Sunday, December 21, 2008

Seasonal Salutations

From Georganna Hancock
A Writer's Edge
Hancock Websites

Friday, December 19, 2008

Become a Non-Believer

The goal is to become a non-believer,
to abandon belief —
and dogma and hearsay –
in favor of direct knowing. Ivan M. Granger

g g g

Monday, December 15, 2008

Current update from Maunie

Monday, December 15, 2008

What was I thinking?

On the eleventh of December I went into the hospital with the highest of expectations. Last
time I had the surgery for the right legs sciatica and it was not bad at all. Yes the back was sore
but when I put my right leg down...I was fine. This time I sunk right to the floor.

The pain was unimaginable. No drugs worked...morphine...demeral...anything they had I tried.
I was taking stuff every three hours but it only took the very top layer of pain away. I have never, ever experienced anything like this. The pain shoots down my leg and the toes on my left leg tingle...horrible...then the spasms start. I never slept more then an hour at a time and woke up ready to scream every time.

They finally sent me home late Sunday night with percodens and Valium for the spasms. I am
also taking a sleeping pill and sleeping in my own bed, I managed three hours.

I always thought I had a high tolerance to much for that. The Doctor says we will try
giving it a couple of weeks and then maybe more X rays and another MRI...he said it was too bad I had such an easy time the first time...and this is not uncommon...sure...anyway enough of me
belly aching just don't expect me around too guys have always been so wonderful so a prayer or two can't you all...Maun

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Entrecard Host Sought


Hello Blue Ribbon Bloggers - I've been hosting the BRB Entrecard widget for a couple months now, and frankly, I'm kinda burnt out on Entrecard.  Jos had passed it on to me, and now I feel it's time for me to pass it on to another Entrecarder.
There's about 1,000 ec in the account right now to place ads for the site with, and the new host should be someone who can not only place ads but drop ec on other blogs to get publicity for BRB.
Any enthusiastic parties interested out there?
Just let me know,

Friday, December 5, 2008

Week End Quote

"Love and compassion are effortless.
The soul is exhausted by the effort
to stop this natural outpouring of the living heart."
g g g

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

What do you think?

I am on the horns of another dilemma...should I have back surgery before I leave from Florida?
My back and sciatica are so bad. I have heard about a surgery where you go in and have a quick adjustment and your home the same day. That doesn't sound bad does it?

This time the pain started in July and has been getting worse day by day. The acupuncture helped a lot but became very expensive and with Christmas coming every little bit helps. (although as many others are) I'm cutting back on gifts.

We go see the Doctors PA tomorrow and see what she has to say. Hubby, of course, doesn't see
a problem. He feels whatever is wrong I should wait four months until we return and have
it done then. I don't want to go to Florida feeling this way.

What do you think...the last time I had the surgery it was a long recovery...about three weeks sitting still...and quite painful. I'm not afraid of the pain but am concerned with my mobility.

Any suggestions would be so appreciated.....thanks---Maunie

Friday, November 28, 2008

What Christmas Ornament are you?

You are a tree

You love every part of the holidays, down to the candy canes and stockings. And you're goofy enough to put a Christmas tree ornament on your tree!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving from A Writer's Edge

Although A Writer's Edge is on vacation, you can still search the Archives for posts on writing, books and English words. I wish each of you a very

Friday, November 21, 2008

What do you guys think of this picture?

What do you guys think of this picture?
I have been learning how to play with
my pictures on photoshop..I really lik this one alot..
If you want to see any more pictures like this,
go to purplefrogcat blog...Thank you...


Sunday, November 16, 2008

Kickball masquareding as Gazing Ball

Friday, November 7, 2008

From Maunie


-- written by Max Ehrmann in the 1920s --
Not "Found in Old St. Paul's Church"! -- see below

Go placidly amid the noise and the haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.

As far as possible, without surrender,
be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
and listen to others,
even to the dull and the ignorant;
they too have their story.
Avoid loud and aggressive persons;
they are vexatious to the spirit.

If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain or bitter,
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.

Exercise caution in your business affairs,
for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals,
and everywhere life is full of heroism.
Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love,
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment,
it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

Beyond a wholesome discipline,
be gentle with yourself.
You are a child of the universe
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be.
And whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life,
keep peace in your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

History of Halloween

Halloween is an annual celebration, but just what is it actually a celebration of? And how did this peculiar custom originate? Is it, as some claim, a kind of demon worship? Or is it just a harmless vestige of some ancient pagan ritual?

The word itself, "Halloween," actually has its origins in the Catholic Church. It comes from a contracted corruption of All Hallows Eve. November 1, "All Hollows Day" (or "All Saints Day"), is a Catholic day of observance in honor of saints. But, in the 5th century BC, in Celtic Ireland, summer officially ended on October 31. The holiday was called Samhain (sow-en), the Celtic New year.

One story says that, on that day, the disembodied spirits of all those who had died throughout the preceding year would come back in search of living bodies to possess for the next year. It was believed to be their only hope for the afterlife. The Celts believed all laws of space and time were suspended during this time, allowing the spirit world to intermingle with the living.

Naturally, the still-living did not want to be possessed. So on the night of October 31, villagers would extinguish the fires in their homes, to make them cold and undesirable. They would then dress up in all manner of ghoulish costumes and noisily paraded around the neighborhood, being as destructive as possible in order to frighten away spirits looking for bodies to possess.

Probably a better explanation of why the Celts extinguished their fires was not to discourage spirit possession, but so that all the Celtic tribes could relight their fires from a common source, the Druidic fire that was kept burning in the Middle of Ireland, at Usinach.

Some accounts tell of how the Celts would burn someone at the stake who was thought to have already been possessed, as sort of a lesson to the spirits. Other accounts of Celtic history debunk these stories as myth.

The Romans adopted the Celtic practices as their own. But in the first century AD, Samhain was assimilated into celebrations of some of the other Roman traditions that took place in October, such as their day to honor Pomona, the Roman goddess of fruit and trees. The symbol of Pomona is the apple, which might explain the origin of our modern tradition of bobbing for apples on Halloween.

The thrust of the practices also changed over time to become more ritualized. As belief in spirit possession waned, the practice of dressing up like hobgoblins, ghosts, and witches took on a more ceremonial role.

The custom of Halloween was brought to America in the 1840's by Irish immigrants fleeing their country's potato famine. At that time, the favorite pranks in New England included tipping over outhouses and unhinging fence gates.

The custom of trick-or-treating is thought to have originated not with the Irish Celts, but with a ninth-century European custom called souling. On November 2, All Souls Day, early Christians would walk from village to village begging for "soul cakes," made out of square pieces of bread with currants. The more soul cakes the beggars would receive, the more prayers they would promise to say on behalf of the dead relatives of the donors. At the time, it was believed that the dead remained in limbo for a time after death, and that prayer, even by strangers, could expedite a soul's passage to heaven.

The Jack-o-lantern custom probably comes from Irish folklore. As the tale is told, a man named Jack, who was notorious as a drunkard and trickster, tricked Satan into climbing a tree. Jack then carved an image of a cross in the tree's trunk, trapping the devil up the tree. Jack made a deal with the devil that, if he would never tempt him again, he would promise to let him down the tree.

According to the folk tale, after Jack died, he was denied entrance to Heaven because of his evil ways, but he was also denied access to Hell because he had tricked the devil. Instead, the devil gave him a single ember to light his way through the frigid darkness. The ember was placed inside a hollowed-out turnip to keep it glowing longer.

The Irish used turnips as their "Jack's lanterns" originally. But when the immigrants came to America, they found that pumpkins were far more plentiful than turnips. So the Jack-O-Lantern in America was a hollowed-out pumpkin, lit with an ember.

So, although some cults may have adopted Halloween as their favorite "holiday," the day itself did not grow out of evil practices. It grew out of the rituals of Celts celebrating a new year, and out of Medieval prayer rituals of Europeans. And today, even many churches have Halloween parties or pumpkin carving events for the kids. After all, the day itself is only as evil as one cares to make it.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Can i borrow $25?

A man came home from work late, tired and irritated, to find his 5-year old son waiting for him at the door..

SON: 'Daddy, may I ask you a question?'

DAD: 'Yeah sure, what it is?' replied the man.

SON: 'Daddy, how much do you make an hour?'

DAD: 'That's none of your business. Why do you ask such a thing?' the man said angrily.

SON: 'I just want to know. Please tell me, how much do you make an hour?'

DAD: 'If you must know, I make $50 an hour.'

SON: 'Oh,' the little boy replied, with his head down.

SON: 'Daddy, may I please borrow $25?'

The father was furious, 'If the only reason you asked that is so you can borrow some money to buy a silly toy or some other nonsense, then you march yourself straight to your room and go to bed. Think about why you are being so selfish. I don't work hard everyday for such childish frivolities.'

The little boy quietly went to his room and shut the door.

The man sat down and started to get even angrier about the little boy's questions. How dare he ask such questions only to get some money?

After about an hour or so, the man had calmed down , and started to think:

Maybe there was something he really needed to buy with that $25.00 and he really didn't ask for money very often The man went to the door of the little boy's room and opened the door.

'Are you asleep, son?' He asked.

'No daddy, I'm awake,' replied the boy.

'I've been thinking, maybe I was too hard on you earlier' said the man. 'It's been a long day and I took out my aggravation on you. Here's the $25 you asked for.'

The little boy sat straight up, smiling. 'Oh, thank you daddy!' he yelled. Then, reaching under his pillow he pulled out some crumpled up bills.

The man saw that the boy already had money, started to get angry again.

The little boy slowly counted out his money, and then looked up at his father.

'Why do you want more money if you already have some?' the father grumbled.

'Because I didn't have enough, but now I do,' the little boy replied.

'Daddy, I have $50 now. Can I buy an hour of your time? Please come home early tomorrow. I would like to have dinner with you.'

The father was crushed. He put his arms around his little son, and he begged for his forgiveness.

It's just a short reminder to all of you working so hard in life. We should not let time slip through our fingers without having spent some time with those who really matter to us, those close to our hearts. Do remember to share that $50 worth of your time with someone you love.

If we die tomorrow, the company that we are working for could easily replace us in a matter of hours. But the family & friends we leave behind will feel the loss for the rest of their lives.

Monday, October 6, 2008

I Believe......

A Birth Certificate shows that we were born
A Death Certificate shows that we died
Pictures show that we lived!
Have a seat . . . Relax . . .
And read this slowly.

I Believe...
That just because two people argue,
It doesn't mean they don't love each other.
And just because they don't argue,
It doesn't mean they do love each other.

I Believe...
That we don't have to change friends if
We understand that friends change.

I Believe....
That no matter how good a friend is,
they're going to hurt you every once in a while
and you must forgive them for that.

I Believe...
That true friendship continues to grow,
even over the longest distance.
Same goes for true love.

I Believe...
That you can do something in an instant
That will give you heartache for life.

I Believe...
That you should always leave loved ones with
Loving words. It may be the last time you see them.

I Believe....
That you can keep going long after you think you can't.

I Believe...
That heroes are the people who do what has to be done when it needs to be done, regardless of the consequences.

I Believe...
That money is a lousy way of keeping score.

I Believe....
That my best friend and I, can do anything, or nothing and have the best time.

I Believe....
That sometimes the people you expect to kick you When you're down, will be the ones to help you get back up.

I Believe...
That sometimes when I'm angry
I have the right to be angry,
But that doesn't give me the right to be cruel.

I Believe....
That maturity has more to do with
what types of experiences you've had
And what you've learned from them
and less to do with
how many birthdays you've celebrated.

I Believe....
That it isn't always enough,
to be forgiven by others.
Sometimes, you have to learn to forgive yourself.

I Believe...
That no matter how bad your heart is broken
the world doesn't stop for your grief.

I Believe....
That our background and circumstances
may have influenced who we are,
But, we are responsible for who we become.

I Believe...
That you shouldn't be so eager to find
Out a secret. It could change your life Forever.

I Believe....
Two people can look at the exact same
and see something totally different.

I Believe...
That your life can be changed in a matter of
Hours by people who don't even know you.

I Believe...
That even when you think you have no more to give,
A friend cries out to you -
you will find the strength to help.

I Believe...
That credentials on the wall
do not make you a decent human being.

I Believe...
That the people you care about most in life
are taken from you too soon.

I Believe...
That you should send this to
all of the people that you believe in, I just did.

'The happiest of people don't necessarily
have the best of everything;
They just make the most of everything.
Thank you God for all the wonderful people who help us throughout the journey of life..
May Angels guard you and guide you.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Our Stories: Fearless Forgiveness

According to the Department of Justice, about a third of all girls and a seventh of all boys are molested before they reach the age of 18. A third of that group is under 12. Consider that it’s thought that only 35% of abuse is ever even reported - that makes for some grim statistics.

I don’t know too many women who got through their young lives without being victim to molestation at the hands of family, acquaintance, or a stranger. I’m one of them, having been assaulted by an teenage acquaintance when I was 6.

I’d like to introduce you to Kim who writes with an incredibly powerful voice. I had contributed at her former blog, The Peace Tree. She’s just getting back into the groove on her new blog, A World of Progress. I had the honor of having her hang out with me summer before last after we met through blogging. And, my hope is to walk her down the aisle when she marries her lovely other half, M. Her enthusiasm even made me pretty giddy. I count her on my short list of life and heart friends.

When I asked to her to interview, we both knew what I wanted her to talk about without having to speak it.

Kim, you’re 47 – and a long way from where you started. Tell us a little about that start.

I was born in Dallas, Texas. My biological father split before I was one year old and I lived there with my mom and maternal grandparents, off and on through my mom’s second marriage that only lasted about a year, until I was 6 years old. My granddad was a master carpenter and my most influential role model. I followed him everywhere and my mom still says to this day I walk just like him. His giant carpenter’s tool box was my toy box and I am pretty sure that is where I got my love of all things “tools.” My mom worked all the time and my grandparents were actually more like my parents. They were wonderful, and bought me all the cap six-shooters, bows and arrows, baseball bats, cowboy boots and hats I wanted at the Five&Dime. My natural tendency to climb trees was never ridiculed and I was only forced into the dress and patent leather shoes on Easter-for about 45 minutes.

Then, a big change rocked your world – what was that?

My mom met and married the man she is still married to today when I was six years old and we moved to New Orleans. He was a career Navy man.

After five years of living in run-down apartments, I began to have a lot of problems with my schoolwork and never could quite deal with the ongoing racial problems I encountered there as well as some pretty awful things that were happening to me at the hands of my stepfather, which my mom did not know about at the time. All this contributed to my failing the seventh grade. My mom decided to send me back to live with my grandparents, who had since left the city and moved to a rural east Texas town. I believe that decision saved my life.

You see, my stepfather started sexually molesting me when I was 8 years old until I left New Orleans when I was 12.

Things fell into a happier groove when you returned to your grandparents. What was next?

Growing up in East Texas with my grandparents was wonderful. I have always been a gifted athlete and while I was lost in the shuffle of a big city school, my natural ability on the tennis court and the softball field were noticed and celebrated in my new hometown. There, I was able to enjoy a sense of worth, accomplishment and camaraderie with others that I had never known before.

My stepfather retired from the Navy in 1976 and they moved back to east Texas as well, but not to the same town I was currently living in. So, I had to change schools again in my junior year and lost my superstar athlete status. Someone else held that title at my new school already. I learned a valuable lesson there, and that was sometimes just being the better player is not enough in life. Sometimes you have to prove yourself over and over again. It took a number of years before I finally figured out that the only person I needed to prove anything to was myself.

Tell me a little about where your life has taken you career-wise.

I wanted to be a professional tennis player. Even though I got a scholarship to play in college it did not take long for me to realize even though I was good, I was never going to be good enough to play professionally. I was pretty devastated by that realization and I did not much care about what I would do with my life for a while after that.

I stayed in school (they actually had a program to become a teaching pro and run a tennis club) but I lost interest when I started to realize that there were other people like me in the world (lesbians). I kicked around doing weird jobs like putting roofs on trailer houses and working in my parents’ country store but mainly I was interested in one thing for the next few years and that was girls.

At 25, I had a very serious car accident and all the docs agreed it was nothing short of a miracle I was not killed. Discovering my own mortality gave me a new perspective. I decided to get the hell out of dodge and joined the Air Force.

Say what you will about the military, but I found a path that served me well when I became a paramedic. I left the Air Force and found myself working in a series of increasingly responsible positions in the medical field. I seemed to have a knack. For example, being a tissue harvester made for interesting first date conversation. After years of hard work in various patient care positions and making myself useful at every possible turn in those jobs, the powers on high I found myself sitting in the board room with the rest of the power players, as their equal. My part of the kingdom was Training and Development. Seemed I also had a knack for motivating people to do better for themselves.

My partner at the time worked for Enron and we were living a life quite apart from our humble beginnings of practically living on love. My company took a nose dive shortly after my rise to the top and you all know what happened at Enron. When the companies folded, we took my golden parachute and our equity and jumped to the simple life. We bought 5 acres on the top of a mountain on the border of East Tennessee and Western North Carolina.

You aren’t with that woman anymore. Didn’t you take some time off to reflect after you both moved and then split up?

Before the whole idea of leaving it all behind came to be my partner and I became lost in the quest to become successful, materially speaking. We started with nothing and ended up with it all: the big house, the dream car and all the trappings of success and when we decided to leave it all behind what we found on the mountaintop was that we had lost “us” somewhere along the journey. She moved out of the little cabin on the mountain within six months of our arrival.

Blessed with enough money in the bank to not have to start working immediately, I had the incredible gift of a year sabbatical to sit alone on the top of a mountain and focus only on my new goal, to find and communicate with my Soul. I studied meditation and sought in earnest to find inner peace until I actually found it. No one was going to do that for me but me. Even now I’m back among civilization, those lessons are there for me when I need them Learning to trust what I know is right for me has been an incredible discovery.

What’s your current relationship status?

After a number of relationships lasting about five years each I have finally come to a place in life where I was able to be fearlessly open and maintain some discernment in the process. The result was meeting the love of my life and finding out that a relationship can be all that I ever imagined it could be. For us, that means an engine from which we generate our best selves and explore what trust and love are all about.

She is amazing. So, you still love me for encouraging you to get over your shyness and get that second date and first kiss, right?

I owe you big time.

Tell me about that family of yours?

I am an only child of an only child. I guess that probably made me naturally inclined to be self-referenced. It took a long time before I stopped trying to be what I thought others wanted me to be and settled into my own identity. My mom was married twice before I was six and her third husband turned out to be a child molester. He started abusing me when I was 8 and it continued off and on until I finally left home and moved in with my first girlfriend at 17.

Did you tell your mother about the abuse or did she suspect? How did you deal with her reaction when you told her?

I really believed that if I told my mom about what had been happening to me my step-father would kill us and then kill himself. I saw this happen to some kids I hung out with right after my mom married him and it always stuck in my mind after the abuse started. Their dad came to pick them up and I saw them pull away in his car. They never came back. He took them to a hotel room and shot them in the head and then shot himself. Since my step-father always left it to my imagination what would happen to me if I ever told anyone that was the thing that always came to my mind.

He was a sick man and probably would rather have shot himself and us as well rather than have to face the ridicule of others for his crimes. He not a very bright guy and he has a problem with trying to be a know-it-all in defense of his ignorance. I use the present tense because my mom is still married to him to this day. I might never have told her except that he was inappropriate with a girlfriend of mine and I completely lost it. I told my mom what had been happening all those years and her response was one for the books. “So, that’s why whenever he was in a room with you you were always on the other side of it.” Yep, Mom, that was it.

What have been the biggest obstacles in life for you?

Being sexually abused as a kid had a great deal to do with a low self-esteem. That, more than anything else, was my greatest obstacle and contributed to my late arrival to my own party.

I spent a number of years searching for my own sense of identity and I feel like even though it took awhile it was worth the wait. I may even appreciate myself more now than I might have if my way to finding myself had been easier.

Where did you start seeing the breakthroughs?

I owe a great deal of thanks for the emotional healing I have achieved to the women I have loved and have loved me over the years. Even though it’s true there is a big old tomboy in me, now I know how much I totally hid behind a persona to compensate for my inability to let another person touch me in a healthy reciprocal sexual way. I wanted to be “normal” and let go sexually but my partners were asked to be satisfied without that in our relationship.

I guess it was a sort of post traumatic stress syndrome that caused me to have a severe panic attack if I felt any kind of sexual aggressiveness toward me -even when I wanted it to be welcome and it should have been.

I recently wrote a post over at my blog about 9/11. Most people might not see a correlation between sexual abuse and 9/11 but what ended up saving me and giving me the ability to participate in a healthy two-way sexual relationship was finding a way to forgiveness regarding what happened to me. I see a lot of the, “We will never forget,” and every time I see it I wonder for how many people that also means, “We will never forgive?”

Yep, that is a hard one. I get the feeling some folks can’t even go there at all. I understand that. Some things are just so terrible it can make you feel like you want to carry that hate forever. Like your hate is the only justice that it will ever meet. I felt that way about being sexually abused as a child. I carried that delicious hatred for the person who did that to me for a very, very long time. It was all I thought I had because they never suffered any official punishment. I realized over time that the hate I carried with me was now what crippled me and allowed those things to continue hurting me long after I had grown up and stood up to my abuser and exposed what he was and what he had done to an innocent child.

I think talking to other people who were hurting as a result of sexual abuse was self-help for me as well because eventually what I was saying to them sunk in to my own psyche: that forgiveness frees the victim but it does not change the fact the perpetrator will live with their crime forever nor does it condone their actions in any way. That is Universal justice and it cannot be escaped no matter how hard they try.

When you see your stepfather now, what is it like?

When people ask me this the only thing that comes to mind is I tolerate him. I love my mom and I understand why she has gone into denial about this and I suppose it is how she maintains her sanity in a place of not enough self confidence to leave him. I don’t really know how she feels about it because she lives in a state of denial about it. As for me, I don’t see her much because of him. She made a choice and I guess it is the best choice for her. I have learned to take responsibility for my own life and let her have hers in whatever manner she wishes.

Kim, what would you say to someone else in this situation who hasn’t found a way out of the darkness?

Keep living and keep loving, in whatever capacity you have in this moment and then the next. Try to be as kind to yourself as you can about the damage you carry and above all else talk about it when the opportunity presents itself. Talking to others is talking to yourself and you might find some incredible knowledge for your own use in your words. Over the past 30 years I have spoken to a number of other women who were abused and I always told them in order to be free from the abuse you have to find a way to forgive although I know it is not and easy thing to do.

When I was in the Air Force, I had a long late night conversation in the ER on night with a second lieutenant I was working with who was a few years younger than I. Her step-father had sexually abused her too. I asked her to think about how forgiving might help her move beyond it. I found a little note, folded up and stuck through the vents of my locker a couple of days later. It just said “Thanks, you were right.” I guess no one had suggested that to her before. I felt like the world was a little better place because she was going to be able to start to heal herself now.

If you’re being abused, you’re not alone - abusers use your fear to protect themselves. You can start by going here and here and calling the hotline.

If you’re an adult survivor of abuse, it’s not too late to receive help. You can start here. Or, look online for therapists who specialize in abuse recovery. Don’t have enough money? Your state and local mental health departments can offer services on a sliding scale.

Hahn at Home

Friday, September 26, 2008


We are all suckers for an attractive face.

The dopamine jolt brought about by the sight of a powerful chest, a strong chin and a cute nose on a symmetrical face is sometimes so powerful that it is
love at first sight and...temporary loss of sanity.

A decision to love based solely on looks is trouble.
Adrenaline is a traitor. Any emotional experience that pushes the sensory system can distort your perception.
The problem with this type of love is that you can not always trust your instincts.
And there is a price to pay for taking him home just because he is drop dead gorgeous.
But there was something about this guy.
There was something quite dignified about his arrogance that attracted me to him.
I was not even looking.
I was still reeling from a past hurt--so I definitely was not ready for him.
I knew nothing about him.
I did not know what experiences he may have had.
How he was raised,
who his parents were--nor how he got along with his siblings, if any.
I had no idea what he would be like in different times of the day
or whether he'd be cranky when tired or hungry.
Heck, it would have been nice if I had known beforehand that he snored.
So, it has only been while living with him, that I have gotten to know him.
It has been a rough 30 days to get to where we are today but the benefits of working hard on a relationship instead of giving up, far outweigh the sleepless nights, the pain and the tears.

I have found the following tips helpful in improving my relationship with him:
*Give attention to the positive--praise anything you want to see more of.
*Do not call his name just to reprimand him so that he does not associate your call with something unpleasant.
*During walks or disagreements, instead of pulling the opposite way--stop.
Wait for him to stop pulling. And then proceed. It works like magic.
*Stand your ground yet give him his space. Having a life of your own that includes him but does not revolve around him makes your relationship balanced and stress free. That you always come back builds trust.
*Make sure he gets plenty of stimulation and exercise.

Video of our rough relationship HERE.

Video of our present relationship HERE.

15 years later, I wonder if these tips are applicable to me and my husband Steve.
Happy Anniversary, Steve--I love you.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Drops

Makes about 36

1/2 cup butter
2 cups light brown sugar, firmly packed
1/2 cup milk (or evaporated milk)
pinch of salt
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups quick-cooking rolled oats

Line two baking sheets with waxed paper. In a large heavy saucepan combine the butter, brown sugar, milk, and salt. Bring mixture to boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until mixture comes to a full rolling boil. Without stirring, let mixture boil for exactly 3 minutes. Immediately remove from heat. Stir in peanut butter and vanilla, stirring until peanut butter has melted. Quickly stir in the oats, mix well. Working fast, drop mixture by tablespoonfuls onto prepared baking sheets. Allow to cool and become firm, about 30 minutes. Makes 3-4 dozen cookies.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Happy Birthday Dawn!

Happy Birthday

Happy Birthday Dawn!

Happy Birthday

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Join Blog Action Day Chain

We have a month to go until Blog Action Day. Have you joined the Blog Action Day Chain at A Writer's Edge Join in and receive a link on the front page of that blog.

First sign up at Then write a post with a link to (the original call). Let me know that you have joined. That's all there is to it! Instant fame, fortune, and good will follow.

Monday, September 15, 2008

A short fun quiz from Maunie!!!!

Questions and Answers:
1. Grab the book nearest to you, turn to page 18, find line 4. Write down what it says: “. Oh! Oh God, I thought

2. Stretch your left arm out as far as you can. What do you touch first? bookcase

3. What is the last thing you watched on TV? news

WITHOUT LOOKING, guess what time it is: 7:1 5.

5. Now look at the clock, what is the actual time? 7:18

6. With the exception of the computer, what can you hear? Slow rock music:) I’m the only one awake! Penny crying for treats...spoiled cat..

7. When was the last time you went out...for what? went up to N.H. and Maine looking at houses.

8. Before you came to this website, what did you look at? read the Boston Herald

9. What are you wearing? old tee shirt of hubby's...panties

10. Did you dream last night? sure...the one about the huge wave coming right at me and I am the only one on shore

11. When did you last laugh? In the car yesterday...hubby was doing his really terrible impersonations.

12. What is on the walls of the room you are in? three stuffed trout...hubbies and the two boys

13. Seen anything weird lately? just the mirror

14. What do you think of this quiz? Fun!

15. What is the last movie you saw? Michael Clayton...very good

16. If you became a multi-millionaire overnight, what would you buy first? Hmm…BAGS!!!! Lot’s of Designer BAGS!!!

17. Tell me something about you that I don’t know: Secret;) I have a problem with credit cards.

18. If you could change one thing about the world, regardless of guilt or politics, what would you do? I can’t change anything just like that but I am more concerned about the starving needy children in the USA I'd make sure they were helped first.

19. Do you like to dance? Yeah love to dance

.20. Imagine your first child is a girl, what do you call her? a boy? Laurea Lou, Cosmo D.

21. Would you ever consider living abroad? Sure but not forever.

Spread the words ladies!

Friday, September 12, 2008

A Tought To Ponder

"You have your brush,
you have your colors,
you paint your paradise,
then in you go."
(- Nikos Kazantzakis -)

Monday, September 8, 2008

Progress of the Right Kind

Back in May, I launched a blog with the primary intent of posting nothing but contests featuring book giveaways. I did this for purely selfish reasons: I wanted to know what books were being passed around the blogosphere, and I was losing patience with the fact that there didn't seem to be a dedicated book contest blogs.

With four other friends, I launched Win a Book.

We've since expanded the focus a little bit, posting about sales and freebies, along with great blog posts by or interviews with authors who are hot at the moment, or who are favorites in the giveaway arena.

It's a fun blog to maintain. I'm meeting some really great readers, people who are open to trying almost anything new when it comes to reading.

And now, I wanted to take a minute and brag. My Friend Amy truly is a friend to book bloggers. She declared September 15-19 to be Book Blogger Appreciation Week, and in anticipation of this first-ever event (that I know of, anyway), she asked her readers to nominate their favorite blogs in a number of categories.

Win a Book was included her in last-minute-creation of the "Most Altruistic Blog" category.

I am thrilled. I'm thrilled that the hard work we've put into this blog is being recognized. I'm thrilled that it's understood we're not doing this to get an in on contests, or to do nothing but promote our own blogs -- or books.

Anyway, I wanted everyone to know how well this small-focus blog is doing. I invite you all to stop in and check it out. And, of course, I invite you all to get involved in Book Blogger Appreciation Week. Head on over to My Friend Amy's site and vote -- I'll never know if you vote for Win a Book or not -- as there are many categories to vote in, and many great blogs that have been included.

My personal blog has been nominated for awards before, and every time, I've just been flattered that I've been thought of. Sometimes, the nomination truly is the honor.

Vote Via this link.

Visit Win a Book via this link.

And come hang out with those nutty rock bands at my personal blog via this link.

Friday, September 5, 2008

On the horns od another dilemma by Maunie

Okay dear friends I need your input again.

The doctor called and I have a badly ruptured disc and one that's basically on it's way.

Three years ago I had back surgery to remove three discs.

I really don't want to go through that again.

Physical therapy does nothing for me but make me hurt more.

Do any of you have experience with acupuncture?

Read a long article about it last night and if it would avoid surgery I will be all for it..

I don't want to wait too long as I did last time.

So fellow blogger I am in a quandary..

If you have had experience with it let me know. Even if it was a friend of a friend.

I know, I know, with me it's always something...

love and trust you all. What should I do?

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Some pictures from the Desert Museum

I love Sunflowers..Just had to take the picture of the Sunflower that i found at the Desert Museum...

I took some pictures on Saturday when we were at The Desert Museum which is near Tucson..We live about 45 minutes away..The Desert Museum is a living museum with live animals..We go there a few time a year because the kids love the place so much and they get to see the type of animals that live in the desert of Arizona...

I actually got to take a picture of a live Duck that actually stood still for a change...

We were in the bird aviary when i saw this bird resting for the night...I have a few more pictures, but i am going to put those up over at purplefrogcat blog soon...

Maunie has handed out an award

Maunie has handed out her first award..The award was made by Santa for Maunie to hand out...Check out Maunie`s World to see if you get one..I know some of the Blue Ribbon Bloggers here get one and a few others from the blog world get one..Isn`t the award cute? Thank you Maunie for handing this award out!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Maunie has a new blog!!!!

Maunie has a new blog that Santa made for her cause she had lost all her passwords for everything...So her old blog will be closing up shop shortly..Go check out her new blog: ::::::
Maunies World.....Congrats Maunie on getting a new blog!!! If she loses any of her passwords for this new blog and santa is not around, i will have all the info to help her out just in case and that probably will happen..(just kidding)...

Monday, August 25, 2008

A Perfect Day

Older son and his family had a wonderful party on Saturday. They live on the top of a hill with a long driveway so it was perfect. No other houses are very close so they set up the band, put out tons of food and off we went.

What was extremely interesting was that guys from his other bands, from years ago came by and so people would join and others would leave. Some of the younger kids had an opportunity to join in and they were thrilled. How many fifteen year olds have the chance to play with established guitar players and drummers etc.

The small children had the moon bounce all day and you can just imagine how excited they were to have that. It was cool and breezy and the bugs didn't come out until dark. If we had an opportunity to select a day that was good for everyone this would have been it.

Family and friends, young and old, singing and eating together (okay not oysters or pink Floyd for me thanks) but it was wonderful and the fact that they have it once a year is something else to anticipate. The last four years it has rained so they had to set up the band in their basement and put up huge tents for the food and seats but this was the one. A perfect day.

Saturday, August 23, 2008


Lalla (1320-90) was born in a Kashmiri village near Srinagar in Northern India. She was married at an ealy age but was illtreated by her husband and in laws. Lalla left her husband's home to become a wandering ascetic. She composed hundreds of songs and sang them to other devotees and all who came to hear. An excerpt from one of her poems.

To memorize the scriptures is easy,
to live them is hard.
Faking sincerity is a learned skill
being sincere is a life long endeavor.

Look deep
words vanish
Joyous, silent,
The Awaken One finds the dreamer.........

I search for my Self
until I grow weary,
but no one, I know now,
reaches the hidden knowledge
by mere effort.

Give up that imaginary thought
that you cannot rise above desire
or fix your mind on the Self.
He is right next to you!
Do not look for Him far away.
My void merged in the pure Void!

g g g

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Simplest little toy for a cat and you

Have you noticed that the simplest little toy in the world can drive your cats nuts and you can laugh your butt off playing with the cats? We recently got our cats a laser light that we can play with the cats..Sometimes the cats that are not to bright to bring with are the ones who like to chase the little red light...It certainly is funny to watch them chase the light and sometimes they crash into stuff and they still keep going to get it..And when you are tired of playing with the cats and the light, you can have a cat crying their head off because they still want to play...
We found the laser light in the cat isle at the 99 cent store..Next time i will buy a few more..Maybe i will put one on my key chain and keep the extras for when we need them..They were cheap enough and the cats enjoy playing with them..Do you like to play with the little red light too????

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Thanks my friends

Thanks for all your well wishes. It really makes me feel good to know I have so many friends out here in blog land.

This time I frightened myself because they could not convert my heart beat for over six hours...the rest of the time they were checking lungs etc. For blood gross. Anyway I am doing just what the doctors ordered and taking it easy for a bit so I should have tons of time to blog. Now if one of my friends will just drop over to clean my house and do some ironing...that will be terrific...maybe kick all the men in my life to the curb (that was the recommendation of one doctor) he he he...

Anyway thanks for caring.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Maunie & the hospital

Maunie has been in the hospital recently..She might have to get a Pacemaker or take some sort of blood thinner medicine..She is not crazy about the blood thinner, neither am i...Isn`t bloodthinner medicine the same stuff that they kill mice and rats with in mousebait? I would not take that stuff personally..Would you take it?I think i would rather have the Pacemaker if given the chance...Her heart problem may be the problem why she fell down in front of a store the other day, we really don`t know right now...She is a little sore from that incident..She is at home resting right now..She had to get out of the hospital before she tried to strangle any hospital workers or family members...Take care Maunie...

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Blog Action Day '08

2008 Blog Action DayFriday's post at A Writer's Edge announced participation in Blog Action Day 08, taking place October 15. In a comment, I suggested starting a participation announcement chain with the goal to reach around the world to alert more and more bloggers to this humanitarian event. Please visit the post and join in. Or if you find it on another blog (linking back to A Writer's Edge at the beginning) please join in and continue the linkage and spreading the good words. Help end poverty for good!

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Monday, August 11, 2008

Old Friends

We spent the day Friday with four old friends...very old friends...the six of us went to lunch in Rye New Hampshire at a terrific seafood place called Petey' good.

Five of us had great Seafood...after all, that's what they are noted for. One friend got a steak. Not just a steak but a well done steak...ewewe
Then we went back to our friends who have a cottage by the sea in Hampton...oh my has five rooms but it's so huge. They even have a turret where they can see the ocean because they live on a side street. The ceilings are about 30 feet. You wouldn't believe it. It's so lovely he is an architect but she also had some wonderful ideas. I'm going back in a few weeks to stay for a bit. Of course, by the time we left it was raining again...I'm so sick of the rain.
Well that's part of my was yours?
Posted by mauniejames3

Sunday, August 10, 2008

As most of you know, the blogging den is no longer around..But there is now a new blogging den called Blogging Den 2...If you would like to be a co-author on Blogging Den 2, please let me know...There are a few people blogging on it you may know..Come check it out..You can join the community or blog on it..Your choice..Thanks~purplefrog (kim)
Blogging Den 2

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Thoughts on BookCrossing

I've lately been debating leaving, the website that was supposed to be a knock-off of Where's George. I say "supposed to" because it's much easier to pass dollar bills around among the population than it is to leave books out in random places for people to find.

Well, no. It's easy to LEAVE a book in a random place. What's harder is getting people to pick up the books and make a journal entry about where the book was found and what the reader thought of it.

So I began trading online, first through a community of BookCrossers. That was great because you knew the books would be journalled. The problem was that we were all so backed up with books we wanted to read that, all too often, the books would sit for a long time and then be passed along, unread, because the current owner had collected too many and it was time to pare some down. (this isn't a criticism, because I'm still reading books that have been here about three years now. And yes, I'm trying to read oldest-arrived to most-recently arrived. It's not easy!)

I miss hearing the thoughts that people have when they read something I've read. That's the part that really jazzes me, as a BookCrossing member. Yes, it's cool to be able to say, "A book I sent out into the world showed up in (insert name of country here)."

But it's even cooler to read someone's thoughts on a book.

I got notice this morning that one of my books had been journalled. I was one of three or four readers who really liked it -- but this recent reader found the main character annoying.

I had to stop and think about that. It had been awhile since I'd read the book (and many hundreds of pages since then) and I'm not as clear about things as I would be if this had been a book club discussion, for instance. But no, I don't remember the main character being annoying. In fact, I liked her and thought she was real.

I'm not going to say that this new person was wrong. Not at all.

Rather, I'm intrigued and fascinated by the thought that someone had such a different reaction to what I thought. I wish I could reach out through the computer and engage this reader in a long discussion about exactly what was annoying. I want to hear what she has to say. It won't be the first time someone's conflicting opinion changed my own reading experience.

I hope it won't be the last.

Thus, for now, I'm going to continue BookCrossing. All the books I continue to post at BookMooch or will be registered first.

Hopefully more people who come across a BookCrossing book will take a few minutes and record their thoughts on a book. For me (and for others, too), a large part of BookCrossing is hearing how books touch our lives. It's a great reminder for us writers when we get discouraged -- here's proof that what we do matters.

But it's an even better reminder of the power of a book.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Girls of today

Maybe it's just me but the young girls of today are far more beautiful then they were twenty thirty even forty years ago. To prove it a bunch of us pulled out our yearbooks and looked. Out of three hundred plus girls there were maybe a dozen girls that were considered very beautiful...okay very pretty. Today you have to look long and hard for a girl between the ages of fourteen to twenty to find one who is plain. Is it just me? Something in the water? The fact that they play sports? Are constantly at the gym? What is it? My granddaughters are not cute...they are beautiful and so are all of their friends. It's amazing to me and they are not running out at twelve to get their noses done or fat sucked out they are born this way. In one way it's incredible another it's scary. How did this happen? Hubby and I went to a wedding Saturday evening and we were astonished at the bridesmaids and friends of the bride and groom. I think it's wonderful but pity the poor girl who doesn't measure up. What happens to her? Is she forever in exile or doomed to get help from the Stepford Community? Anyway it's just me ranting Gilda always said..never mind. Posted by mauniejames

Sunday, August 3, 2008

How rare is your personality?

Your Personality is Very Rare (INFP)

Your personality type is dreamy, romantic, elegant, and expressive.

Only about 5% of all people have your personality, including 6% of all women and 4% of all men

You are Introverted, Intuitive, Feeling, and Perceiving.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Singing In My Sleep

Many of my friends think of me as the world’s most fabulous DJ. Of course, these are mostly middle-aged lesbians, so frame of reference, please. Recently, I mentioned to Viv that I made my first mix tape when I was like 15 or 16 and had bought my first Radio Shack portable cassette/FM. I’d record off the radio. Once in a while, I’d accidentally catch a little radio DJ talk on the end of a song. Still, these were the most fabulous tapes. In my mind. One started out with “Scarborough Fair” and segued into “Play That Funky Music White Boy.” Did I know how to set a mood, or what? Those six tapes I made back in the mid-70s were with me for many, many years. I seemed to pull them out when I needed to feel good and remember a simpler time.

Music is almost always tied to memory for me. When I hear the Bee Gees “1941 Mining Disaster” I think of the last time my parents took us somewhere before their divorce. When I think of Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven” I think of cruising with Darlys and Darren in Darren’s red Vega. When I think of Ray Price’s “For the Good Times,” I think of hanging out in the kitchen of the restaurant my mom worked at on weekend nights when my dad wouldn’t or couldn’t watch us. They had the best jukebox. When I heard The Knack’s “Good Girls Don’t, But I Do” I thought of…well, that I did by then.

I’ve put a lot of years under my belt now and it’s becoming difficult to listen to many songs without having to take a trip down memory lane. No music is safe, except perhaps my growing collection of hip hop (I know, but hey, some of it’s pretty good). But, I’ve loved and been loved and cared for by some pretty spectacular women, so I figure…yeah, it’s good to be reminded.Life went on and there I was, in my 30s, maintaining an email/phone relationship with someone I wanted to meet badly. We’d send each other mix tapes trying to outdo each other. In the lyrics, I began to see that she felt the same way. We called it smarming each other. Music was an integral part of the relationship, but more importantly, the songs themselves were tied inextricably to the feelings associated with her. The song that transport me are Aretha Franklin’s, “Until You Come Back to Me,” and Blondie’s, “Night Wind Sent.”

Over the years, I made mix CDs for various important women in my life. Songs that I knew they’d like or to describe how I feel. I don’t talk much if I don’t know you well, so I need these crutches. When I’d hear those songs later, I would invariably be transported back to the time when I felt the way I felt the first time I heard the song and invariably, the woman.

Enjoy this…if you've ever made or received a mix tape, you will get what I mean.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Graffiti application

Sorry it took me a long time to write my 2nd post. I've been up to digital drawing lately and this one is done using Graffiti application in Facebook. It is such a fun application to use. I'm actually hooked!

The cat is the cat I had in the 90s. It's name was Tompok. She died due to birth complication.

Enjoy the cat drawing!
(Click to play. You can also lower the speed if it's too fast).

You can view more in my blog!

Much love

Ten things you never knew about me

1. What do you wear to bed?
I like sleeping in the nude unless there are kids around. I wear the very softest things I can find,old tee shirts anything really soft.

2. What's your favorite thing to do?
I really enjoy spending time with my grandchildren, having them come to the pool, going out
yo lunch or the movies. Spending time with hubby or friends. Having people over for dinner.

3. Where would you like to travel to next?
Ireland and England because I have never been

4. Who's the one that got away?
I have no regrets on that score. I feel very lucky in my choice.

5. When did you know that he/she was the one?
On about our fourth or fifth date I remember thinking I could be married to him.

6. Why do you live where you do? Would you prefer someplace else?
We wanted to sell this year but so far things haven't worked out..I adore our place in Florida

7. How many close friends do you have?
I have four very dear friends and lots of fun friends, and a ton of blogging buddies.

8. What was your worst/best date?
I had the flu and it was a first date, I was sick all over his car..not pretty.

9. What was the meanest thing someone/you ever did?
Someone in high school spread a horrible and untrue rumer about me. I was devastated.

10. How do you feel about life in general?
I feel very lucky. Things could be a lot worse. We live fairly well. Have great kids. Get to
Travel and spend time with loved ones. Things are not perfect but whose lives are?

Okay it's up to you....add your own answers....can't wait..........

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Adopting Xu Xiao Yan, Part II

(Non fiction)
The babies didn’t cry. When the new parents—this group was traditional couples, except for one single woman—took their daughters to their hotel rooms and held them, whispered or sang to them, fed them and played with them, you heard the parents but not the babies. We learned that in their first year of life, no one in the orphanage had responded to cries, so now these babies saved their energy.

Janice and other guides from the US and Chinese adoption agencies checked to make sure the parents and babies were in the right hands and getting along. Diapers, cribs, and formula were provided, and any questions answered.

After an hour or so, Mary and I took Xiao to the hotel’s play-room, a carpeted space marked by walls fitted with glass from the waist up. A vast assortment of plastic toys in primary colors littered the floor. The toys were day-care classics: blocks that fit one inside the other, a spectrum of donuts that varied in size and stacked on a spindle, flat boxes with knobs to turn and buttons to push; bells to ring, horns to blow, and small, muted drums.

Xiao was one-year old but looked maybe half that. Her hair was shaved in back and on the sides to avoid unnecessary heat. Most likely, she had spent most of her life in a crib. She couldn’t sit by herself yet and wasn’t crawling or standing. Two or three other new mothers and/or fathers and baby girls were in the room, trying to play with the toys.

A feeling of frustration vying with anxiously-summoned patience filled the air. Mary had invited on me the trip partly for moral support during her first days of motherhood, but also for my experience with babies. And part of the playing in that room was an unofficial assessment of whether the babies were developing normally. Could they turn handles yet; determine big from small, open from shut, a cow from a pig?

We all wish lifelong bonds arrived on cue, but more often than not, they take time. Wanting to love a child you’re unsure of is painful—no way around that. And for each parent there, getting to this moment had involved immeasurable hope and desire and heart-wrenching decisions, not to mention countless interviews and negotiations.

So the playroom was tense. Few babies were strong enough to play with the toys even with help. But I knew a game almost any baby eating solid food likes to play, and I came equipped with a baggie of Cheerios. Setting Xiao so she lay on her bent legs, I played a shell game with the empty blocks. Her eyes stayed on the block covering the Cheerio and, weak as she was, she managed to grab the correct block and eat her prize.

We played for a while and then Mary played the game, hiding the cereal in smaller, similar toys. Xiao’s hunger never failed. “Babies don’t come smarter than that,” I told my sister.

Later that night one baby cried. Soon they all cried, up and down the hotel hallway. That night the mothers and fathers carried their children through the hotel, cooing and comforting them, lulling them to sleep. In the morning, they were still crying but—also laughing.