance*
can get us feeling the love
with images like this?
A chubby toddler with a bow and arrow
have been seared into our heads
to represent the
romantic, loving annual
February 14
for as long as I can remember!
An ohhh boy are flower shops
and Hallmark having a heyday
ever since! It’s also “heart day”, for those soul connections, friendships, those relationships that go beyond all boundaries of understanding and unconditional love.
I’ve read the most hysterical
postings on Facebook and twitter
to announce the coming
Valentines’ Day last week, this week
and last night
Some just too naughty to put here
and one that stands out:
Feb 14, final day to take DOWN those Christmas arrangements“!!!
~ ~ ~
The flower shops will be hopping,
those florists will have band aids on all their poor dry and scraped hands from cleaning the thorns of the roses, having picked the pedals from the outside “packing pedals”
now the flowers will begin their delivery routes…
Everyone, I mean everyone wants those flowers delivered to where they work; they want the love to be seen by all!
Ah, I smell the love in the air,
don’t YOU?
Tonight the restaurant scene will be awash with folks dressed to the nines and couples will treat each other with that lovin’ feelin’…
Love is in the air,
it warms my heart to visualize it.
I just want it to last….
maybe if we just sent that “toddler with the arrow and bow” out everyday…
if we held on to the feeling and the look of love that might be exchanged through the treatment and looks that will be exchanged or witnessed by others today;
the words that will be spoken,
the memories that will be evoked
If we send each other flowers everyday,
then they wouldn’t cost so much for this one day in time!
Oh but take a look at some of the flower shop websites at their most remarkable flower arrangements;
the colors, the brilliance and the creativity.
Buy YOURSELF some flowers
once a week,
once a month,
Happy Valentine Day
dear hearts
Take best care of YOU,
of your heart…
video by
Delivered “blogstyle”
From ancient times to
right here right now;
I’m holding you in the light
of great sights, great smells
huge hugs.
Pop the cork on a spectacular day
of LOVE! Love of yourself, Love of your world, Love between family, friends, lovers; those who know deep in their heart that LOVE WINS… not just today, but ALWAYS!
We are each of us angels with only one wing, and we can only fly by embracing one another.

I found this and still find it profound,
so here it is:
and my final thought on this
Valentine day 2014If I could be anything in the world I would want to be a teardrop because I would be born in your eyes, live on your cheeks, and die on your lips.” Author UnknownWalk in Beauty,

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Snow, Snow, did I mention Cold weather?

Winter, snow, cold weather… one thing we can say is this: “Enough already”!
Snow, snow and now more snow making its way across the south, up the East coast with freezing rains, traffic that is treacherous as record snowfalls are being recorded all across the lands.  I’m not quite sure how some are doing it, those who cannot pull the blankets up over their heads, and watch the beauty of the snow fall from a window while staying tucked safely inside their homes. I’ve heard from folks across the country, their stories of having to get up, clear their cars and still manage to get out there to do what they do in spite of the dangers for the good of others.
I think of the United States Postal workers who trudge through it, the truckers who go from state to state transporting all that we all need or want from here to there. The Fed X and UPS trucks that seem to manage the odds while bundled up and getting it done.
I feel great pain in my heart of those who have had to delay the burials of loved ones because of frozen grounds, and then my mind goes to those who guard the Tomb of the Unknown today where it is in the teens of degrees and more than 12″ of snow has fallen, more still to come with freezing rain.  They continue to do what they do, with honor, with integrity, with such respect 24/7.
I think and remember when I would hate having to get up early to snow, to traffic and to the craziness of rush hour knowing that so many do not have a clue of how to drive in such conditions. Scraping the windshield, feeling the pain of such cold sear my body and hands. I do not miss that but do enjoy seeing the pictures of snow on the trees, in the mountains and the scenes of snowmen and folks sledding. The tranquility of freshly fallen snow, the memories it evokes still make me smile, thinking of times when riding down a hill on a sleigh or a shovel were the greatest of thrills, the cold didn’t seem so cold at the time.  The laughter, the exhale of breath that left a trail of steam always delighted and thrilled everyone it seemed. Oh those were the days as they are remembered.
 These snows seem to be filled with accidents on the roads, with folks stressed to the max as propane to heat their homes hits skyrocketed prices, as people cannot dig out fast enough before the next big hit. Kids are even sick and tired of being out of school and parents are sick and tired of kids being at home!  Building snowmen is now tedious and cold work with little joy and too much chill in the air to even be fun.  Michigan is frozen, even Hell has frozen.  Seems the fun of winter has worn off and folks are praying for spring… 35 days til’ spring, and just about everyone wants a piece of that groundhog that either does or does not see its shadow each year!
Then there are those folks who just have to get to work; those in healthcare, hospice, nursing homes. Those who better call out dead if they call out at all during times like this!  Oh this weather is wearing on folks to be certain, our bodies know when the weather is changing, when the winds are going to whip, when the rain is coming or the deep freeze is here. “all of us but the kids that is”!
I opened Facebook this morning and the first picture I saw was ole’ cuz Angie standing in the snow looking pitiful. My heart dropped as I thought something bad had happened… She wasn’t in or with her car, she was standing in the snow!  So sad the sight, as i immediately texted her to see if she was alright.
Sure enough, she was standing and waiting… for her good friends and colleagues to pick her up to take her to work! They had decided that it was safer to all travel together to work, rather than independently since the roads were so very treacherous, so there she stood… waiting in the freezing snow! Scaring me to death…  Her pals finally saw her, they arrived and together they made the long haul to Pulaski Health and Rehab… she said it was horrible, the roads terrible, but they were all together. That alone made it better somehow. Women who did not have the option to stay home, who had to show up and show out for the residents they provide care for.
Even when it would have been in the best interest to stay their butts at home! Heaven only knows what the evening roads will be like for them as they try to get home.
Yes, winter is having its way on humans across the land. It is a time for patience, for kindness, for a renewed time of gratitude. With each step, step carefully… with each breath, breathe deeply. With each sentence, speak the truth. With each meal, chew and savor each bite.
Extend a hand to another, make a call to a neighbor to check in on them or stop by and see if someone is ok when you can get out.
Thank a healthcare worker, a hospice worker, a nursing home worker… and your mailman/woman for doing what they do. Thank those who are working the plows, the police who are out on patrol and who are seeing some unsightly things as they go to those accidents that usually turn out bad or so very wrong and in haste.
Take your time… slow down.
Prayers and warm thoughts for all.
Down The Hallway is waiting for you on amazon.com and Barnes and Noble! YOUR next great read…



New Rules for grief (just made them up)

Loss/Grief/sorrow… the vast ocean of emotions that fill the heart and senses leave us weak in the knees and often leave us wondering how we will manage to ever catch our breath or balance again. Through the years, I’ve listened to thousands and thousands of stories, I’ve watched the eyes and bodies of so many as they describe their individual pain in ways that apply to only them and their experience. It does remind me of the vast sea where one doesn’t see land, where even a buoy may be there, but folks forget to grab hold of it for a respite, or for help at times. It is a time at times when the pain of loss takes over and somehow we forget we’ve always known how to swim, as we kick, scream and feel as though we are drowning. people ask how deep the water of pain is, how deep how long this intense feeling of loss will last, how many moments, years, months will the intensity of the now last while flailing about in exhaustion. Rather than just swimming through it with the faith that they are never alone, because at times like that the depth of sorrow doesn’t matter, all that matters is that you keep moving. Remembering the sea is always moving, its depth is its depth, and ever changing we must keep swimming or we will drown. At times we need to rest, to look for a buoy to hang on to, to look for a way to lay on our backs and float while looking up rather than keeping our head down in order to not feel beat up or taking on more than we are capable of at the time.

When we look up there are times the connection is made to the other side, to the knowing that love never dies, that we are never really alone; times when we can in fact breathe fully while re-centering ourselves for the next move, the next breath, the next stroke.There are those times when looking up that we find hope, we find that there is strength from within that will allow us to move through our pain, one breath at a time, in your own time, your own way.

 People mean well during times of pain, heartache, grief and loss. Professionals have spent years upon years studying bereavement, ways to help others, ways to classify normal vs. pathological grief behaviors. Clinicians are on board to provide therapy to those for grief/loss for clients. Books? Oh my goodness are there books on loss, grief under the self-help and psychology sections.

Labels are great at times for those who pick out soups, for those who love designer clothes, for those of us who want to get paid and need a diagnosis code for insurance and rely on the DSM-5 for something to put our “code’ on…

However, those who are grieving are literal at times, they look to others in order to decide if they are “doing it right’ in regards to grief, loss, and appearances in social settings. I remember being told by a woman once that she attended a 6 week support group for grief and received a certificate afterward, but thought she had flunked as she felt worst after attending!

People forget that theirs is the only and the worst pain of loss that there is, only because it is theirs. Each is unique, different. The path is walked with each individual at their own pace, each falling down to rest or from weariness at their own moment. They cannot be compared.

Those who are grieving get mixed messages on how quickly they should be through the process or if they should ever get through at all. We’ve heard and read the signs about those who lose spouses having a name afterward > they are widows or widowers; those who lose children have no name or title afterward, those who lose siblings have no name afterward, nor grandparents have no title afterward.

That is confusing to people who think that they are missing a label and now incomplete as a result.

Widows and widowers are not fond of their new found title or label… it usually takes them forever to change the names on check books, to only one; even when encouraged by others.

Parents who have a child regardless of the age to die; they do not need a new name or title.
Nor do siblings, nor grandparents. They will always be the parent, the sibling, the grandparent, the cousin, the friend of ______/.

We must be cautious that we do not delay pain of loss or grief by confusing people with labels, with wondering if they are “doing it right” with expectations.


1. Keep swimming/walking talking
2. Expect to miss the one who has died for as long as you live. Missing is a testament to loving someone who has been physically a part of your life and is no longer within arms reach or touch.
3. There is a time when you choose to walk into the light or dwell in the darkness of the pain of loss.
4. Everyone has a story; we each must decide not to become the story
5. YOU each have an untold story within you and the great opportunity to become the legacy of your loved one.
6. Sit with yourself and honestly ask this question: “what would he/she want me to be doing now?” would he/she want me miserable in my sorrow or living my life with gusto?
7. Say the name of your loved one, out loud, bring them up in conversations to others. That will give others permission to talk about the days that were greater than the moment that took their life.
8. LIfe is for living, it is short, it is fragile, it is Now. Work to live in NOW, while honoring the ancestors and those you have loved.
9. This is your path… your choice to heal.
10. Work hard to not compare your grief to that of someone else.

Finally; surround yourself with those things that bring you joy, make you smile, and work to laugh again, until it becomes familiar.  

Stand up for you and the memory of the ones who have gone before you! Surround yourself with those who laugh, who smile, who do not hold you and your grief to a time table or an hour glass.  Look for signs and connections, when you open your heart, you will be open to receive them.

Use caution when professionals and friends say;

“you should be over this by now, or what else are you doing to get better”… YOU are not sick, you are different now…

Choose to heal and to live your life walking through grief.

 Walk in beauty


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