Saturday, November 25, 2006

ENTERTAINMENT ...

I got this from a friend in New Zealand.

For those who think they know women inside-out, you might want to check this out first.

Enjoy!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

THANKFUL ...

FOR the opportunity to have enjoyed a reunion with DDTFM youngest brother. DD has three younger siblings. The last time Ross and I saw this one of the the three guys in the family was six years ago. He lives in Sydney, Australia and passed through NJ for just over 24 hours on his way home from a conference in Kalamazoo. Unfortunately I did not get a pic of him in his t-shirt that read something to the effect of: YES, THERE REALLY IS A PLACE CALLED KALAMAZOO. Ross had the best time taking Uncle Adam on a tour of his school and introducing him to everyone.

FOR my midnight lunacy and [maybe] creepy passion for taking pics of my favorite men on the planet and Ms Pingy while they are all asleep.

FOR the fact that last week a scan revealed that the 7cm Stage 4 Lung Cancer tumor that my father in law was diagnosed with earlier this year has now shrunk to 2cm. He has three chemo sessions scheduled between now and the end of this year. It is expected that he will have to undergo no further chemo treatments after that. My mother in law has been his rock through this ordeal and I want to honor her for that.

This is a youthful pic of my mother in law and her three sisters taken in Glasgow, Scotland where she grew up. She is second from the left.


For the power of the internet and the opportunity to have been humbled this way.

For the great 4th Grade Thanksgiving party DDTFM and I got to help out at on Monday. Ross has the coolest teacher and she arranges really fun events for the class. She themed an old fashioned party to show the kids how people entertained themselves at gatherings before the internet age. The apple dunking was a huge success - the kids had a blast. They also strung popcorn and Cheerio necklaces.




FOR the new CD's I've really been vibing to. I haven't bought new music for the longest time. I highly recommend all of these.
JJ CALE & ERIC CLAPTON - ESCONDIDO
TONY BENNETT - DUETS An American Classic
BOB DYLAN - MODERN TIMES
ROD STEWART - STILL THE SAME Great Classics of Our Time

STILL A PRETTY TASTY VINTAGE, DON'T YA THINK?



FOR the fact that I am married to such a brave and kind being creating the most wonderful human experience for himself and everyone around him.



FOR my beautiful son.



For your friendship and for how you honor me by continuing to read my blog and for sharing this view of my world - even those people who don't make it known that they have been here.

Wishing you and those you love a Happy Thanksgiving.

PEACE OUT!




and FOR the fact that Blogger had me sign in and out conservatively - only about 58928 times to get all these pics posted and to attempt to get the alignment the way I want it - and still not succeed with the alignment. Oh happy blogging days!

Monday, November 13, 2006

EMPOWERMENT ...

Last week I discovered, by pure chance that my step-daughter, Alex had made a decision that I would describe as nothing more than a bad error of judgment on her part. When these things happen I am convinced more and more of the natural laws of the universe and how there truly are no coincidences. There are those times when without having to go looking for the information, it is “delivered” to the parents, and a successful intervention takes place by virtue of which the child benefits greatly. Then there are those times when a parents instinct will guide them to a point at which the parent has to make a choice about taking the initiative to get involved or not. I do acknowledge that there are most certainly times where situations are best served by parents not involving themselves. This was not one such time.

There was a third party parent of a friend involved in the scenario which angered me very much. Alex rightly said that blame should not be laid at this parent’s door because ultimately Alex made the choice in the situation. I agreed with her and said that given her age and lack of life experience, I felt Alex could be allowed room for error. The other parent however, I felt should have known better in the situation and she should either not have participated in the way she did, or at least suggested to Alex that she alert either me or DDTF as to what was going to take place. With respect for Alex’s privacy I will not elaborate on the detail of the situation. Suffice to say it entailed the purchase of a costly item at a most untimely juncture in Alex’s life – in the big scheme of things, not a big deal, but on a deeper level, a major deal.

I immediately brought it to Alex’s attention and explained that I had literally stumbled on the information that had enlightened me to the purchase. Alex immediately said that she had wanted to tell me but having realized she had made a mistake, she felt extremely scared to do so.

This upset me and motivated me to point out to her that her father and I have never been the kind of parents who stand over their children waving big sticks. What we have tried our level best to encourage is the truthful communication of what is going on in their lives, good, bad or other.

I asked her what she was scared of. She didn’t know. I questioned her about what I describe as her addiction to drama. Sometimes I feel that she is fueled by drama therefore her life unfolds as one drama to be addressed after another. While I fully appreciate this is part and parcel of growing up and these are all essential stops we make on the roller coaster of life – I do believe life can be experienced without a non-stop flow of drama.

The conversation that took place between us was calm and productive. I was pleased at the ease with which we found ourselves working through this situation. I pointed out to Alex that this scenario was a perfect example of what I had been trying to explain to her in a conversation we had shared about a week ago. At that time I told her that we achieve nothing by dealing with the topics of situations, but that in order to work through blocks in our lives, we need to address the issues. I asked her if she saw how in this situation the item purchased was nothing more than a topic, but that the issue is her fear … and that the issue is what she needs to take a longer, harder and deeper look at. The purchased item, who cares – put it on ebay and sell it.

A few days earlier, I had watched an OPRAH show which completely and utterly freaked me out. The show featured 15 year old Jessica Coleman who at age 15 had hidden a pregnancy from her family, school and entire community. Having given birth in the bathroom, she then hid the baby in a bag in her bedroom and after having cleaned herself and the bathroom, went and sat down at the table to have dinner with her family.

Jessica and her boyfriend then added rocks to the duffle bag in which they had stuffed the baby and threw it into the quarry. You can read more about this here and here.

In her interview with OPRAH from the jail in which she is being held, she explained that her motivating factor for doing what she did was fear.

I was in tears by the end of the show and I was surprised that I felt no anger toward this young woman. It stayed with me for days after I saw the show. This girl was to all intents and purposes a model daughter and student.

At the risk of sounding dramatic, I walked away from my conversation with Alex and I thought to myself that this is how these insane things happen in the world. It all starts in homes like yours and mine. I had asked myself HOW this child could go from delivering a baby in the bathroom to sitting down for dinner and NOBODY picked up any kind of strange vibe from her. I asked myself HOW can you not feel safe enough to go to a parent, friend, teacher, church/shul member and say, “Help – I have made a terrible mistake and I am in trouble.” No, I did not feel anger. I felt deep sadness and confusion about the whole thing.

Being a parent takes constant, conscious participation. I think that sometimes when all looks good and how we would like it to look on the surface, we can so easily be caught off our guard. Our children are masters at the art of disguise. Ultimately, it comes down to communication. While they might hate us for it in the moment, by forcing our way into their lives if we have to, our presence there can be the difference between a life and death situation. No matter how insignificant the situation might seem, knowing they have parents or at least some ONE they can turn to is vital. As hard as it might be to admit to oneself, if your relationship with your child is less than ideal, appoint someone to step in and make it known to the child that they can always turn to that person.

This was a good reminder to me that our children are not the only ones involved in learning as they grow. So do we as parents. We have to be committed to keeping ourselves as open to receiving the lessons intended for us, as we want our children to be for their own growth.

It was only on this show that I learnt of the SAFE HAVEN LAWS. I had never heard of this law in the five years that I have lived here. I am sure most people do know about it – but if not, it is worth looking into how it works in your local area.

I pray that Alex heard me and that in time she will come to terms with her fear. I have fears of my own and I am very pleased that I have learnt to allow them their rightful place in my life and how to not let them hold me back.

My parenting experience has shown me that when our children are heard, they experience their own power. When you feel your own power, don’t you feel more safe and secure? Our kids deserve to receive at least that one gift from us – the gift of empowerment.
I thank you in advance of you reading this Alex for letting me share this story

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

INSTALLING ...

Tech Support: Yes, ... how can I help you?
Customer: Well, after much consideration, I've decided to install Love. Can you guide me through the process?
Tech Support: Yes. I can help you. Are you ready to proceed?
Customer: Well, I'm not very technical, but I think I'm ready. What do I do first?
Tech Support: The first step is to open your Heart. Have you located your Heart?
Customer: Yes, but there are several other programs running now. Is it OK to install Love while they are running?
Tech Support: What programs are running?
Customer: Let's see ... I have Past Hurt, Low Self-Esteem, Grudge and Resentment running right now.
Tech Support: No problem - Love will gradually erase Past Hurt from your current operating system. It may remain in your permanent memory but it will no longer disrupt other programs. Love will eventually override Low Self-Esteem with a module of its own called Sense of Self-Worth. However, you have to completely turn off Grudge and Resentment. Those programs prevent Love from being properly installed. Can you turn those off?
Customer: I don't know how to turn them off. Can you tell me how?
Tech Support: With pleasure. Go to your start menu and invoke Forgiveness. Do this as many times as necessary until Grudge and Resentment have been completely erased.
Customer: OK. done! Love has started installing itself. Is that normal?
Tech Support: Yes, but remember that you have only the base program. You need to begin connecting to other Hearts in order to get the upgrades.
Customer: Oops! I have an error message already. It says, "Error - Program not run on external components." What should I do?
Tech Support: Don't Worry. It means that the Love program is set up to run on Internal Hearts, but has not yet been run on your Heart. In non-technical terms, it simply means you have to Love yourself before you can Love others.
Customer: So, what should I do?
Tech Support: Pull down Self-Acceptance; then click on the following files: Forgive-Self, Realize your Worth; and Acknowledge your Limitations.
Customer: OK, done.
Tech Support: Now, copy them to the My Heart directory. The system will overwrite any conflicting files and begin patching faulty programming. Also, you need to delete Verbose Self-Criticism from all directories and empty your Recycle Bin to make sure it is completely gone and never comes back.
Customer: Got it. Hey, my Heart is filling up with new files. Smile is playing on my monitor and Peace and Contentment are copying themselves all over My Heart. Is this normal?
Tech Support: Sometimes. For others it takes a while, but eventually everything gets it at the proper time. So Love in installed and running. One more thing before we hang up. Love is Freeware. Be sure to give it and its various modules to everyone you meet. They will in turn share it with others and return some cool modules back to you.
Customer: Thank you.
Thank YOU for sending this to me, Bev.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

PHEW ...

Although my friend Jodi had nothing to apologize to me for, she shared this pic in an email. In the midst of a very busy week, it got me to slow down and smile. As the email so aptly said,

“What SORRY looks like.”

I want to climb inside this picture to cuddle and scrunch and hug and adore this piece of deliciousness. This little face made my day!

 
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