Archive for November, 2016

Advent 4

November 30, 2016


I’m sure this isn’t what Rosey the Riveter had in mind in WWII, but the times they have changed. At any rate, Advent day #4 is about patience. My AM to-do list filled two pages. And it really was all about two things, or maybe three: (1) Patiently waiting for a plumber; (2) organizing Christmas shopping and gifts-yet-to-be purchased; and (3) sharing lunch with my best/longest/enduring friend.

In each of the tasks at hand, I hoped to find surprises, smiles and adventures. And, at the end of the day,  many of the to-dos of today will be to-dos of tomorrow. An honest plumber directed me to the company of purchase for the leaky faucet and it’s on its way to me FREE. Sorting a bed covered with gifts, I uncovered (long forgotten, purchased) treasures that are sure to find their way into the hearts of friends and family members. And a good lunch with a great friend included a walk through an art gallery, a seat on a run-down tilt-a-whirl and a new bar in town.

All it took was a little patience.




Advent 3

November 29, 2016

Week one – week of Hope third day of advent and I am pacing myself. Slowing down is good for the soul and things really do get done. As I prepare the way for Christmas I am grateful not to be working at a frenetic pace. Just as the sun rises and sets over a period, the hours, days and weeks leading up to Christmas are here to savor. 384685_207998845952170_170784616340260_427602_598261127_n

Advent 2

November 28, 2016


Yesterday my cup of blessings was empty… today it is full; full of a day of choices. And actually, the choices were fairly mundane, but in hindsight,  I made dozens of decisions. And just how freeing is that? How can I feel anything but hope-filled given I am in a place to choose!

Advent 1

November 28, 2016


The work of the Holy Spirit along with the forces of nature led me to the 30-day challenge of Joan Jakel: attorney, artist, entrepreneur, empowerment instigator!

IT IS A DAY OF POSSIBILITIES! How is it possible that TODAY is the first day of Advent? How is it possible that I was brought to this space on your journey, Joan,  and I begin mine today? Just as this first week of Advent is a time to reflect on a message of hope, I begin my 30 days of filling my cup with blessings! While I do so, I read your reflection and I am filled with hope. This is a day of possibilities. So let us begin.

Yesterday was our last vacation day. It rained. It was cold. We had tickets to an end of the season college football game. And there had to be a better way to spend the day (like at home in front of a blaring fire). As we drove on campus and searched for parking… God and Nature came together with an answer and HOPE and possibilities.

But… back to today. I followed a link to Jenn Kaye’s Love Glasses Revolution. It provided an interesting connection. Every Advent I create a cup that is overflowing with blessings.I take that GLASS cup, write on a stick what I am grateful for during the 30 days that lead up to Christmas…and fill it up with Hope, Love, Faith, and Joy; the messages of advent.(Oh and add money each day that will serve as an extra donation at Christmas).

Day 1, today is a day of possibilities.

24th of November 2016

November 28, 2016


On the 24th of November, Napa proved to be

12 foods to choose from

11 bottles of V Arroyo

10 friends round the Thanksgiving table

9 sharing blessings

8 AM with Macy’s

7-inch stilettos

6 Ladies dancing

5 hours of joy

4 of us together

3 fabulous hosts

2 much laughter


1 terrific turkey gathering

How Did We Get Here?

November 21, 2016


There's a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, or so I've been told. 

It was a chilly, blustery, rainy, Sunday afternoon; a day for reading, writing and 
relaxing the hours away. 

As he is apt to do, my dear husband tore an article out of his favorite catholic 
magazine, "First Things" (circulation 30,000). "This is a must read," Dennis said. 
Without a doubt, Mark Bauerlein's 'Down and out in Del Mar' tugged at my heart.

It was at the completion of the article that my day took a turn. I wanted to learn 
more about this senior editor, writer, professor---man whose words held my 
attention and sparked my next steps. I was prompted to explore Hillbilly Elegy, 
by J. D. Vance, referenced by Bauerlein. Then my attention was directed to a 
review in the L.A. Times of his book, The Dumbest Generation. 

At this point, it would appear that my rain-drenched soul whould pack it in for the
day. But there would be more... I decided I would place a hold on both books 
referenced above. After I had done so at the county library's website, an image 
moved across the screen: Poetry Reading... and conversation with Poet Laureate 
Dana Gioia. 

As a writer, published poet and art-aholic this was an opportunity of a lifetime. 
I had read Gioia's books, listened to his TED Talks, watched his Stanford 
commencement addresses online, and followed his succesful career as Chairman of the 
NEA, more especially a program he created for high school student, Poetry Out Loud.
Mr. Gioia was speaking at The Katie Wheeler Public Library, in historic Irvine; 
this afternoon at 2:30. 

It was precisely 2:30. Missed opportunity, my heart sank.

My husband had postponed his daily shower, and had just began his soulful cleansing.
I rushed into the bathroom screaming, "Gioia's in town, we've missed him." Knowing
my appreciation for the 2016 Poet Laureate, Dennis'response was simple, 
"Just say yes and we are out the door in five minutes." --- she said YES!

And so it was. We sped cross town. Walked into a crowded room. We were late and 
separated; but directed to the last two available seats. (Mr. Gioai motioned me to
take the only empty seat in the front row). 

After Mr. Gioia recited a handful of poems from his book 99 Poems, questions were 
answered, an autographed book was in hand and an engaging conversation with 
Mrs. Gioia; I had found the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.





November 21, 2016

God commands us to love others as we love ourselves. If we cannot love ourselves then, how can we love others?

So it is with Peace… If we do not have peace in our hearts, “shalom bayit” or peace in our homes, how then,  can we be at peace with others?

Leonard Cohen left this earth last week, and less than three weeks before his death, he left us one of his most troubling, brilliant poems entitled, “YOU WANT IT DARKER.”  In that poem he cries out in Hebrew: hineni, hineni, I’m ready my lord.

“Hineni” was Moses’ response to God’s summons from the burning bush. “Hineni”. I am here. I am ready. As you recall, Moses had a stutter. I imagine he was mortified at first to raise his imperfect voice and speak the truth of his innermost being. But it was time. He had to move through whatever vanity, past wounds, and future fears had previously kept him from baring and speaking his naked heart.

Many of us are feeling the “Hineni” rising within us in response to these turbulent times. It is my hope that some of these events will serve you as you heed the call to let the truth of who you are shine ever more nakedly in this churning world.

Hear now a prayer of forgiveness and peace from the Jewish High holy days:

You, Lord, our eternal friend, open our hearts, we are ready Lord. Let us forgive others, so that we may forgive ourselves. With your power of healing, we can continue to fight against social and economic institutions that oppress others, or hurt the earth’s life support system. Let us do so with love in our hearts.

Lord, we seek peace, let each of us be peace. We seek justice, let us be just. We seek a world of kindness. Let us be kind. We  seek a world of generosity. Let us share all that we have with those who are in need. We seek a world of love. Let us be loving beyond all normal expectations.

And lord, let us be open, aware, sensitive and understanding.

Source of goodness and love in the universe, give us energy, the courage, the strength to engage in the struggles that must take place to transform our government, our community our homes and our hearts.

Hear, oh lord, the words of our mouths and the meditations of our hearts that they find acceptance before you.

Hineni, hineni, I am ready my Lord. Amen

Leonard’s Doing

November 6, 2016

I cannot undo what I just saw

It was telling and truthful; and it was raw.

Pain and pleasure, two hearts entwined

For the love of God and mysteries enshrined.


final avatar unified

final avatar unified