March 24th, 2012
In “Common Threads” I talk about my belief that we are all weaving our own “Life Tapestry” – each pattern is made up of hues derived from our life experiences; passionate reds, joyful yellows, peaceful blues, rich greens and the dark shadowy shades of sorrow. They all combine to create our own personal patterns. I also believe that we have some control when it comes to what that pattern looks like – we can decide how much joy is woven into our lives, how many little stress knots are created and how smooth or how rough the texture may be.
There will always be situations, people and times that are beyond our control but it’s how we manage those elements of our life that will determine what our pattern ultimately resembles. It is my fervent hope that each and every one of us weave off the edges of our tapestries, that we include as many colors as possible and that above all, we weave with clear intention.
May 27th, 2011
Not Alone Recent news reports have been filled with larger than life events – situations that most of us cannot begin to imagine, ranging from hurricanes and floods to earthquakes and wars. Each report includes at least one heart wrenching story about an individual whose existence as they know it has been horrifically altered. In our own world, in our own way, many of us have been faced with what we would consider a life altering experience. It will change us, it will test us, it will stretch us, but we must not allow it to define us. Strength comes from struggling through adversity – we reach deeper, try harder, count more blessings, and pass along our hard earned lessons to others so that their physical or emotional wounds may be salved. We are resilient, we are empowered and we are not alone.
August 7th, 2010
It’s still difficult to get my arms around the fact that it’s August – already! I’ve been doing a fair amount of speaking of late and thought I would share some memorable snippets . My topic is overcoming adversity and my audiences have been members of organizations attending their regular meetings such as Rotarians, Kiwanians, Lions, Women Who Launch and a plethora of radio programs.
At the close of the program of a recent Lions Club meeting, a blind woman came to the front table, told me how much she enjoyed my talk and wanted to purchase one of my books. She said, “I know I can’t see any more but my husband reads to me and he does a splendid job!” That brought tears to my eyes -
At another, a gentlemen was commenting on a portion of my talk that involved the power of touching people’s lives, both in a good and bad way. He said an old friend had called to tell him that he was dying and wanted to make sure he knew what a positive impact he had made in his life. The gentleman I spoke to said he never even knew what he had said or done to impact his friend’s life but was grateful he had made “the List” of special people. We’re all touching lives, every day – as Catherine Aird said, “we can either be a good example or a horrible warning!” …
July 1st, 2010
Maybe now more than in memorable history we are all acutely aware of how fragile our freedom and democratic way of life has become. Lessons of the past have been replaced by lessons of the here and now – horrific demonstrations of beliefs passed down through generations and cultures exemplifying stark differences in our view of right and wrong, differences in opinions exploding into the heart wrenching loss of countless fathers, mothers, children and friends alike. Why do we keep defending our freedom and that of millions of others we’ve never even met knowing the possible consequences? Because we know the possible consequences – peace, human dignity, honor, respect, living without fear, full bellies, education for all, and helping because it’s the right thing to do. Our brave military professionals don’t risk it all for the medals; they do it for the greater good, so their families can enjoy the freedoms that so many want and so few enjoy. Say “THANK YOU” to those who are standing in the line of fire every day defending our right to be an American. Say “THANK YOU” to their families for sharing the sacrifice they make in the name of peace.
June 30th, 2010
Sunday was a lazy day around our house, until I looked out the window and saw a hillside across the ravine going up in smoke. I could see a man trying to put the fire out but it was clearly burning faster than he could extinguish. We weren’t the only ones who called 911 – Within minutes an army of fire fighters from our area were on site dragging what seemed like miles of hose up the hill, a helicopter was hovering over a nearby lake filling its tank with water and a plane with fire retardant was circling in preparation for a pinpoint drop. The fire sped up the rocky brush covered terrain and I could hear the large Sumacs crackle as they fueled the flames. If the wind had shifted, if the fire fighters hadn’t responded so quickly … the tiniest changes in the situation would have put the fire in our backyard. We watched with grateful admiration long into the night as the fire was extinguished and the serpentine of headlamps descended down the slope and we counted our blessings. We talked about what really mattered, what was important to us, what we could do without. We fell asleep holding hands reminding one another to take nothing for granted.
June 28th, 2010
I just returned from the 101st Rotary International Convention in Montreal Canada, where I mingled with 20,000 of my philanthropic soul mates. If I wasn’t already committed to making a difference in the lives of others, the passionate compelling speakers who told their stories and the stories of those whose lives have been forever changed would definitely have made a believer of me! As it is, I’m more inspired and committed than ever – did you know that thanks to the tireless efforts of hundreds of thousands of Rotarians around the world, we have come within one percentile of wiping out Polio? We’re digging wells, feeding homeless children, helping women in third world countries start a business and feed a village, teaching kids and adults to read, being first responders in disasters, building schools, hospitals, and spreading global peace. Get involved, change a life – make a difference!
May 21st, 2010
Every garden needs a little whimsy … this is a photo of what I see when I look out of my kitchen window – if these light-hearted wicker flamingos bobbing in the breeze don’t bring a smile to your face, you’re taking life a little too seriously!
We’re surrounded and bombarded with some pretty heady, scary serious issues every day whether it’s international, national, communal or within our immediate family and if we’re not careful, we can allow ourselves to be overshadowed by the doom and gloom. It’s our responsibility to make sure we give ourselves permission to smile! I’m not suggesting we don’t embrace our social responsibility but if we want to live longer more contented lives we must also make sure we can all find our own happy place, where ever or with who ever makes sense to us.
So maybe pink flamingos don’t do it for you … what does?
May 12th, 2010
How do you know when you’ve experienced the perfect Mother’s Day? When you end the day and realize you never took your slippers off! Now that’s relaxed! Although we only live near one of our six children, the ones in distant places were with us when my husband made breakfast and one of our sons, Justin, made a wonderful dinner. Lots of time spent just enjoying one another, playing with grandchildren and being grateful I’ve been blessed with the joy of motherhood. Even with all the challenges along the way, I wouldn’t trade it for anything -
May 3rd, 2010
Over the weekend one of our children and his wife came to visit. We decided to take advantage of what I consider THE jewel of San Diego, Balboa Park located near downtown (this photo is from the Balboa Park website). Each time I visit I come away feeling so fortunate to be able to have such a beautiful multi dimensional slice of nature so close. It’s filled with gardens, museums, galleries, educational centers and so much more – we began by visiting Suzy Spafford, founder of Suzy’s Zoo at the May Day celebration on the lawn of the majestic Marston Mansion. Suzy was displaying and selling some of her amazing artwork and a vendor was selling a number of beautiful hybrid geraniums named after the characters of Duckport, the town occupied by all the characters Suzy has created. ( Her colorful life is the feature story in chapter six of “Common Threads”).
Then we wandered through the park stopping at various museums, and went to see the iMax movie about the Hubble telescope at the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center. It was an amazing Read the rest of this entry »