Tuesday, January 31, 2012

First Commandment

"I am your God, and you will not have false gods before Me." to paraphrase

Yesterday afternoon, I had the pleasure of teaching the first commandment to fourth graders. I was the substitute. And it was tricky not to insinuate that someone else's spiritual path was incorrect, as within other religions there can be found multiple gods. And that works for them. Bringing them closer to their enlightenment. Afterall being closer to the divine is what we all desire.

The other foot I tried not to step on was stating that if you put swimming, soccer, hockey, football, basketball, skiing practice, games, and/or championships ahead of church, they too can be elevated to more important than God status. Tricky as overscheduled youth don't set their family calendar. Why make them guilty of things that they have no or little control over.

Instead our discussion focused on keeping God present in our daily life. I pointed and suggested that this girl and that boy inorder to remain focused on God MUST be a nun or a priest. I thought their eyes would pop out of their heads. Effect obtained, and we settled back into realizing that by acting as Jesus wants us to, and following the Golden Rule all the days of our lives, we are putting God first, regardless of location or activity.

Truly I learn so much from teaching.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Tree of Life

What I like about the tree of life, is that, from a distance it looks like any other giant tree. But up close, it is oh so interesting and like no other. Like people, don't you think?

Sunday, January 29, 2012

First Light

I love when the glass comes to life for the first time. Still plenty of soldering and applying the overlaid flowers and bicycle parts. But well on it's way to completion and delivery this April, or before.

February is coming.

January is just about over. There is a tension in the air. Many older folk fear the weather will change from the balmy sugaring weather to bracing winter frozen tundra cold. It could happen.

Though the long range forecast is showing more of the same. Above freezing by day; below by night. But I won't even think about tapping the trees until February 14th. Giving winter these next couple of weeks to flex its muscles. And then we will see what the season has in store for us maple sugar makers. We will see if the balmy weather has adversely effected sap production and sugar content. We are so lucky to learn lessons in a backyard sugaring shack.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Good Morning Saturday!

We are not night owls by any wing beat stretch of the imagination. But for a dear friend's 40th birthday we made the exception. Great night. Great celebration.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Allow me some Mother's pride


And when you're smiling...

When you're smilin'....keep on smilin'
The whole world smiles with you

And when you're laughin'....keep on laughin'
The sun comes shinin' through

But when you're cryin'.... you bring on the rain
So stop your frownin'....be happy again
Cause when you're smilin'....keep on smilin'
The whole world smiles with you

Singing this song, we did a lot of smiling at work yesterday. Can it truly be a job, if we have that much fun everyday? Lucky is me.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

What no midnight post?

Sorry to disappoint, but it's true. No middle of the night post for today. I had a procedure on my foot, and walking, never mind the stairs I must descend and ascend to and from my computer, is a bit problematic.

I'm taking these days very easy and extremely slowly. The bright side: I'm now an even match for the walking speed of my clients. :-)

Enjoy your day. Enjoy your life.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012


What are you going to do when you're 96 years old?

Our time is marching onward. Get a move on.

Monday, January 23, 2012

The Quiet

Seek out quiet.

This has been a funny winter of early spring. So when the snow fell it was as if a worn grey flannel blanket had been lifted. Making the world fresh and new.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

The Perfect Regift

I received a set of paperwhite bulbs this past Christmas. Truth be told I love plants but my life is so busy that I don't have (make) the time to appreciate them. So after burying the bulbs in their soil I thought I would bring these to my clients' home. That way all three of us would get to enjoy them. Which we are.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

50 First...

Did you ever hear of the movie 50 First Dates? I love it. It's about a man who falls in love with a woman whose short term memory is erased during the night, ie when she is sleeping. Each morning, when she awakes, she automatically thinks it's the morning of the day she was involved in a serious car accident.

My joy (job) is like that. But for me it's 50 First Moments. For we have the same conversation over the course of the morning. And it's fine. It's light. It's fun. It doesn't get better.

And I wonder why... Because if my children asked me 50 times in a the course of two hours if they could watch TV, or eat ice cream for breakfast, and my answer was always the same, "No," I fear I would lose my patience.

I am learning so much from the people I interact with daily. And perhaps it all has to do with repetition.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Why Are We Called?

Really. Why Not? Truly, why not reach out and help someone? Can you give me one good reason? Because, frankly, I can't think of one.

One World. One God. One calling to love.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Monday, January 16, 2012

What Are You Called To Be?

“If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music, or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well.” Martin Luther King Jr

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Be Passionate!

Have goals, hobbies, careers fueled by passion. Strive to be better yet, better tomorrow than today. Constantly looking for ways to improve. It will put ideas in your head, spring in your step, life in your life.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Piece By Piece

Sometimes the toughest part about completing a project is starting it. With any project, big or small, it's best if you tackle it piece by piece in a clear stepwise fashion. Moving forward to completion.

Friday, January 13, 2012


If you asked, "Would you put the clothes that are in the washing machine into the dryer?" Would you expect that the dryer would get turned on and the clothes dried?

Teenagers are so literal. I didn't specifically ask. It didn't happen.

Now that has to put a smile on your face. Happy Friday!

Only rain here yesterday.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Don't Get Mad... Get Glad

Rarely does holding a grudge hurt anyone but yourself.

And looking at this image reminds me of the saying, "Don't hold your face like that, or it will freeze that way."

Maybe snow today... We will see.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Dreamweaver.... I believe you will get me through the night.

I have a funny story. If you're a regular reader, you know I'm loving my day job. No question. But, my last truly gainful (whatever that means) employment was as a Quality Assurance Engineer. (big words) So, when a friend posted a QA opportunity right here in our hometown, I sat at this computer, staring at my resume. Should I send it; shouldn't I? In the end. I hit the send key.

Not that I'm looking. Not that I want to leave my current job. But just to see. Testing the QA testing waters so to speak. Maybe my old coworker would want a part-timer? Nights, weekends during crunch times.

This weekend, while discussing my problem with another longtime computer friend, he suggested I work for him. Some web design stuff, from home, in the evenings. Just enough tickling of the keyboard to keep the old brain cell turning over.

Really? Web design... I used to manage the church's site, and developed sites 18 years ago when the web was new, and up and coming. When all the coding was done through tags and not via design programs, like Dreamweaver.

Next question: Do you know Dreamweaver?
Next answer: No.

Get it.
And I did. At first my head was spinning. Learning without a printed manual, (old school) is challenging. I seriously wondered if I had bitten off more than I could chew... Scared, I resolved to go down failing, refusing to quit. Telling myself, "Give it a go... You can't help but learn."

So, two nights into my new gig and I'm loving online how-to videos and widgets. WOW! The coding power right at my fingertips. Who knew. Want to know the weather in Seattle? The latitude and longitude of Plymouth, MA? :-)

Tuesday, January 10, 2012


Do you like having warm winters? No snow? No ice? No cold?

Do you like maple syrup? On waffles? On pancakes? On french toast?

Well, without winter's cold there cannot be a sugaring season... The temperatures we are seeing now in January, and those maintained throughout December are the temperatures at which we start setting up the sugaring operation in late February. And that is usually after a nice snowy and cold December - January - early February.

The long range forecast shows no cold between now and January 17th. No cold and no snow.

No cold - no snow - no sap - no syrup - no kidding

Monday, January 09, 2012

What are you looking forward to today?

For me, it's work. Actually yesterday, I started looking forward to going to work today. Crazy, I know. But everyday is filled with such great stuff. I love seeing my clients smile. I love watching them mend clothes, fix chairs, use the microwave correctly, and play the keyboard. I love talking about the times of old and linking people with places and faces. I love seeing that flicker of energy during our walks, and watching their faces light up when they laugh.

I don't have a JOB, I have a JOY. :-)

Sunday, January 08, 2012

Quiet lesson in undecorating

Yesterday we put away the Christmas decorations. A task I usually don't look forward to. For everyone wants to decorate, but no one wants to reverse the process. This year I enjoyed brief visits with each ornament before they were lovingly wrapped and put in a box. Grandpa's shell, Nana's quilt square, Maria's pig, Minnie's ears... But the big lesson settled when we took care of our nativity scene. For more than 15 years I have been setting these figures up, and taking them down, with one, two, or three of my girls. And in all that time I never noticed the multiple breaks that had been repaired on this shepherd boy. The arms, head, and both feet shattered -- but then painstakingly glued back together.

At first I wondered how did I miss seeing the break lines all these years? Then I wondered, how could such destruction happen? Only to realize the lesson or learning isn't in the brokeness. The lesson is found in the loving repair of a small shepherd boy who comes faithfully year after year to worship the new born King.

Friday, January 06, 2012

The Epiphany

Backstage Magic

In October of 2010 we did a behind the scenes tour of all four of the Walt Disney World parks. I love finding out how things work, and the tour gave a glimpse of the Disney Magic. But the big take home message is, with regard to welcoming guests into the parks: The last person you wave to deserves the same smile and enthusiasm which was extended to the first person. Yes 2, 3, 4, or 8 hours later -- that same smile and glee. Your best all the time.

Today I start with a new client after my usual lovely morning shift. It's easy to be bright and up for 2.5 hours each weekday morning. Now, with that backstage message in mind, my second shift deserves the same as my first.

I can't walk into their home and say, "Boy am I beat. Hope you don't mind if I sit this shift out with my feet up." They have been waiting for me to arrive to help them, not the other way around.

They deserve the same magic. And they shall have it.

jeff noel: Do you remember that tour?

Tea Bag Tag: Delight the world with compassion, kindness, and grace.

Thursday, January 05, 2012

More words to ponder

It's an unheard of winter, as we have no snow and I have encountered a second cold which is triggering my asthma. I tried to tell myself, only one cold per winter, but... That's not to be.

Upside: Reading great insights on my tea bag tags.

Wednesday, January 04, 2012


Inspiration is everywhere. Like the goodness around us all, you just have to be open observe and partake.

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Monday, January 02, 2012

Sunday, January 01, 2012


The best place to end and start the new year. But truly, prayer is the best way to start, finish, and progress through each moment of each day.