Monday, August 31, 2009

We've Come A Long Way Baby...???

     I had something completely different in mind for my blog post when I awoke this morning...but the day sort of got away from me and I didn't get to it right away. It's funny how that happens sometimes, you get sidetracked and before you know it your whole day has taken you far from where you started.
    My son and I watched 'The Express' on HBO this evening and it left me feeling that I needed to share what was in my heart. For those of you who may not know of Ernie Davis (whose life story was profiled in the film) He was a young man growing up in the 50's and early 60's who had a great passion for football. To say he was talented is an understatement. Ernie was one of three black athletes that played for Syracuse University during his college years. The movie chronicles alot of the prejudice that he and his team endured and how he used his talent to try and make a difference in peoples' views about blacks. He went on to be the first black athlete to win the Heisman Trophy (which up to that time was not awarded to black players), and helped Syracuse win their first National Championship and finally the Cotton Bowl.
   These were turbulent times, some of us may be old enough to remember, others of you studied about this period in history class. We all know the story of Rosa Parks and we celebrate Martin Luther King Day each year in this country with a national holiday, but do we really stop to think about what life was really like for people living in that period of history. There was alot of racial unrest during that time, places that were for whites only, blacks had to endure seperate bathrooms, schools, hotels and even building entrances.
   Yesterday I watched 'The Human Family Tree' on National Geographic Channel. The program did a scientific study of genetics and mapped out the origins of our human DNA using volunteers from a street fair in Brooklyn, all nationalities, all different religions, all different races from across the globe. It was a glorious patchwork quilt of humanity! Guess what, all human origins can be traced back hundreds of thousands of years to a small region in southern Africa. Through migration, possible during ice ages, (when land masses were connected) we all came from this one spot. That was the 'Garden of Eden' as it were, and whether you believe in God as I do or simply believe in life originating from some 'big bang theory', or primordial soup, we are all connected, all from a common gene pool!
   This got me to thinking how the 'bigots' of the 50's and 60's portrayed in the movie would feel about that...I'm sure some ancestors are turning over in their graves. There are still those today who would rather die than claim kinship with someone from another race, religion, or country. We like to think we've come a long way since then, but we still have so far to go. You have simply to look at this world's pain, the genocide, the inequality to see we've much work to do. The task seems daunting but if we take it one small piece at a time we can make a difference.
   I have never had much of  a stomach for social injustices of any kind, whether it be racial, religious, or social. I guess I can thank my parents for that, I was never taught to hate as a child, hatred is taught to our children you know. Making judgements about someone because of the color of their skin, their nationality, their religion or their social status is not something we are born with, it is passed down through the generations by spoken words and actions. Children learn what they see and experience through the guidance of their parents.  Which means it is up to us to stop it, with each new baby we have a new opportunity to live in peace, all of us together as God's children.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

The Art of Gift Giving ???

I am going to need your help with this inquiry and am hoping you will be able to help. You see I just love visiting your lovely blogs and I often find that one of you has been the recipient of a sweet suprise delivered through the post...I have but one question, how did the gift giver find your mailing address in order to suprise you? Often while reading a post I will make an instant connection and want to reach out and let that person know how much it meant to me by sending a small gift. Oh I'm always sure to leave a comment and tell the person but I want to do more, suprise them with a momento, but how? It always seems as if the recipient is genuinely suprised by the gifter's thoughtfulness, but how do you go about doing that for someone without actually having to ask for their address. Seems that would sort of ruin the surprise!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Dust Bunnies & Cobwebs

This post will be short and sweet as I am exhausted from cleaning today! You see there have been so many bloggers posting about cleaning, dusting, washing, etc that I felt compelled to do the same. I think in part it was due to the rainy day we had, since I wouldn't be outside today I figured I might as well do something productive inside. Now I can settle in and do something artsy and fun without feeling guilty...anyone know how to preserve this 'state of cleanliness' for the long haul???


Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Wishcasting Wednesday

Wow, I can't believe it's been a week since the last mindblowing seems that these questions require some soul searching and digging to answer. I have to say that although I know the answer to this week's question, 'What do you wish to acknowledge for yourself?' I am finding it difficult to actually put into print.
I wish to acknowledge that I AM AN ARTIST and that it's okay to claim that title for myself. That was really hard to say out loud, I have always wanted to see myself that way since the age of about 8 when I first saw an adult with a studio painting on an easel at a friend's house. It seemed magical to me at the time, that her mother created these beautiful works in her home studio. You see there were never any signs of art around my house growing up, not the two dimensional kind anyway. My mom was very creative with a sewing machine and I have since come to respect that as a beautiful art form, but drawing and painting were foreign in our home.
Of course I did have the Crayola 8 pack and coloring books to play with but certainly nothing 'fine art'. The vision I witnessed at my new freind's house was amazing to me as a young girl and I knew instantly that I wanted that life for myself! Without any real guidance I just started practicing and drawing everyhting I could and I found that over time I actually had a talent for it, although no one in the family had any clue where it was coming from.
Fast forward to Jr. & Sr. High and I found I could actually take an art class as part of my curriculum, I was in heaven. Even though I excelled academically my art classes were by far my favorite. I had a wonderful teacher in high school who encouraged me and helped me put together a portfolio and I was accepted at 'Moore College of Art' in Philadelphia.
So why is it so difficult for me to say 'I am an artist'??? I think many things have broken my spirit along the way, the first dent in my armour came when my older brother (whom I idolized) said to me 'art school is where all the weird kids go'. Comments soon followed by many who tried to tell me 'one could never make a living at it'. The final blow came when I dropped out of college after my freshman year to get a job and help out my Mom (she was struggling financially since the death of my Dad during my senior year in H.S.) Little by little all my confidence got chipped away.
I did draw from time to time while raising my children but threw most of my creative energies into homemaking, cooking, gardening and needlework. I see now that I needed an outlet! When my oldest son went to college I did take some art classes at our community college and then more at a local art guild but still I never felt worthy of the title 'Artist'.
When I became active in my church I found ways to help out by offering my artwork for everything from bulletin covers to donated pieces for our 'art show' fundraiser. I still hesitate to call myself an artist and I don't really feel worthy of the title, perhaps because I never finished my formal education or because I have watched the years slip by without allowing myself to fully engage in the process of creating. It seems there are always excuses or stumbling blocks along the way.
So back to today's wishcast, I wish to be able to acknowledge that I am indeed an artist and that it's not too late for me to start living the life I dreamed of at the age of eight!!!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009


Well at least I know I'm not going completely loco... Lavoice's niece over at Coloradolady.blogspot stopped by and it seem's I had the wrong address for Meme so here we go again, please stop by and wish Lavoice a happy 80th birthday at livinatmemescorner.blogspot, there's still time! visit her niece while you're at it, she so sweet!

I give up!

Sorry about this, I managed to do this sucessfully before but can't seem to do it today.

oops I did it again!

Let's try this again, thoughtsfrommeme'scorner.blogspot

Still Learning

Thoughts from Meme's Corner sorry about the link that didn't work...hopefully this corrects the problem.

Happy Birthday Meme !

I just had to wish Lavoice at 'Thoughts From Meme's Corner' a very happy 80th birthday! Stop by a wish her Happy Birthday...she is an amazing woman with wonderful wisdom to share.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Sorry About That

Sorry about not leaving a link to Jan's blog yesterday, so hear it is: polkadotbarn.blogspot ! I'll be away for the weekend, going to meet cousins and friends for a day of antiquing out in Reading PA. Afterwards we'll head to Hershey for our overnight stay and then two more days of antiquing! YIPPEE, I can't wait, I love digging and searching for treasure. Hopefully I'll be able to get some good pics to share with you on Monday, in the meantime I pray you'll all have a blessed and safe weekend!


Thursday, August 20, 2009

The Polka Dot Barn is Having a Celebration

Hi Everyone! Jan from 'The Polka Dot Barn' is having a splendid giveaway to celebrate her upcoming birthday and for reaching 100 followers...I say you all stop in to wish her well and say congratulations!!! I just know that after you see her amazing goodies you'll all want to try and win! Good luck to everyone!

My Sweet Mother

It was twelve years ago today that I lost my mother and I miss her still. The early pain of grief has been replaced with sweeter memories of her, still I think of her everyday. When the grief was new all I could think of were her last days and how she suffered, over time that has changed to remembering silly times, her kindness, things she taught me. For those of you still blessed to have Mom in your life, cherish each moment you can, glean all the wisdom she has to share and spend time laughing! If you have recently lost someone, remember that pain and sadness you feel now will change over time to something more bearable, although you will always carry that person in your heart. Don't ever let someone tell you when to stop grieving or to get on with it...only you know what's in your heart. For all you mothers out there, remember to relish each day with your children, don't get so busy with housework and your jobs that you put off enjoying today.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Oh my Gosh! I know I said I was done and going to bed soon but I did it again! This photo is of 'Seaside Heights', a neighboring town, just across the bay from where I live. This picture was actually uploaded from the computer, it was taken in the 60's, hasn't changed all that much, and it still fills up everyday with people trying to escape the summer heat. I'm just so thrilled to be able to give you all something to look at when you visit my blog now and to show you all where I live. Okay, now I'm really going to bed, or at least after vegging out in front of the TV for awhile, I've got to get this computer out of my head and there's nothing like a little boob tube viewing to do that!

Sweet Success

Sweet Success at Last!!! After hours of trying I finally managed to upload a picture to my post! I have tried everything and I kept getting messages that my file couldn't upload or that it was corrupt, of course that's as good as jibberish to me since I don't speak 'computer' and had no idea how to get around the problem. I'm still not sure how I did it but at least it's a start! I think I may be able to sleep tonight without going over this issue again and again. Don't you just hate it when your brain won't let go of something, I swear I've been dreaming about this! Goodnight all and sleep tight!

Wish Casting Wednesday

I happened upon this delightful site while visiting 'Woven Letters' and was immediately taken in by today's question, 'Who is the you, you wish you could be?' This led to some wistful soul searching, you know the kind where you try to engage with your inner child and responsible adult all at the same time? We all had dreams of who we wanted to become as children and along the way these dreams became altered. That's not to say it's a bad thing, with maturity and life experience we can better mold ourselves to who we were meant to be. Unfortunately, sometimes those 'voices' in our heads distort the truth in our hearts and we give up on dreams that should have been left to blossom. Whether the negativity is of our design or put there by something someone once said to us it acts as an herbicide meant to clear out the weeds but killing everything beautiful as well. So back to our original question, I wish to be the person my 8 year old me thought was possible, filled with unlimited creativity, untethered by nonsensical 'responsibilities' (housework, meal planning, laundry etc). I wish to be kindhearted at all times, remembering that even those whom I don't always 'get' are on their own journey. I wish to be non-judgemental and more forgiving, and I wish I had more patience than I often do, and most of all I wish I could apply all of these to how I see myself and to be kinder to 'me'!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Delight in the Unexpected !

Sorry I've been out of the loop for a few very sweet husband suprised me by leaving work early Friday and taking me to our cabin in Pa for the weekend! We try to get there at least once a month since it's a 4+ hour drive from our home here on the Jersey shore. So this delightful and unexpected trip was a real treat!
I have to thank all of you wonderful bloggers who have stopped by to visit and leave me encouragement and tips on my are all so sweet and I can use all the help I can get. I am determined to learn the ins and outs of this because you all have such beautiful blogs and I so enjoy visiting you. My youngest son goes back to school in two weeks so I will have more time to devote to learning this new craft. You see we share the computer and he tends to monopolize it when he's home. I have thought about getting him his own PC but wanted to wait until he's off to college, a lot changes in two years and he'll need the latest features I'm sure. That gives me an idea...I may give myself an early Christmas gift and start looking into laptops, anyone have any tips on what I should look for and what features I may want???

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Lost in A Sea of Procrastination

I returned from our 'Mission Trip' to Ct in late July and then after a few days at home headed promptly to our PA cabin in the woods. I have found that after the last several mission trips that I need to get away and decompress. The cabin is the perfect place to do that...peaceful, quiet, serene, completely unplugged from the rest of the world. Our mission trips are physically exhausting and emotionally so as well, you get caught up in the needs of your 'resident' that you're there to help, you are meeting and guiding teenagers through the work process and you are busy with your own youth group and the challenges, ups & downs, and all the emotions they bring to the table. I love it all but you run on adreniline all week and then crash when you get home! The week also brings you to many introspective moments, prayerful times, some tears and lots of laughter.
Truth be told I've been hiding out since my return, catching up on all the blogs I love to follow, and living vicariously through my friends in blogland. I have to admit that I'm still struggling with the schedule of daily blogging...often I would rather just read yours than post my own. I think that might classify me as a 'lurker'??? I'm not very good with electronics and am having difficulty posting pictures. I have been thinking of hiring a teenager or college student to help me learn when school starts again in Sept. Your blogs are all so beautiful and your words so eloquent that I'm somewhat embarassed by my little blog. I really do want to get better at this, I'm just having difficulty learning my way around right now.
I pray you'll be patient with I am aware that this blog is seriously lacking in 'curb appeal'! I hope to remedy that soon, by the way does anyone know of any tutorial books on blogging??? Maybe I should look into that, hmmm???