Archive | June 2012

Freaky Friday


Well, yesterday was indeed a “freaky Friday”! First the weather was 104 then a strange storm system or rather group of storms sweeps in and an hour later it’s 77 degrees. That storm was so odd. I was on the eastern side of town and noticed the skies were so dark and it rained very hard, very quickly and then it seemed to pass. So off I went from one event to get home for my niece’s birthday.

A drive that typically takes 30 minutes took 90 minutes! Yikes! The sun is shining like nothing happened. But so many lights were out along the way – last I heard it was about 25 lights out in my area alone. That means slow stop-sign like progress at every turn. As I finally pull into my neighborhood I see the electricity was out, trees and limbs down everywhere and neighbors scurrying around helping clean up. Not sure if it had even rained as the streets were dry. Strange.

Then I get the knock on the door to come look at the side of my house where the winds sheared off the siding. Double weird as that is the protected side of the house – not exposed to winds but facing, about 8 feet away, from my neighbor’s house.  Not a scratch on his siding across that huge 8 foot abyss but mine was strewn or hanging off all over the side. Thankfully it will be minimal damage that may or may not require me to tap my homeowner’s insurance.

And if that wasn’t strange enough I heard today that there are so many houses all over the state without power from this freaky storm that Ohio is now a state emergency area. The governor is concerned because the power companies are saying it could take a week to get everyone up and running. They don’t really know why the power is out all over the place but it’ll take a long time to get to it all.  Mother Nature is keeping us in the high 90’s for that period of time – thus the emergency. Reminds me of when the hurricane Ike came inland and hit Cincinnati about 3 years ago. I think I know alot of folks who need a Calgon break – at least the cool water in a tub might help in this heat!!

So, I’ve declared yesterday as Freaky Friday. One more example of either 1) Mother Nature going through the change of life; 2) the end of the world is coming and this is one of many, many strange natural predictors; or 3) Al Gore was right and global warming is ruining everything! Darn you Al Gore!  lol Who knows!

Hope you survived Freaky Friday unscathed! Stay cool and be blessed!

Summer Song Challenge


It’s HOT, HOT, HOT here in the US. We hit 104 F yesterday in Cincinnati, which is pretty rare. The next few days won’t be much better. With the heat outside, the heat of tempers seems to be rising as well. People are testier and crankier … myself included. What we need is a change in focus. Music always does that for me.

So … I challenge you to share a song that reminds you of some summer fun and relief. Here’s my contribution.

Post a link to your favorite summer time song … and be blessed!

Our Deepest Fear


Today I want to share one of my favorite quotes/poems by Marianne Williamson. Her wisdom speaks to my soul every time I read this. It’s hanging by my desk so I can read it often.

Shine on my friends … and be blessed!

 Our Deepest Fear

 Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.

Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.

It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us.
We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant,
gorgeous, handsome, talented and fabulous?

Actually, who are you not to be?
You are a child of God.

Your playing small does not serve the world.
There is nothing enlightened about shrinking
so that other people won’t feel insecure around you.
We are all meant to shine, as children do.

We were born to make manifest the glory of God within us.
It is not just in some; it is in everyone.

And, as we let our own light shine, we consciously give
other people permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our fear,
our presence automatically liberates others.

~Marianne Williamson

And So You Begin – original poem


AND SO YOU BEGIN!

Weaving through the hours and days of shifting emotions,

I see you spinning from one expression to another.

One moment with excitement and anticipation.

Another with a sigh of remembrance and connection.

Change twirling about your feet, anxious to overtake you.

One more box packed and another farewell complete.

Trying desperately to focus on the work at hand,

You finish a task, and pass it on.

Someone else will see it through and champion your ideas.

They didn’t have the vision, but caught it from you.

It is not easy to move through the detangling process.

You gave your time, talent, passion, and heart.

You received recognition for your achievements.

And soon there will be but a handful who remember.

With that realization your mood shifts again.

You twirl to meet the new adventure with semi-open arms.

A quick glance back reveals those who will miss you.

Sending heartfelt love and appreciation in your direction.

But you are now crossing the bridge into another land.

An adventure known only in stories, fantasies, and dreams.

And yet, the first step has become clearer and

Awaits your committed but hesitant move.

You are now on the bridge toward retirement.

You, still being you, but in a new light.

This old work is unfinished and yet very complete.

Discovery is now the work of the day.

Your time as arrived, more swiftly than you thought.

And so … you begin!

~ Barbara Bernard Miller

Technology is my friend … today


Some days I do not believe that technology is my friend. However, today it was very helpful. We have a cleaning staff at work that is mostly Hispanic. Some are relatively new to the US. They work hard and they are learning English as they go. I don’t have any issues with that because I know they are here legally, they are doing their best, and they are providing for their family. They, like all of my ancestors, are the first generation Americans of the future. And they will learn more and more over time. I applaud their courage to plunge themselves and their families into a new life in a new homeland. No idea if I’d really have that courage.

In the meantime, and back on track … today I was trying to talk to one of the ladies with a request for my work area. It became a giggle fest as I tried hard to recall a few bits of my Spanish and she tried hard to work around her new English. Needless to say, what we both knew did not quite overlap and cover the question of my cleaning request for my desktop. Thus the cultural divide was apparent.

Ahhhh, but then the miracles of Google were availed. I quickly found an English to Spanish/Spanish to English translator program. We had a quick conversation that was much more effective, and of course satisfying.  I was reminded of a few words I didn’t remember and she was quickly able to respond. Way to go Google!

What’s your favorite way to get the most of technology – got a favorite app or website? Do share and be blessed!

Expansion and Shrinkage


I have been watching and noticing the stories in our world these days. I am so aware of the great dichotomy that exists in our cultural and communal conscience. On one hand we have the expansion of fear. On the rise is disappointment, danger, disregard, and disrespect. The news makes me nearly breathless with the stories of evil acts and heartbreaking sadness. I know the dark is growing but really, do we need the microscopic details? Does it do us good to see the gore and analyze the wickedness? The swelling madness is a symptom but it is not our truth. At least, I think not.

And, on the opposing side we see the shrinkage of hope. There is so much attention and focus on the shriveling economy and the descending  doom that we can scarcely catch a breath. We can see a kind deed if we look but it is hidden from first glance. And I find very few people willing to take the action to coax it into the fullness of possibility. Are you looking for the small hope to grow in your life? My desire is to see the shrinking hope expand to a pulsing, powerful movement of positivity.

We have the power to reverse the tide. We have within our hands and mouths the power to change the way we connect. Do a kind deed. Speak a kind word. Create a tiny ripple, and then a wave of positive change. All it takes is the enticement of your true creative and positive nature to raise itself up and lead.

Are you up for the challenge? Do you see the opportunity for hope and possibility in your life? Expand and be blessed!

Let us grow …


“What you grow in the good times becomes your strength in the hard times.

Therefore, let us grow and let us share love, peace, charity, forgiveness, generosity, and hope.”

~ Barbara Bernard Miller

I posted this quote on my bulletin board at work today. There are so many people who are seeing the hard times coming or already swirling around their lives right now. I wanted to remind us all that we have some control over our situation. Perhaps not in what happens but certainly in what we put in our lives to prepare us to react to and cope with those situations.

And when I stand in good times and others do not, I hope I am conscious enough, aware enough, and courageous enough to step out of my joy to lend them a hand, a shoulder, a word of encouragement, or even a dollar or two – whatever I have that can ease the trouble. It’s so easy to forget sometimes that we aren’t alone, especially in the tough times. But the worst thing we can do is forget that we aren’t alone in the good times. That is when we can really make a difference.

Be a light in the world, and be blessed!

Daily Miracles


Do you ever notice and amuse yourself with the miracles inherent in the way the  human body really works? Sometimes I have moments of clarity where I notice the mundane, which in reality is really quite spectacular. Every once in a while I remember to look at the world with the same amazement and awe that little children do. Here’s what I mean:

Not being at my regular office today, I decided to work in the cafeteria where I could plug-in and grab an iced chai. It was convenient between meetings and quiet at first. Then, I became acutely aware of the swelling noise as the crowd surged to fill the area. At the same time I was amazed that I could hear the conversations in front, beside, and behind me. Really our senses are incredible. The same thing happens with sight. I can see to type and read and at the same time distinguish the busy movements to and fro of the crowd around me, as well as the dust particles floating next to me in the ray of sunlight. The fact that our senses and our brains can distinguish the macro and the micro details is such a splendid gift. I’m sure there are tons of biological explanations that scientists can provide. But for the everyday experience of life, it is quite remarkable.

Our bodies really are, for me, the proof of a greater design and thus a Great Designer. For us to even be alive is a miracle. Our bodies automatically do the things needed to keep us physically alive – breathing, heart beating, blood pumping, disease fighting, healing, growing, regenerating, digesting, etc. There is so much we never really notice. And then at the same time as all those complex processes, it moves for us on command. We can, in an instant, distinguish the space and speed needed to avoid collisions with all the objects in the world. Well, unless of course we talk about toes – they have a particular need to forcefully crash into immovable objects like legs of furniture. But I digress …

At any rate, what I really realized is that when we stop looking at obstacles, worries, and what ifs, we give ourselves space and time to notice the WOWs and can you believe its that exist in every level of our living.

I invite you to notice your daily miracles …. and be blessed!

Arriving


I had an interesting conversation with my daughter this weekend. We were talking about times in my life when I could “feel” that I was exactly where I was destined to be. I know we are always on the exact right path but there are moments that with intense clarity I have been aware of “arriving” at a destination. It hasn’t happened a lot but it is such a cool moment of realization when it does. She’s not experienced this yet but then again, it didn’t happen for me until my 30’s either. Here’s a few examples:

> The first time I recognized it was an evening a couple of days after I moved back to Cincinnati and was in our new house. I felt drawn in the middle of the night to go downstairs. I lay fully awake but totally at rest on the couch. The moonlight was streaming in the window. I looked around the room and something shifted in my consciousness. With complete confidence I knew that this was the house I was meant to raise my children in. The other homes were lovely, and right in the moment, but this was the “destination.” I felt so much comfort in that moment.

>Then there was the time I found the antique buffet for my dining room. It seems kind of silly or strange that I got that strong sensation about a possession of furniture. But I knew the moment I saw it that it was the piece I had been looking for over the last 5 years. It “spoke” to me and I knew it was coming home with me, even though I had to wait about a month to get it. Everything that didn’t fit in my much bigger china cabinet just settled into place in this piece. It almost felt like I had owned it before. It looked and felt familiar to me in a strange and deep way. If you don’t believe in past lives that’s not possible. If you do …. well maybe I did.

> And I felt it when I saw my dog Gracie. I had thought about a dog for a little while but then it was if there was a calling on me that was urging me to look for a dog that month. I had decided on a couple of breeds. And then, out of the blue, and very much out of the ordinary, there was an ad on the bulletin board at work for a pure breed Bichon Frise. That was my #1 pick in breeds.  Those are expensive dogs and you almost always have to get one from a breeder but I was not prepared to spend top dollar if I could adopt a dog that was going to lose its home. There she was – for just a couple hundred dollars, including cage, bed, toys, food, carrier and all the other stuff a dog could need. I prayed on my way over that if this was the right dog that it would come over to me. Well I got there and saw her as I pulled up. I heard the bells go off. And as I went into the living room to talk to the owner and sat down Gracie jumped into my lap and didn’t move until it was time to leave. Yep – she was my dog and she went home with me that day. I still see it in her eyes when I look at her.

I know some folks will say, oh yeah, that kind of thing happens all the time. And instincts and intuition do happen often for me. But that slow motion clarity of “knowing” and of “arriving” isn’t all that frequent. Well, at least not for me, even in my heightened intuitive states.

What about you – do you have great intuition? Do you follow it? Do you have any “slow motion moments of intense clarity?” I’d love to hear your stories.

Be blessed!

My Dad …


My Dad is a friendly, quiet, gentle man. I am blessed to have him as an example in my life. Because he is quiet he sometimes slips into the background of a scene. He likes it there. I wonder if he realizes that even from the background he has given so much and created so many fun and happy memories where he has touched my life.

As a little girl, not long out of the orphanage, I knew he was so strong. I recall how he tirelessly knew I pretended to be asleep after a long night at the VFW. He played along and would carry me from the car to my room. He seemed to know that I needed a Daddy’s arms to carry me at times. I remember the smell of his cologne – Old Spice. To this day I love that classic scent. He never complained or let on. I didn’t know he knew I wasn’t sleeping until I was older and my mom would chuckle about it.

And he has a fun sense of humor – it can sneak up on you and surprise you sometimes, especially if he’s playing cards or a game. I remember how he always liked to play a trick on my mom when he’d give her Christmas gifts. He was forever sending her on a treasure hunt by hiding part of her gift (like one of the slippers or the handle of the skillet) it was silly fun but a great childhood memory.

When I was a teenager he faithfully attended the Father-Daughter dances at my school. I’m sure it was not on his list of things he’d been dying to do but he still seemed to have a good time with the other dads. And he’d always dance a few slow dances with me. He bought me a corsage and would take me to dinner – like a real date. He was always a gracious example of a gentleman. He still is.

And while he has never been heard raising his voice, he certainly has the strength of his tone to let me know I crossed a line. In my youth I was foolish enough to swear in front of him once. He looked at me with a look I had never seen before or since and vowed if he ever heard that in his house again he surely would turn me over his lap and spank me. That was all it took – just that look and those words and I assure you the threat never had to come to pass. It was the only time I actually saw my Dad angry and I knew he meant it.

And now, in retirement, he is such a wonderful grandpa. He spends time, tirelessly playing games with my niece or showing her all his gardening tips. He’s still the “big kid” that used sit with me and laugh at Scooby-Doo while we ate cereal on the living room floor. And it is sweet how my Dad shows his love for my Mom in many everyday and mundane ways. He is forever a servant leader in our family. It is clear that their vows are still alive. He is patient, even in the constant dishes he washes to help her with her home bakery business. He takes delight in hunting down the good deals at the stores for her supplies. He mans the money-box at the farmer’s market so she can chat and sell her yummy treats. I love to watch their partnership and see how much they love each other in what they do and how they look at each other.

My Dad – the thoughtful, kind, faithful, funny gentleman is also one of my heroes. May he have a blessed Father’s Day! You be blessed too!


bmillergirl1:

Wonderful post that puts alot of things in perspective. Enjoy and be blessed!

Originally posted on gracefully50:

Hello everyone!  Hope you’re having a good week!

Just wanted to share this wonderful message.

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THE BUZZARD

If you put a buzzard in a pen that is 6 feet by 8 feet and is entirely open at the top, the bird, in spite of its ability to fly, will be an absolute prisoner.  The Reason is, that a buzzard always begins a flight from the ground with a run of  10 to 12 feet.  Without the space to run, as is its habit, it will not even attempt to fly, but will remain a prisoner for life in a small jail with no top.

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THE BAT

The ordinary bat that flies around at night, a remarkable nimble creature in the air, cannot take off from a level place.  If it is placed on the floor or flat ground, all it can do is shuffle about helplessly and, no…

View original 169 more words

Butterfly struggle


Couldn’t resist sharing this from a friend on Facebook. Enjoy and be blessed!

A man found a cocoon of a butterfly. One day a small opening appeared. He sat and watched the butterfly for several hours as it struggled to force its body through that little hole….

Then it seemed to stop making any progress. It appeared as if it had gotten as far as it could, and it could go no further.

So the man decided to help the butterfly. He took a pair of scissors and snipped off the remaining bit of the cocoon.

The butterfly then emerged easily. But it had a swollen body and small, shriveled wings.

The man continued to watch the butterfly because he expected that, at any moment, the wings would enlarge and expand to be able to support the body, which would contract in time.

Neither happened! In fact, the butterfly spent the rest of its short life crawling around with a swollen body and shriveled wings. It never was able to fly.

What the man, in his kindness and haste, did not understand was that the restricting cocoon and the struggle required for the butterfly to get through the tiny opening were God’s way of forcing fluid from the body of the butterfly into its wings so that it would be ready for flight once it achieved its freedom from the cocoon.

Sometimes struggles are exactly what we need in our lives.

If God allowed us to go through our lives without any obstacles, it would cripple us.

We would not be as strong as what we could have been. We could never fly!

I asked for Strength… and God gave me Difficulties to make me strong.

I asked for Wisdom… and God gave me Problems to solve.

I asked for Prosperity… and God gave me Brain and Brawn to work.

I asked for Courage… and God gave me Danger to overcome.

I asked for Love… and God gave me Troubled people to help.

I asked for Favors… and God gave me Opportunities.

I received nothing I wanted … I received everything I needed!

May God Bless You.

~ Story from Inspire21.com

3 things …


Sometimes it’s hard to make the world stop swirling and rushing at the speed of light in order to pause and to write. It’s been that way the last couple of days. It’s starting to look like the near future will be similar.

So, as you are rushing about your day, or leisurely enjoying a bit of rest and relaxation, I challenge you to find at least 3 things to be super thankful for. Just a momentary breath of gratitude can make all the difference in the stress our bodies release and the joy we get to keep.

Do it for yourself and for those who love you … and be blessed!

Bonding in girl land


Today was a really good day in “girl land” at my house.  My son is engaged to a very sweet girl named Becca. They’ve been together for 5 years now and are making plans for a summer 2013 wedding. My daughter is a bridal consultant for a local store here in Cincinnati. And today was bridal gown shopping day. For me it was a double blessing to be shopping with my soon to be daughter-in-law and doing so with the help of my daughter, the expert.

We had so much fun! Amidst a flurry of satin, taffeta, sparkles and flowers, there were giggles as we went through the process. And a few extra laughs as we witnessed the process for other brides. Part of the fun for me was seeing my daughter in her element and with so much confidence and poise as she helped with the selection. But the best part was watching Becca go from nervous and shy at first, to confident and sure of her choice in the end. Her face lit up a bit brighter when she knew she had found “the one.” Of course, there were just few tears on my end looking at her knowing how gorgeous she felt and how lovely she’ll be on their special day. Yes, it was a wonderful bonding moment in “girl land.”

I wish you happy bonding moments with your loved ones. Be blessed!