Showing posts from 2018

Catch a Dream: Wendy Brown-Baez

Today, I welcome Wendy Brown-Baez, author of Catch a Dream, as a guest blogger.

Catch a Dream weaves a story of love, the search for self, pain and descernment, all of which happens in war-torn Israel. Written in the first person, the heroine, Lily, captured my attention immediately. I fell in love with this character and wanted to know how her dilemmas would resolve. I believe most women will see a bit of themselves in Lily.

After reading her book, I asked her to answer the following questions. How do we live within contradictions of loving someone, who is not good for us? How do we let go of the hold of a bad relationship? 

Wendy wrote: 

These are a tough questions. How can we love someone and yet keep boundaries? I once shared my frustration about someone I loved and my friend said, “Just because you love him doesn’t mean you have to live with him.” But this is easier said than done when the heart takes over. In Catch a Dream, Lily is mesmerized by Levi’s charm and grateful for his att…

Me, too! and Worlds Apart

"Worlds Apart" - (c) 2018 LM Neas
I have sat on the sidelines listening to the many revelations that have taken place since the "Me, too!" campaign began.  How heartbreaking to learn that so many people (both men and women) have been sexually assaulted or abused. 
However, in listening and watching, what I find disturbing is the McCarthy-istic trend into which the media seems to be heading. The desire to keep the news fresh and scintillating should not overshadow the responsibility of checking facts or remembering that people are innocent until proven guilty. 
What I am seeing happening is that leading news organizations, as well as tabloids found beside the check-out counters, are grabbing at every bit of inappropriate behavior, hyperbolizing much of it, ruining careers, and causing more pain and anguish.
Don't get me wrong. I believe that those who have used sex as a tool for power and gain should be held responsible for their acts. But, I also believe strongly t…

Backyard blessings

Catbird at the suet feeder outside my window
I love learning about nature. For last several years, our garden has been the home to a catbird family. I had been told that local farmers consider them a nuisance because they love to eat blueberries and raspberries. I must say, I took little notice of them...until now.

This year, we put up suet. I found one that had fruit in it and thought it would be a treat. (The package said it would draw songbirds!) Early one morning in April I spied the catbird with his distinctive chestnut colored patch under his tail. He and his mate love the suet! 

This surprised me, so I did some research. 

Catbirds are actually quite amazing. They winter in the tropics amongst Mayan ruins and in Florida as well as the Caribbean. No wonder they like fruit!

They are also quite talented singers. Early in the morning, when I leave for work, they are singing. They mimic other birds and, of course, make cats sounds. Since our green border has grown in, we have a cacophony …

A Letter from the White House

Way back in the last century, I was a journalist for the York County Coast Star. During that time, I wrote about the happenings within the villages of York, Maine. Often, I would begin my column with a commentary on something that happened in the world or within the town.

At that time, George and Barbara Bush were in the White House. Their local paper was the York County Coast Star. 

On several occasions, I wrote about the Bushes. Once, when the president had told everyone he disliked broccoli and later when 150 seniors at Wellesley College protested the fact that Mrs. Bush was to address the graduating class saying, "she is not the type of career woman the college is educating," because, while she attended Smith College, she did not graduate. She left to marry George and begin a family.

The broccoli column was a tongue-in-cheek lament on what would mothers across the nation do to inspire their kids to eat broccoli, now that it was known that the president disliked it. The othe…

Remembering Omar

In the early 70's, I was treated to dinner at Josef's Restaurant in Copley Square, Boston. Josef's was under the management of Locke-Ober's, another famous Boston eatery.  The fare included New England favorites but also culinary delights from France, Germany and beyond. I had Vichyssoise for the first time that evening. But, this is not the story I want to share...

On April 10, Google memorialized the actor Omar Sharif, best known for his portrayal of Dr. Zhivago. The minute I saw the Google Doodle, my mind flew to that night at Josef's.
My supervisors were taking me out for a special treat to celebrate the work I did with young children and my upcoming graduation from Baystate College (at the time known as Baystate Junior College for Women). I was dressed in my very best mini dress with hair coifed to perfection. As we entered the restaurant, I was telling a story in my usual hands-flaying-in-air-not-paying-attention way. 
Without breaking stride, I plowed into ano…

All Things Irish

The fields in the Wicklow Mountains, Ireland 
Top of the mornin'!  Sure, and the sun is shining bright through me window and the soda bread is bakin' in the oven. 'Tis a good day to be Irish!
Well, if I went with my mother's philosophy any day is a good day to be Irish, but March 17 holds a special place in my heart. On the 17th of March, there were traditions and rituals that were part of our lives. Observing those rituals was as important to us as breathing air.
When I was young, we kids started the day with Mass...early...7:30 a.m. Then, we ran home, sporting our Irish knit sweaters and green apparel, looking forward to Momma's fresh baked Irish soda bread and a cup of tea. Then, after Momma put the corned beef, cabbage, potatoes and carrots into a huge kettle to cook at the back of the stove, we would bundle up in as much green as possible to be off to the parade. 
Having seen pictures of the parade from years past, I don't quite remember it being cold, but I k…

From Wannabe to Wife

Last week I had the honor of hosting B. Lynn Goodwin, author of Never Too Late: From Wannabe to Wife on this blog as a guest blogger.  She wrote about how compromise and acceptance were important components in relationships. Her wisdom comes straight from the heart, as does her writing.

Lynn fills her memoir with humor, honesty and a growing, mature love that is often found in the lives of older adults. She pulls the reader in with her ability to mix just enough laughs with reality. 

The reality that she met her future husband on Craiglist may cause some to gasp in shock. However, I was nonplussed by the fact that this was the vehicle for their paths to cross. Life has taught me that some of the most wonderful relationships come about through some of the most unusual circumstances. But, what I wanted to know about was how did they make it work. (I soon learned, but no spoilers have to read the book!)

Also, as a minister, I loved the spiritual aspect of the story. Lynn's ta…

Never Too Late

Today, I am delighted to have a fellow educator and writer as a guest blogger for the Women on Writing Blog Tour of her new book.  B. Lynn Goodwin, author of Never Too Late: From Wannabe to Wife, shares her honest, and often, humorous thoughts on relationships, marriage, hope, faith and most of all, Love!

I hope you will enjoy reading her post.  Please feel free to leave a comment. Those who do, will have an opportunity of winning a copy of her book, Never Too Late: From Wannabe to Wife. 

Compromise and Acceptance In my memoir Never Too Late: From Wannabe to Wife, I wrote, “I never believed that opposites were attracted to one another until I met Richard. Part of the allure was that we got along so well despite our differences. Part of the fear was that I might be on a pink cloud. “He wanted to marry me as soon as possible. I wanted to wait. He said he needed the influence of a good woman. I avoided the restrictions imposed by any man. Partners in a marriage are supposed to be equal—diffe…

Two Words

(c) 2018 "Pain" Photo by L. M. Neas
In this blog, we have explored the meaning of many words. We have discussed how words touch us; how they can heal and hurt. We have even looked at the power of words; their use and popularity.
Sometimes, words that were once powerful, become almost inert. They simply sit in the consciousness, failing to trigger the correct synapsis for a reaction. Or, should I say, for the reaction that is typical to the words.
Two such words are "chronic pain."  Let's look at their meaning and origin, first.
Chronic comes to us from, as many words used in the realm of science, the Greek language. Khronos, which means "time," is the root to words such as chronical, chronology, and chronically. In English, the word "chronic" means repetitive, occurring constantly.
Pain has a dual nationality, coming from both Latin and Greek - poena/poine, respectively - both meaning "penalty."  (Is it any wonder that we think of pain …

Facing Our Demons

(c) 2017 Linda M. Rhinehart Neas
We humans are a strange lot when it comes to what we will and won't talk about to others. We will share the most intimate details of our lives. We will discuss STD's without so much as a blush. We will even openly talk and joke about vaginal dryness and penile dysfunction! But, if someone dares mention mental illness, shades are drawn, voices drop to a whisper and denial takes center stage. Why?

I'm not a doctor or researcher; however, after observing humankind for over sixty years, I have my opinion. I believe it all has to do with control. Let me elaborate.

When someone suffers from mental illness, you often hear people say that he or she "is not in control" of his or her senses. In ancient times, people believed that the person with mental illness was possessed by demons. They would be ostracized, cast out of the community, and even killed out of fear that the possession could spread. 

As humanity became more aware of science, the …