Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Who Moved the Cheese

I guess this week I am resting on discussing change.  A great little book I read is Who Moved My Cheese? by Dr. Spencer Johnson.  It is a parable revealing certain truths about change.  It features four characters: two mice, "Sniff" and "Scurry," and two little beings, "Hem" and "Haw." They live in a maze and look for cheese, representative of happiness and success. Cheese is a metaphor for what you want in life and the maze is where you look for what you want.  The mice and little beings pair off and travel the corridors searching for cheese. One day both groups happen upon cheese. Content with their find, the little beings establish routines around their daily intake of cheese, slowly becoming arrogant in the process.

One day Sniff and Scurry arrive at the cheese station to find no cheese left, but they are not surprised. Noticing the cheese supply dwindling, they have mentally prepared beforehand for the task of finding more cheese. Leaving the cheese station behind, they begin to immediately hunt for new cheese together. Later that day, Hem and Haw arrive at the cheese station only to find the same thing, no cheese. Angered and annoyed, Hem demands, "Who moved my cheese?" The little beings  have counted on the cheese supply to be constant, and so are unprepared for this eventuality. After deciding that the cheese is indeed gone they get angry at the unfairness of the situation and both go home starved. Returning the next day, Hem and Haw find the same cheeseless place. Starting to realize the situation at hand, Haw thinks of a search for new cheese. But Hem is dead set in his victimized mindset and nixes the proposal.

Meanwhile, Sniff and Scurry have found a new cheese station with cheese. Back at the old cheese station, Hem and Haw are affected by their lack of cheese and blame each other for their problem (Sounds like our congress, doesn’t it?). Hoping to change, Haw again proposes a search for new cheese. However, Hem is comforted by his old routine and is frightened about the unknown. He knocks the idea again. After a while of being in denial, the little beings remain without cheese. One day, Haw begins to chuckle at the situation and stops taking himself so seriously. Realizing he should simply move on, Haw enters the maze, but not before writing "If You Do Not Change, You Can Become Extinct" on the wall of cheese station for his friend to ponder.

Still fearful of his trek, Haw jots "What Would You Do If You Weren't Afraid?" on the wall and, after thinking about that, he begins his venture. Still plagued with worry (perhaps he has waited too long to begin his search...), Haw finds some bits of cheese that nourishes him and he is able to continue his search. Haw realizes that the cheese has not suddenly vanished, but has dwindled from continual eating. After a stop at an empty cheese station, Haw begins worrying about the unknown again. Brushing aside his fears, Haw's new mindset allows him to again enjoy life. He has even begun to smile again! He is realizing that "When you move beyond your fear, you feel free." After another empty cheese station, Haw decides to go back for Hem with the few bits of new cheese he has managed to find.

Uncompromising, Hem refuses the new cheese, to his friend's disappointment. With knowledge learned along the way, Haw heads back into the maze. Getting deeper into the maze, inspired by bits of new cheese here and there, Haw leaves a trail of writings on the wall ("The Handwriting is on the Wall"). These clarify his own thinking and give him hope that his friend will find aid in them during his search for new cheese. Still traveling, Haw one day comes across a new cheese station, abundant with cheese, including some varieties that are strange to him, and he realizes he has found what he is looking for. After eating, Haw reflects on his experience. He ponders a return to see his old friend. But Haw decides to let Hem find his own way. Finding the new largest wall cheese station, he writes: Cautious from past experience, Haw now inspects the cheese station  daily and explores different parts of the maze regularly to prevent any complacency from setting in. After hearing movement in the maze one day, Haw realizes someone is approaching the station. Unsure, Haw hopes that it is his friend Hem who has found the way.

I highly recommend the book if you have not read it.  I benefitted by reading it.  If you have to deal with change and we all do, give it a read.  I think you will enjoy it.  It really gives you some in sight on how to deal with change. I’d like to think that I’m not one of the little beings, but one of the mice.  I’m Scurry rushing ahead and running into walls but eventually getting where I wanted to go and finding the cheese. 

Nothing Changes


Changing Seasons

I consider myself blessed to enjoy 4 seasons each year.  I really missed them when I lived in California.  Growing up with very different seasons became a very important part of my life.  Sometimes I enjoy them a little more than other, but all and all I need my 4 season and the changes that come with them to appreciate life a little more.  Springs brings renewal, watching things bloom, and the earth coming into great beauty.  Summer brings warmth and my garden gives me my first bounty.  Fall shares it's beautiful colors and helps us get a mind set and a taste of what is to come.  Winter brings my favorite holidays and the first snow.  I'll continue to complain about the heat and the snow, but I still need my 4 seasons and the changes they bring with them in my life.

Glad to Be Here

Eastern Iowa Community College has a development day each year that all employees must attend.  At one I attended I saw a movie about the United States Navy’s Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron, popularly known as the Blue Angels.  It is a squadron of six demonstration pilots who fly the F/A-18 Hornet in more than 70 shows throughout the United States each year.

There are two things the Blue Angels do before each performance. They sit around a table so they can look at each other. The leader or Commander of the Blue Angels then leads them through the entire performance with their eyes shut. The Commander counts down all the different turns and special things they do. He times it out just as if they were in the air flying. Then after they go over the performance in their head, they go around the table and each pilot gets to say a few words to the other pilots. The first thing they say to the other pilots is always "I’m glad to be here!" Then they talk about what they see that they or one of the other pilots can do to make the show better.

When a reporter asked the Commander why each pilot said, "I’m glad to be here" the Commander said "It is very important to let the other pilots know that you are focused and not worried about something else going on in your life. When you are flying at 400 miles an hour and sometimes 40 to 48 inches apart you would like to know that the pilot next to you is totally focused on what they are doing."

The lesson on being focused from the Blue Angel pilots is a great lesson and we can learn a great deal from it. Each day we should say "I’m glad to be here”.  A co-worker made us magnets to put on our filing cabinets to help remind us of this lesson and to start  each morning with it.  Close your eyes and visualize a great day, think positive and say “I’m glad to be here”.  During the day when something goes wrong, again say to yourself.  “I’m glad to be here”.  Look for all the positive reasons you are glad.

Be happy and glad to be here.  God bless you.  

Tuesday, November 29, 2011


I'm reading The Art of Happiness by The Dalai Lama and Howard Cutler.  I'm afraid you will have to bear with me while I quote him often in that he has so much wisdom to share that I agree with.  In his book, he talks about change.  He says the first step to change is learning, the 2nd is developing conviction, the 3rd is transforming conviction into action and the final is effort.  You can not change without going through the process of each step. 

I have never been afraid of change.  Part of my value system is loving new experiences and that means a lot of change.  I have packing up and relocated on my own to new unknown city and never experienced fear from doing so.  I found it exciting and new.  However; I have also fought change even knowing something was bad for me and hurting me, like bad relationships or smoking.  In the end, I did change though and now looking at the Dalai Lama's steps realize I did go through each and everyone of them to change.  The hard ones take much more effort and time.

In the case of smoking, my son came home and told me he had a guest speaker who had lost his voice box to throat cancer.  My son said to me and I will never forget it, "If you really love me, you will stop smoking".  I was so mad at that speaker and then realized I needed to do this for my son and myself.  I went through a learning process and finally decided I had to stop.  I also did it at a very stressful time in my life.  I had just changed employers but I decided not to make excuses and do it.  It helped that I got the flu and was so sick that I did not smoke for a couple of days which helped me to get started.  They say the first 3 days of going without a cigarette is the hardest.  I put down my cigarettes and went could turkey and have never smoked since.  It was very, very hard.  For years after, every time I ate I wanted a cigarette.  Every time I spoke on the phone, I wanted to reach for a cigarette and light up.  I had become a victim of habit.  I used candy suckers to suck on to have something in my mouth to help concur the habit.  

In looking at the change, I see each step now and realize that these steps have been there when ever I have let something hurtful go in my life or needed and/or wanted to change.  It has added to my happiness even though I may not have been very happy going through the process.  In my old age, I am finding that change is getting harder for me. I tend to get stuck on the learning process longer before I move on.  I have also replaced my loving new experiences value with a new value called security.  I guess that comes with age.  Another short essay can be dedicated to that in the future.  Security often makes you not want to change so I  have to work even harder at it.
"The purpose of our lives is to be happy." – Dalai Lama.  Do what you have to do to be happy. Make good changes in your life.

Be happy and God bless you.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Laugh a Little

Dare to be Different

Dare to be different 

Apple a Day

An apple a day will keep the doctor away!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Maybe not?  Seems like the old poison apple story is the case.  They are now saying apples and apple juice are no longer good for us, but that dark chocolate is.  I can't keep up with it.  There seems to be some question on arsenic in apples and that apple juice has more calories in it than pop (Do you call it pop or soda? Depends on where you live.  I call it pop when in Iowa).  Everything in moderation seems to be the answer.

Be happy and just eat an apple every other day.  God bless you.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Being strong

You never know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have. - unknown

Letting Go

Honor Your Father

Dad and Steve

My dad rose very early each morning to start his day.  Dad worked as a truck driver distributing beer to all the taverns in a 25 mile radius of Maquoketa.  He worked very hard and it showed by the calluses on his hands.  I remember getting up and seeing him at the kitchen table in his underwear, smoking a cigarette and drinking his coffer before he got dressed and headed to work.  It is funny the pictures that stick in your head.  He was a very tall man with dark hair.  He quit school at an early age to go to work and worked physically hard all of his life.  He met my mother when I was only 2, Dion was 4, Charmayne 3, and Dona an infant.  My birth father had abandoned my mother leaving her to care for us small children. She moved in with her parents and was working at the local theater when he me her.  He married her and we became his children.  They had 4 more children within 5 years making us a family of 10.  He bought us a small 3 bedroom house on Grove Street that my mother still lives in today.  I still consider it home.

To support us, Dad began his day before 6:00 AM in the morning loading his truck by himself.  He would deliver beer to the taverns and would not get home until late in the evening.  He worked everyday except Sunday and then he still went into work to wash and load his truck to get a head start on his work for Monday.  He never missed work and never took a vacation day.  He lived for his work. 

Everyone called him Weep (short for Wiebenga) and loved him.  He was a simple, quiet man who never said a bad word about anyone.  He had a difficult life growing up.  His mother and father divorced when he was only 3 and he was sent to live with his aunt who raised him.  He was living on his own and working when he was 16 years old.  He did not like to talk about his youth.  It was difficult for him to talk about.  Like my mother, he did not complain. 

I remember before leaving for work him coming to kiss me good bye.  He would set off on foot because we could not afford a car.  On Saturdays he would bring the work pick up home so he could take mom to get groceries.  His life was work and his family.  I have always called him dad because I wanted to honor him for being there for us and being a true dad.
His health failed him early in life.  He got TB and was sent to Oakdale until he was cured.  When I returned from California I asked him to live with me in that he and mom divorced while I was away.  He did not want to impose and wanted to go live at Crestridge Nursing Home where he seemed very content as long as he got his cigarettes.  He asked very little of life, but smiled and laughed easily.

My home was full of foster kids and each Sunday I would take them to church and then we would go visit dad.  What a wonderful circus.  I’d bring him his cigarettes and the kids would entertain him and the other residents.  I’d pick him up often and bring him home for dinner or take him to visit his mother who was also in a home.  He was happy with his very simple life.  He fell on the ice on Christmas Day at my home and broke his hip temporarily putting him in wheel chair.  He eventually got out of the chair but he was never the same after that.  He was diagnosed with congestive heart failure and was hospitalized many times to have the fluid taken off of his lungs.  He fought long and hard but finally signed a do not resuscitate order.  I went to visit him more often knowing that we would not be sharing time with each other much longer. On his last day, I stopped to see him on my way to work and I knew that the end was near without anyone telling me so.  I called work and said I would not be in and sat with him most of the day.  Later that afternoon while sitting with him, I saw him take his last breath.  It is one of the hardest things I have ever had to do, but he had always been there for me and I needed to be there for him.  I did not want him to be alone.  He died before any of his other children could get to his side. 

He may not have been great to others, but he was my dad and I loved him so.  He is still in my thoughts and prayers daily and no Sunday has ever seemed right since because that was our day to be together.  He taught me my work ethic and to love kids that aren’t my own.  Those were great lessons.


According to William James, "The deepest craving of human nature is the need to be appreciated." Expressing appreciation with words, a smile or a hug costs so little and means so much. It can make a day or even change a life.

Thank someone today.  Hug someone today.  Smile a little more today.  Make a small difference. It's contagious.

 Be happy and God bless you.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Children Learn What They Live

Ancient Indian Proverb:


Applied Kinesiology 

Over 25 years ago I took a workshop in Kinesiology (the study of motion).  It opened my eyes to new thinking and the fact that our body does not stop with our skin that surrounds it.  The presenter of the workshop used our bodies as tools to determine our health status.  It was eye opening and a life lesson I have carried with me.  We need to be willing to try new things and be open to new experiences before we can make intelligent decisions.  There are so many things out there that we do not know.  We need to constantly keep searching and reaching for new knowledge. 

The Doctor presenting the workshop put negative things like white bread and cigarettes in our hands and then tested our strength.  He also tested strength by putting people under florescent lights.  Everyone became very weak because these were very negative elements.  He then put positive things into our hands like vitamins and whole grains and turned off the florescent lights.  The strength came back.  He said that our bodies did not end with our skin and that we had energy that went beyond our body (an aura if you will).  Tests can be given by adding to or taking away from that energy.  It was an extraordinary experience and one that has always stayed with me.  I stopped smoking shortly after the experience.  I haven’t given up white flour completely, but use whole grains when ever possible in bread and pasta.

History on Applied Kinesiology

In 1964, Dr. Goodheart made an observation that a weak muscle could be treated and the strength immediately improved. From this simple observation, began a life long search for other treatment methods that could improve muscle strength. Along the way, he discovered factors that could negatively affect the strength and functioning of muscles. In the beginning, he named this area of investigation and discovery applied kinesiology. He chose to use the term kinesiology, as this implies the study of motion, movement and muscle function. He added the term applied because what he was doing was not the discipline of standard kinesiology.
Applied kinesiology (AK) is a form of diagnosis using muscle testing as mechanism to examine a person’s body.  An AK diagnosis can determine the best form of therapy for a patient.  Doctors using applied kinesiology have an advantage over other practitioners as they have additional specific diagnostic tools to determine the best therapy for an injured person.  
Be happy, healthy, open to new ideas and God bless you.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Seeking Strength

Like the pilgrims, we can still learn much from Native Americans.  On this Thanksgiving I’d like to share this Native American Prayer with you.

O Great Spirit, make me wise, so that I understand the things you have taught my people.  Let me learn the lesson you have hidden in every leaf and rock.  I seek strength, not to be greater than my brother, but to fight against my greatest enemy, myself.

Hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving.  Make sure you give thanks for all that Great Spirit has given you and yours.  Be happy and may the Great Spirit be with you.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

A Few Things That Matter

This hangs on my bedroom wall and I try to live by it.  

Life is sacred:
Live on purpose.
Be intoxicated with this world and
astonished with the world you imagine.
Growth is a journey…
Success doesn’t require arrival.
Want what you already hold.
Give no place to public opinion.
Delight in your friends.
Practice the art of doing nothing.
Embrace moments of grace.
Give the child in you a wide sky
Understand that laughter is prayer.

A Few Things That Matter

Place your own photo of a few things that matter here.  Be happy, laugh and God bless you. 

Laugh Today

Little but Brave

Don't worry, I'll protect you.
My little Chihuahuas don't know they are little.  They protect me from any stranger that comes into my home.  They act so mean and show no fear what so ever.  It goes to show that our attitude is only a state of mind.  Think big like my Chihuahuas.

Winter's Coming ....


I have a friend that I used to try and “out poor”.  He like me, came from a very large family and we used to exchange stories about growing up and being poor.  We would exaggerate terribly and each time we would try to tell a bigger story of how we were the poorest.  It became a great game. We did it often until I was “out poored” by him.  He bested me, making me give him the title of being the poorest child.  I told him that we were so poor that we did not have any grass in our yard, we only had weeds.  He replied that they were so poor they didn’t even have dirt.  I laughed so hard, I had to tell him he had won. Thanks for all the laughs Jeff.  He has moved away and I have not had contact with him for several years. I miss his laughter and jokes. I hope his life is full of laughter.  Take time to laugh with a friend today.

Be happy, laugh and God bless you.   

Tuesday, November 22, 2011


Old and Wise

Been there ...... done that!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Happy Thanksgiving

Do you love cooking as much as I do?  It is a passion with me accept when I have to cook just for myself.  Food goes with family and friends.  It is just not the same when it is just for one.  Thanksgiving will be here in just a couple of days and I have been putting a lot of planning into what I want to take to my son’s house.  I’m anxious for our gathering and know that it will be over too quickly. 

I really enjoy watching cooking shows on the Food Channel.  I love Paula’s show.   She makes me laugh. I have been watching a lot this week to get ideas for Thanksgiving, but know that we have to still have some of the old standards to really make it Thanksgiving.  I’ll try something new and take something old also.  I’m making a new pumpkin cheese cake and will be bringing the cranberry salad and turkey for the old. I’m very thankful for Thanksgiving.  It brings me so much happiness because it is family and food. 

May your Thanksgiving be filled with great food, new memories, old traditions, laughter, much love and happiness.  Happy Thanksgiving.

Monday, November 21, 2011


Generosity is giving more than you can, and pride is taking less than you need. – Kahlil Gibran

What is it in people that one person can ask for help so easily and another is so proud that it is almost impossible for them to ask for help?  I personally find it very difficult to ask for help and take great pride in what I have done by myself with the help of God and a few good friends I can always count on should I really need them.  I guess I am very independent which lends itself to it.  I find myself wondering why there seem to be so many takers today.  Part of it is that people’s value systems are putting money first.   I find it very frightening. 

I’m a convert to the Catholic faith.  I was raised a protestant and as a young adult started instruction in Milwaukee with a wonderful priest called Father Reginald.  It is because of him that I finally decided to convert to Catholicism.  He was extremely liberal in his views.  He ended up leaving to do missionary work in Africa.  I moved back home to Maquoketa for a short time and completed my instruction with an extremely conservative priest, keeping all that Father Reginald had taught me.  Like in all things, we have to make choices and Father Reginald allowed me to make choices of what to believe in.  He actually said “Take what you want and disregard the rest” and I have lived with that in my faith.   Pretty radical, but I grabbed it and ran with it. 

In our long conversations, the sin of pride was discussed at length and has always been a great issue with me.  I asked him, “How do you know if you have too much pride?”  He answered, “If you have to ask, you probably have too much.”  I laughed and said, “But I take pride in my pride.”  So I recognize that pride may be my greatest sin and think I will always struggle with it.  I seldom ask for help except from God Himself.  I ask Him for His help daily. 

What is the old saying?  Pride goeth before a fall.  It will always be a battle for me. God help me not to fall.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Amazing Day

An Indian Prayer

Happily may I walk.
May it be beautiful before me.
May it be beautiful behind me.
May it be beautiful below me.
May it be beautiful all around me.
In beauty it is finished.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Be Yourself

Gifts and Talents

Me, I’m Patient 

We are all gifted with certain talents.  God gifted me with patience.  My oldest son was gifted with above average intelligence.  My youngest son was gifted with mechanical skills.  The world needs all of these talents.  One is not better than the other, just different.  We have been given our lots in life for a reason.  I use my gift of patience daily and know how precious it is to me.    My son Eddie teaches talented and gifted children.  Josh can fix things Eddie and I can’t.  Find and treasure all the gifts that you have been blessed with because you have many making you unique and special.  Use them and be proud of who and what you are.  Also, look for the best in people and accept their gifts they have to offer. 

Be happy and God bless you.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Wonderful Things


The Buddha spoke of 'cultivating' our mind, letting unwholesome emotions and thoughts wither away while strengthening wholesome ones. Anything that is fed energy will grow. When we deliberately cultivate gratitude, we will gradually become naturally grateful people.  That works on almost anything. (If we cultivate negative mind states, jealousy or criticism, they will become who we are.) 

Be careful of what you spend your energy on.  I try to be very picky.  I have said before, I practice saying to myself: “In the whole scream of things, is this really important now, today or tomorrow?”  If it has no real importance, or it is a negative thought or emotion, why spend energy on it?

You’ll find there is much to be grateful for if you spend energy on being positive, loving and kind (add your own list of important attributes).  How do you want to touch other people?  Surely it is not in a negative manner.  In addition, it can have a domino effect and get passed onto others. 

Be happy, share positive energy and God bless you.

Thursday, November 17, 2011



“In the sky, there is no distinction of east and west; people create distinctions out of their own minds and then believe them to be true.” – Buddha 

Over 30 years ago, I had the honor and privilege to participate in a workshop given by Dr. C. T. Vivian, a disciple of Martin Luther King.  The workshop was a 2 day life experience I will never forget and thank God for the chance to participate in it.  Although I think everyone walked away from it with different lessons, the greatest lesson I received from it was acceptance.  Part of the experience was to simulate what it felt like to be unaccepted. Although there were many meaningful exercises, the one that I remember the most was when our group did not do what the norm was, giving me great faith and trust in people and tomorrow.  We were given an exercise where half the people were sent out into the hall so we could not hear the directions given to the people left in the room.  Those left in the room where told to make a circle and under no circumstances where they to let anyone come into their circle or become a part of it.  When we were brought into the room, we were told to join the circle.  One at a time each and every one of us, were able to join the circle.  I simply asked an 18 year old young man to let me in and he did breaking the rules and not following what he was told.  Dr. Vivian said that had never happened before out of 100s of workshops he had given and how unique this group was.  What a wonderful lesson.  It was to teach discrimination and give us a taste of what it was like, but it thought acceptance instead.     

Prejudice is an ugly thing.  It poisons people and is a crime against humanity.  Weather it be prejudice against a race, creed, color, religion, looks, handicap, or sexual orientation, we can not be happy and hate at the same time.  Respecting others and accepting others is mandatory in your life if you want to really be happy.  It is also mandatory in God’s eyes.  I don’t often quote scripture but in case you wish to look it up:  Matthew 22:36-40

Second Greatest Commandment -- “Love your neighbor as yourself.”

Prejudice definition:  an unfavorable opinion or feeling formed beforehand or without knowledge, thought, or reason.  In other words it is spelled ignorance.

Be happy, love your neighbor and God bless you.  

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Better World

I have long said that it is my job to make this world a better place than when I came into it.  I came into it over 65 years ago making the contributions I need to make very long.  I hope that when I leave this world, that I can close my eyes and see what I have contributed.  It is not important that other’s know, only that my Maker and I know.  I want to know that I have loved and taught love, been kind, compassionate, touched other lives in a positive manner, taken care of the earth itself, cared for animals, and have been a good influence on all those who have touched my life.  God forgive me for my short comings and failures.  Give me knowledge and strength so that I might do better. 

I watched  Saving Private Ryan last night. It is the first time I have seen it.   It was a very difficult movie to watch, but one of those I needed to see.  The movie was full of the horrors of war, but at the very end Ryan is asking has he lived a good life and was he a good man because of all of the sacrifices others made for him.  Like Private Ryan, I want to make sure I have lived a good life.  Make life worth living and you will know real happiness.

“With realization of one's own potential and self-confidence in one's ability, one can build a better world.”  Dalai Lama 

Be happy and God bless you.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


I am a strong believer in community to the point of believing it should be taught at every grade level in every school.  When I taught 7th grade CCD classes, I asked my youth if they knew what the Lord’s Prayer meant.  Not one of them did and yet they were taught to recite it regularly not knowing what they were even praying for.  I took it upon myself to interpret it in simpler words that they understood.  I began with Our Father…..  That means we are all one family.  We are a community of Christians praying in His name.  We are a community in all we do.  We need to act as a loving family to our fellow man.  The Dalai Lama says: “All major religious traditions carry basically the same message, that is love, compassion and forgiveness.  The important thing is they should be part of our daily lives.”   No matter what your faith is, even if you are an atheist or an agnostic, we need to believe in community if for no other reason than to make this a better world to live in and for our children to live in.

Be happy and God bless you.

Help Others

We can sure learn from little ones.

Lesson from Geese

We need to fly with others to be uplifted

We can learn from nature around us.  Here are some lessons we can learn from the geese.

As each goose flaps its wings, it creates an uplift for the birds that follow.  By flying in a V formation, the whole flock adds 71% greater flying range than if each bird flew alone.  The lesson is we need to fly with others to be uplifted.  People who share a common direction and sense of community can get where they are going quicker and easier because they are traveling on the thrust of one another.

When a goose falls out of formation, it suddenly feels the drag and resistance of flying alone. It quickly moves back into formation to take advantage of the lifting power of the bird immediately in front of it. The lesson is if we have as much sense as a goose we stay in formation with those headed where we want to go. We are willing to accept their help and give our help to others.

When the lead goose tires, it rotates back into the formation and another goose flies to the point position.  The lesson is it pays to take turns doing the hard tasks and share. As with geese, people are interdependent on each other’s skills, capabilities and unique arrangements of gifts, talents, and resources.

The geese flying in formation honk to encourage those up front to keep going! The lesson is we need to make sure our honking is encouraging. In groups where there is encouragement, the production is much greater. The power of encouragement, which is to listen to one’s own heart or core values, and to listen to the core values of others, is the quality of honking we seek.

When a goose gets sick, wounded or shot down, two geese drop out of formation and follow it down to help protect it. They stay with it until it dies or is able to fly again. Then, they launch out with another formation of geese and try to catch up with the flock.  The lesson is if we have as much sense as geese, we will stand by each other in difficult times as well as when we are strong.

Author Unknown

When we fly with others we need to make sure that we have a positive effect on the community.  Fly with the people that will be there for you like the geese.  Fly with people that are positive and caring.  Help them to build a caring, compassionate community that takes care of each other.  

"The life I touch for good or ill will touch another life, and that in turn another, until who knows where the trembling stops or in what far place my touch will be felt."
-- Frederick Buechner

"Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them humanity cannot survive." -- Dalai Lama 

Monday, November 14, 2011


Thanksgiving will be here before we know it.  Like most holidays it is filled with tradition.  Tables will be set with our finest, most of us will have turkey, family will gather and we will give thanks for all that we have.  Memories will be made on that day and the rituals we do will become traditions for our children and grandchildren.  Tradition is a huge part in our lives and our children’s lives.  Why?  I think it gives stability in our now very complex and unstable world.  It is something you can count on and need. As I am growing old, I find that many of the old traditions have faded away, but new ones have taken their place. 

As a child, we used to open our Christmas presents on Christmas Eve because with 8 very anxious children, I don’t think my mother could wait and deal with us until the next morning.  It continued a tradition when I got married.  My husband being Puerto Rican did not celebrate the giving of gifts on Christmas.  In Puerto Rico they exchanged gifts on New Years or what he called the Coming of 3 Kings.  We agreed to celebrate it with my tradition.  Now we have a new tradition of opening gifts on Christmas morning so that my daughter-in-laws family can also share part of Christmas with our grandsons.  The day doesn’t really matter as long as we gather and spend the day together and keep our traditions. 

I need to fill my life with tradition because it brings happiness to me.  It is something I can count on and find great pleasure in.  The more traditions the merrier I say.

Be happy and God bless you.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Life is Like a Box of Chocolates

Great, great movie.  I could watch it 100 more times.  So full of good life lessons and you can get them by watching a movie.  Amazing.


I believe in believing.  I think everyone needs to believe in something or someone including yourself.  The following is a lot of quotes from very learned men and women on spirituality.  I thought I would share:
  • God has no religion. - Mahatma Gandhi
  • Heaven means to be one with God. – Confucius
  • I believe in God, only I spell it Nature. - Frank Lloyd Wright
  • If the head and the body are to be well, you must begin by curing the soul. – Plato
  • Just as a candle cannot burn without fire, men cannot live without a spiritual life. – Buddha
  • My religion consists of a humble admiration of the illimitable superior spirit who reveals himself in the slight details we are able to perceive with our frail and feeble mind. - Albert Einstein
  • They say that God is everywhere, and yet we always think of Him as somewhat of a recluse. - Emily Dickinson
  • What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us. - Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • You are never alone or helpless. The force that guides the stars guides you too. - Shrii Anandamurti
  • Begin to see yourself as a soul with a body rather than a body with a soul. - Dr Wayne Dyer
  • May the Force be with you.  -  Yoda

Be happy and know He walks with you.  God bless you.

Saturday, November 12, 2011


"Love is something that you and I must have.  We must have it because our spirit feeds upon it.  We must have it because without it we become faint and weak.  Without love our self esteem weakens.  Without it our courage fails.  Without love we can no longer look confidently at the world.  We turn inward and begin to feed on our own personalities and little by little we destroy ourselves.

With love we are creative.  With love we march tirelessly.  With love and with love alone, we are able to sacrifice for others."

Chief Dan George

Beautiful words.  Fill  you life with love, be happy and God bless you.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Dinkin' Around

I love to dink around once in awhile.  Do you dink (my sister Wendy’s word)?  You have no real focus, you just waste time and casually let things happen.  I don’t do this a lot but I’m finding in my old age I do it more and more.  Maybe it is part of the aging process.  Seems like the doctors are telling me that more and more. 

I looked up dink and it is urban slang meaning to putz with; tinker with, or fiddle with.  Dink just sounds so much more fun. 

Dink around today, be happy and God bless you.

Veteran’s Day November 11, 2011

Uncle Floyd Gombert 
My grandfather came to this country as a young boy because Germany had just initiated the draft and my great grandfather did not want his son’s to go to war.  He brought his wife and 10 children to America when my grandfather was 13 years old.  My grandfather married and had 9 children and as fate would have it, his son Floyd joined the army because of World War II and was killed in Africa.  I’m very proud of my uncle and visit his grave in Andrew to honor him.  I wish to honor and thank all those that are serving and have served for their bravery and scarifies.

The Andrew AM Vets are hosting a thank you today for veterans.  What a wonderful idea.  Any time you hear of someone that has served, make sure you take the time to thank them for that service.  We need to say it often. 

Someone shared this soldier’s pray with me and wanted to share it with you.  Thank you brave soldiers.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Growing Old

You know you are growing old when…
Everything hurts.
and what doesn’t hurt,
doesn’t work.
You feel like the morning after,
but you haven’t been anywhere.
You look forward to a
dull evening.
You need your glasses to
find your glasses.
You sit in a rocking chair
but can’t get it going.
Your knees buckle but
your belt won’t.
You have too much room in the house
but not enough in the medicine cabinet.
You wonder why more people
don’t use this size print!!!  

Be happy, laugh at yourself, and God bless you.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Man Bashing

I'm not into man bashing.  

I've raised sons and have grandsons.  By the way who raises the men?  Usually women, so there are two sides to every story.  Be kind.  Don't bash anyone.  

Unique People Continued

Another of my heroes is Mother Teresa.  What she has given back to this world is incredible.   How did they ever fit such a huge heart in such a little one?

Mother Teresa was born Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu in Skopje, Macedonia, on August 26, 1910. Her family was of Albanian descent. At the age of twelve, she felt the call of God. She knew she had to be a missionary.  At the age of eighteen she left her parent’s home and joined the Sisters of Loreto, an Irish community of nuns with missions in India. After a few months' training in Dublin she was sent to India, where in 1931, she took her initial vows as a nun. From 1931 to 1948 Mother Teresa taught at St. Mary's High School in Calcutta, but the suffering and poverty she glimpsed outside the convent walls made such a deep impression on her that in 1948 she received permission from her superiors to leave the convent school and devote herself to working among the poorest of the poor in the slums of Calcutta. Although she had no funds, she depended on God to provide and started an open-air school for slum children. Soon she was joined by volunteer helpers, and received financial support and expanded her work.

In 1950, Mother Teresa received permission to start her own order, "The Missionaries of Charity", whose primary task was to love and care for those persons nobody was prepared to look after. In 1965 the Society became an International Religious Family by a decree of Pope Paul VI.  It has grown into branches of sisters and brother in many countries and in 1984 a priest branch was established.
The Society of Missionaries has spread all over the world, including the former Soviet Union and Eastern European countries. They provide effective help to the poorest of the poor in a number of countries in Asia, Africa, and Latin America, and they undertake relief work in the wake of natural catastrophes such as floods, epidemics, and famine, and for refugees. The order also has houses in North America, Europe and Australia, where they take care of the shut-ins, alcoholics, homeless, and AIDS sufferers.

The Missionaries of Charity throughout the world are aided and assisted by Co-Workers who became an official International Association in 1969. By the 1990s there were over one million Co-Workers in more than 40 countries. Along with the Co-Workers, the lay Missionaries of Charity try to follow Mother Teresa's spirit.

Mother Teresa's work has been recognized and acclaimed throughout the world and she has received a number of awards and distinctions including the Noble Peace prize in 1979.  A tiny woman from very humble beginning has changed the life of so many.   She left this earth on God’s arm in 1997.  The Church is now considering her for sainthood.   Amazing what one small woman did in her life time!  She inspires me to want to make this world a better place.


Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Something From the Oven

The old saying "Nothin' says lovin' like somethin' from the oven." is so true.  I'm making Toll House chocolate chip cookies to say I love you to my son and mom.   Making myself happy because I get to bake, give it to those I love and taste the fruit of my labor also.  Aroma therapy also.  House smells terrific.  I like 'em hot, chewy, ewy good.  How about you?

Be happy, make cookies for those you love and God bless you.