Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Time Does Fly As The Year 2010 Approaches



A New Year is fast approaching, may your hearts forever have something to smile about, as we ring out the old & ring in the new!

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This New Years Eve, Mother Lightning's Peace Garden will be two years old & along the way it has certainly been a growing experience for moi'. For those of you who have kindly visited, I say truly "thank you" for lending your ear, & adding to the growth & fertile thoughts of this garden.

Monday, December 28, 2009

"He's Not Heavy He's My Brother"


Hearts of boundless love. In all honesty, he is heavy, my brother, & now that the main portion of the holidays are over, all I will say is this-- We all grow in our own time & fashion, & sometimes, it does take decades.....

The movie "The Royal Tannebaums", certainly has an essence of truth. We so love these movies of bizarre dysfunctional families. Does it make us feel, so normal & right? "You betcha!"


{*Post Script: The product, *Preparation H*; comes to mind as to a word that encapsulates some of these chapters that have been known to unfold from my extended family of childhood. Time, patience, & avoidance of the problemo is the required remedy, as we can only change ourselves. Yes a healthy diet, of thoughts, actions & deeds, as we live "not by bread alone".}

Friday, December 25, 2009

"Feliz Navidad" & "To All A Goodnight"


Below is a light show video of what our grand children performed for this Christmas evening. Will it work properly when we click on, well that's up to the technology of Blogger. I'm hoping for the best. Yeah, it works, "Try it, you'll like it.", but that's just this Nana speaking.

video

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Still A Lot To Get Done, But Will Take It In Stride Like This Guy

So much to do, again it's off to the post office, & then out of town for a few choice gifts. If we stay away from the massive crowds, it really is an enjoyable experience & so far the weather is cooperating. It's to be sunny for at least part of the day I think, but oh, oh so cold. A good day for a Penguin, but brrr... for a human.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The Perfect Day To Cut New Trails*

Just enough packed powder to make it worthwhile, skiing in the woods never gets old.

A sport that never goes out of style with us is cross country skiing, though you do need at least 6" of snow, even if you have the most promising terrain, [like a golf course which is not known for sharp rocks & all]. Here where we live we need at least a foot of snow, as we have very rocky terrain. The snow we received by this recent blizzard left our woodland in pretty good shape, so we were off...

It was wonderful to cut these new trails for the season, we'll just have to hope that this packed powder lasts awhile, & doesn't turn to slush & ice too soon. This year we decided to go with a wax less ski, as our decades old wooden ones were starting to come apart, so this was our Chanukah & Christmas gifts to one another, we are now all set, & hope to really enjoy a new fashioned/old fashioned skiing winter. It certainly will enable us to not only stay active, but to take in & enjoy the simple wonders of nature that being out in the snow provides.

Monday, December 21, 2009

It Was A Day Of Digging Out

Finally we had a sunny day, the blue of the sky & the white of the snow, just no comparing.
The round circular shape in the photo below to the left, is the entrance to Dolly's igloo dog house. How about that, an Arctic styled condo in her kennel area.
Though she's a short haired dog, her winter layer is just right. She really enjoys playing in the snow, delving right in is her thing as we can see. Well Dolly I see you've had a fun time & it's only the first day of winter!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Just My Usual Garden Of Thoughts On This Blizzard's Day, Can You Spot Woody WoodPecker Out There?


Well here we are & it's still coming down, so far I've been out in it just a couple of times for my 8 month old puppy's sake, Dolly. The birds seem pretty much ok, you'd never know that they live in the 2nd most unhappiest state, [as per a study just published in the journal Science], as they've been fluttering around the feeder in their usual, colorfully large groups. My mother's in Florida for the winter & according to the "happiness study" she's enjoying herself in the 3rd happiest state, "oh my". Now New York leads as the most unhappiest state, & Illinois is listed as the 7th on the unhappiest list. Gee, these were all places where I lived & grew up. If only my parents had chosen happier states. !

Happiness is of course a "mind set", for it is essential that people have the basics: food, clothing & shelter. Proper health care & quality education are to be considered subdivisions, as they blend with the original three, that are already listed. It is only within the past few decades or so, that the areas of mental health & addictions have garnished a more balanced medical respect, by both medical professionals & the public at large. Being the states that are listed as unhappiest, probably have the larger populations & also, the unrelenting northeastern weather plays into it. We certainly can't change the weather, other than slowing down the global warming process, & we can't change how much sun will shine on this corner of the world, but we can change our "mindsets" & our "attitudes" & our "actions", & work constantly on treating one another with kindness & respect, not only during this time of the year, but for all seasons-- "Peace on Earth", why is this phrase promoted solely this time of year? The message of this phrase which beautifully stems from Christmas, is an all year teaching, & goal of this beautiful faith. If we focused on doing that, I for one can guarantee, & I'm no expert on human behavior, but I do know, that the little differences & kindness we show towards one another, can make or break an individuals day, & really who has a crystal ball for beyond....

So in closing I must add, that though I live & breath in the 2nd most unhappiest state in the U.S. , in all honesty, it's not as bad as they paint it, one day is of course better than another, & when we slip back into that "unhappiest" state, as we know there is no escape for that, we're only human, but when we do, we can do for ourselves what works, just as Sophia Loren does even now, in her 70's, our true-- "every woman", from a generation of modesty, beauty, kindness, brains, wit & talent. Her example of valuing & being thankful in life for what is good, & what has worked, & when we hit those snags, which we inevitably do, work it through & come out the other end, reminding ourselves of our intricate value & what matters. Helping others, so in tune to maintaining peace within, & "Peace on Earth", it's a proven.

* It's official: 15-18" of snow, with "snowed in", as the phrase of the day, so perfect for completing my holiday cards, as many are hand made. For me it beats baking cookies, there I saved myself thousand of calories, but there's no escape, as the sweets will beckon....


Saturday, December 19, 2009

Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Snow,Snow,...So Says This Frosty


This one could be a blizzard, if we don't loose our power, I'll be back on line tomorrow. The holiday season in New England, this is our norm. For starters I got a few things done in preparation for our fam.'s holiday, just scratched the surface really. I'm aiming for Monday, if the roads are good, then I'm off on the hunt to seek & to find in what I hope will be meaningful tokens of love & good will. *Oye, tis' the season, but we'll make it all fun on the homefrount.

Hay everyone out there, keep off the roads, stay safe, dry & warm. They say we might get thunder tonight, that would add an interesting tone.

We Are All Interconnected--

When we weren't born into the families we needed, we later can make the families we want. That is a truth, "So help me God".

Friday, December 18, 2009

Tis' The Season*


Mid December with temperatures approaching zero in the wee hours. Here in our modest home in the woods, we are slowly putting forth some of the symbols of the season. Often times I like to make a rather homespun card for us to send to family & friends. It's understandable that some folks find this time of year rather challenging, I can identify with that at times. "Life is what you make it.", truly & for some of us, especially during this season, the successful past exercises of getting through this maze is a reminder, that proves most helpful.

Happy Chanukah, Merry Christmas & a blessed Kwanzaa too* , as we are more similar than different, truly. And to all who've overcome & evolved from the fragments of those rather wacky families, I'm pulling for you, as we're all in this together, for it's "not by bread alone" that we make our way. *Amen, *Amen, *Amen ...

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Going By The Book


All puppies grow & eventually become full grown dogs. Mine is no exception. Dolly is cute & lovable. Due to all that is mixed in her-- beagle, Australian herding dog, terrier & even pit, she has blossomed into a very sweet, yet strong willed, a very determined pooch. In less than a month she has escaped from her backyard kennel, three times, & twice in one day. We could build a tighter, stronger kennel, that of course is doable, or we could put her on a run. I have always found that putting a dog on a run tends to make them nippy, & who needs that. I may need to find a more appropriate home for her, we definitely have the room for her to run, but due to her strong need to herd, she just has to take off, no matter if a neighbor is out in his neck of the woods doing whatever.... there she goes. She may just need an owner that has more energy than I honestly think I have for these ongoing, dog development years ahead.

I will definitely have to think this over. She is still at a stage in her development where she would be the prefect pet for the perfect owner. In all honesty I'm uncertain at this point in time if she & I are truly the right match for one another, as she is not as laid back as the rescue people initially thought she would be, & I definitely want to do the right thing by Dolly, it all will just take some time. Her running off & repeatedly intruding on our neighbor by being a diligent Houdini, is not a scenario I'm prepared to continue to play, so I will have to decide what is best for all, *oye.

*End Of The Day Note: My husband worked on Dolly's kennel early this evening, he added an additional latch to the door. We had to go out this evening for a casual meeting with our "peace peep" friends, the locks all held, & we're in dogie business again. So Dolly & I will take it one paw printed step at a time, it may still work out. Whatever comes of all of this, I just want the very best for this pure hearted pup.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

A Much Better Prize*


We just saw the movie "Invictus". It is a very inspiritual story about Nelson Mandella & with that story is an entwining of the South African Rugby Team, as a means to the transformation of a Nation.

There really are no words to adequately express the impact this movie made on me. I too shall remember, to be reminded-- "I am the master of my soul."

Mr. Obama, our President, to say I am upset or disappointed in your decision to continue on the road to war, Nobel Peace Prize, or not, is another inadequate expression of words. I am but one woman, with but one heart, one soul, & as it's master, war will never be the answer. Never.

*Amen*

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Enjoying The Lay Of The Land OnThis Snowy Day

When Auntie B & Uncle S , were here visiting from N.J. , our sweet dear friends brought with them a gravy flavored bone, for the newest member of our pack.
She's determined not to let go--
Looking for something, it's the nose that will ultimately provide her solution....

We woke up to it snowing again, but I'm hoping by later in the afternoon, I'll be able to get a few short errands in. My skill of how to use the printer for making documents straight from this computer screen is relatively new. Copies in general are easy enough, but it was the know how of incorporating my new learned skill to go from computer screen to paper, which I must say was a big accomplishment. Now of course I'm totally out, zippo, zero of black printer ink. So if my sleigh dog determination remains into the afternoon, I'll be out for a quick mush in the slush, & knowing our Mark Twain weather patterns here, I can defiantly count on that.

Here's Dolly enjoying the discoveries of her first winter ever. I can't deny, cute is cute, even when it comes to a goofy mutt like mine.

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{*Important Post Script from the Peace Garden: Though it's a beautiful snow wonderland here in our neck of the woods, we never for a moment forget that we as a Nation, remain at war. Our teeny, tiny group of "Citizens for Peace & Justice", have not been able to stand together on our local corner for some time now, due to lack of day & time that is agreeable to all, but with an increase of our military troops being sent again to a far distant land, we have decided to some how, some way, find a day & time that is as agreeable to as many of us as can be, to continue to-- "Stand for Peace". All I need to do now is get my boots waterproofed, for it gets very cold on that dark, wintry corner, & when you stand for an hour, those sixty minutes tick, ever so slow. It's the least we can do in exercising our right to "free speech", for as a specie, war will never be the answer, if we are to continue to continue....

Saturday, December 5, 2009

*First*Snow*of *the*Season*



Cold weather here, considering just two days ago it was in the 60's & right now it's 32 degrees. This is Dolly's first snow of course. I don't really know what she thinks of it, but I will tell you this, "cold is cold". Dolly has an insulated igloo dog house, so she's all set for tonight, but probably not too happy. Me, well we're hunkered in, mini pizza & Greek salad this evening with an evening tea time fast approaching. I'm working this weekend & after work tomorrow I'm going to help to make latkas for the Sisterhood Chanukah party, that's fast approaching this coming Wednesday. At this time of year we also put together gift bags for a local woman's shelter, [*oye the problems that violence begets]. I won't be able to attend the Chanukah party that's coming up, as this week's schedule is shaping up to be a real busy one, with a Conservation Commission meeting also of this same week. I have important tasks & errands that are slated to get done early in the week & being I work only two-- three days a week depending, it sure seems that much of what it is I have to get done, like most of us, comes all at once. Time management is certainly the key, as "time's a-ticking...."

Have a good week everyone, & I'll be sure to touch base at the Peace Garden once I have time to once again reflect & share.

*Shalom/Salam*

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

"I Get By With A Little Help From My Friends"-- Beautiful Like The Song


The Thanksgiving holiday was gently extended with a special visit from our N.J. friends which made the season additionally delightful. My idea of a good old fashioned holiday is for our home to be bursting at the seams, to be woven with the main characters of our lives, for all that it encompasses, some laughs, & some new lessons, which often times needs refreshing. Our sharing in a friendship, that goes back decades is a beautiful gift of all seasons.

The photo of tonight's posting is a sweet cherub, blowing a kiss goodbye, a gift from our dear friends, adding a sweet symbol to the Peace Garden, a message of which we all embrace.

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***{Important additional note to conclude this day: It is now 8:28pm , our President is addressing our noble Cadets at West Point, including peoples of the Nation & the World. We are being told that 30,000 more Troops are to be sent to the war in Afghanistan. My response to this address remains unchanged, as the Quakers, "War is not the answer."}***

Sunday, November 29, 2009

To Which I Am Reminded*


My Confucius quote for today states: "To be wronged is nothing unless you continue to remember it."

The aspect of being "wronged" & teaching ourselves not to hold on to it, is one of the most challenging of what human beings have been required to do, since the beginning of time. It happens of course in those intimate vignettes with families, which are known to come forth at the times of these gathering together holidays, & can later on, in the course of; neighborhoods, towns, & countries, have been know to provide a less than pretty view.

When it comes to families we can try to make an improvement in the situation, & if that doesn't help, we can meditate on the non remembering of it, & remind ourselves, that the other person who may be displaying anger from decades back, that it has nothing to do with ones self, as it is just that individuals reaction & their take on the world at large, & we just happen to be a by passing character on their stage of life. When recycled, it does make good theatre, & Eugene O'Neil, my favorite of all in American theatre, inspires to this very day.

Sometimes I take a small jaunt down to where he spent a good deal of his childhood. Those lovely grounds as they meet the sea, continue to have the power to heal most any wrong, & with it, oceans of possibilities are always at the shore.

*Amen*

Saturday, November 28, 2009

All Creatures Great & Small, On The Wing Of A Prayer *

My sweet puppy Dolly now 7 months old, sitting in the driveway on Thanksgiving Eve. I had just returned home late that evening with some last minute essentials such as whipped cream for the pumpkin pies, & I needed eggs too, as they were all used up from baking.
The sign you see above was given to us by a dear friend, I was told it was provided by the American Friends Service Committee. The AFSC are the original Quakers, who are known to be hundreds of years old, they have been know to oppose-- war, slavery & all forms of oppression since their inception, practicing the true teachings of their faith, "The Golden Rule".

Friday, November 27, 2009

Prayers, Music & Let There Be Light




From Generation to Generation--


A peace pie, with a little help from my friends--
& at the end of the day, a new Thanksgiving chapter--


Here it is the Friday evening after Thanksgiving & time to reflect. It's always a busy time for us in these here hills. We began this year's season by attending the Greater Putnam Interfaith Council's Thanksgiving Eve Service, of which my husband & I are members. This is the third year we have attended such a service, which has been ongoing for decades now, but is fairly new to us. Attending this service has become an important event now for family & friends alike as it sets a special tone.

In the holiday tradition with the food gathering, preparing, cleaning & cooking; it is all, & coming from this non Betty Crocker, domestically challenged type, all I can say is, that with our helping one another, it all becomes worth it.

The interfaith service was a good way to gather together & share of our spiritually inspired lives, as being with kind hearted, peaceful people is always a good beginning to any season. The photos of tonight's postings, are just snippets through the lens, the heart of the matter.

In hopes that your holiday season is blessed with good health, love & peace, & wishing you all*, all that is good. From our neck of the woods to yours-- Peace be with you*.

*{To have peace, we must continue to teach peace, to know peace & beyond..., even if it means that some may have come from less than peaceful families, we must put it in perspective, know that it is only in the past, & continue to move forward, into the light of kindness & understanding, to ourselves & others, no matter the challenge. *Amen* }

Monday, November 23, 2009

A *Blessed Thanksgiving To All


A Norman Rockwell tapestry, inspired from his famous painting that was on the cover of the Saturday Evening Post from decades ago, respecting all religious faiths, with prayers of peace for the world.

The words woven into this tapestry state, "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." This statement has been known as "The Golden Rule", from a time as far back as Aristotle.

Gift of this tapestry was given to the UN by Nancy Reagan.



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* Speaking of gifts: At this special time of thanks, I would like to say a special thank you to my husband of these ongoing, 39+ years, he has always, most patiently helped me to access my dreams, supporting me during my ole radio days of "Mother Lightning's Oracle", which was a regularly featured program on WHUS 91.7 FM, in the mid '70's. My other program was, "Bed Time Stories" featuring, nonviolent & nonsexist stories for children of all ages. My husband continues to support & encourage, this ongoing dream of mine, to have a collection of children's literature published, as this has been in my heart of all dreams since the age of 7, & goes back to my early childhood's love of poetry & storytelling. Robert Lovis Stevenson of , "A Child's Garden of Verses" fame, being my first exposure ever to rhythm, rhyme & time, along with my father's mother Anna, my grandmother, who was a delightful, fun loving storyteller too, who cast the dye. It's all in the family, dreams living on...

This coming 2010 is the date slated for our first in a series of children's books to be released, we will be sure to keep everyone posted on this upcoming event. To start off there is a new blog in the wings about our books characters, of which we will be launching before the end of this year & we will keep you posted. We thank you all for your interest & support on this, as my coauthor & I are very excited to finally have the opportunity to share with the world a message of love, peace & acceptance to children of all ages, with characters we are certain will win your hearts.

*Amen*

Sunday, November 22, 2009

In The General Assembly Of The UN On a Day We Learned So Much


Standing in support of the work of the UN not only for ourselves, but for our children, grandchildren, & their children & future grandchildren, all of us-- we're in this together!

At The United Nations & Thankful That We Are Reminded Of Our Ongoing Responsibilities For The Greater Good




Our guide is explaining how this statue was found buried in the ground & how it was effected by the Hiroshima nuclear blast, note the front of this statue--

Now note the pitted erosion on the back of this statue--



The clothing shown below was due to the effect of the Hiroshima nuclear blast, people were documented as being vaporized away, in Hiroshima & Nagasaki from the effects of nuclear war.
A modern day tapestry given to the UN from an empathic country. It is dedicated to the victims of the Chernobyl nuclear accident of the then, Soviet Union.

Below is a tent of basic provisions given to victims of the various disasters & war torn events, such as Dufar.
Areas of the world are still plagued with malaria, this inexpensive mosquito netting saves lives.
The original mural, by a French artist, on the right side of the wall in the General Assembly of the UN.

After our initial arrival to the UN we immediately signed up for our tour which was to begin at 3:45pm on the date of our visit 11/17/09. Our guide was most knowledgeable as she had been out on two missions in the past couple of years, recently returning from Palestine. The information she introduced was packed with details of the various missions the UN has undertaken, including UNICEF, Doctors Without Boarders & the ongoing Project to Prevent & Eliminate Land Mines world wide, with a UN sponsored treaty, of which our very own country has refused to sign. There were many beautiful & invaluable gifts on display, given to the United Nations from individuals & various governments, all in the name of peace, from all corners of the globe. I will try my best to include a representation of some photos from that day's visit, but they are only images of course, for the work that this organization does in the name of all humanity, can only be hinted at on this small blog. From generation to generation the dream shall forever live on as world peace is the only answer.

{This is the first time ever, when I did my photo journal posting that the tears were far too prevalent to overcome. These pictures were not intended to upset anyone, but it would be a gross dishonesty on my part to attempt to convey that all is right with the world, & that the UN is just a balm for the bleeding hearts of the world. The United Nations, though often not listened to by the various nations of the world, is that constant small distant voice & is nonetheless our main hope, with unrelenting reminders, challenging us all, to do the right thing, now, so there will never be a never.}

*Amen*