Archive for January, 2012

sun_175826 – internet – NASA
So the Universe is singing the Lord our God is One….words of Teilhard de Chardin from Sabastian Temple’s lyrics of the beliefs of the Cosmos tied to spirituality.  There are not two, there is only One and we are part of the one.
He also sings of the Fire of Love, in all atoms.  In preparing for some work I am doing with mandala, I had just finished reading some of Judith Cornell’s PH.D work on patterns of light and sound and the cosmos.
And right now the cosmos is “lighting up!”
Sun Corneal Mass Emission – 1-23-12

“light is the first begotten, and the first emanation of the Supreme, and Light is Life, says the Evangelist and the Kabalist. Both are electricity — the life principle…pervading the universe. ..Within its beams lie the beginnings of all physical and chemical action, and of all cosmic and spiritual phenomena.” (H.P Blavasky)

Well, I believe I have asked for it! I just completed my  Intention Mandala for 2012 and in both the name and image, I have asked for greater understanding and wisdom this year of my relation and connection to Mother Earth, the Cosmos, and the Spiritual Reality of it all.

I named my year: KINDLE ME IN THE FIRE OF THY LOVE — and by that I intend to be involved in firey action and application of the principle of Love where ever and when ever I can.  And I will respond to the spiritual fire of the Holy Spirit  by listening intently “within” (to the soul) just as the fire of Mother Earth is alive at her very center.

So the image and word, “fire” is catching my attention. Besides the fire in the night skys being reported internationally, I’ve seen two today:

 “Do not let your fire go out, spark by irreplaceable spark
in the hopeless swaps of the not-quite, the not-yet and the
not-at-all. Do not let the hero in your soul perish in lonely
frustration for the life you deserved and have
never been able to reach. The world you
desire can be won. It exists…it is real…
it is possible….it is yours.”
                               -Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged

And a quote on my Inspiration Calendar from Wayne Dyer:

“The quality that stands out among those who feel inspired
is one of intense, burning desire
that needs to be so great that your love
for who you are and what you do
precludes the possibility
of any boredom, tedium,
or weariness.”

The image of my mandala is a cosmic globe of Mother Earth  afloat in the vast, dark but light-speckled Universe background, with my nephew, Charlie Hajec’s, immense glowing yellow, orange, red fireball superimposed at the globe’s center. His image grabbed me and never let me go when I first saw it about eight months ago.

I have it posted on my creative room wall now and the fire almost seems to pulsate at will. With a little candle meditation and a darkened room, I’m almost certain it will. 

I didn’t expect a sign so soon from the Universe that I was on the right track, but I’ll take it and continue my inward and outward journey (to the sun?) No, I’ll just let the sun shed a little light on my quest.


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What Winter is All About

Once again, I present the joyful images of the Winterfest Snow Fun at The Montessori School this past Saturday. Very well timed, as it was one day of snow freshly arrived from a beautiful snowfall on Friday evening.  Photos from the Montessori School.

Are these kids and adults having fun or what?

Amy - Good Ride


Can't See


Dump Off



Going fast


Love it!

Here we go

Losing it


Pile On


Piggy Back




Triple Ride


Taking Mom



And when it’s time to go in……..
One more
walk up
the hill!

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Answered Prayer


I’m pretty sure both of their prayers will be answered. How could you not?

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Tomorrow, at 1 pm, as a Reiki Healing Master, I meet alone and quietly with the World Healing Network of Reiki Master Cindi Oriente, and offer my quiet prayer and Reiki Healing Energy to all who have requested it on her website and for my own intentions and persons dear to my heart as well.

As a Reiki Practitioner, the most important thing I can do is to practice Reiki daily for myself and others. On Sundays, I have the opportunity to join in connection with a web of practioners all over the world to affect our lives and our world for good.

I am blessed to do this.

Below is a reprint from Cindi’s home page of World Healing Network.  I have been especially focused over the past few years to……FIND LOVE and not find fault. It is such a better way to go! And now I have a track record to encourage it which continually brings more good into my life.

Here are some, not only uplifting thoughts, but some tried and proven ways to make things just…….a little bit better.

As I spend time in my Reiki practice tomorrow, I will agree that each of us are made up of atoms of love, the same atoms that fire up the universe and that for today, each of us gives of the energy that is connective and unifying and peaceful.

The 12 Principles of Attitudinal Healing

The essence of our being is love.
Health is inner peace, healing is letting go of fear.
Giving and receiving are the same.
We can let go of the past and of the future.
Now is the only time there is, and each instant is for giving.
We can learn to love ourselves and others by forgiving 
rather than by judging.
We can become love finders rather than fault finders.
We can choose and direct ourselves to be peaceful inside, 
regardless of what is happening outside.
We are students and teachers to each other.
We can focus on the whole of life, rather than the fragments.
Since love is eternal, change need not be viewed as fearful.
We can always perceive others as either extending love or giving a call for help.

Learn more about these principles at Jerry Jampolsky’s website
he is one of my absolute favorite authors of all time..  



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It may not be a good sign that the first four photos I’ve put in my blog picture gallery are images of comfort food! Even my computer is (patched together albeit) exceptionally s-l-o-w, as I begin this day which is predicted to deliver our first major storm of this winter season. Only the second snowfall of any accumulation at mid-date of January, it seems the snow may come anytime now. Today, Friday the 13th would be a great delivery date.

I say this, only because I do not have to go out in it. Tom will soon be returning from an early morning doctor appointment and after I fix him a hot breakfast, I plan to put some order and design in my creative room, waiting patiently for a little attention.

After the snow accumulates, we have the perfect backyard hill for Amy to come over and do her favorite snow activity — sledding and going fast.

Which brings me to hot chocolate. That’s what we will fix when we return inside, complete with large size gooey marshmellows and all. Actually Amy likes to help me fix it, but then she prefers to drink her apple juice.

I, on the other hand, would like nothing better than a cup of hot chocolate that tasted like it did when I was a frosty-nose, ice frozen kid thawing from the inside out after a long romp in the snow. But I can’t get it. It is one of the three foods/drinks I don’t think can possibly taste as good as they as they did when my mother made them for me.

And the best of all oatmeal treats was the oatmeal mom made on the wood stove on the old farm in Wisconsin. On the “Make Three Wishes” list, that would be one — to eat, just one more time, oatmeal that tasted like it came from mom and the wood stove.  And our afternoon cocoa, simmering with a thin milk film you’d skim from the top.

Now a perfect day would be topped off with mom’s baked macaroni and cheese casserole — milky, creamy smooth and I was always ready to beat out my brothers in portion size. I saw a Martha Stewart picture and recipe of old fashioned macaroni and cheese, but I think it might be a very cold day in …….somewhere else…..before I’d go through the toil and trouble to produce it

Some may suggest that my nostalgia has affected my taste buds and that there really is no difference. I will step up to the blind-folded taste test and be able to tell the difference.

The difference is they all used to taste……well, better.

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One of the really nice rewards I’ve received from writing Napkinwriter is a few blog friendships and one I value greatly is the one CurtissAnn Matlock and I have from sharing our thoughts with each other and commenting on each other’s thoughts that come through in our blog.

We met about a year ago doing this and I see no sight in end as we each continue our blogs. We each seem very interested in what the other is saying, doing and experiencing. We find, among our writing, uncommon grounds, that we each feel deeply and passionately about and sometimes are surprised to find “it could be so with another soul.”

I imagine there are great differences between us too. One on the main ones being we have each written for over twenty years plus; CurtissAnn, author of many, many published novels, with editor and publisher ready for her next creation. Probably even pushing her for them, as Curtiss Ann sells her romantic fiction.

I, on the other hand, (seems like I’ve written this line before) have published as a columnist, feature writer and photographer, and held editor position in newspapers, but not published a book. I have books in preparation that I actively work on at this later stage in my life, but whether they are destined for an agent or publisher is clouded at this point. I both write and read for the pure joy of it.

So it came to pass during this last Christmas season that I won a drawing for one of CurtissAnn’s books. Holiday activity overtook my lazy dream of armchair reclining and reading during the first three-fourths of the fourteen or so days (seemed like 28 at least), but I recouped enough to sit-a-spell post January and into “Miracle on I-40” and didn’t part with it for long until I finished.

I liked heroine waitress Lacey right away. She was trying to accomplish a trip to her parent’s and her “little–girl” home for Christmas. She had business of the past to tend to and an introduction to her parents of her two children, not yet seen by them.

Got the grandmother’s heart in me right there. How she makes this trip is a thrilling tale, filled with the  “I wanna” emotions of children adults alike.

I was getting along pretty good in the story, when I put it down late one night to retire my sleepy eyes. Once in bed, my sleepy eyes popped open and my mind started a tattle-tale list of things I needed to do the next day on a project I was excited about……plus wondering how my story characters were going to handle their next obstacle.

I needed sleep to get an advantage on tomorrow, so I took a  sleep aid, a rare act for me. Back in bed, the non-sleep nonsence continued. OK, I bargained…..I’ll get up and read one chapter….

OK, I’ll read the next couple pages. All right, I’ll read until my eyes feel blurry, that always works.

Now, I’m having trouble. My eyes ARE blurry, I am almost dropping the book, but I can’t put it down. Because I am on 172 and between my droopy, sedated eyes, and my tears, I have to work really hard to see the words.

But I am on page 172 and I must continue because this is so important and I want to see that what I want to happen will  happen.

And I continue reading. And I only look with one eye at the clock as the dong, dong, dong tells me it is slipping past 3 am. And I stay until I finish the end which I am coming to quicker than I want it to end….even if I do have to get back in bed.

And, I only venture to guess, that is why CurtissAnn sells books.

Thanks for the story and the characters I cared about. My project turned out marvelously the next day. The morning just arrived extra early.

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 This story from the AP warms my heart today. Look at the happiness in those two women’s smiles!

SAN CLEMENTE, Calif. (AP) — For most of her 100 years, Minka Disbrow tried to find out what became of the precious baby girl she gave up for adoption after being raped as a teen.

She hoped, but never imagined, she’d see her Betty Jane again.

The cruel act of violence bore in Disbrow an enduring love for the child. She kept a black and white photograph of the baby bundled in blankets and tucked inside a basket.

It was the last she saw of the girl — until the phone rang in herCaliforniaapartment in 2006 with the voice of anAlabamaman and a story she could have only dreamed.

Disbrow, the daughter of Dutch immigrants, weathered a harsh childhood milking cows onSouth Dakotadairy farms. Her stepfather thought high school was for city kids who had nothing else to do. She finished eighth grade in a country schoolhouse with just one teacher and worked long hours at the dairy.

On a summer day in 1928 while picnicking with girls from a sewing class, Disbrow and her friend Elizabeth were jumped by three men as they went for a walk in their long dresses.

Both were raped.

“We didn’t know what to do. We didn’t know what to say. So when we went back, nothing was said,” Disbrow recalled.

Months passed. Her body began to change.

Disbrow, who had been told babies were brought by storks, didn’t know what was happening.

Her mother and stepfather sent her to a Lutheran home for pregnant girls. At 17, she gave birth to a blond-haired baby with a deep dimple in her chin and named her Betty Jane.

In her heart, Disbrow longed to keep her. But her head and her mother told her she couldn’t bring an infant back to the farm.

A pastor and his wife were looking to adopt a child. She hoped they could give Betty Jane the home she couldn’t.

“I loved that baby so much. I wanted what was best,” Disbrow said.

She never met them, or knew their names. But over the years, Disbrow wrote dozens of letters to the adoption agency to find out how her daughter was faring. The agency replied faithfully with updates until there was a change in management, and they eventually lost touch.

Disbrow’s life went on. She married a fruit salesman who became a wartime pilot and drafting engineer and they had two children. She worked as a dressmaker, silk saleswoman and school cafeteria manager in cities spanning fromRhode IslandtoMinnesotaand Northern California before moving to the seaside town ofSan Clementean hour’s drive north ofSan Diego.

Every year, she thought about Betty Jane on her May 22 birthday.

Five years ago, Disbrow prayed she might get the chance to see her.

“Lord, if you would just let me see her,” Disbrow remembers praying. “I promise you I will never bother her.”

On July 2, the phone rang.

It was a man fromAlabama. He started asking Disbrow, then 94, about her background.

Worried about identity theft, Disbrow cut him off, and peppered him with questions.

Then, the man asked if she’d like to speak with Betty Jane.

Her name was now Ruth Lee. She had been raised by a Norwegian pastor and his wife and had gone on to marry and have six children including theAlabamaman, a teacher and astronaut Mark Lee, a veteran of four space flights who has circled the world 517 times. She worked for nearly 20 years at Walmart — and especially enjoyed tending to the garden area.

Lee knew she was adopted her whole life, and grew up a happy child.

It wasn’t until she was in her 70s that the search for her biological parents began.

Lee started suffering from heart problems and doctors asked about the family’s medical history. She knew nothing about it. Her son, Brian, decided to try to find out more and petitioned the court inSouth Dakotafor his mother’s adoption records.

He got a stack of more than 270 pages including a written account of the assault and handwritten letters from a young Disbrow, asking about the tiny baby she had cradled for a month.

He then went online to try to find one of Disbrow’s relatives — possibly through an obituary.

“I was looking for somebody I thought was probably not living,” said Lee’s now-54-year-old son. He typed Disbrow’s name into a web directory and was shocked when a phone listing popped up. “I kind of stopped breathing for a second.”

On the phone with her biological daughter, Disbrow was in disbelief. Her legs began to tremble. She couldn’t understand how a naïve dairy farm girl without an education could have such accomplished grandchildren.

A month later, Ruth Lee and Brian Lee flew toCalifornia. They arrived at Disbrow’s meticulous apartment on a palm tree-lined street armed with a gigantic bouquet of flowers.

Disbrow couldn’t get over how Lee’s hands were like her mother’s. Lee was amazed at the women’s similar taste in clothing. They pored over family photo albums and caught up on the years Disbrow had missed.

“It was just like we had never parted,” Disbrow said. “Like you were with the family all your life.”

Since then, the families have met numerous times. Disbrow has gone to visit grandchildren and great-grandchildren inWisconsinandTexas. She is planning to travel toAlabamain the spring, where they will celebrate her recently marked 100th birthday.

Disbrow has started sharing her story with members of her church and community. The Orange County Register ran a story about Disbrow’s journey in December. The family’s improbable reunion also made the local newspaper in Viroqua, Lee’s hometown in westernWisconsin.

“It has been such a surreal, amazing experience that I still think sometimes that I will wake up and it will just be a beautiful dream,” the 82-year-old Lee said.

Disbrow’s daughter Dianna Huhn, 65, of Portland, Ore., said the reunion has filled a void for her mother — one that for many years, the sharp, stylish woman with sparkling blue eyes kept a deep, dark secret.

“I have never seen my mother as happy,” said Huhn.


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January 2 is my birthday, I am 69 years old today. Thank you moms and dad for the gift of life and your love. I have a good life and I am loved. This is the best I could have.

In honor of my own birthday, I am copying a poem from Joyce Rupp’s “The Star in my Heart.” I have a heart connection to Sister Joyce, poet, prolific writer, and religious sister. I used several of her books in the 1990s in my workshops to inspire women to look within and see the star in their own heart. They did. They saw.

At the beginning of her book, Joyce talks about her own journey to Wisdom.

Once upon a time a child of happiness danced upon the land, knew friendship with the earth, and celebrated life with her love of solitude and simple things…She grew into a young woman, whose vision of self was clouded, clothed with the complexities of insecurity and the necessity of leaving the hallowed womb of the quiet earth. She walked into cities of strangers straining her inner eye to catch the slightest hint of the beauty that had energized her younger days…

…Days stretched into months and then years went by. She slowly changed by going deeper, deeper, into her Center. Never understanding why the desire to go deeper was there but always knowing there was no other choice than to follow at all cost…Darkness often loomed….Risk and Truth became her companions…She met Compassion and then…..

Wisdom came to greet her.

So close, at times were these companions that she wept for their intensity and her unworthiness. Still they walked with her and…

everywhere she went, her companions reached out and blessed the people of her life. She could only kneel in gratitude, offering her heart of praise to the Divine Companion who had faithfully kept the kindling of love burning in her heart”.

My journey has been much like that and I am grateful to Joyce, for much more, but at least for these summarizing words. In my case, the happy childhood was present, but amidst a lot of mystery of my own heritage, my birth mother and my mom who loved and raised me from the age of two on.

I am grateful to have remained true to the call and companionship and rewards of Wisdom residing within me and I know all my steps and searches, whether in the joy of light and discovery or the mystery of darkness and uncertainty, have been blessed by the ever-present God and grace within me.

And so now, I copy a Birth Poem by Joyce Rupp that always makes my heart dance with wonder and delight. And then I’m going to get up and dance.

                    “gathered together am I
                     from a history-held-mystery
                    a bundle of memories am I.

                      caught from smiles and heartaches
                      of faces and places past cherished,
                       given in love from the heart of life.

                        from kisses and lovemaking,
                       from caring and growing,
                      from vibrancy and vitality,
                      the gathered memories
                      of my own named person
                      have been gifted into existence.

                      surprises from seeds and secrets,
                      gifts from unknown voices and events:
                       here am I, so ordinary, so unique.
                       here am I so gifted, so complex.
                       knowing that the seed of my self
                       has touched the gathered memories;
                       gleaned from the ages of another time,
                       seed and sperm seeking, making known.

                      a birthed bundle surprised into life, 
                       light filling the center of a new spirit;
                      the blessing of eternity passed on:
                      urgency always to seek the face of God,
                      first gatherer of all good memories.”

                                         Joyce Rupp
                                          A Star is Born
                                         page 49

Thank you Joyce. This is a beautiful celebration of the Truth and Wonder of my birthday. Now, turn up the music and let’s dance!




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I think this end-of-2011 year- post is actually going to date as my January 1, 2012 post as my blog clock does not agree with actual time. Be that as it may:

I am sitting at my computer at 10:30 am on December 31, 2011. The last week of this year has been busier than usual with things to do, mostly tending family, plus a computer crash occurred and Tom has gotten me temporarily “strung-together” on an old laptop we have at hand and a new $12 keyboard, and a backup system that restored all my old files to this “new” old computer.

THAT – for me is HAPPY NEW YEAR!

But it comes down to so much more than computers. Today, I am immersed in knowledge and awareness of the Presence of great amounts of grace in my life.  Grace, to me, is a reality, one that lives in my life daily through happiness, joy, faith, love, fear, doubt and troubles.

It lives inwardly and gives me the courage to live in the questions of my life until the answers appear. It helps me know I am willing to share both my intuition and knowledge with others, but warn them that it is not actually “advice”. For grace lives within all of them also and for the  willingness to listen within, that is their own voice of advice.

So my wishes for all for the new year is that on a daily basis, we be filled with grace  and find the true joy, happiness and purpose of the great plan at work in our lives. That we can dive into our very lives with trust when we, ourselves, are willing to live in love with our own life.

Yes there are goals, resolutions, intentions, wishes, visions, and —reality; let them all intertwine and intermingle within to produce the very best “GOOD” in our lives and may we REMEMBER to be open to the Good — invite it in. Happy New Year, Good — I want you in my life.

I thank all my napkin- readers. This has been a joyous task for me and I look forward to continuing my stories in 2012.



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