Saturday, October 30, 2010

Wind Full Traditions-

From one of the fortunes, which states-- "Avert misunderstandings by calm, poise & balance."

I first began listening to the CD CUSCO, Ancient Journeys, over a decade ago when my then, new ongoing art project, which I established in my father's memory back in 1995, Ahava Art Works, had moved into it's very first artist studio. I hadn't listened to this CD for several months, & since I was feeling "inspired" as I was about to work in the kitchen, it seemed just the right music to listen to, & I was right.
In the process of forging for fortune cookies, what should I find was this container of sea kelp, which was purchased some years ago, & is pre BP biggest oil spill ever, since ocean drilling, era.

Many of us have seen the photographs of prayer flags streaming in the wind from the monastery in the mountains of Tibet. It has been said that as the fabrics unravel, & the threads of the prayer flags go forth, they carry with them to the far corners of the world, their prayerful messages.

As I was neatening up our kitchen late this morning, I was inspired by what a dear friend, [actually my former boss], posted on facebook today. She shared-- "peace. it does not mean to be in a place where there is no voice, trouble or hard work. it means to be in the midst of those things & still... be calm in your heart." [unknown]

How true, how true. It made me think, of oh so very much, of how thankful I am for having worked this past decade with such heartfelt & meaningful people in my life, & also of what I was doing with myself a little over a decade & a half ago, & how I am gratefully evolving back to that very place, but now so much wiser, & therefore, even more grateful.

I've been wanting to share my accumulation of fortune cookies with the birds. I have quite the batch, never wanting to really throw them out, for they do also hold a certain form of wisdom. If I were to share it with the birds, & let the crumbs satisfy them & if the tiny bits of messages of advise & wisdom were to also go forth, it will be another way of sharing positive messages to all four corners of the earth, even microscopically.


On this day sixteen years ago, October 30, 1994, my father, Samuel Myron Kapelner passed on from this earth. I think he would really be getting a kick out of my various cookie adventures, of both his mother's, & now the fortune cookies. It all makes sense, as my father though a true Renaissance man that he was, was a really sweet "rocket scientist", kind of guy.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Seasonal Thoughts & The Nature Of Nature

It occurred to me today as my husband & I were out raking leaves--

We had a super large pile of them, which we needed to rake down the driveway, into the woods. A heavy gust of wind blew up our way & carried a bit of the pile right to where we were raking them. "That's good.", my husband said. A few minutes later, much to our surprise, [why it was a a surprise I really can't say, as it happens all the time], the direction of the wind changed. Now the leaves were no longer being blown to our assigned spot in the woods, but more like, up the driveway, & not quite in our face.
"That's about right." I added, "Only nature creates it's self, in one gust, & destroys it's self in the other."

I thought of the devastation's & tragedies brought on by natures wrath, how we as humans can only do so much to prevent or lessen the impact of such forces. How some human beings wrestle with both the good & not so good within. Their natural forces of nature. How we human beings, many, thankfully have the ability to "think" before acting [or as the mental health professionals would say "act out"], but not all do.

These are the human tides, & the tides of time. As human beings we do have the obligation & responsibility to keep trying, not only for ourselves, but as Emanuel Kant would say--
for the "greater good", of what is far larger than each & every individual.

A Few Of My Favorite Things

Cartoon characters remain some of my favorite things....
As does this simple & basic recipe,

Favorite things can be hard to narrow down. One of my very favorites, is to reach out & connect with extended fam*, near & far.

Speaking of "near & far", our grandmother's special batch of cookies have been arriving at their assigned destinations. Last night after returning home from a meeting, & doing my last check of the day, I received an email from my cousin Deb, in Florida, & then a few minutes later from my cousin Arlene, in Texas. Last word being "yum".

That's all I needed, just to know that these special packages have been arriving, & so far in a rather timely manner. As of yesterday, which of course was Thursday 10/28 , & the mailing date was Tuesday 10/26 , it had just been two days.

A sugared confection traveling a few thousand miles. Yes, I certainly do agree for--

"When sugar kicks in", we're there!


As of a little while ago, I received emails from two additional cousins, my cousin Penny
from N.J. She requested the recipe, so she & her Dad could make them together. My Uncle Marty was a professional baker for decades, so I'm sure their batch will be *excellent.
Also, our other cousin from Texas, just logged in & reported the delivery of their batch, was of the "yummy" category. My cousins Missy & Burt have the photography gallery in Dallas, Texas.
PDNB "Photographs Do Not Bend", a most *excellent experience into the visual world of art. Can't wait to go back.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Indonesia Oceans Away, Our Heartfelt Prayers

Our prayers & thoughts go forth to the people of Indonesia. We are saddened by the recent news of a tsunami/tidal wave, in your corner of the world.

As vast as the oceans & as far away as we are from one another, our hearts are with you, ahava.


Wednesday, October 27, 2010

It's Much More Than A Cookie, Cookie--

I must say, as simple as these cookies are, they are really "perfecto" & go with everything!
The good ole Post Office, where the old is morphed & becomes the new, the improved. Quite the roof line.
There it is our little bundle, posing one last time until they arrive at a Post Office near "yaz".
Some beautiful symbols of our great country--

The love of a dedicated & devoted grandmother travels near, travels far--

Our grandmother born & raised in Yonkers, N.Y., was the cornerstone of my father's extended family. Her cooking skills were legendary. My father would often say something to this effect, "Boy what my mother could do with a potato, that was really something!"

I certainly don't have that talent or skill, but what I do have is a tremendous place in my heart for the love she gave all of us, which continues to transcend our generations through place & time.

"From generation to generation, love is the soul."

At 2:15am yesterday morning, after I "disasterized" our kitchen with, oh so much flour, on the counters, & even on the floor, I taste tested my own sampling, addressed padded envelopes as the remaining batches cooled, then packed up nine batches of our "Grandma Anna's Newly Twisted Coney Island Rugulla", into consumption safe containers, & then stuffed these containers into the proper sized padded envelopes. At 12:40pm they were hand stamped "perishable" by a U.S. Postal worker, & off they went to our extended family across the country, "from sea to shinning sea", literally.

When our extended fam* of-- Aunts, Uncles, & Cousins receive these packages, the one & only note, on the back of each, says it all---

"Grandma Anna's Newly Twisted Coney Island Ruggula"

Have arrived!

[I hope so, & will keep you posted.]

Monday, October 25, 2010

More From Real Art Ways

I wanted to be sure you had a chance to see a small sampling of Cary Smith's exhibit which is titled: "We are The Dollars and Cents", & can be viewed up until December 12, 2010.

Mr. Smith will be at Real Art Ways, 56 Arbor St., Htfd. Ct., on November 11th, at 5:30pm for an Artist Talk.


Sunday, October 24, 2010

From Nigeria To New England

Olu Oguibe who is originally from Nigeria & is presently at the University of Connecticut, recently installed a forty-foot long stonewall in the gallery of, Real Art Ways in Hartford, Connecticut.

This is some of what Mr. Oguibe had prepared for his artist's statement: "By moving the New England stonewall into the gallery or museum space, & making the stonewall part of the vocabulary of conceptual art, I hope to generate a new, inclusive discourse that draws no line between aesthetic or formal concerns, & environmental, cultural, & social discourses."


To view this museum piece you are encouraged to visit: Real Art Ways, 56 Arbor St.
Hartford, Connecticut. Olu Obuibe's New England stonewall is on exhibit until March 20th, 2011.
Or, just take a quaint & traditional New England walk, but be aware, many of the stonewalls that you may be viewing may not be protected by the towns & municipalities of which you are visiting. Without the protection of the average citizen banding together, one day the only place to view one of these antiquities, may be at galleries such as these.
Let us hope that with enough concern, awareness & a sense of the aesthetics, that "we the people", won't let this, come to pass.

Life Is Art & Art Is Life & ....

Yesterday my husband & I traveled into Real Art Ways, in Hartford to see "Freakonomics the movie", based on the book of the same name by it's authors, Steven Levitt & Stephen Dubner. The film was interesting & amusing to say the least, & Real Art Ways is always worth the trip, with it's galleries of cutting edge exhibits readily available for one's viewing pleasure.

I hope you find the next few postings interesting, & stimulating. This entry is a small sampling of Saya Woolfalk's exhibit titled: Institute of Empathy, which is on exhibit through to March 2oth, 2011. To see it in real life, is the way to go, of which I hope you get to do. Believe me when I say, "You won't be disappointed." Of that I am quite certain.

Yes, "Art Is Life & Life Is Art"..&...


Real Art Ways, 56 Arbor St., Htfd., Ct./860-232-1006/

Fleeting Autumn Colors Of This New England Woodland

Above a last rose of the season, & below the abundant hydrangea reaching out before winter's predictable blast.
A red leafed Japanese maple, which is so welcomed in this garden of green.
Our modest passive solar, hand built home, lovingly crafted for us by my husband in the 70's. It is from these fount windows that the four generations of our family have experienced a small view of the Peace Garden.

Friday, October 22, 2010

On Literature, The Internet & More...

Yesterday our Internet was down for most of the day. I was able to axcess many of the messages that came in because for a brief period it worked, but just for moments. During the day though I found I needed to use the phone, & to remain in touch. Our concerns regarding the critical well being of a dear friend, & also our ongoing conservation projects here needed focused, up to the minute "what's going on", information.

That being said, I am so happy I'm online again at least for the moment. Since going into sabbatical from my former profession I've been making it a point to catch up on my reading. My latest focus these past few weeks have been my husband's New Yorker Magazine collection. After all it was Barry Commoner's article in The New Yorker decades ago in the mid 70's after our first child was born, that convinced me to become an antinuclear & peace activist. It was during that period in time that, Mother Lightning was born.

There's nothing like a good article that introduces the average reader in plain, simple yet interesting terms to a genre that they would not ordinarily be interested in, or even understand. I certainly fill the bill on that one.
The truth will always continue to set one free, for knowledge is power. In some ways, not all, there have been improvements in awareness & attitudes as the nuclear threat is topic from near & far with people such as Ted Turner, & others in science & in the arts, who have continued to keep it "at the forefront" of the world wide conversation. The tragic consequences of what happened in Hiroshima & Nagasaki will always be with us. "War will never be the answer". If one has been born into our tragically, historic, postwar, baby boom generation, then one is born to do what one knows, one must do.

For now as I click away, with our Internet running again, & seemingly up to speed, I can once again appreciate first hand the modern technology that I fought tooth & nail to resist, & now that I'm here & comfortable with this technology, I miss it when it's in "down mode". The mind of course also flourishes from all aspects of enjoying the beauty of life & a good short story, book or article or two, which along the way is a perfect retreat. This of course adds to the dimensional thinking of our minds. As I take this wonderful opportunity to catch up, so to speak, with my husband's less than current issues of a magazine that seems to always hit it's mark, I thank them for their excellence & always bringing me up to snuff, & for reintroducing me to people such as, Kathereine Anne Porter, Edward Albee, John Cage & Henry David Thoreau, to name a few. All of them are talented individuals of the expressive arts, & by having been reintroduced
to their thinking ways, it also reminds me of this magazine's first great influence on me & that excellent publication way back when. I know the literary world of The New Yorker Magazine will continue to prosper, for we are a literary culture of thinking people & have this need for knowledge & growth, no matter how much "e" time we sit at our computers.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

A Worldwide View For Peace

To My Friends Around The World--

It has only been recently that I am beginning to understand more fully what this blogging thing, has been all about for me. I think many of us are "called" from deep within, to write, to do music, to do some form of expressive art. Theatre, film, dance, painting, photography, the list of the artistic expressions are as varied as the human beings that people this earth. Ultimately we are all trying our very hardest, not unlike those who painted on the original cave walls, to communicate, to be heard, during a duration, of one's time on earth.

The mind boggling vastness of the Internet, has given us another canvas, another cave wall, to reach out & communicate with one another, using our people-made tools. None of us see, or know all, but many of us know enough to know that positive & negative exists in the factors of the elements of which they are.
When I write my essays, stories, or poems, I try my very best to paint the experiences of what I've lived through, am presently dealing with, or have witnessed, with as true of a brush, as my muse directs.

I thank U*, Everyone, for I know you are both "near", & also, so "very far away"-- And are from the many continents of our beautiful world. Thank you, for allowing these fleeting pictures & words, from this Peace Garden blog to enter your consciousness, for the brief moments in time that they do, for we then connect. As one human being to another, throughout the world, this "digital world" has given us all, the wings of a dove.

I wish U* all good health & peace.



Mother Lightning's Peace Garden will be three years old this coming New Year's Eve. Since the beginning of this venture the Peace Garden has been visited by people from all over the world, which for me is very exciting, as I consider ourselves, All, citizens of our planet earth, doing the very best we can, living a life. The roots of our human tree, run so very deep, in our connection to one another.

As of this point in time we have been visited by individuals, from these various places in the world- United States, France, Italy, Canada, United Kingdom, New Zealand, Israel, Brazil, South Africa, Japan, Russia, Columbia, Viet Nam, India, Taiwan, Germany, Slovenia, Oman,Ukraine, China, Indonesia, Latvia, Netherlands, Poland, Singapore, Australia, Greece, Turkey, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, Uruguay, Croatia, Romania, Kenya, Chile, Ecuador, El Salvador, Philippines, Spain, Lithuania, Sweden, Nigeria, Denmark, Hungary, Pakistan, S.Korea, United Arab Emirates, Costa Rica,& Ireland. When new places of the world visit the Peace Garden, I will be sure to take note. Perhaps we shall meet in person one day, as many we have already met, know, & love. And for future travels I will remain forever hopeful, that we shall someday meet.
[Last update of worldwide visits to the Peace Garden *2/6/11* brings us to 50 countries.

Thank you all, your visits are most welcomed.

For Dolly, "It's Been A Hard Day's Night"

John, Paul, George & Ringo sang it loud & strong. How could we ever forget. Or as some others sang-- "There's a place in the sun where there's hope for everyone..." That song too, was a big hit back in the day, but was not done by The Beatles, though I can't think of who. "?" In time I'll be sure, to figure it out....

You've heard about my adventures with Dolly I am sure, for a while it was all I could ever talk about. She has thankfully, it seems, to have turned a corner. She's a lot less of the "wild & crazy" pooch she was becoming, from having had been confined far too much. In her natural personality, she has never been much of a barker, & when she gets to barking we are so, very, proud!

We were watching one of our favorite TV shows last night. Yes, the glitz & glib performance in The Good Wife, keeps us tuned in when we're here on Tuesday nights. About midway during the program we heard Dolly's repeated barking out somewhere on the peripheral of her "electric avenue" boundary. It was a bit unusual for her, for as I said, she hardly ever barks, so much for my watch dog, but nonetheless there we were watching our trash TV program, & the sounds of her barking made me feel very good.

I brought her in at around 11:30PM or so, just after turning down the thermostats. In our end of the day greetings of one another, she with her sweet dogie smile, yes I do see a smile there, & me, with the wonderful words she loves to hear, "Good dog Dolly, good for you." She enjoys this one on one, & also enjoys being crated at night, as it reinforces a cave-like calmness in her, & it definitely works out just fine. Before having her go into her cubicle cave, & just after my exuberant end of the day patting & petting, I feel this wetness at the lower portion of her neck, just above her left shoulder. I causally say to her, "Why are you all wet, it's not wet out?" & there was my answer-- Sweet Dolly had somehow gotten herself wrangled up with some sort of an animal. At first I thought she had attacked a deer. Then I thought, perhaps a raccoon attacked her, & then I even thought, she caught something & was shaking it around, but that didn't make sense as her face was totally clean. I think it was some sort of predator experience, & that's why we heard barking.

Well I washed up really good, & even rinsed with some betadine. For Dolly well in all honesty, even though I've done my share of wound care & all over the years, it has only been of the human animal experience of first aid. So I'm still a bit grossed out at present. She'll eventually get a bath & all, but I do need to find those thick rubber gloves I have stashed away somewhere. For now she's enjoying her day in the sun as you can see, with hardly a care.

Yes, "woof" to you too Dolly, I know you've been working hard.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

This Roadside Attraction Is Friendly & Welcoming

Here we are presently visiting the Harvest Garden & the Concrete Factory in Ashford, Connecticut. It's right near where my Storr's Women's Writers Group friend, Barbara used to live. A big "Hello" to you Barb, all the way to the N.J. shore. You'd love this place, I just know it. Hope to see you soon.
Meet Jim Eidson, owner & manager of this quaint family stand. I believe he told me he grew up in Missouri, which makes perfect sense, as he has that mid-western friendly way. He & his wife have raised their family, put the children through school, & now they've been doing this for the past 6 years or so.
I've been looking for a really good batch of Apple Butter, this one promises to be excellent, as it states it is Amish Made, & all the way from Newton, Illinois too.

Just as the season promised there is plenty of color for one's viewing pleasure. Here's to autumn a favorite season that is ever so fleeting!

Harvest Garden & the Concrete Factory is located at the intersection of route 74 & 44 Ashford, Ct. You can email them at [] If interested in obtaining fruit butters, relish, & mustard from the Amish tradition stop by, or get in touch with Jim.