This Thanksgiving, I want to express my gratitude for my country, the United States of America, a land of immigrants. We are descendants of those who came to these shores from somewhere else in the world. I am thankful for the Statue of Liberty, a gift from France,that proudly stands in our New York harbor, greeting migrants with the welcoming words:

“Give me your tired, your poor. Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free. The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, these. the homeless, the tempest-tossed, to me. I lift my lamp beside the golden door.”

Lest we forget, my prayer is that we shall always be blessed by blessing others.

Happy Thanksgiving, fellow pilgrims!



This so magical, it demands to be shared.

Originally posted on Laura Macky Photography:

There is nothing quite like standing on the edge of a continent looking out at the incredible sunset!  I loved the texture of the water and the sun setting out on the horizon.  The rocks two-thirds of the way out helps the depth of this image I think.  They carry your eye out to the sun and off into the sunset as they say!

For description and pricing, [Click here] For description and pricing, [Click here]

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Usually, I’m not interested in what some singer stars are thinking, or if they really are, but I have recently become aware of three quotations regarding three different gentleman of that genre who believe their own publicity.

The first is the late, lamented John Lennon who, in 1966, said, “Christianity will go. It will vanish and shrink. I needn’t argue with that; I’m right and I will be proved right. We’re more popular than Jesus now; I don’t know which will go first…rock and roll or Christianity. Jesus was all right, but his disciples were thick and ordinary. It’s them twisting it that ruins it for me.”  That statement gives one pause for reflection.  I guess those ordinary guys, Matthew, Mark,Luke, and John, couldn’t write for posterity the way Lennon could.

Speaking of Jesus, Marilyn Manson, in 1997, had a comment to make, also. “I think Jesus was the first sex symbol, star, magician, hippie, drug dealer….I don’t think he was any different from someone like me.”   Well, I guest we’ll find out if your resurrect, Marilyn.

And, of course, there is Ozzie Ozbourne, who, if he ever said something, no one could understand it anyway. About him, his wife,Sharon, said in 2002: “People wonder why they can’t understand him? Well, you’d be hard to understand too if you drank two vats of coffee, two vats of wine, and took 25 vicodin a day. I can’t stop him. The only thing I can do is make sure he’s not on the street and make sure he sleeps in a way that he won’t choke on his own vomit.”   Ah, the life of a super rock star…….and his wife!

Stardom comes and stardom goes, and no making noise and demanding “Look at me!  Look at me!” can last forever. Now, whatever happened to……………………………………?


A few days ago, a dear friend, Paula Ambagtsheer, founder and trainer of Strong Girl, Strong Woman and owner of Poolside Paula,  who can be found on FaceBook, asked me to write an article for her group of teenage girls that she is currently training.  This is it.

Too often, teenage girls fall into the trap of becoming “the victim,” either self-imposed or by someone else. They believe the negative feedback they receive: “You’re too fat, too thin, ugly, stupid, etc.etc.etc.”  It’s all BS.

I married as a teenager, when I didn’t know myself or the possibilities that I could pursue. My husband, five years older than I, had just returned from serving overseas in WW2. He was an emotional abuser. I bought into his thinking that I was “not like other normal human beings,” that I should never cut my hair or wear high heels, or have my own friends. After five-and-a-half years, I woke up. We divorced,  but I was still not free of his negative comments about my personality that clung like leeches. It was so easy to fall into those old patterns.

I spent too many years afterward trying to be the person I thought  other people, especially men, wanted me to be, forgetting to love myself first, ignoring the fact that I was an original,not a copy of anyone else or the image that someone wanted to impose on me. Then, I read a saying by Oscar Wilde: “Be yourself. Everyone else is taken.” Yes! I was not a label. I was me. As Eleanor Roosevelt said,”Somehow we learn who we really are and then live that decision.”  I decided in favor of me.

To all you teenage girls, I say today: “Refuse to be a victim. Say to yourself, ‘I claim my right to be whatever size I want, to get an education so I can empower myself, to choose to be me, and not allow anyone who does not have my best interest at heart to enter my life. That, especially, includes young men who want to mold me into the image they want for their own purposes. I’m too young to be tied to some man who, within five years, I probably wouldn’t even look at. I need time to decide what kind of man is good for my positive growth, who will encourage me to be myself. I don’t have to settle for a loser or abuser just because I want to be popular or have a date for the prom.'” Tell  yourself every day: “I am strong, able to make decisions to improve myself and to live those decisions. I am a strong girl on my way to becoming a strong woman.”

Mark Twain’s Rules for Good Writing


Thanks to the Interesting Literature blog, we have this informative and hilarious article on Mark Twain’s writing tips.

Originally posted on Interesting Literature:

Mark Twain’s 18 rules for writing – part of his response to the fiction of James Fenimore Cooper

Mark Twain (1835-1910) is the writer who once observed, ‘The difference between the almost right word and the right word is the difference between the lightning-bug and the lightning.’ (We include that pithy gem in our selection of Mark Twain’s best one-liners.) In his essay, ‘Fenimore Cooper’s Literary Offenses‘ (1895), Twain took the author of The Deerslayer and The Last of the Mohicans to task for his flawed writing style. Scathingly, but hilariously, he writes:

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Bring In The Light


The Creator Writings blog brings us this uplifting post.

Originally posted on The Creator Writings:

Each of you carries a bit of darkness inside.  Whether it is from past negative experiences or things you feel you may have done wrong in the past.  Today, you are invited to take a closer look at that darkness and how much space it takes up within your being.  If you chose to release that darkness, can you see what an incredible amount of space would be available for Light?!

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Where are the snows of yesteryear?  Where are the ethics of yesteryear? Where are the politicians of yesteryear?

Where is the dignity of FDR?

Where is the straight-forwardness of Truman?

Where is the intelligence of JFK?

Where is the charisma of Reagan?

(I’m giving both sides a voice).

What we seem to have now is  Who is King of the Hill?  Who can pee further? Whose are largest? little boy games.  And at the head of the slide on the playground is Billionaire Bully, the Ugly American. self-appointed emperor with no clothes.

Where is the common sense, let’s speak  rationally, let’s negotiate, let’s listen to the people and find ways to better the situation without resorting to mud pies, insults, and temper tantrums?

This our country and human beings at stake, not the playthings of Congress and all politicians.

Patriot Day – 9/11/2001


Trust our servicemen to take charge.

Originally posted on Pacific Paratrooper:

Some of the destruction caused when the high-jacked American Airlines flight slammed into the Pentagon on Sept. 11. The terrorist attack caused extensive damage to the west face of some of the destruction caused when the high-jacked American Airlines flight slammed into the Pentagon on Sept. 11. The terrorist attack caused extensive damage to the west face of the Pentagon

AFTER FLIGHT 77 hit the Pentagon on 9/11, the following incident occurred:

A chaplain, who happened to be assigned to the Pentagon, told of an incident that never made the news:
“A daycare facility inside the Pentagon had many children, including infants who were in heavy cribs. The daycare supervisor, looking at all the children they needed to evacuate, was in a panic over what they could do. There were many children, mostly toddlers, as well as the infants that would need to be taken out with the cribs.

Pentagon Memorial Pentagon Memorial

“There was no time to try to bundle them into carriers and strollers. Just then a young Marine came running into the center and asked what they needed…

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