Sunday, July 31, 2011

Important News From The Peace Abbey For August 2011

At the Peace Abbey in Sherborn, Massachusetts; where all world faiths are represented, & most welcome-

Our prayers are with our brothers and sisters in Norway
The Peace Abbey NewsletterAugust 2011


Nelson Mandela Nominated to Receive Courage of Conscience Award

Stonewalk Remembrance

Ruth Hiller from New Profile Sends a Message

Archbishop Elias Chacour at Pilgrim Church in Sherborn July 27th 10AM

The Sherborn COA luncheon at The Peace Abbey.

Shareholders Meeting September 10th at 10AM

Care for the Plants and Grounds

Protest on Natick Common July 24th 2PM
On the 22nd I received a call from a woman who introduced herself as a neighbor to the Peace Abbey. She planned a protest event for Sunday and asked for help in gathering people. Her issue was the threat of a reduction in social security.

The Metro-West Peace Action group responded immediately and helped send a message to Congress.

A Wake Up Call

Remember, not only did you contribute to Social Security but your employer did too.

It totaled 15% of your income before taxes. If you averaged only 30K over your working life, that's close to $220,500.

If you calculate the future value of $4,500 per year (yours & your employer's contribution) at a simple 5% (less than what the govt. pays on the money that it borrows), after 49 years of working you'd have about $892,919.98.

If you took out only 3% per year, you receive $26,787.60 per year and it would last better than 30 years, and that's with no interest paid on that final amount on deposit! If you bought an annuity and it paid 4% per year, you'd have a lifetime income of $2,976.40 per month.


we paid cash for our social security insurance!!!! Just because they borrowed the money , doesn't make our benefits some kind of charity or handout !! Congressional benefits: free healthcare , outrageous retirement packages , 67 paid holidays , three weeks paid vacation , unlimited paid sick days ,

now that's welfare , and they have the nerve to call our retirement entitlements.

Sent from email by several concerned citizens.


Defense-related expenditure 2012 Budget request & Mandatory spending<br>
Total Spending $1.030-$1.415 trillion

The 2012 Defense Budget Is The Highest Since World War II

Robert Johnson Jul. 19, 2011

Defense spending is at historic highs. And though it's the same size, the same shape, and has the same abilities, the U.S. military costs 35 percent more than it did a decade ago.

A 75 page report released last week, by the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments also points out that the DoD spent $46 billion of that total on projects that failed, due to cost overruns or technical glitches.

Because of these failures the military was not modernized as planned and will be forced to achieve that goal in the face of extreme budget cuts. In a statement to Reuters the report's author Todd Harrison said: "This was the opportunity of the decade, to really recapitalize and modernize the military's equipment and that has been squandered. [Now] we're looking at the prospect of a declining defense budget over the next decade and we're not going to have the opportunity to do that again."

The Pentagon faces $400 billion in budget cuts over the next 12 years. The Analysis of the 2012 Defense Budget lists the allocation as follows. The FY 2012 budget requests a total of $676 billion for the Department of Defense (DoD). The base budget for DoD includes $553 billion in discretionary funding and $5 billion in mandatory funding, and an additional $118 billion is requested for the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. The budget request also includes $19 billion for defense-related atomic energy programs and $8 billion for defense-related activities in other agencies, bringing the total national defense budget to $703 billion.

Adjusting for inflation, the level of funding proposed for the base defense budget in the FY 2012 request is the highest level since World War II, surpassing the Cold War peak of $531 billion (in FY 2012 dollars) reached in FY 1985.

The report also notes that while this is high by historic standards, it's still a consistent percent of overall federal spending.

Building ships that never see service doesn't help the bottom line


U.S. wars launched since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, have left 225,000 dead and cost up to $4.4 trillion, according to a new study by university researchers that was reported in Defense News.

The Brown University study focused on the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and counterterrorism campaigns in Pakistan and Yemen. Its financial cost estimates are considerably higher than those used by the Pentagon -- which puts the wars' cost at about $1 trillion -- because the researchers included costs in excess of the direct war appropriations, such as projected spending on wounded veterans through 2051.

Massachusetts Scholars for Social Justice

We invite you to join us in the formation of Scholars for Social Justice, a new alliance of higher education faculty members committed to returning economic and social justice to our universities.

As public intellectuals, we all bear the responsibility to speak out for the public welfare, and we recognize that the public welfare depends on the equitable treatment of all and the freedom to dissent in the face of inequality.

Together, we will use our collective voice to advocate for the rights of the students and workers on our campuses, in our communities, and around the world.

As Massachusetts Scholars for Social Justice we can add our voice to the growing movement against the corporate take-over of higher education and of society generally. We hope that you will consider becoming part of this important effort.

For more information, contact Jobs with Justice Higher Education Organizer Gillian Mason at617-470-7409 or

Grandmother Love

STONEWALK 1999-2007

Friday, July 29, 2011

Life's A Beach, Revisited-

In thinking ever so deeply, throughout the course of an adult's lifetime, trying ever so hard to figure it out, & to make sense of some very complicated family dynamics; thoughts of the oldest of my two siblings had come to mind. The childhood family systems of our youth are oh, so complicated, & often times, it isn't until a good amount of time has past, which of course can give us a glimpse of an important perspective, that the puzzling riddle, becomes a bit less...
From these musings over a lifetime, I've finally come upon the germination of an aspect of cause & affect, in my own life-

Life's A Beach

I have this idealized view
of you
and me


children, young
happy too

your hair so dark
it's toddled curls

arms outstretched
mine for you
and you for us

those play date afternoons
of song,
and dance
a toy box, tapping plays

"ladies and gentlemen"

When did we grow
and grow
those teen aged, tangled years
so insecure,
strange placements
in the world

Our very loathsome
of family
and friends who filled
a void so deep,
that we withheld
an other's
outstretched hand

And so the play
played out
near full
in intermittent
calls, by phone
of family loss
and losses still
my heart it breaks
and yearns...

Extension of a sister's love
and care
for sorrow from that past
of which we knew
so fleetingly
a friendship dear
upon these waves,
of time.


Once again we end this day's posting with a poem, & thus concludes today's addition of-
Poetry A Muse In Motion.

7/31/11 About the opening paragraph- After a few days, it came to me that perhaps I should add a little narrative, sort of explaining the here & now, the lay of the land, so to speak. There, I feel a small glimmer has been explained, as best I could. For now that is, & tomorrow is August, oh my, time continues to fly....

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© Mother Lightning of Mother Lightning's Peace Garden

Thursday, July 28, 2011

From Mama Mountain to Home, Inspired Still

What a beautiful evening, we Barb-B-Q 'd a little, of which Dolly our rescue pup, will be having treats from our meal way into tomorrow. I've been experimenting with Pandora Radio, & it is really an awesome service. All I've been doing is clicking onto my favorite artist/songs, & a file is created & now I'm really in the groove. Tonight the selection has been basically music from the 60's & closing out with the beautiful sounds of the Paul Winter Concert.
All so perfect.

It's been busy here of course as we're beginning to have a call or inquiry asked in regards to our UN Peace Day event on September 18th, 3-5PM in Putnam, Ct. So more informational flyers will need to be printed, & last Tuesday my friend Pam & I were on the local radio station WINY with Gary O, to begin to get the word out. Now that I've completed my physical therapy regime as of last week, it's now up to me to stay very disciplined in order to keep making steady & consistent progress. So... I'm off to the track in a few minutes to log in a few laps, I did my workout in the community pool this morning, so this turtle, is back, with her slow & steady determined attitude.

Have a good evening one & all, & when next we speak I'll share some further details of our recent trip up to the Berkshires. Truly there's nothing quite like a mountain, to clear away the cob webs & any other clouded thoughts, for it's all timeless, & really quite beautiful to know what it is, we're intended to know, is just enough.

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© Mother Lightning of Mother Lightning's Peace Garden

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Body Speak-

Here we are, my husband & I standing at the back entrance of the home of Emily Dickinson, in Amherst, Ma. We were up in the Berkshires this past weekend celebrating in the marriage of our dear friends', son & new daughter-in-law. It was an awesome event, of extended fam & friends, with blessings of health & happiness to Lindsey & Michael the bride & groom, which filled every heart & mind! The positive energy of the event on Saturday was so awesomely powerful, that we had the energy to find our way the very next day, to the home of our modest, yet great American poet, Emily.

Body Speak

I lift my arm
my shoulder too
at elbow's region's map
the arm extends a wrist it finds
a juncture too of fact
a thumb extends, and others reach
but not, to do it far
work within a body's speak
that's how one lifts this far

For aches and pains they come with time
from disproportioned use
and over, over, we do use
of this I know is truth

To use the body long and full
extend it through a life
does take good care, and pauses too
to balance out the strife


And here we meet again, same day, not time, for an additional posting of the-
Poetry A Muse In Motion, project.

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© Mother Lightning of Mother Lightning's Peace Garden

On Archeology, Perhaps-

On Archeology, Perhaps-

My best education
has always been
watching, listening
to you
and you
and You

we are
teachers of a life,
our world's
we've glided
light years
of a billion stars,
of sand, and soil
corrosive lye
a burning touch
to keep
forever seems
but never that,
for dust though jarred
won't keep


This completes a posting, in the Poetry a Muse In Motion, project.

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© Mother Lightning of Mother Lightning's Peace Garden

Monday, July 25, 2011

Chaos, A Natural of The Norm, A Dance, Yet Grounded With A Sword

Chaos, truly a natural occurrence, & have never known it, to not.....

When in early May of this year, I took that brief, yet definitive tumble from a mere two wheeler, my small life, temporarily put into, chaos, yet chaos is with us always, & has been, from the very start....
Bang, so very big, just a theory of course, but doesn't it make sense.... A meteor, a galaxy or two, three... billions... an iceage, a timeless notion of timelessness. For it has all existed before us, & will after, therefore, chaos when we embrace her, she is our friend, for from it, some of our most profound challenges, yet far reaching solutions, have come from having experienced being carried by her winds,


As I had expressed my bike fall from early on in May, though most tramatic & chaotic at the time, as only naturally so, forced me to be reminded, of oh so very much, distilling down to one's own mortality, & the not so gentle reminder of the fagilelness of a single human life, even when it is our own, it does bring very close to the forefrount of one's mind, just how wonderful & marvelous it is to posesses even though our time on this earth is very short & temporary, the ability to experience it all, even when the winds & their force, can make one feel, so very much alone.

I am most blessed & please to say, my healing continues in body, mind & spirit-

To say we danced the night away, atop a mountain's wedding cake, a celebration,
dear friends so,
& near our hearts
please keep.


7/26/11 at 12:56AM, after some extended thought I realised that the above four lines is a poem, & is therefore to be included amongst the leaves of the Poetry A Muse In Motion project, for still sometimes it takes me by surprise, this muse that dwells within. It must be, because only yesterday we walked amongst the rooms of Dear Emily's once home,
Emily Dickinson
our sister kin.

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© Mother Lightning of Mother Lightning's Peace Garden

Monday, July 18, 2011

Peace Potato Peeps Part II

Our very first Peace Potato Peep standing with pride & joy next to the carved mini Redwood Tree, brought home last summer & made by an artisan who lives up near the Redwood Forest. A variety of new characters are most definitely in the works, for a stitch in time, is always the way...

Peace Potato Peeps

"spuds that speak...."

Of which my husband said-

"That's unique."

Part II

You know the topic

You know the spiel

Have a potato

Compost the peel

Chat if you feel it

Sit and relax

My garden's your garden

chitty, chit, chat

Weeds too have flowers

Children sing songs

Your world is my world

Love is for all


And so completes this second string of lines, in the ongoing; his/her story, of a most silly, & ridiculous family & their friends, of a well meaning group of recycled fabrics, & now that I finally have a working sewing machine, before too long, we should have an increased harvest of additional characters, perhaps with more rhymes too!

If you'd like to find out more in regards to the evolutionary process of the Peace Potato Peeps just click onto some of their previous episodes-

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© Mother Lightning of Mother Lightning's Peace Garden

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Peace Potato Peeps, "spuds that speak..", Coming to A Farmers Market Near You

Above are just a few new characters in the Peace Potato family,
& the hand position shown, is for the start of this old traditional potato game...

Peace Potato Peeps

"spuds that speak..."

Of which my husband said,

"That's unique"-

*originally played on a Bronx stoop, & sung to the traditional tune of
"Hot Potato"-


one potato
two potato
three potato
five potato
peace potato
cease to be for war

six potato
seven potato
eight potato
boil potatoes
mash potatoes
spuds are here for you!

nine potatoes
ten potatoes
eleven potatoes, more
my potatoes, your potatoes
peace is for us all...

"My oh my, cool potatoes"!


Yes, "it's hokey", but there's a sweet potato in there for you too!

If you'd like to find out more, as to how this whole project began just click onto the episode below which will more fully explain the story-

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© Mother Lightning of Mother Lightning's Peace Garden

The Uniqueness of Traditions

Sand grains (1)

Yesterday morning, between 8:30-9:00 because we're empty nester's now, most of our visitors call before coming over, so to have a white mid-sized sedan pull up our driveway, as I was standing at my favorite window, peering out onto our weedy, yet beautiful summer garden what should I see, but four people who we do not know, determined to pay us an early visit. "Oh my goodness, I think we are going to be called upon by the uninvited religious group that we all know, yet don't really know, who come to our homes unannounced & unexpected, & often at the most inopportune times. Oh my!"

We are of course first in line for religious tolerance, & respect for differences, but also I must add, I am ultimately for human kindness, decency & the right to privacy, so no matter an individuals religious preferences if one is requesting a dialogue, call, write, or email first, but in my mind the best way to inform others of something so personal as one's religious beliefs & affiliations; present news releases, workshops, videos, interfaith invites, & tv programing, just to name a few, but to appear on an individuals doorway, unannounced, to discuss such an important topic this way, in my mind, does not create the respectful bridges of communication many of us yearn for.

So, in conclusion, I will say, this topic will be continued to be pondered, for every religion has it's very own beliefs & customs, as the fine line always shifts, in time's, sands.


The opening photograph is the artistic expression of Dr. Gary Greenberg & his "Tiny Grains of Sand Magnified 250 times", from a site in Australia of who's link our eldest son Tyler helped connect me with. Thank you Tyler, is awesome! Gary Greenberg's photography can be found at--

Of which I hope you visit, as his photos are truly awesome. Thank you, Gary Greenberg !

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© Mother Lightning of Mother Lightning's Peace Garden

Saturday, July 16, 2011

The Mighty Pen

Have been continuing with The Faith Club by, Ranya Idliby, Suzanne Oliver & Pricilla Warner. And though it is a page turner, it is a slow & steady one for me, as there are so many sensitive hot trigger issues, that so push my buttons too, that I've been finding that putting the book down periodically, taking a pause-full stroll, really gets me through, & there I am once again back in my favorite reading corner of our abode.

I'll keep you posted of course, as we do plan on this book being the opening one for our community's Interfaith Group's sponsored Book Discussions, which our dear member Pam has set up with our local library, here in Putnam, Ct. The book group will meet in October this fall, & we're looking forward to meeting some new additional folks from our community, who I am sure will add much, to this interesting & enlightening subject.

Happy Summer Reading, One & All!

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© Mother Lightning of Mother Lightning's Peace Garden

Thursday, July 14, 2011

School May Be Out, But learning Is Forever

The photo at the top sets the tone of summertime in these here hills.
The shadow of my smile & such had just completed five laps around our favorite track. I'm making good progress as I'm relearning to be patient with myself, & that progress in all things is always, one step at a time...

The first book of my summer reading...
With a new one just begun...

Last week, I completed reading three novellas by Leo Tolstoy- A Landowner's Morning, The Devil, & the last of this trilogy being, Family Happiness. My son Mike had given me this book for a Christmas gift, as he knows how Tolstoy is my one true literary love.

These novellas were of course deep reaching in thought, for there is always a rich inner dialogue going on in the thought process of his characters, & the Russian environment of which he writes about is intricately detailed, where one really does see in their own mind, the actual time & place of where the event is happening. The earliest of these novellas goes back to 1856 in the original Russian, with the earliest translation to English in 1953. I am forever reassured when reading a Tolstoy piece, for there's no escape from the commonness of our humanity, no matter the person or situation, we are all one.

Next on my reading list is The Faith Club, by, Ranya Idliby, Suzanne Oliver, & Priscilla Warner. This book has been chosen by our Interfaith Group, for a book activity at our local library with the community at large. The Faith Club, is a collaborative work, by three woman- a Muslim, a Christian, & a Jew. I began reading it this afternoon, & have already found some of the narrative to be quite heartfelt & compelling, as it does bring forth an eminence sense of emotional connection once learning what one of the families have had to endure, & I am only on page 18 !

So as I work towards getting stronger & stronger in body mind & spirit, I am finding that there are continued challenges along the way, not only with the exercises that I have been doing in aquatic therapy, but also to once again allow myself the time to read, & to really delve in with each & every step & page, moving forward one new lesson at a time.

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© Mother Lightning of Mother Lightning's Peace Garden