Thursday, February 26, 2009

Loving Thoughts

As we come to the end of this month of Love, I want to give thanks to our four-legged, winged, and scaly friends.

It appears that humans have a need to give and receive Love. We are one of a few species that recognizes the beautiful Spirits of other species. We have pets which become for us as much family as our blood relations.

This past week, our beloved Molly returned to the Creator. She lived thirteen years with Roger (the last six with me). She was our friend in ways only those who have a pet can understand. She knew when Roger was sick and would comfort him. When he was very ill with the stenosis in his neck, she would come get me. She would get miffed when we would go out together (Roger and I) and only one of us returned home. When the other finally came home, we would find Molly sitting at the door waiting for us like an perturbed parent. She would look at us, sigh and walk away as if to say sarcastically, "Nice of you to come home!"

We spoiled Molly these last few years. She loved to have treats. Begging became a fine art, which almost always resulted in our scratching her belly before she enjoyed a dog bone. She loved wearing colorful bandannas. If the one she had one was dirty, we had to put another one immediately or she sulked! Once the clean bandanna was on, she would prance around like a super model, holding her head up high and wagging her tail.

Today, we finally finished placing Molly in her final resting place in the garden. The New England cold did not deter us from this task...simply prolonged it. Come spring, we will plant sage and rosemary over the grave. Sage in recognition of her loving spirit and rosemary for remembrance.

Our Beloved Molly - Summer 2008

May all the animals that touch our lives remind us that we are blessed, both by their presence as well as by the joy they bring us.

Blessed be!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Voice in the Darkness

This is my gift to all my friends and relatives who work tirelessly to create a better world. It is for those of you who take the time to hold someone's hand, comfort a child or speak for those whose voices are silent.

This song is a favorite. The theme is not new, nor are the lyrics grand. It is simply an epiphany of hope.

May the strength of its harmonies reverberate in your heart and soul. You are loved!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Mother Love

From the first moment I knew I was expecting my first child, I was deeply in love with being pregnant, in love with the life I was carrying close to my heart, in love with mothering.

Through the years, there have been those moments when my girls caught my breath, brought a smile to my face or tears to my eyes...tears of joy more often than not. Fortunately, being a "keeper of the story," I have many "Kodak" moments to remind us all of those special times.

The following is a photo essay of my girls through the years. Each is a gem; each is unique; and each has grown into a beautiful, talented, wise young woman. I am so proud of each of them!

Gwendolyn St. Patrick's Day 1979 - Irish Knits by Nana Neas

Gwendolyn and Courtney (or could this be Adelaide and Makayla two years from now??) 1982

Gwendolyn, Courtney and Elizabeth 1983

Kathleen - in her stocking 1984

Kathleen, lover of pockets

In Cognito

Elizabeth napping with Dozo - He wouldn't move until she woke up!

Kathleen, the budding artist!

Courtney, Flower child

Elizabeth Sunshine

Halloween - Gwendolyn, the Avon Lady; Courtney, the 50's teeny bopper; Elizabeth, the pig farmer; and Kathleen, the blue Crayola crayon - 1989

Kathleen, Flower Child

My Baby - Gwendolyn 1990

Kathleen Angel

Kathleen, Elizabeth, Courtney and Gwendolyn at the Nubble, Maine

At the beach - Elizabeth, Courtney and Kathleen

Oops...where did your sister go???

Gwendolyn and Jason - Prom

Nana and Kathleen, Gwendolyn, Courtney and Elizabeth

Soul Connections

This is my most special Valentines. It is to those who have inspired, enlightened, instructed, nurtured and supported my through this amazing medium we so fondly call "The Web." I have not met most of these dear Hearts who have connected with me over the past year or so. Yet, they are as dear to me as those friends and family I am able to hold close each day.

I have linked their websites to their names, so that you might also share in their warmth and wisdom. Please visit their sites, consider it my gift to you!

To Janet

Fellow educator, Blogger extraordinare and hope-filled Spirit...Thank you for brightening this little corner of the world with your presence.

To Miruh

Fellow Spirit on the path, Wise friend...Your words of wisdom and hope affirm for me that we are all connected. Thank you for the Light you shine.

To Linni

Mother, Artist, Fellow traveler on the path...your words, your photos, your wisdom touched my soul each time I visit your site. Thank you for being such a beautiful example of Love and Light.

To Alexys

Beautiful Soul, Writer of wisdom...Your site always wows me. You have such a genuine gift for what is beautiful, both visually and literally. Thank you for your intrinsic Beauty and Wisdom.

To Stacie

My mentor, Sister/friend and Fellow Educator...You are my hero! Your ability to give of yourself is so precious. Thank you for your Light, Love and Wisdom.

To Rebecca

Fellow Traveler on the path, Wise woman, and Healer...The sharing of your life is an inspiration. Thank you for blessing our lives with your Wisdom, Fearlessness and Love.

And last, but never least...

To Maithri

Fellow Poet, Healer of Body and Soul and Amazing Kindred Spirit...Each time I visit with you, my soul is filled with beautiful Light. Thank you for fearlessly shining your Light into this world. Your example affirms my belief that we are connected and that Peace will be achieved through our individual efforts to heal and love our Brothers and Sisters and ourselves.

You are all Lights...Shine bright....

Monday, February 9, 2009


I just finished reading about the bush fires in Australia. Some of them have been started by people, who, after they were put out, went back to start them over again. The death toll is now ( at 7:38 p.m. on 1-9-09) over 200. Hospitals, state of the art hospitals, have run out of morphine. I cannot begin to imagine the horror of that.

For those who have never experienced what it is like to be around a burn victim, let me share a quick memory...

When I was around nine years old my brother, Timothy, (not yet seven years old) fell off a roof, ruptured his stomach and spleen, and broke his arm and leg. The doctors were not sure he would live. One of the nurses, feeling that a visit from his "big" sister might help him, convinced my Mom to sneak me into the hospital. (Back then, children under 18 were not allowed into the hospital as visitors.)

I went and saw my brother. His tiny body hooked up to a labyrinth of tubes and held down by a full-body cast. I remember how tiny he looked. He smiled when he saw me. It was a good visit. As we left, I noticed the other children in the room, wondering why they were in the hospital.

Back then, patients were kept in huge rooms together called wards. The beds lined up along the walls like a dormitory. Special rooms were placed just outside the ward for various procedures.

Mom took me from the ward. Just before the turn to the elevator, we passed a room where a little child was crying in the most awful way. It was like the sound that a wounded animal makes. (Multiply this sound by hundreds and you will get an idea of what the caregivers in Australia are dealing with as they try to help burn victims.)

I looked in and saw this poor baby, not more than three years old, lying on a table. Most of this child's body looked like raw meat. Several nurses, some holding him down while the others debrided his burns. Debriding is when the dead skin is peeled away, so that new skin would form.

I remember seeing tears running down some of the nurses' faces. My Mom hurried me along the corridor. In the elevator, I asked her what had happened to that child. Her eyes filled with tears, also. With the honesty that sometimes was her curse, she told me that someone had burned him and now the doctors and nurses where trying to save his life. I never asked more questions...the simple statement that "someone burned him," was more than my young mind could fathom.

This one incident has stayed with me for 46 years. Each time I hear about one human beings cruelty to another, I think of this innocent child.


"Man's inhumanity to man" was coined by poet Robert Burns from his poem
From Man was made to Mourn: A Dirge in 1785. It is what I think of at times like these, when with sincere incredulity, I wonder, "How? Why?"


The victims of the bush fires are not alone in their suffering, however. Throughout the world a huge majority of voiceless, unseen, often unwanted souls suffer in ways most of us cannot fathom. They are the masses of humanity who, through no fault of their own, are too dirty to touch, too diseased to go near, too smelly to hold, too poor to be included.

The good news is, there are those ordinary humans with extraordinary abilities to Love that go where no one else wishes to tread. People like Mother Teresa, Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, Jackie Huggins, Jimmy Carter, and thousands like them who are not famous, who daily speak for, work for, care for those who are forgotten.


This valentine is for "Suffering Souls" everywhere and for all those who have dedicated their lives to serving them. May this simple outpouring of Love, this simple act of seeing your Light, bring comfort, ease pain and inspire hope.


Saturday, February 7, 2009

A World of Love

There is a quote by an unknown author that states, "Some people walk into our lives and quietly go... others stay for a while and leave footprints in our hearts... and we are never the same..."

Thanks to my first class of students in an English as a Second Language program back several years ago (around 15 years!!!), my life changed forever.

My First Class - Exchange Students from Spain

Not only did my students then, and those that followed in their footsteps, open my eyes to my desire to teach, they also helped me recognize the fact that one person can make a difference.

I had three classes of exchange students back in the 90's, I also was blessed to have several exchange students live with my family for a full year.These are some of their pictures.

Sarah, my German daughter - from the second class

More Students from the Second ESL Class

Third class of ESL Students

Patty - my Guatemalan Daughter

Pablo, my Argentinian Son and My Four Daughters

My Swiss Daughter (in denim jacket), Lolita, who sings like an angel!

To these 'valentines' I give a deep bow of gratitude for being my Muses, not only for teaching, but for writing, also. While I have lost contact with many of these wonderful students, my love and appreciation for them will last forever.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Season of Love

It is the third of February already! If I don't get my act together, I will not get my handmade valentines created in time.

Each year, I try to make a simple valentine for my girls and some of my friends. Nothing too fancy. Just a little red paper, a little glitter, a little lace and a lot of Love!

This year, because my cyber family has grown in numbers, I thought I would do something a little different. This year, I want to create special valentine posts for those of you who have touched my heart and soul this past year. Your kind words, thought-filled comments and graceful wisdom helped me through some very difficult times.

So, as this season of Love descends upon us, check just might find a special valentine created just for you!