Archive | January 2013

Just another day in paradise …


I’m so glad that God still performs miracles! He does them every day and thankfully I try to be aware of them. I know I miss some along the way by being busy and distracted. However, some are just too HUGE to miss. Yesterday I received one of those – BIG, really very BIG!

I’ve shared on my blog that I am adopted. I spent ages 3-8 in the orphanage and was adopted by a lovely family. I don’t even think about being adopted anymore really – they are simply my family. I spent most of my life turning my back on my painful past and keeping my eyes on my good fortune and the love this family showered me with. I was saved and I have no idea how or why. God plucked me from a hellish situation and gave me another path to walk. Leaving the past behind me worked for me as I got to create myself anew.

However, as I’m dancing in my middle age I have been gradually collecting blessings as I reconcile my past and my present. I realized along the way that there is enough love in me to keep my family and to reconnect with those in my birth family as well. And last night I reconnected a little bit more.

It was a quiet evening – just me and my puppies sitting by my fire trying to figure out what to watch on TV. One of my regained sisters, Lynnette, called me out of the blue. I’m thankful to have reconnected with her but we don’t get a chance to talk much (not nearly enough). She said “get in your car and come now”. She went on to tell me that my “baby brother” who lives in Texas and drives a big rig was about 90 minutes away from her house and was stopping on his way through. Wow! Now that was not a call I was expecting to get. So into my car I got and I drove the 50 minutes to her house. It was a multiple event as this was my first time meeting her lovely children and wonderful husband. That was momentous enough.

Then we hopped in her car and drove to the rest stop an exit away where he was to meet her. Of course she didn’t tell him I was coming but it was a wonderful surprise! I cannot describe in words what it feels like to look into the eyes of someone you’ve not seen for 43 years since he was a babe in arms. I cannot articulate the blessing and the healing that happens in that miraculous moment. Even with my command of words and love of using them … I cannot describe it.

I am bone tired but happy for the conversation into the wee hours of the night. I am blessed to know that the pains of childhood really can be released in adulthood. I am so awed that in the midst of craziness and hardship, this man turned out to be a warm, genuine, sweet man. The miracles just don’t stop happening when you are hanging out here in paradise.

Hugs your siblings, hold them tight … and be blessed!

Humanity Revolution


Today I saw a picture that included a bit of statistic. It stopped me in my tracks. Here – I’ll share it with you.

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I knew we had the means in our modern world but it never sunk in … until I saw this. What the HELL is wrong with us? How is it we as a people have traveled so far from our Divine roots that we would think that this is okay. We have enough firepower in this world to kill everyone many, many times over … and yet we can all only die just once. Apparently that’s not enough because we build more, we threaten more, we bully and we fight more. Evil has settled into our society and we no longer see it as such.

And we also have the ability to feed every hungry child, mother, father, elderly and needy person over and over and over and yet we don’t do it even once. We share a little but only during disasters. Isn’t starvation every day a disaster?

My heart aches today. The way we destroy our world is one thing – a horrible thing. But the way we ignore, destroy, and debase other human souls is simply unacceptable. There is nothing but grace of God that has made me born where I was and having the opportunities that I have. I surely didn’t deserve them. I didn’t earn them. I simply have them. I have an embarrassment of riches and it is an awareness that keeps me giving whenever I can.

What does it take to create a Humanity Revolution? I see pockets of people in the world here and there doing what they can. We show our kindness in groundswells but I still feel very small in this. I feel like all that I do is but a drop in an immense ocean. How do we rise up in revolution to actually change the world, once and for all, without excuse, without boundaries and national, selfish pride? How do we let our divine humanity overtake the evil that wants to keep our eyes clouded or distracted?  I want to do more. I want to inspire more. I want to save the souls that don’t deserve any less than me. All I can do is inspire those that know me. I can only feed those that come in contact with me with the limited funds I have. I cannot solve this world’s problem alone but I vow, every day to save those that I can.

I don’t have the answers. I don’t know how to sway the hearts and hands of those that rule this nation or any other nation bent on war. But I pray that every heart that knows love will stand up and feed instead of fight. I will stand up and feed. Will you join me … and be blessed!

 

Celebrating fleeting beauty …


sunrise CincinnatiI don’t know about your corner of the world, but the last few days here in Cincinnati has seen an explosion of color in the sunrises and sunsets. The science of it I’m sure is fascinating, but I see the glorious colors of God’s palette. The Master’s hand is of course, perfect!

What is it about blazing fuchsias, kissed by buttery golds and royal purples that makes hope and optimism spring forth so boldly in my soul? In those precious few moments of the day when the grey shadows recede and the blackness of night backs away I feel like there is nothing wrong in the world. There is only beauty. There is only a light show that is created simply to kiss us good morning or wish us a sweet dream at night.

I feel blessed to see the artwork of nature and know that this moment, this masterpiece will never appear in this same way ever again. It is much like the masterpiece that you are. In an existence of many sunrises and many sunsets, or many men and many women, there is only one unique and glorious you.

Today, I celebrate the fleeting beauty of nature, and I celebrate you! Be blessed!

 

History in Fabric


History – we all have one, but some are clearer and deeper than others. We have ancestors which we look like. We have stories we’ve heard countless time from parents, grandparents and others. We may live in family homes passed from generation to generation. And yet some of us live with mystery for history. I’m finding that the more I learn and understand my history, the more I am aware of myself – big things and tiny nuances come into focus.

My history is quite short though, having been adopted. I actually have two threads – one that goes back to my birth family where I have very little information. And a second thread that weaves through my “real” family – the ones who raised me. That is the family that I relate to the most. Those are the stories I can almost recite having heard them at the feet of my grandparents.

Bernard's Wedding QuiltEven with this dual history I find that I really don’t have any items in my home that belonged to anyone further back than an aunt or grandparent. Those that I have, I truly cherish. One of my favorites is a quilt that I have had tucked away. It’s been displayed off and on over the years in my various homes. I’m delighted to have pulled it back out this week and can see it every day again. This quilt was a wedding gift for my grandparents, Jule & Mabel Bernard. They are the couple that changed my life. It started when they would take me and my siblings out of the orphanage for “friends of the orphans day”. Eventually, I was adopted by their daughter when she married. I was able to keep them in my life as grandparents. They blessed me in so many ways.  Having this quilt that they received on their wedding day means so much to me. I don’t use it, although it is in pristine condition. But I love it for all that it stands for. It’s bold. It’s satin. And it’s symbolic of a love that lasted a lifetime. It’s also a touch-point for me to my history. I’m blessed to still have my grandmother. She’s 93 and not able to get out anymore. But she still remembers the stories. Here’s a picture of my quilt, displayed with pictures of my grandparents, parents, and my kids. When I see it, I can remember the fun times we had together. I can remember my history.

What is the most precious treasure you have from your history? I’d love to see a picture if you have one.

Remember and be blessed!

Music of the night …


Wind-ChimesAs I sit here, in the middle of the night, unable to sleep it seems that my senses are heightened a bit.  I can feel the air brush over my skin as the furnace kicks in to whisk the cold away. I’m not sitting near the air vent so I’m a bit surprised by the sensation. I notice the sense that is the most attuned is my hearing. Between the thumping from my son’s cat bouncing around downstairs, to the whooshing sound as my dogs breath steadily at the edge of my bed, I feel comforted by the life that surrounds me in the night.

But the sound that delights me the most is the music coming from outside my window. My wind chimes are dancing and jingle-jangling in the night. They are beautifully matched and echoed by the lovely chimes across the street from my neighbor’s house.

Angel-Close-Up-At-Night-angels-and-fairies-10844417-500-434There is something soothing and mystical about the sound that wind chimes make. I often think I should buy about 10 more and surround every side of my house with them. They remind me that the air is alive and that life really can make music. When I hear them sprinkling their delightful notes I image they call in the angels and accompany the choirs as they sing in heaven. It’s truly one of my favorite sounds.  Tonight I believe I will use them as my focus for meditation and allow their beauty to sink into my soul and usher in the calm and the peace. And from there, if I focus on just them, they can escort me back into the sweet dreamland.

Good night world, I bid you good night! My music awaits. Be blessed!

Drinking from the Fire Hose


drink-out-of-a-hoseWow – I’ve been in training for my new role at work and have decided that I am now officially drinking from the fire hose. Wow!

I have worked for my Company since 1981 and held many roles there. This is only the 2nd time that I’m moving to a job that I have no background or knowledge in – and it’s a little scary! I wanted the change and look forward to shaking things up a bit. But, not gonna lie, I forgot what it feels like to be 100% new.

Lucky for me I have a friend who works on my new floor so I have moral support. And I have 3 employees and a boss who has worked in this area for virtually their entire career so I have technical support. Now I just need to keep putting that one foot in front of the other, or said another way, one question after the other. I think my brain is swimming right now.

waterwingsOnly 2 more training days – tomorrow and one day next week. After that I get to swim in the deep end. Wonder if I can get a set of water wings to keep me afloat.

What’s your best advice for an old dog trying to learn some new tricks?

Be blessed!

Everyday, ordinary people …


I’m inspired these days by stories I read and hear about from “everyday, ordinary people.” Here’s a recent example.

400138_10200236110682680_720733537_nI for one love things that harken back to times gone by. I love antiques, Victorian houses and items of beauty, and things that fill my home with a sense of unique and cozy style. Because of that I have a collection of Tiffany inspired lamps. My favorites have come from ShopNBC who has a line called “Style at Home by Margie.”  Margie Commerford travels the world for her company  River of Goods in order to offer these beauties. No, this isn’t a commercial for them, but it is part of the story. I’m winding my way there. :-)

Well Margie has many fans of her company (River of Goods) and her items. One fan even created a Facebook page called “I love my Margie home”. I’m of course a member of that group. Recently someone posted a video about a one of Margie’s employees who recognized one of their lamps from a story about the flooding from superstorm Sandy. The owner said the beautiful lamps lit her soul and made her house a home. That home is now destroyed. The employee, Marco, was so moved he went to his company, River of Goods, to see what they could do. The video was a news clip and interview showing Marco, and the CEO talking about how they donated Tiffany style lamps to the first responders, as well as the family who lost the lamp in the superstorm that had originally caught his attention. Here’s the video clip.

That story, a simple story of one man who recognized his product as a regretted loss by someone who’s only wish was to get their home back, truly touched me. We sometimes get caught up in the illusion that we have to change the whole world in order to make a difference. But the reality is, each and every one of us has something to give. We have some way to recognize need or pain and to change the life of one, a few, or many people. We don’t always see or value how much our simple gestures touch someone else. This man gave light – beautiful, colorful light, to people he had never met. And in that moment, he gave hope. He gave compassion. He passed on the light. I’m sure, if we had a way to trace that tiny thread through the lives of those he gave to, or who heard or saw what he did, we would see the light spreading and changing the world. Thank you Margie! Thank you River of Goods and Lavina! And especially Thank You Marco for spreading your light! You have been an inspiration.

Tell me readers, how do you spread your light?

Don’t forget, for every comment you leave on my blog, I will donate 50 cents to my declared charity of the month. Spread the word, spread the love, and help me change the world. It’s free for you and fun for me! Be blessed!

Advice from bloggers …


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Question for my fellow bloggers – what is your best strategy for increasing followers, comments, and interactions? I’m on a quest in service of my Comments for a Cause efforts. Here’s the details: Comments for a Cause

Thanks and be blessed!

Cozy Introspection


Today is the last day of my 3 week vacation. I’ve never splurged with this much time off at once before but with vacation time that I would lose if I didn’t use it, well I HAD to use it. And I’m glad I did. The first week was busy prepping for Christmas. The second week was slow and casual with time visiting with friends and family with whom I seldom get to enjoy in an unhurried and quality way. And this week has been preparing to move my daughter to her apartment for her co-op semester and me setting intentions for my 2013 year ahead. I’ve been busy in a lovely way and I don’t regret one minute of taking the time off.

Today, as I wrap up my time off, I’ve had the pleasure of sleeping in, enjoying an at-home massage, and some day dreaming of the year ahead. I have much to be thankful for and more to look forward to. Here’s a few:

> I start a new job (same Company) on Feb 1.

Wedding-Ring-Ceremony1> My son will be getting married in July to a lovely girl and that will be a wonderful celebration.

happy-birthday> This will be the big year of birthdays in my family – Grandma turns 90, Mom turns 65 (yes, I am adopted lol) , I turn 50, my sister and her husband turn 40, my other sister and her husband turn 30, my son turns 25, and my cousin turns 20. We will have a wonderful celebration for all those milestones.

> My 50th birthday will bring an opportunity for me to give back with plans for my “Great Giving Day of 2013″ where I will perform 50 acts of kindness on my birthday 8-13-13.
forbesprettiest-towns-05-g> And during my daughter’s final co-oping semester I will meet up with one of my dear friends for some rest and relaxation in Cape May, NJ. I have such a love for Victorian era homes and decor and this little town has long been calling my name to come for a visit.

I’m sure God has other delightful surprises in store as well. As I sit by my cozy fire with my cup of tea and sweet dogs by my side, I can say with great appreciation that life is good. Vacation was wonderful and I have much to be thankful for.

Count your blessings too, and be blessed.

Comments for a Cause – St. Joseph’s Orphanage


30thanks-for-add4Well, I made my first donation in my “Comments for a Cause” project to my December 2012 Cause – Heartprints. It’s fun to go back and review the comments my blog has received over the last month and take action because of it. Heartprints in Cincinnati is such a great cause because it combines impacting physical needs, educational needs, and employment needs. It’s a holistic way to impact poverty locally. Kudos to Brian Siegel and the Heartprints team for their powerful impact in the Cincinnati community and beyond!!!

JANUARY 2013’s CAUSE: St. Joseph’s Orphanage, Cincinnati, Ohio

This is one of my favorite causes – for personal reasons. St. Joe’s is the orphanage I grew up in from age 3-8. That organization impacted my life directly, and I often seek ways to give back as a gesture of appreciation. When I was there, it was indeed an orphanage. There were nuns (who were very kind and compassionate) and it’s where I found shelter in the storm of life. In the years since, sometime in the 1970’s, it was converted to be a mental health support for children. By highlighting and donating to this cause I feel I can continue to support this much-needed area that is a root cause for so much suffering in the world. Mental health issues are catalysts for so much destruction to an individual’s life, a family’s dynamics, and the community at large.

I8F15P6QB9W2KCRXSQGYou can read more here: St. Joseph’s Orphanage.

Will you join me in my work? Remember – all you have to do is comment on my blog in January. Comment often – every comment counts. I will again be donating 50 cents per comment to the month’s cause. So read, and comment away – together we are impacting the world!

Comment and be blessed!

The Great Giving Day …


I’m so excited! I’ve been so inspired to start doing more and giving in my life. I think part of it is acknowledging and celebrating my blessings. The other part is wanting to leave a mark on the world that means it is better for my having been here. My dear friend, Anita, shared a blog with me today that is getting my excitement level up again. Click here to read more.

kindness_artThe concept is to gather a group of friends who are willing to help and then go do the number of Acts of Kindness as years you celebrate on your birthday. Since this year is my big “50”, that means I need a Giving Crew to start working with, plotting and planning with, to perform 50 Acts of Kindness on my 50th birthday in August.

My mind is reeling with possibilities. I’m open to any ideas – shower me with your ideas of fun and meaningful things I can do. I’ll put in my plans and on the big day, and leading up to it,  I’ll blog and post on FB my adventures for the “Great Giving Day of 8-13-13″, my 50th birthday.

Let us give, with a generous, happy heart, and be blessed!