Saturday, November 03, 2012

A few points concerning my religion and the election

A few interesting points keep popping up on the news and from people I have talked to on the college campus who have learned that I am a "Mormon." They truly believe that women are repressed in the LDS Church. That is far from the truth. In lieu of that belief I feel as if I should touch on a few of these points.

LDS woman may not be able to hold the Priesthood or be a Bishop, Stake President, an Apostle or become Prophet (some think this is repressive, I do not.) but we are able to hold other callings: teachers, secretaries, counselors, and presidents of the young women's youth group over the children's group or over our Relief Society groups (a group made up only of women who meet on Sunday's and other times during the month.)
We are inspired as the men are in our church through the soft spirit of the Holy Ghost, available to us through pray, quiet contemplation and sometimes through other people's needs.

We raise our daughter and sons, teach them the Gospel and how to be good citizens of what ever nation we live in.

We are not lorded over by our husbands if anything, I tend to boss him around like any other wife. I am responsible with my husband for my families salvation, my husband may preside, but more than likely as in my family I lead family home evening, family and personal prayer and when we have it scripture study not my husband.

I am free to come and go as I please, I am not a 1950's wife who serves my husband dinner at 6 p.m. because he demands it. I choose whether dinner is made by me or not. I chose to stay home and be a mom until they were able to attend school. I have decided to go to college after 18 years of staying home (actually while my kids were in school I worked, but was home for them when they came home.) This has all been my choice. I didn't want to miss out on my kids childhoods.

You know a lot has been joked about and outrage has been shown of the comments of Gov. Mitt Romney when he was talking about "binders of women," in the last Presidential Debate. I believe he meant that woma resumes were recommended to him.
Do not people have HR departments in businesses and are given recommendations of who the boss should hire? Pretty sure he meant the same thing.
He talked about his Chief of Staff wanting a flexible schedule because she wanted to be home for dinner with her family. What woman doesn't wish she could eat dinner with her family before her children head off to bed? Shouldn't more companies or government entities have flex schedules for employees?

In 1842 the Prophet Joseph Smith was inspired to have the women of the church form a women's society where they learn from each other and also from the Prophet about the Gospel, raising their children, supporting their husbands and serving those who were in need of charity work and love. This group called the "Female Relief Society," became defunct when the Prophet was killed and the saints started migrating to Utah.

In Utah when the pioneers arrived President Brigham Young reinstated the Relief Society (which has been around for 170 years this year,) and expanded its cause. Women were encouraged to get educations and go on to higher educations becoming not only what were considered in the states as "woman" jobs such as secretaries, teachers etc... but doctors, professors, editors of newspapers and numerous other "men" only careers.

 This was a paper that was ran by LDS women (but not the LDS Church)
 for 42 years from 1870 until 1914.
notice what the point is of this issue and what the date is...

Not sure how people can state that Mitt Romney will push our lives back to the 1950's when he has been active in a Church where they encourage a woman's independance.

I find it interesting that the widely held belief is that we are behind in the times and yet, LDS woman set historic precedence throughout the nation. Such as:

"Women’s Suffrage (the Right to Vote)

In February 1870 the territorial government of Utah granted women the right to vote in government elections. At that time, the territory of Wyoming was the only other place in the United States where women were given this right. Later the national government rescinded this privilege as part of the punishment for Latter-day Saints living the law of plural marriage. But Latter-day Saint women remained vocal and articulate about their rights. Many sisters actively sought women’s suffrage, or the right to vote. Their increasing ability to speak articulately was a blessing when they needed to represent themselves as strong, dignified, and ennobled women. Through their efforts, they regained the right to vote when Utah was granted statehood in the United States of America the beginning of 1896.
They also gained the respect of other women’s movements in the United States and around the world." Courtesy of

When did women earn the right to vote in the United States, in 1920? Notice, the Federal Government rescinded the women's rights to vote in Utah not our church leaders (or as others would say our lording men.) Very interesting.

A few other points:

I have been thinking about this a lot after having a discussion with a sweet young man named Gregory who is pursuing a degree in Political Science; who as republican is very confused on who he should vote for (he is of African American descent). One thing he was confused about was the comment that Mitt Romney made about getting rid of Planned Parenthood.
My question to him was this, "If the Affordable Healthcare Act is in place why exactly do we need the redundancy of Planned Parenthood? Aren't all those services covered in the AHA? So can't we save money there?"

You may say, "well, doesn't Mitt Romney want to rescind the AHA?" In all fairness, yes, he did say that, as it pertains to the Federal Government taking the reins over it. He believes that States should have the responsibility to control their Healthcare rights.

I live in Florida, but when we lived in Utah we had healthcare covered under Intermountain Health Care. This program was actually looked at by the Federal Government as something to emulate. What they decided was that it would not work throughout the nation, but as a state plan it is a great program. This I believe is what Romney means by letting the States take control of HC. Don't our insurance plans cover birth control and women's healthcare coverage such as mamograms, births, pap-smears, etc? Yes, not all people have HC so they don't get the OB/Gyn coverage, but I know when we lived in Georgia we had free women's clinics which were not part of Planned Parenthood. We do have other options...

My fellow student, Gregory said he was going to go home and do a little research. Unfortunately for me and with much sadness for him he was called back to serve in Afghanistan (he has served 3 time already, both in Afghanistan and Iraq and never wanted to go back. But since he has signed up to serve his country he does so with pride.)
I really miss him in my two classes.

I don't have all the answers, I can't tell you how to vote, but I can say that we should all do our research on what the facts are and not believe the outrageous claims made by biased people.

Both Candidates have strengths and weaknesses according to what you value. Do the right thing= Go Vote.

Friday, November 02, 2012

To the Haters on Facebook.

While perusing Facebook this morning I saw this picture posted of people desperate for food- I decided to click on the comment section to see what people were saying in response to the picture expecting horror, sadness and grief for the people involved who obviously are in dire need.  What I found instead was hatred, blame of the President, blame of Mitt Romney, biting retorts in attack and defense surrounding these two men and more than an absurd amount of comments comparison this storm to the response of Pres. Bush during Hurricane Katrina... Only 20 of the thousands+ comments were compassionate towards the dumpster digging!

I am abhorred at the lack of caring emotion from all these people.
Out of frustration I wrote this message:

To all the people on this board-

Is complaining about Pres. Obama, Gov. Romney, or Pres. Bush for that matter helping these poor people of N.Y., New Jersey, Maryland or Virginia (and all other states affected)? NO!
Quit the whining and partisanship and do something to help these people!

Helping during Disasters is not about government, money or who is better at their job- it's about love, compassion and action. Either show some compassion for these people by doing your best to find a way to help or shut up!!!

Our nation is under attack by our hatred, not by who is for what party. We are Americans- we need to join together. If you can't go to these disaster areas then form a group to get together and package humanitarian aide materials like many did for Hati- if you can't find time to do that, spare a few dollars and help a group who can! Seriously stop the hatred!!!!!!!

*Hurrican Sandy, who I am sad to say has the same name as myself started affecting North America on October 16th when it flooded portions of Florida and continued on up the coast headed for the North East. Here is proof of the devastation that led to the original thought of this post.

Courtesy of Hurricane Sandy Official Facebook Page
This is a picture of the Long Beach N.Y. Boardwalk.
I have many feelings about this picture. This is my birthplace.
The boardwalk was walked on by many of my family members and myself.
When you think Hurricane do you think about Snow? 
Nope, but this is what happened in North Virginia.
This is the entrance to the tunnel at Battery Park in N.Y.
for some reason I can only think of how this would look by thinking of the movie Independence Day,
When Jasmine is running from the blast from the aliens and the tunnel is funneling the blast.
I am so glad that no one was in this tunnel when the floods came.
Todd Maisel/New York Daily News
One thing that amazes me is the resilience of our nation- observed from these pictures:
The Statue of Liberty rejuvenated in the past few years. She was retrofitted to accommodate disabled people creating a way for them to take in the awe of her uniqueness. She in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy still stands resolute even with the flooded floors below.

People who care placed an American Flag to buoy up those who are emotionally and physically brought down in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy and are dealing with their own type of Hell in Breezy Point who not only lived through the Hurricane damage then eventually lost their homes to a ravaging fire.

Anthony DelMundo for New York Daily News
To all the FB Haters: Does this stir your hearts or are you still apt to blame, argue or use foul language towards each other because you are shallow uncompassionate people?
My heart cares for the plight of these people.
Prayers and help are needed and that is what we all should be doing!

Friday, June 29, 2012

Image-in Friday

Peeking around corners
anticipation thumps
deep inside her chest.

Pint-sized curls bob
from giggles

A brunette svelte woman
sneakily saunters out.
the little girl seizes upon—
black silk stocking knees
face uplifted
petite voice peeps,
“Mommy! What took you so long?”
Both burst into laughter
The game is at an end.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Nature’s Drum


Morning light
Morning breeze
Drum roll…

Lazily meandering out to the mail box
A slight tap, tap, tap--
a heavenly beat from above
touches ears.

Eyes reach skyward
blinded by a fresh bright glow between tree lines.
running through aperture modes finally reaching correct focus.
Red heads peek through branches.

camera ready nothing comes into view.
Deflated ego resolved to stubbornness
rotating round and round searching, searching
bingo- payoff.

  CSC_3632  DSC_3600-001

Monday, May 21, 2012

May Play with Every Day Poems

May's poetry word grab came from a poetess Kimberlee Conway Ireton's On Inspiration

I actually wrote this poem when I thought the poem was about playing and hadn't read Ms. Ireton's poem. I inadvertantly grabbed two words in the poem that I didn't even know existed given that I hadn't read it yet. I guess I was meant to be writing this semi-autobiographical poem.


Running through purple clover
Marie and her friends find secluded
shelter behind a cluster of Oak trees.

Little hands placed in pinafore pockets
struggle to pull mini dolls and furniture
previously hidden from prying eyes.

Names like Macy, Lacy, and Rose
come from cherry red tongues
while their minis are provided
leaves, bark and wispy grass houses.

The little girls and their minis
sip a bit of lemonade, eat a bite
of crumbled pink sugar wafers at tea.

A shrill sharp ring
pierces the laughter
of the little girls.

"We must run
we'll be late,"
whispers Marie.
"lets go."

20 minutes of fun
then mind numbing numbers.
Recess is over.


Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Morning Walk and The Awakening Rain

The Awakening Rain 

The Sky from the housewindow was a threatening grey; dull as an old white t-shirt that has never seen bleach. There were days when all she wanted to do was stay inside and putter around the house but today she woke up wanting to turn cartwheels in the freshly mown grass; drink in the intoxicating aroma of the gardenias that she didn’t even know were in her yard, and explore the idiosyncrasies of her neighborhood.  

Tying up white and purple Converse tennis shoes she heads to the door and then stalls at the threshold anticipating either a chill or the breath-repressing humidity which has kept her in the suffocating darkness of her house up until this moment. She takes a deep breath and shifts one tennis-shoed foot over the threshold out into—Rain.

Hesitating she turns around to go back inside, drat, I don’t want to get soaked. I guess I’ll just go watch T.V., she thinks to herself.   

Oddly enough her feet head her off toward her bedroom closet where her hands find a lime green and pink polka dotted umbrella and she heads back outside. Instead of the chill or humidity she was dreading, what she finds is a deep clean scent of earth which slowly calms and renews her spirit of how good it is to be alive.  

Yes, the surrounding sky and air are dull but the colors, the colors are as if she had stepped into an Andy Warhol painting! Lavender, red, and hot pink Impatiens flow out of hanging planters at the Schiller’s house; milky white Gardenias are seen a little further down the road and orange hibiscus pop out of green bushes. But the Greens— now they were something else. The greens would make any painter’s palette envy with its variety of shades! She saw waxy, shiny green brown leaves jump off of Magnolia trees; woodsy deep green needled pines and ghostly gray green moss drape the oak trees adding to her experience of awakening.

As she walked down the street yellow lights glimmer through curtained windows as if it was a snowy December morning in the west and not May 16th in Florida.  The first snow in a town is beautiful but I’ll take rain over snow any day. It’s usually so cold and reverberates through my already cold prone body. Here the rain is tepid and soothing.

Here’s the funny thing about Florida, dead leaves can be seen lying amongst new growing fruit on a fig tree or in gutters even while new shoots form on the oak trees; there is never an end to the circle of seasons that happen weekly here. I guess the growing seasons can become confused just like for the best of us.

She ambles along with every step she feels lighter and lighter. A woman was walking from the opposite direction with her small white Chow and when they meet she smiles first at the woman and then at the dog that is sniffing her pant leg. Poor dog won’t find any kindred or opposing dog smells from me. We haven’t had a dog in 7 years. Too bad we can’t have one again. Roxey was a sweet, beautiful and loving German Shepard. It’s sad that she couldn’t be happy staying in our yard and kept running away from home. I really would have like to have kept her. Maybe we can get another dog someday however it would have to be a smaller dog this time. Open handed she reaches down and pets the Chow, says “have a good day,” to the woman, and keeps walking.

Reaching the end of her subdivision she turns around and heads back to the house— When she is done she will have walked 2 ½ miles round trip. That’s a fairly good walk if I say so myself..

The rain is building up in strength and her pant legs are getting wet; by the time she arrives home she is soaked. Well, I guess I timed that out right; now to dry off and spend sometime writing and reading. What should I write about?

Smiling to herself she has a small inclination of what will be typed today. . .

Mckenna (not me)

Monday, May 14, 2012

Water to Pop the Oil

I Love EDP
Water to Pop the Oil

The black rectangular screen is unhinged and set erect; a welcome screen meets my eyes. Ten small digits type a password into a box. While waiting for the whirling boot up, I walk away to pour myself some Wild Sweet Orange tea; a ping is heard from across the room. Tea in hand, I scan the inbox; my eyes catch the words Every Day Poems. I open the email and a wonderland of words and pictures come into focus. It’s here, this month’s newsletter!  I devour what’s inside. I take my non-squeaking mouse click on an image and it opens to a new window; an illustration— The Poet from sweet 14/15 year old Sara Barkat pops up. Reading, I laugh at the Poet’s newest escapade of having to write for the Local Senior Ladies Club and the mishaps he commits after having lost his writing license weeks before. The Poor guy is fighting a strenuous battle for supremacy and just can’t beat the “formats” down to where they let him use them as weapons for good. 

Daily poems arrive in my box creating more joy than the monthly email does. Seriously this is the best $2.99 I’ve spent all year! To start and cap off the week my two favorite days— Monday’s “steal a word from our poem to make a new poem” challenge and the Friday Picture prompt. I am in heaven. My photo folder is filled with the gorgeous and oft times thought provoking pictures that spur on my poetry and to be truthful some of my short stories. I am thankful that Facebook placed an ad that I dared to click on.  

My mind before subscribing to Tweetspeak and buying a year subscription to Every Day Poems was churning with new words; I was raring to let my fingers unleash the fury that was building up inside but it is sluggishly coming out not at all the storm I expected. Like the oil spill in the Gulf, my mind had become gummed up and was ruining the words that seconds before were freely floating towards the surface. The monthly and daily emails from Every Day Poems are the tiny droplets of water that pop the oily sludge that churns in my head onto a new page.

Saturday, May 05, 2012

Sounds of Silence

"Fools', said I, 'You do not know
Silence like a cancer grows..."

                   - Simon and Garfunkle's Sounds of Silence

Let's get a little real here- what do you do when your spouse, significant other or friend decides to get angry and give you the silent treatment? I'm the type of person who wants to talk it out. I can't stand the silence and it just ticks me off the more days it continues.

Have you ever felt that way? Or are you a "silent treatment" personality that needs to cool down for days on end before discussing the situation/problem? What is it that makes you go "silent"?

A friend of ours is going through this right now- The silence got so bad with her husband that he ended up walking out on his family after finally airing out all the problems that he had seen in his marriage but had NEVER said a word about. He had never stuck up for himself, never told his wife what he was feeling and one day just blew up...

Communications my friends is the key.

Had there been communication maybe the marriage would have been salvagable, but then again maybe not. When a spouse choses to only focus on the negative, (don't fool yourself we all do sometimes,) the negative becomes the blinders  and you never seem to see the rest (or the good) and it just gets worse from there. It's like dealing with your kids; the kids complain about something their sibling does or doesn't do and you let it go, they complain again and you let it go again thinking eventually they will just move on while playing but then the complaining continues and it festers and festers until that is all you hear from that child.

We've had that situation in our house and I've always told my kids that when they see one negative thing they have to find a postive and either write it down or continue to think about it until they notice that positive thing over the negative.
Sometimes it doesn't work, more often then not it does only because kids have short attention spans and finally they move on.
Maybe with adults though the problem, is we are so busy in our lives, running to and fro from meeting to meeting or activity to activity that our attention spans have developed a detrimental time lapse and we just forget to change the focus to the good.

I'm not sure if my way of thinking is the right way. If I focus on what is bad then it overwhelmingly becomes part of my personality and I end up being a mad and complaining woman. I try to focus on the postive so much so that I tend to get a little flighty with it and seems to my own self not strong enough in my convictions. But strength in convictions can get you to where Compromising is less apt to happen since we get stubborn and unmovable. So where is the happy medium?

I don't have the answers.

I just know that for my part I have decided to be grateful for the large, small, complex and simple things that others do in my life and try as hard as I can not to dwell on the negatives. I use a Gratitude Journal for those days that I am extremely negative but maybe instead of just having my Gratitude Journal I need a book where I can write down what is bothering me and then burn that page to let it go (the burn book- hee hee)? It might be better for me and everyone else if I do that and let it drain off my mind and into the reverbial garbage can.

What does everyone else think about "Silence"?

Couple Sitting Under A Tree
courtesy of Philipp Klinger/Flickr

How Shakespearean are you?

For those of you who like to write there is a fun little analyzing tool on the Oxford Dictionary's blog that tells you how much of your words from whatever you enter is clearly words that William Shakespeare used.

I entered part of a poem that I wrote just for fun and this is the answer I got:

Your English is 83 percent Shakespearean.
The waters of the Avon almost lap at your feet.

How fun that I use 83% of the Bard's words.

How Shakespearean are you?

Shakestext by Carl Bettis is licensed under a

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Pulitzer Prize...

The New York Times

April 17, 2012

And the Winner Isn’t ...

WHAT goes on during a deliberation is a private matter for the jurors alone; the rest of us are privy only to the verdict. That holds true for book awards as well as murder cases. So when the Pulitzer Prize Board announced on Monday that there were three finalists for the fiction prize and no winner, we were left to draw our own conclusions.
So far I’ve been able to come up with two: either the board was unable to reach a consensus, or at the end of the day the board members decided that none of the finalists, and none of the other books that were not finalists, were worthy of a Pulitzer Prize.
What I am sure of is this: Most readers hearing the news will not assume it was a deadlock. They’ll just figure it was a bum year for fiction.
As a novelist and the author of an eligible book, I do not love this. It’s fine to lose to someone, and galling to lose to no one.
Still, it is infinitely more galling to me as a reader, because there were so many good books published this year. I put Edith Pearlman’s “Binocular Vision: New and Selected Stories” at the top of that list, and so did many others. She was the winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award and a finalist for the National Book Award and the Story Prize. Her collection would have stood among the best winners in the Pulitzer’s history.
My other favorite was Denis Johnson’s “Train Dreams,” which did make it onto the Pulitzer Prize shortlist. I don’t think there is a sentence in that book that isn’t perfectly made, and its deeply American story fits with the Pulitzer’s criteria.
On that count, the prize could rightly have gone to two other books with important takes on the American condition: Russell Banks’s “Lost Memory of Skin” or Jesmyn Ward’s “Salvage the Bones,” the winner of the National Book Award. It could have taken a turn for the strange and highly imaginative and gone to another of the three finalists, Karen Russell’s “Swamplandia!” or to Kevin Wilson’s beautifully weird “The Family Fang.”
And while no one has ever won for two consecutive books, couldn’t this have been the year? I have no doubt that Jeffrey Eugenides would have won for “The Marriage Plot” if he hadn’t already won for “Middlesex.”
If I feel disappointment as a writer and indignation as a reader, I manage to get all the way to rage as a bookseller.
In November of last year, along with my business partner, Karen Hayes, I opened Parnassus Books in Nashville. The brick-and-mortar bookstore, as people seem to point out to us hourly, is not exactly a thriving business model (though we are doing fine), and the publishing industry, especially since the Department of Justice has decided to be Amazon’s bodyguard, is struggling as well.
So while it’s true that the Pulitzer committee has, since its inception in 1917, declined to award the prize on 10 previous occasions, I can’t imagine there was ever a year we were so in need of the excitement it creates in readers.
The winners are written up in papers and talked about on the radio, and sometimes, at least on PBS stations, they make it onto television. This in turn gives the buzz that is so often lacking in our industry — Did you hear about that book?
With book coverage in the media split evenly between “Fifty Shades of Grey” and “The Hunger Games,” wouldn’t it have been something to have people talking about “The Pale King,” David Foster Wallace’s posthumous masterwork about a toiling tax collector (and this year’s third Pulitzer finalist)? Wallace is not going to have another shot at a win, which makes the fact that no one could make up their minds as to whether or not he deserved it all the more heartbreaking.
Let me underscore the obvious here: Reading fiction is important. It is a vital means of imagining a life other than our own, which in turn makes us more empathetic beings. Following complex story lines stretches our brains beyond the 140 characters of sound-bite thinking, and staying within the world of a novel gives us the ability to be quiet and alone, two skills that are disappearing faster than the polar icecaps.   (bold by me.)
Unfortunately, the world of literature lacks the scandal, hype and pretty dresses that draw people to the Academy Awards, which, by the way, is not an institution devoted to choosing the best movie every year as much as it is an institution designed to get people excited about going to the movies. The Pulitzer Prize is our best chance as writers and readers and booksellers to celebrate fiction. This was the year we all lost.
Ann Patchett is the author, most recently, of the novel “State of Wonder” and a founder of Parnassus Books.

This article reminds me of a few statements made by Faber (the old man) in Farenheit 451. " It [ the Televisor] tells you what to think and blasts it in. It must be right.It seems so right.  It rushes you on so quickly to it's own conclusions your mind hasn't time to protest. " You can shut them [books], say 'hold on a moment.' You play God to it...Books can be beaten down with reason."

I don't go off the Pulitzer Prize or any list for that matter on choosing what I will read next but, the written word on a page is becoming antiquated by the written word electronically and that scares me.

I love the feel of a book in hand, the smell of it, the stiff pages when new and then crinkled when read over and again.

I've mentioned this before but I am a trueist when it comes to reading. Only when away from home and have not packed a book will I read a book on my ipad or phone, (which reading on the phone is miserable but works if having withdrawls like on a trip and the packed book is finished.- I read Stephanie Meyers partial transcript of Midnight Sun that way- all 600 something words. I don't recommend it!)
Thanks Ann Patchett for writing an article that expresses some of my feelings and yet I still fall prey to.

Fahrenheit 451- Ray Bradbury

Have you ever read a book that you wished you could quote whole pages because they just affected you so profoundly and you know you can't for Copyright reasons? This to me is one of those books.

I hate to admit it but this is the first time I have ever read Fahrenheit 451. I didn't take Honor's English or AP English in High School. Believe it or not I didn't care about school. I didn't think that school work was important because I was learning enough to get a good grade on the test and didn't need to "turn in" my home work even though I did the work. I just thought the teacher should just gauge that I was learning what I needed to learn. I digress I was talking about Ray Bradbury's book.

I have chosen in the past year to pick one classic a month (even if they are books that some people believe should be banned like last years- Catch 22 or Slaughterhouse 5.) I had no idea what this book was about. It was just the book that was next on my list to read. I am so glad that It was. I am in love with the idea of this book. I am grateful that Bradbury decided to write about this subject.

I am amazed that he wrote the original short story that this short novel is based on in 9 days!  Imagine.
I want to read the short story and believe that I have found the short story included in a book called "A Pleasure to Burn" also written by Ray Bradbury (16 short stories that precursor 451.) I ordered it from a used bookstore because I want to devour more of  Mr. Bradbury's mind on his process of writing Fahrenheit 451.

I think it is intriguing that Bradbury would take the firemen of our day and the heros into the firemen of  Montag's day; where they are no longer needed to fight and banish fires of burning buildings, but instead are doing the burning themselves of something I think are even more irreplaceable then structures but books. When the books are gone they were no longer recognizable to the human race. Isn't it interesting that this is a book with the subject of destroying books?  I love that Bradbury even in a day and age when T.V. was in it's nursery showed how obsessively ruinous T.V. can be to cultivating thoughts when blindly watched for hours on end and maybe controlled by powers higher than the average citizen. Seems to be a little too familiar to me.

When Montag runs into the old man in the park and then goes to his house I found that the best part of the whole book. The conversation of the three required items needed to be able to bring books back into the world and have people accept the books. This is the section I could write volumes on.
     "We have everything we need to be happy, but we aren't happy." Montag said to Faber. Faber goes on to tell Montag, "It's not books you need, it's some of the things that once were in books...  The magic is only in what books say, how they stitched the patches of the Universe together into one garment for us..."

I will stop here so that I don't ruin it for anyone who hasn't read it all I know is Ray Bradbury was an inspired genius!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

End of an Era; Wonder of a Miracle

sts-63 launch

The year was 1995, it was night, you were blasting over our head.
A miniature lad clad in a blue Astronaut jumpsuit held his hands over his ears blocking out the deafening sound produced by your red and orange fire. Swirling smoke spiraled out of your temporary rocket boosters.
Child-like awe formed watching your ascension to the Heavens.
Shivering in the balmy Florida air my camcorder lost your profile for a few seconds triggering my hasty zoom all over the sky with my lens desperately trying to find you again.
your boom into the atmosphere reverberated within my entire body spreading joy into my heart. You were an amazingly complex and hard to fathom miracle. You, who carried, brave men and women to places where only a few had tread. You, who tagged up with a heavenly station uniting the world only in that one place where all countries had to get along or become non-productive.

Now, in 2012, I watch you piggy backing on a super 747. You, the black snouted bird looking careworn and ancient. You have beaten all others flying higher than anyone could ever have imagined and pulling in so many more millions of miles than your kind usually flies. You carried Satellites that enabled communication across the world, into our hands, into our ears and into our homes. Satellites that researched our atmosphere and spacecraft that researched that ball of fire that produces our heat and light which we loving call the Sun.
You propelled the Hubble telescope the same year that my wanted-to-be astronaut was born.

Emotionally, I watch you fly over our Nation’s capital; the same building that cut the funding that created your demise.
Melancholy envelopes my heart not only for you, your kind and those who have nurtured, feed and flown with you but for change. The Change that may or may not stifle innovation, the change that your demise has created for the State of Florida and the change that is growing more prevalent everyday just in my own family. No longer is that little astronaut clad lad looking up to the sky wondering when it will be his turn, he has moved on just as it seems the nation has and that in of itself is cause for concern. In the immortal words of one of NASA’s own astronauts Jim Lovell “I look up at the moon and wonder, when will we be going back, and who will that be?”

Thank You NASA & shuttle Discovery (OV-103) for such wonderful memories!

shuttle florida final
Photo courtesy of  USA today

*upper photos courtesy of NASA.GOV

Sunday, April 08, 2012

Easter Sunday Thoughts

Easter morning, the world is quiet and everyone is at peace in bed...this is not as it should be. I am expected to be at the church to warm up the vocal cords at 8:15 a.m. and it is now 7:45 and NO ONE is awake except for me. This really isn't that big of a deal since the rest of the family doesn't need to be at church until 9:00 a.m. My let down about no one being awake is really about the fact that my children will be waking up to their Easter egg trail and I will not be around! This saddens me because I have just a little time left to love, cuddle, photograph and record these memories before Kyler will be going to college. I hoped that Matt (who woke up right before I left for church,) would either take pictures or ask the kids to wait until we got home from church. Not to happen- I missed the big unveiling... Kenna loved her Pool Chair, Kyler loved his Pool basketball set and Matt well, he left our Easter Trail for me to unveil. It was strategically hidden under our bed covers. I had the stuff the Easter Bunny packed (me,) which was just candy and then a secret surprise (from maybe the Easter Bunny's husband?) a really cool bird feeder that squirrels can't get into but the sweet birdies can. Complete this bird feeder with seed and up it went in 5 seconds flat in the backyard where everyone can see it. (this was all happened after church.)

Our sweet small choir sang four songs in celebration of The Savior's life and sacrifice for our redemption during our Easter service. One of the songs has touched my heart over the last few months and has really affected my testimony. It's entitled "This is the Christ" it is featured in the LDS church production the "Testaments" the lyrics are written by James E. Faust and it is just a super special song. For the longest time there was only me as a soprano practicing these songs and no altos (me, Linda [who sings tenor] Netty [who signs and doesn't sing] and a few men singing tenor and bass,) basically it was soprano solo from Sandi time in the upper registers and I felt as if my dear sweet grandma Field was singing from Heaven with me the whole time.  Not to brag but I was reaching notes I had never been able to reach on my own and wasn't afraid to belt it out like I normally had. These practices have really helped build my appreciation for the gifts and talents I have been given by my heavenly father!  Last Wednesday when additional voices were added the spirit wasn't speaking to me as much. I don't know if I was trying too hard to listen and wasn't really "hearing" or the additional voices drowned out what the heavenly voices were singing. I really missed those Heavenly voices until today when they came back and spoke to my soul again.

The world feels right as I sit outside writing this post. The Jasmine hangs heavy on our wooden fence and it's perfume is wafting through the breeze while birds sing melodies that not even the best opera singer could touch.

We have been blessed to be given the beauty of this planet and yet, the evils that twinge the beauty are never far away when you flip on the t.v. switch. we can choose to be ignorant of the horrors that happen in the world just by not reading a paper, watching t.v. or powering up my computer; but we need to live in the world and all its complexities because that is what we have been given..

Some of this foulness is shown in the bible where the knowledge I gained of so many didn't understand or were envious of the goodness of Jesus Christ. This has led me eventually to the thought that even though he was crucified on a cross, went through mental anguish and pain the joyous news that he had risen on the third day rang out among his followers, because of this act of love we are able to live eternally with our mortal families and our Heavenly families someday if we but follow his example of goodness.
Without our Elder brother Jesus consenting in the Pre-existence to come to this earth and to suffer for our sins no matter how big or small those sins will be without an expected retribution is to me the biggest gift of all- better than the birds, the flowers, the health or happiness that we are naturally blessed with. His sacrifice for us is unfathomable but so extremely thought provoking that I can't aptly express my gratitude in words.

Without the bad in the world how do we know what is the good, pure and beautiful? This is the testimony that I have received this day. I am thankful it has come to me on a beautiful Easter day like today. If I could sing to each of you the above video is what I would be singing.

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Math and the "5 Hour Energy" Girl

Yesterday (and probably tomorrow [ actually for the last few weeks]) I have had a girl who has completely been annoying me from across the classroom. She was moved right next to me by the Professor! Usually, she is standing up and talking, cleaning out her backpack and offering over and over her little can of 5-hour Energy Drink. I am pretty sure that she either has drank too much of that drink or she is one something else.

To drown her out I wear my iphone headphones crank up the Mozart channel on Pandora and try to focus on what I am doing in my own little world. Yesterday, I had to finish up my practice test so that I could move on to the module test helping me to move on to the next Module. I really want to get all 9 modules done so that I don't have to do this class again!  Anyway, she distracted me. Finally got the practice test done 10 minutes before the end of class. I decided not to wait until Wednesday and went to the Math Lab. Low and behold while I was sitting in the glassed off test area the girl comes in and sits down to take her practice test! she talked for the first 20 minutes of my 60 minute test!!!!  To say I was peeved was an understatement- I ended up running out of time (mind you it was a HARD module.) and ended up with a 65% on the test. The only lucky aspect is that I get one more chance to take the test without having to do the Module again. Tomorrow I sit against the wall in my regular classroom, crank up the headphones and make sure I am siting next to someone else other than the "5 hour energy girl"

This is not why the girl in my class is drinking 5-Hour Energy Drinks- there is no way that she can get an A when she can't even get her concepts figuared out, and/or sit down to work on her studies!

Wish me luck! I still have 3 module left until the end of April and then the final exam to make sure is done by May 5th!


Flesh is sacred,
some of us treat ours so badly.
Others out of no choice of their own
lose the fight
and gain eternal freedom
from the pain of this world.

Today was one of those days-
added to a year of beautiful
people with beautiful presences
who have lost their lives to Cancer.

Today the third of our family
fighting the meanness of
a disease so horrible it
nibbles for long periods
of time or gobbles in instances
the soul of loved ones
succumbed to years worth of glorious battle.

It is interesting that we started with an  Robert and today end with a Robert.
Hidden in the middle of that Robert sandwich was the sweetest aunt Melissa; a provider not only of nourishment but also of soul who loved to have others around her.

I digress today is Robert Finlinson's day.
I am grieving not for myself whom only met Robert a few times but for his family- Jessica, his wife, his children, his parents, siblings and especially for his younger brother who is my little brother (in spirit if not blood,) Rich and my dear sister Sharon.

It takes a toll on ones life when someone close to you loses a loved one. You mourn for the lost soul, but you mourn more for the ones left behind. They are the ones who remember the good, beautiful moments and also the hard, torturous ones and wonder why they couldn't have done more.

If you have a faith in life, love of a Heavenly Father and joy in the here after than you mourn with a little more peace which doesn't take off the sting but makes it just a little more bearable. Robert is one of those people whom we know will be waiting for his family to join him (a long time for them but for him just moments).

What more can one do for someones family than to just send flowers to a mortuary?  I think we owe it to ourselves and those we have lost (and those who live,) to take more than a second to rethink our lives-  Are we living the way we should be? Are we taking care of our bodies the best that we can? Are we listening to our leaders when they tell us to stop judging, belittling and hating on others. Are we loving others to the capacity that we hold in our beings to the full extent that we can? If the answers to these questions have any hesitation than we need to re plan out what constitutes the life we have left and live up to our potential.

There is Joy and Pain on this journey through life and we chose to face these things with optimism or downright contriteness. Reading Jessica's blog showed that she chose to face the hard journey, she, Robert and her children were on with a little humor, a ton of faith and a eye on the future. May we learn from her strong character and her love for the life that she was able to live with Robert in the decades she had with him.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

The Warmth of the Sun

Every morning I am blessed to be woken up by the song of a radiant red Cardinal-- this morning wasn't any different except that this morning I woke up freezing in my 79 degree temperature house. I don't understand it. I guess I was just so warm and snuggly in my bed that the rest of the house just wasn't good enough to replace the safety of that little nest.
On our couch sits Mckenna's old quilt- a beautiful yellow, and green gingham, blue and pink floral Wedding Ring Quilt (very similar to the picture on the right). Anyway, I snuggled up in the blanket determined to warm up so that I could watch last night's American Idol. Colton sings, 4 singers later and I am still freezing. I pulled the blanket tighter and it still wasn't warming me up. I go  open the doors to the pool lanai and step outside and it was WARM! It was only 9:00 a.m. I can't tell you how wonderful it felt on my shivering body.
I finish watching AI. With a mission in mind I gather a book, water and a few writing implements and head out towards the chairs sitting on my pool deck and around the corner walks the pool guy. Crap, no deck time for me while he is here. All I want to do is pretend I am a lizard and stick my body and face in the sun.

(commercial Break for Al's Pool Service)
I have to tell you the pool guy was a welcome sight because our pool has been out of commission all fall & winter long. The water level dropped to a depth of 3 feet. Al (the pool guy) kept the water from turning green until we could get a more sophisticated pool (plumber?) man here to see where the water was leaking, (our landlord has a theory that in the winter the pipes shrink and so the water leaks out where the jets are located. Then when the weather starts heating up the pipes they swell and the water doesn't leak.) Here is to hoping that the sophisticated pool man's work fixed the leak so that I don't have to continue to fill the pool up 3 feet every week like I was doing in the fall.

(now back to the real story)
Finally I was able to get out to my chair with all the previously packed articles when the breeze decides to pick up and I am still shivering. Arms puckered I move the chair into a less breezy spot  within direct sight of the sun, grab The Five Little Pepper and How They Grew and lay back in the chair. Drowsy like a lizard on his warm and cozy rock I fell asleep in my chair. The warmth of the Sun had soothed me just like my little nest the night before. I was loving being outside. Waking up I was a little neck sore. I wanted more that anything at that moment to plop myself right down on Mckenna's quilt in the grass and take a deeper longer nap but I knew I was hindered by these really annoying little worker bugs called red ants that for some reason hate when I disturb their walkways, their homes or their grocery stores. Northern Tall Fescue I really missed you today.

Like my bed, the quilt, and the sun-- I have a warmth that is radiating through my bones today. I want for nothing. I sing with a grateful heart one of my favorite church songs in praise of the beauty that the Lord God has blessed us with:

Whenever I hear The Song of a Bird

Sunday, March 18, 2012

A Day in the life...

Blooming Potential

She is crowned with a tan domed straw hat as if she is on safari yet sitting there on her front tilt chair she is elegant and poised.  Arm straight out reaching for the blank canvas she delicately glides her brush towards the left ever so slowly.  To my mind this so  painstakingly maddening I want to blurt out- hurry show me what you see!  But, she continues to her own beat. The blue-tinged brush leaves a trail, a faith echo of the water several feet in front of her. she dabs the brush in the cup on her easel and adds a muddy brown layer sporadically over sections of the small blue line she has previously made. Her pallet filled with soft calming shades of color she dips a new smaller brush into the paint this time mixing a small amount of white with silver and reaches up higher on the canvas creating the heavens where a tan obelisk is pointing. Again she dabs her brush this time laying out a foundation to where blossoms will sit on the long slender branches of the tree in preparation for the upcoming weeks work.

I am so curious about the time that she has spent on the quarter filled canvas that I argue with myself on whether I should strike up a conversation with her or leave her to her solitude. After being silent for so long, I quietly ask her if it's okay to take a picture of her and her canvas; hoping this will get her talking. I know that people like to be left alone but I also know that artists of any kind usually love to talk about their work and so with that one question she answers my wish. In her original straight armed brush to canvas movement she poses for my camera. 

Seven years she has come back to this same exact spot to immortalize the view that permeates her sight. For the past two days her gaze has been filled with the obelisk, the water and the tiny rosy buds fighting to burst through into popped corn blooms. Down the path a few trees have already burst and their candy sweet perfume permeates the air. I am green with envy that she will be able to observe next week all the trees showing pink tinged sugary petals dancing in their spring jubilee. A second thought of envy encroaches on my heart, she truly will be engulfed with an overpowering gift from God: the power to be in the moment of reflecting on God's beautiful creation: the famous D.C. japanese cherry blossoms.

I am thankful for her generosity to share her story and after our conversation is over. I apologize for bothering her yet also thanking her for her kindness of answering my questions. At our parting she hands me a business card saying she will be updating her website each day with the progress she has made on the painting if I would care to follow along. I am touched that she would share and that I will be able to watch her talent show up on the canvas more than just this once. I eagerly accept the card and wander off onto the path around the lake. I pick a bench with a view of this painter appropriately named Michela the female form of a great artist Michelangelo and settle myself down to write about my experience.

Yes, I know I am an interesting tourist; alway camera in hand like any other but also a notebook, pen, pencil/eraser, eye glasses and reading book tucked away in my large
stylish cotton candy pink petaled purse bought just for the purpose of transporting these precious items. Always a book in possession, always finding quiet places tucked away to read and experience the surrounding life of that one new area that breathes to me. 

When I set out this morning. My destination was the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial to spend my time on a rock surrounded by the waterfalls and the forestry illusion created there. After meeting Michela and taking time to write my experience while it was fresh in my spiritual mind. I finally approach the intended destination and was smacked with the unfathomable fact that there was not a single droplet producing the raging roar of the previous days exploration. The waterfalls it seemed were turned off and to make matters worse there were crowds, I mean large crowds of tourists wandering around my place of solitude.

There was no way that I was going to be able to shut out that many people and just be in the moment! I realized that I had already had my amazing and inspirational moment already today and hightailed it out back to the waters edge and that same bench where Michela painted nearby.  I eased out of my newly purchased walking shoes stretched out on the bench and read to my little hearts content disappearing into the story of an Opera singer, a Japanese business man, a Vice President and a terrorist takeover. 

  • What I gleaned from my inspired moment was that Happiness is where ever you decide to find it and here in the capital of our nation (amongst polititians who love to argue,) today happiness was at the West Potomac Tidal Basin. 


*If anyone would like to follow along on Michela's progress here is her blog:

*added 3/20/2012 appropriately the first day of Spring.