Friday, May 29, 2009

PhotoHunt; Books

Well, this is my territory as my office is in a library on campus!

Heart Place

A place that pumps life into your body; makes your being sing. A place where you find peace - inner peace. Have one?

Mine is definitely Hanalei Beach in Kauai and then there's the sacredness and quietness of a chapel that I frequent for a meditative break...

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

My Dad

I've thought of him today. My dad left this place on the day my daughter graduated from high school. Five years ago -- This weekend my daughter celebrates her fifth reunion at college. He was fond of all his grandchildren, taking delight in 'pranking' them and they him. He enjoyed watched my son's baseball games - as they both played 'second base' - a family phrase that still conjures up delights and stories.

I found this quote from Shel Silverstein, one of my children's favorite authors/poets when they were younger. Thought I would share this today.

Said the little boy, "Sometimes I drop my spoon."
Said the old man, "I do that too."
The little boy whispered, "I wet my pants."
"I do that too," laughed the little old man.
Said the little boy, "I often cry."
The old man nodded, "So do I."
"But worst of all," said the boy, "it seems
Grown-ups don't pay attention to me."
And he felt the warmth of a wrinkled old hand.
"I know what you mean," said the little old man.

The Little Boy and the Old Man, Shel Silverstein

Thought for Today - Empowerment

You are never given a wish without also being given the power to make it true. ~ Richard Bach

Ronan, the warrior

I mentioned on Annie's blog that my cat, Ronan, could pass as a twin to Maria, her feline lovely: however, not weight-wise as my kids think Ronan should be in the book of world records for being the largest cat in existence.

I give you Ronan. Lily, his sidekick, is my adopted cat from my daughter. Lily likes it better here than the confines of NYC.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Wordless Wednesdays ..

.. a bit early this week.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Finally ...

..winter is gone, spring is alive, and summer is on its heels. Here are photos of my May garden, which I saw a lot of this weekend.

My friend, and cohort in my first trip to Hawaii, was ordained a minister too this weekend. Such a joyous achievement for she seems at peace with her life. She is a three-year survivor of neck and throat cancer and an extraordinary woman of great strength and a warm giving heart.

"In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer." ~ Albert Camus

Sunday, May 24, 2009

School's Out for Summer

Three cheers for teachers!

Memorial Day Weekend is a reminder that summer is here (as well as thanksgiving to our vets, and school is almost out for summer. That and the fact that I have a paper to write on vocation for a seminar I am to take shortly, reminded me of the influence teachers have (overtly and covertly) on the lives of their class.

Working in an academic collegial setting, I am constantly amazed with the amount of time, care and attention faculty devote to their profession. Ah, and there's the 'rub', it's not really a profession for them as with many occupations, it's really a vocation - a calling, a dedication and sharing. They give so much of themselves daily for the mere satisfaction of furthering the development of their students both intellectually and emotionally.

I'm always perplexed that our society pays athletes astronomical sums of money and yet teachers are one of our lowest paying occupations.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Angels and Demons

In fact I thought Angels and Demons was a better read than The DiVinci Code so I was eager to see the movie with Tom Hanks ... yawn.

It was nice to see Rome and the Vatican again in the film, but true to most movies made from books - IMHO - it leaves something to be desired. Any one else see it?

PhotoHunt: Plastic

Well, of course, toys. But just not one or two -- how about a whole fishload of toys? This was taken at one of the smaller Smithsonian Museums in DC- the Sackler Gallery.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

coqui - geckos and roaches - oh my lanai!

Girasoli's post about her gecko visitor ( reminded me of my first visit to the Aloha State of Hawaii. It was nighttime or early morning to be exact. Arriving home to Kaneohe from a night of 'playing' in Waikiki, I inadvertently kicked something in the front grass while walking from the car to the front door. It jumped, made a low gurgling sound and scared the bejesus out of me. It was one of the largest frogs I had ever seen. Thank goodness we had sympathetic neighbors (in more than one sense) because I couldn't contain a scream. These are the coqui frogs of Hawaii.

About a year later a friend visited from Boston. It was an inopportune time in that two of us had just moved from Kaneohe into a vacant (a/k/a devoid of ANY furniture - very irregular for Hawaii) house in Kailua. The only thing that came with the house was a lanai and a holdout male roommmate. But, this was Hawaii and Joannie's first visit to the Oahu. We hadn't seen her for over a year so it was a great reunion!

Remember my saying this house was devoid of furniture. This means no beds as well. So, being 20-something and full of risks and life, we bunked on the living room floor temporarily until we could get to a swap meet. (Read - poor 20-somethings.) Now, one of the reasons we decided to rent this house was because the entire back wall of the house was an indoor lanai full of lush plants and there were sliding screen doors to separate the rest of the living space from the lanai during rainy season. It also keeps geckos in the lanai area - something we were to be educated about . Well, we kept the doors open for the 'full Hawaii' effect for Joannie. She awoke in the middle of the night screaming and said she felt something walking over her - when we turned on the lights we saw a few geckos. My friend, Denise, leaned over and said quietly, "Whew, I thought it was going to be coackroaches."

In Hawaii, I overcame my fear of creepy and creeping things. Actually, the geckos were cute and quick; the coquis were monstrous and ugly; and the cockroaches - well, what can one say about roaches.

Wordless Wednesdays

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Thought for Today

Ahh, today, I need this:

The moments I spend sitting in meditation are the moments where I am most content with who I am. They are the moments where I am pleased to be myself, no matter the flaws and shortcomings. Like most people, I am on an endless quest to be somehow better, but during the time I am just sitting, the quest is over - I am already good enough. ~ Dinty Moore, The Accidental Buddhist

PhotoHunt: Painted

...or to be painted in the south of France. Mais oui.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Thought for Today - Peace

Whoever your god/God is; whatever brings you peace:


All that matters is to be at one with the living God
to be a creature in the house of the God of Life.

Like a cat asleep on a chair
at peace, in peace
and at one with the master of the house, with the mistress,
at home, at home in the house of the living,
sleeping on the hearth, and yawning before the fire.

Sleeping on the hearth of the living world
yawning at home before the fire of life
feeling the presence of the living God
like a great reassurance
a deep calm in the heart
a presence
as of the master sitting at the board
in his own and greater being,
in the house of life.
~ DH Lawrence

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Tuesday Teaser

"He was chasing after a hope - one so subtle, so ethereal, that the slightest doubt would have made it disappear into thin air. Actually, to tell the truth, he was chasing after a wild idea." August Heat by Andrea Camilleri, pg. 239

I have taken a break from Donna Leon, but will be going back to her novels after this one. Setting is similar to Leon's in that it's in Italy. But, I prefer her style of writing. Where Leon has Brunelli as her main character, Camilleri's is Inspector Montalbano. A good read.

Monday, May 11, 2009

My wish/thought for today

Not sure why the 'link' button doesn't work but anyway here's my link for you:

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Donna Leon Characters

Have you read any of these books? Each are an easy read; genre of suspense with a little comedy thrown in. But, the characters are rich with personality. I commented on this with Annie(Churches in Venice,

'Annie, I thought the same about the colorful characters - think one of these novels with the idiosyncracies of each main character would make a great movie/suspense/comedy! Who would play Guido Brunetti (Paola, Chiara, Raffi), his sidekick, Vianello, and the fashionista administrator, Elltra?'

If you are familiar with the subjects of these novels, it might be fun to choose an actor for these parts. For fodder:

Guido Brunetti, Ben Affleck
Paola, his wife, Julia Roberts

Elltra, Christina Applegate
Vianelli, Matt Damon
Vice Questore Giuseppe Patti, Michael Douglas

Brunetti children: Raffi and Chiara: hmmm?

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Happy Mother' Day

Spurred on by many bloggers' posts on 'in memory' of their moms:

I’ll choose this moment and keep it,
He said to himself, for a vow,
To remember for ever and ever
As if it were always now. ~ Laurence Binyon, How To Make A Memory

Happy Mother's Day to you all - very warm and wonderful remembrances of your moms....

PhotoHunt: Memory

Taken at Woods Hole, Massachusetts, July 4, 2008. Sadly, there aren't too many WWII vets living.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Jerry Remy - A Classic
Jerry Remy is the voice of Red Sox Baseball in Boston. Together with Don Orzillo, they entertain a TV viewer sometimes by cracking some banal jokes, sometimes a pun is fed off one another, always a lot of laughs. Jerry combines this with a player's knowledge of baseball that he has the ability to translate for even young novices along with seasonsed veterans. Hope his health improves and he is back in the booth soon.

PS: This just in from the NY Times: Manny Ramirez, the Dodgers All-Star outfielder, was suspended by Major League Baseball on Thursday for testing positive for a performance-enhancing drug. Ramirez’s suspension will begin tonight, M.L.B. said in a written statement, and will cost him about a third of his $25 million salary this year. He will be eligible to return July 3.

Ramirez said in a written statement released by the players’ association that he tested positive not for a steroid but for a medication that a doctor had recently prescribed him for a personal health issue.

“Unfortunately, the medication was banned under our drug policy,” Ramirez said.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Wordless Wednesdays

Tuedays Teasers

The instructions are on Fissy Thoughts blog:

Can't seem to get enough of Donna Leon's novels. If my memory serves me correctly and these days - well, 'not so much' these days - I think Annie's mention of one of her novels led me to this writer as the setting for most of these novels is Venice. (Initially mentioned on Annie's blog, Churches in Venice,

This excerpt is from "Doctored Evidence", page 88: "These reflections were interrupted by his sense of fair play and by intruding memories of some of the things he'd recently witnessed here in the oh-so-superior North."

Monday, May 4, 2009

Injection of Inspiration for the Day

Look at your feet. You are standing in the sky. When we think of the sky, we tend to look up, but the sky actually begins at the earth. ~ Diane Ackerman

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Attention and Intention

Attention and Intention are key to the process of connecting empathetically. Keeping your attention on the intention to hear the feelings and needs underneath all the 'Jackal" protestations, complaints, explanations and analyses is what will eventually get the needs met. This seems to be one of the most difficult and one of the most necessary things for people to accomplish when learning "Giraffe".

I'm actually blogging this to keep it as a reference for me. 'Attention' is a key word in the Jesuit tradition and I came across this definitive phrase in one of my recent readings. I thought it made sense on many levels.

Paying attention: It seems like such a simplistic phrase yet very hard to 'master' in life. Do you find this as well? To keep one's attention concentrated on what one is speaking in a dialogue - not being distracted by 'your' thoughts, opinions, assumptions, judgements? And then there is one's personal attention to one's needs (inner not really physical)'s intentions.

Oh well, maybe it's late ..

PS: The reference to 'giraffe' here is dealing with character formation.

Friday, May 1, 2009

PhotoHunt: Walking

This photo was taken in 2007 on market day (don't you just love market days?) in Aix en Provence. I thought this man depicted the epitome of a Frenchman. I wish I had caught a photo of his face - such a charming aura.