Showing posts from April, 2011

The Great Baby Boomer's Threat: Alzheimer's Disease

I was a young mother when I first heard an association to what I later learned was Alzheimer's disease.  Someone mentioned that So-and-so must have Old Timer's Disease because she was always forgetting things.  "Old Timer's Disease" it turned out, was the bravado way of talking about a disease that lays waste to individuals, families and communities.  The joke wasn't funny once I understood what this disease is. Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a progressive form of dementia with no cure.  The most common symptom is memory loss, but not all memory problems are caused by AD.  (If you or someone you love has problems with memory, consult your doctor.) AD destroys brain cells, which thereby causes problems with the various functions of the brain.  AD also destroys families by slowly taking a person they love away, piece by piece, until they are no longer aware of whom they are or whom the people around them are.  This is a tragic and heartbreaking time. Both my

Earth Day - Every Day!

Image by AlicePopkorn via Flickr It is not often that I go into a rant about something, but celebrating an occasion or feeling that should be celebrated daily just about sends me into a tizzy!  Three observances fit this description - Valentine's Day, Earth Day and Thanksgiving. By singling out one day to share the love, concern or gratitude, we give permission not to recognize those emotions the rest of the year.  Therefore, it is no surprise that today, Earth Day, when much of society is taking a moment to realize that Mother Earth is dying beneath us, that I want to scream, "Wake up, folks!  We need to love the Earth everyday!" The trash that has surfaced after this long winter is just one little example of our careless regard for our planet.  If each of us took the time to find a recycling bin or disposal can, if we spoke up to people you carelessly drop their trash wherever they are, if we left a place, as we did in Girl Scouts, cleaner than when we came just th

Bloom Where You Are Planted

Nature has a lovely way of surprising us.  So often, where we see decay and waste, suddenly we see beauty spring forth. Nature teaches us lessons.  Bloom where you are planted.  The daffodils in the picture above are a brilliant example.  Hanging tenaciously to the side of the pond, they are blooming in profusion; a welcome sign of spring. They could be washed away if there are heavy rains or crushed underfoot, but in spite of that, they bloom. We, too, can bloom where we are planted in spite of difficulties and hardships.  This is a lesson I have learned over the years that once again has become evident in my life. Image via Wikipedia The past year I have been struggling to find a full-time position.  I have several part-time jobs writing and teaching, but nothing permanent and nothing that gives benefits.  I could look at this as a negative, but instead, I have found that it is an opportunity, almost a calling, to do something new with my life.  So, I have taken this op

News Flash! Spring Arrives

Dateline - Western Massachusetts, April 12, 2011   Residents of a small New England town today woke to a surprise appearance by the ever-elusive, Spring.  In short order, a celebration was organized.  Daffodils lined roadways, streets and paths, crowded into fields and front lawns, waving their yellow bonnets. Tulips gathered in groups to await a glimpse of Spring as she passed by. An impromptu chorus of the Jazzy Jays, Rocking Robins and Sweet Sparrows filled the air with song.  The celebration lasted well into the evening hours, when the Peepers took over the music venue, harmoniously serenading Spring as she rested after a busy day about town. For those in other New England communities, Spring will be making an appearance, never fear.  Her schedule is quite filled, but she has promised her public that she will visit each and every community leaving behind her own special works of art along the way. For more information on Spring's appearance in your community, check the loc

Stoking the Fire

Image via Wikipedia There are a handful of people in the world that if given the opportunity, I would jump at the chance to meet.  They are all people, who for me exemplify the type of person I strive to be.  Out of this handful, over the past year, I was blessed with meeting two of them. The first person was Archbishop Desmond Tutu.  He spoke at the college at which I was teaching.  His joy for humanity is evident in everything he says and does.  This joy is infectious. The second person is a woman whom I have admired since the 70's.  She is an activist and peacemaker.  Her approach to both has always struck me as down to Earth and practical.  It was no surprise then when my mentor asked me if I knew Starhawk that I responded with great enthusiasm.  Of course, I know her!  I had used her as a reference in several of my papers written for my Master's.  I had read her words and watched videos of her work.  I was equally enthusiastic to hear that Starhawk was coming to speak

International Golden Rule Day

Image by apauls via Flickr Today is the third observance of International Golden Rule day. This day was founded by Ambassador Mussie Hailu in Ethiopia.  It is endorsed by the United Nations and celebrated by various groups around the globe.  One of those groups, of which I am a member, is The Charter for Compassion .  The Charter bases its ideology on the Golden Rule, which each culture around the world has a version of in their sacred writing or teaching. What is the Golden Rule?  The First Peoples of the Americas have passed the following down to us.   "Respect for all life is the foundation." The Great Law of Peace "All things are our relatives; what we do to everything, we do to ourselves. All is really One." Black Elk The following are other versions of this truth listed in alphabetical order.   Bahá'í "And if thine eyes be turned towards justice, choose thou for thy neighbour that which thou choosest for thyself." Epistle to the Son