Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Wouldn't It Be Nice...

...if we could live without 'ego'. If we could learn to accept each other and celebrate our differences, rather than merely push for 'tolerance'? Tolerance is such an ugly word. In my mind, it conjures up images of gritting one's teeth and trying not to explode. Hardly the image of compassion that our world so desperately needs.
What if we each take a moment to remember a moment from our own lives when we felt totally accepted. Maybe it was from a loving parent or relative. Maybe it was a dear and trusted friend. Maybe a teacher or mentor. Let that feeling wash down and over you. Internalize that feeling of warmth, love and acceptance. That feeling that someone 'gets' you...loves you...cherishes you JUST THE WAY YOU ARE, warts and all!
Embrace that feeling and file it away in your mind and heart, but keep it close by.
Plan to remember that glorious feeling when you are next faced with seemingly unlovable people or situations that frustrate you to no end. Try to remember that time in your past when someone loved you at a time when you may not have been your most lovable. That person saw through to the real you and just plain ol' loved and accepted you anyway.
I know this is far easier said than done, but it is so worth a try.
Maybe we could soften the harshness of this angry, judgemental world if we all could collectively accept each other, just the way we are matter what gender, ethnicity, social position, sexual orientation, political outlook...
Maybe we could reunite our hearts on the basis of common threads such as love, compassion, integrity...
Just a thought.
Hope you have a great day today, whoever YOU may be!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Boy, they sure grow up fast!

This is our sweet,intense,and ever-challenging son and his adorable girlfriend, as they were headed to their Junior Prom last week.
They look so wonderful, but then , I may be a bit biased!

Thursday, May 21, 2009


"Everyone has talent. What is rare is the courage to follow the talent to the dark place it leads." - Erica Jong

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

SciAm Article: Evolution of House Cats

I just opened our June 2009 issue of Scientific American to find a cool article about the evolution of the house cat. Very interesting stuff, and just goes to show that cats are far wiser than they appear. Apparently their sinister plan to gain complete world/human domination began far earlier than previously thought!

Max says "...and dis iz a problem?"

Here's the link to the story:

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Those Astronauts Rock!

{I love this photo-it puts things in perspective for sure!}

The NASA crew has completed it's mission to repair the Hubble Space Telescope so that we may hopefully receive many more years of stunning images from deep space.
Please check out these links for the complete mission documented in pictures.
Very impressive!
Way to go, Atlantis crew!
You guys rock!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Atlantis On The Way To Hubble!

Anyone who knows my husband and me knows we are bigtime space junkies. We are science geeks of the highest order, and our incredible Universe never seems to run out of things that knock our socks off.
First things that comes to mind are the amazing images of deep space that the Hubble Space Telescope has given us. I can't help but think about all the other worlds out there just teeming with life, but so far away we may never know for sure. At least, not in our lifetime.
One of my favorite movies is Contact starring Jodie Foster. Great movie on so many levels. And written by Carl Sagan, an amazing mind who lived to plumb the depths of possibility.
Tomorrow's the big day for NASA and the Atlantis crew. They will begin the final repair of Hubble.
Hope all goes well for them and that they return safely to our beautiful blue world.
Visit this site to see some gorgeous views of our vast Universe:

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Thought For The Day

“This is what you shall do: love the earth and sun, and animals, despise riches, give alms to every one that asks, stand up for the stupid and crazy, devote your income and labor to others, hate tyrants, argue not concerning God, have patience and indulgence towards the people, take off your hat to nothing known or unknown, or to any man or number of men; go freely with the powerful uneducated persons, and with the young, and mothers, of families: read these leaves in the open air every season of every year of your life: re-examine all you have been told at school or church, or in any books, and dismiss whatever insults your soul.”
-Walt Whitman

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

I Love This Guy!

(CBS) Every time 70-year-old Andy Mackie draws a breath, it's music to his ears - whether there's a harmonica there or not. As CBS News correspondent Steve Hartman reports, Mackie's just glad to be alive.

Mackie jokes, "I guess they don't need a harmonica player in heaven yet."

Mackie, a Scottish-born retired horse trainer, lives in a camper in northwest Washington state - he lives there, even though technically -- medically -- he should have died long ago.

After his ninth heart surgery, Mackie's doctors had him on 15 different medicines. But the side effects made life miserable. So one day he quit taking all 15 and decided to spend his final days doing something he always wanted to do.

He used the money he would have spent on the prescriptions to give away 300 harmonicas, with lessons included. "I really thought it was the last thing I could ever do," he says.

And when he didn't die the next month, he bought a few hundred more.

Harmonicas in hand, he explains, "I just started going from school to school."

It's now 11 years and 13,000 harmonicas later.

"I'll see a pregnant lady on the sidewalk and I'll give her a harmonica for the baby," he says as an example.

Today there's nary a kid in the county who hasn't gotten a free harmonica from Mackie, or played one of his strum sticks.

To keep the kids interested in music as they get older, Mackie now spends the bulk of his Social Security check making them beginner string instruments. He also buys store-made instruments for kids that show a special interest. He provides free lessons to everyone by getting the older kids to teach the younger kids.

Mackie says, "I tell them music is a gift, you give it away - you give it away and you get to keep it forever."

The end result is something truly unique to his corner of Washington. It seems everywhere you look, everyplace you go, every kid you meet has the same genuine passion for fiddle music.

"I can't explain the joy, Mackie says. "I don't think Bill Gates feels any richer inside than I do."
He believes he's still living today because of the kids and the music.

And he doesn't expect any harmonica openings in heaven any time soon.

"I don't think the lord wants me yet, I still got something to do here -- lots more kids out there."

© MMIX, CBS Interactive Inc.. All Rights Reserved.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Celebrating Beltane...a day late!

As things have been a wild blur of activity around here, I forgot that yesterday, May 1st, was also Beltane- recognized as the height of Spring. We were blessed with rain for much of the morning, and it is believed that this being immersed in the waters of a May Day rain is purifying and imparts a blessing.

I spent a good part of the morning riding a big, sweet redhead of a horse named Harrigan. 'Harry' is a school horse at a local farm that offers the riding class I'm taking part in for credit toward my degree. Harry has a big brand on his left flank, and spent many of his earlier days as a ranch horse. He's moving up in years, and it breaks my heart to think what his ultimate fate will be. I pondered aloud with my husband last night, and told him I'd like to offer to buy Harry when we are able to swing it.
For now, I'd like to think he was blessed by being immersed in the Beltane waters, just as my ancestors, the ancient Celts, believed would offer protection.