Wednesday, December 31, 2008

This Just In...

Inspiration for the Week

"Pain is weakness leaving the body."
U.S. Marine Corps

Friday, December 26, 2008

Fav. Foto Friday

Happy Merry Rama-Chanu-KwanzMasTice
whichever you observe!!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Inspiration for the Week

"Sometimes, I feel discriminated against, but it does not make me angry. It merely astonishes me. How can any deny themselves the pleasure of my company? It is beyond me.

But in the main, I feel like a brown bag of miscellany propped against a wall. Against a wall in company with other bags, white, red and yellow. Pour out the contents, and there is discovered a jumble of small things priceless and worthless. A first-water diamond, an empty spool, bits of broken glass, lengths of string, a key to a door long since crumbled away, a rusty knife-blade, old shoes saved for a road that never was and never will be, a nail bent under the weight of things too heavy for any nail, a dried flower or two still a little fragrant. In your hand is the brown bag. On the ground before you is the jumble it held — so much like the jumble in the bags, could they be emptied, that all might be dumped in a single heap and the bags refilled without altering the content of any greatly. A bit of colored glass more or less would not matter. Perhaps that is how the Great Stuffer of Bags filled them in the first place — who knows?"

* Zora Neale Hurston, "How It Feels to Be Colored Me," The World Tomorrow (May 1928)

Friday, December 19, 2008

Fav. Foto Friday

How to Start a Winter Break Off the Right Way!By passing out on the couch after your third episode of "How It's Made" and avoiding folding laundry (again!)

Monday, December 15, 2008

Inspiration for the Week

"To me, there are three things we all should do every day. We should do this every day of our lives.
Number one is laugh. You should laugh every day.
Number two is think. You should spend some time in thought.
And Number three is, you should have your emotions moved to tears, could be happiness or joy.
But think about it. If you laugh, you think, and you cry, that's a full day. That's a heck of a day. You do that seven days a week, you're going to have something special."

* Jim Valvano, NC State Basketball Coach, 1980-1990

Friday, December 12, 2008

Fav. Foto Friday

Couldn't decide between this
and this
Both from a conference in SC last Dec.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Inspiration for the Week

WARNING: view this only if you're ready for a good cry.
Devon Gundry - "Armed" from Justin Baldoni on Vimeo.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Inspiration for the Week

"In the practice of tolerance
one's enemy is the best teacher."

* The Dalai Lama

Monday, November 24, 2008

Thank You!

My brother-in-law is recovering wonderfully and everything looks good (even the HUGE scar!). Thank you all for your prayers and kind thoughts.

Inspiration for the Week

"Give people light, and they will find their way."
* Ella Baker

Monday, November 17, 2008

Inspiration for the Week

"Do what you feel in your heart to be right —
for you'll be criticized anyway."

* Eleanor Roosevelt

Friday, November 14, 2008

Fav. Foto Friday

This is Elle riding her water horse (Uncle Eddie) this summer in Texas.
Please keep him in your prayers today - he's undergoing surgery this morning.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

I Believe the Children Are Our Future

I get to go see this guy tomorrow with my daughter's first grade class - wish you ALL could come with me!

What a glorious day it'll be when we all feel this way about each child!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Oh What a Night!

We had such a great time last night - as Bahá'ís, we celebrated the birth of Bahá'u'lláh (Arabic for "The Glory of God"). Religious beliefs aside, I have to tell you that there just aren't many groups as diverse, hopeful, and service-oriented as Bahá'ís. It makes it alot of fun to be at our parties. Since you couldn't join us, I'll give you a little peek into an all out joy fest!

We warmed up the crowd
with a little break-dancing, Latino style.
Stories were shared
and some Irish folk dancing.
We learned and sang a prayer, using sign language too.
Voted for most creative dessert.
Had many chances to re-connect with friends.
Enjoyed some live music.
Then the music (and the tall guy in the back!) inspired a conga line, and the dancing didn't stop for the next 2 hours!
There was an impromptu meeting of the "Tall" club (the shorty in red is 6'4"!)
Parents had fun with their kids.
Kids had fun with their siblings.
We enjoyed some hot tea and all those creative desserts from earlier!
The dancing continued...
Not everyone was in to it though.
Some went so far as to employ techniques of civil disobedience to prevent their mom (me) from dragging them out on to the dance floor with her.

In summary, that diverse, one-human-family loving group all went away with even bigger smiles on their faces.
(This wasn't everyone - just the ones that closed the place down!)

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

A Little Teary Today

It's Veteran's Day - a day of many and mixed emotions for me. I come from a family of strong military service, especially during wartime. My grandfather served as a fighter pilot in WWII. My dad was an Army Airborne Ranger infantryman in Vietnam - I can't even begin to fathom what his two tours (two years) were like there. My younger sister was an Army chemical/biological/nuclear warfare officer during the Gulf War - I remember not even being able to catch a glimpse of the news playing on TV without bawling. My own love of country and desire to serve the glorious principles that this great nation embodies moved me to join the Air Force.

Last week, I stumbled upon an amazing show on PBS - Medal of Honor, stories and reflections from several living (definitely a minority) award recipients. It left me with tear-stained cheeks and the burning desire to know WHEN will we stop sending the best of our youth/citizenry off to suffer the emotional and physical and spiritual ravages of war.

This is offered for all those who have served and are serving and will serve...

"Briefly, I have traveled this long distance, crossed the Atlantic Ocean to this western continent in the desire and hope that the strongest bond of unity may be established between America and Persia [Iran]. I know this to be your wish and purpose also and am sure of your cooperation. We shall, therefore, offer supplication in the divine threshold that a great love may take possession of the hearts of men and unite the nations of the world. We will pray that the ensign of international peace may be uplifted and that the oneness of the world of humanity may be realized and accomplished. All this is made possible and practicable through your efforts. May this American democracy be the first nation to establish the foundation of international agreement. May it be the first nation to proclaim the universality of mankind. May it be the first to upraise the standard of the Most Great Peace, and through this nation of democracy may these philanthropic intentions and institutions be spread throughout the world. Truly, this is a great and revered nation. Here liberty has reached its highest degree. The intentions of its people are most praiseworthy. They are, indeed, worthy of being the first to build the Tabernacle of the Most Great Peace and proclaim the oneness of mankind. I will supplicate God for assistance and confirmation in your behalf."
'Abdu'l-Bahá, 1912

Monday, November 10, 2008

Inspiration for the Week

"I must sing my song. There may be other songs more beautiful than mine, but I must sing the song God gave me to sing, and I must sing it until death."
* Charlotte Hawkins Brown

Friday, November 07, 2008

Fav. Foto Friday

My Girl Scout troop is not only fun to camp with,
they're absolutely ADORABLE too!!

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Inspiring, Even Though It's Not Monday

"Rosa sat so Martin could walk.
Martin walked so Barack could run.
Barack ran so our children can fly."

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Prayer for America

"O Thou kind Lord! This gathering is turning to Thee. These hearts are radiant with Thy love. These minds and spirits are exhilarated by the message of Thy glad-tidings. O God! Let this American democracy become glorious in spiritual degrees even as it has aspired to material degrees, and render this just government victorious. Confirm this revered nation to upraise the standard of the oneness of humanity, to promulgate the Most Great Peace, to become thereby most glorious and praiseworthy among all the nations of the world. O God! This American nation is worthy of Thy favors and is deserving of Thy mercy. Make it precious and near to Thee through Thy bounty and bestowal."

Monday, November 03, 2008

Inspiration for the Week

A few awesome bumper stickers seen on a car last week at soccer practice:

"I'm pretty sure when Jesus said 'Love your enemies'
He meant don't kill them."

"God bless the whole world - no exceptions"

Sunday, November 02, 2008


I've been meditating on the following passage this week, and found it amazingly appropriate to the juncture we find ourselves at as a country (and planet). So I thought I'd offer it to you for your contemplation as well.

"Difference of capacity in individuals is fundamental to human existence. It is not possible for all to be alike, for all to be equal. Yet human affairs, in their entirety, should be governed by the principle of justice.

Justice is not limited; it is a universal quality. It must operate at all levels of society. Justice must be sacred, and the rights of all people must be guarded. The laws of society must be formulated and enforced in such a way that it is not possible for a few to amass wealth and for others to be destitute. Among the teachings of Bahá'u'lláh is the elimination of the extremes of wealth and poverty.

Each member of society should enjoy the benefits of civilization, because every individual is a member of the body of humanity. If one member of this body is in anguish or distress, all the other members must necessarily suffer. How can one member be afflicted and the others be at ease? Yet today because of the lack of harmonious relations, some members of society are satisfied, living in the utmost comfort and luxury, while others are in want of food and shelter. Today's society lacks the necessary reciprocity and symmetry; it is not well arranged. Laws and principles are needed that will ensure the well-being and happiness of all the members of the human family.

Justice is established on the pillars of reward and punishment. People are motivated to be just by the hope for reward and the fear of punishment. These two sentiments are necessary if oppression is to be prevented. The legislators and administrators of the laws must be aware of the spiritual consequences of their decisions. When an official knows that he will be held responsible for his actions beyond this earthly life, he will be inspired to act with justice. The ruler who knows his judgments will be weighed in the balance of Divine Justice will surely avoid oppression."
excerpted from Arising to Serve, written by the Ruhi Foundation in 1987

Saturday, November 01, 2008


Oh. my. gosh.
I succumbed to peer pressure from Mrs. G and signed up to participate in NaBloPoMo (National Blog Posting Month) - where you write a post for your blog EVERY DAY for the month of November. So here I am "cheating" already with a lame post, and it's only the first day!

Friday, October 31, 2008

Fav. Foto Friday

There's nothing quite like the fun you have when
extended family gets together to celebrate!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Living in Gray

We must get beyond the "black and white" of perception and embrace the "gray" of reality. "Terms like 'conservative,' 'liberal,' and 'progressive' do not, and cannot, do justice to the complex reality of our politics and our experience as humans," writes George Lakoff in his new book The Political Mind.

"Barry Goldwater, 'Mr. Conservative,' had the general conservative worldview for foreign and military policy and economic policy, but had the general progressive worldview about Native American rights, about religion, about gays in the military ("You don't have to be straight to shoot straight"), and about governing itself, where he believed in honest, open, and cooperative government as opposed to government by obedience." pg.70

No matter who wins on Tues., as a nation we are going to HAVE to work together, if we expect to address any of the immense challenges we are now faced with. This will require effort on our part, suspension of judgment of others, the ability to maturely disagree without attacking each other with meaningless "labels", and the willingness to find our common ground as a firm foundation from which to build our society. Just as it is with genetics, where we are 99.5% similar, why do we center so much of our energy around that .5% difference?

Monday, October 27, 2008

Inspiration for the Week

"Adults are what's wrong with our children."
* Marian Wright Edelman
in her new book The Sea Is So Wide and My Boat Is So Small

LOVE this woman!! Saw her interviewed on one of my favorite shows Tavis Smiley.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Fav. Foto Friday

Being a long-time politico, I can't tell you how amazing it felt to go vote yesterday and find out that I was the 3,428th voter in just one week of early voting at one of the five early voting locations in my county. Best feeling EVER in the mere 24 years I've been voting.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

I Put the S.O.S. in Bossy

HELP!!! I am in need of a massive Bossy intervention!

Because, my house is all...(trust me - this bathroom is off-white; any illusion of color is merely reflection off the floor)

And Bossy's is NOT.

The ONE spot of color in my house is the girls' bathroom, and I agonized a full six months over the soundness of painting this small inconsequential room the EXACT color the shower curtain packaging recommended!!
I figured, now that your web re-design project is over, and your daily poverty party is well underway, you might need a new project to occupy your time - and boy would this occupy some time.

I'm desperate; I'm tired of off-white; and at this point, I'm open to ANY and all suggestions, especially from people with gorgeous kitchens, warm comfy living rooms, cute bathrooms, similar child-induced-chaos issues, or even just great hair.

Just keep in mind that any color for the living room, dining room, kitchen, family room, breakfast area must match the floor - gorgeous "burnt sienna" concrete "tile".

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


So, do you know that strange conflicted feeling you get when your college, angst, anti-establishment, fringe music is now MUZAK at the computer store in the mall?!!

I do.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Inspiration for the Week

"When I am working on a problem I never think about beauty. I only think about how to solve the problem. But when I have finished, if the solution is not beautiful, I know it is wrong."
* Buckminster Fuller

Friday, October 17, 2008

Fav. Foto Friday

Even when I wake up in kind of a fog, there's always that bright beacon of hope calling me out of it.

Thursday, October 16, 2008


Well... I went and got a song stuck in my OWN head, but it seems rather appropriate (and strangely comforting), so I thought I'd share it with you. ENJOY!

[With thanks to Mary Alice for re-planting it in my head months ago.]

The Times, They Are A-Changin'

There's so much talk of change, and now even events that have us reflecting (I hope) on things we've just routinely accepted. So I thought I'd jump on this whole "change" bandwagon, embrace the spirit of the age and... get a haircut! (baby steps...)

Though my original hairstyle was highly versatile:

I'm really enjoying the new look:

What have you changed lately? (meaningful or superficial)

Monday, October 13, 2008

Build-a-Day with MamaMo

First, my apologies Mrs. G - if your day is predictable and routine, mine is... the OPPOSITE of that. There is NO typical day in the life of MamaMo, so sit back and imagine the endless possibilities. [This post should be just a simple and clear as the info on health insurance options I just slept read through on-line; yes, we're contemplating joining the world of the "insured"!]

Wake up WAY too early (I don't know how you do it, Bossy).

Get the youngest one on the bus.

School lunches - if you're organized & on top of things, you prepare school lunches the night before. If you're me, you frantically throw three lunches together while
screaming at gently encouraging your middle child to get ready for school. If you're successful, and there are no other distractions (papers to sign, jackets/socks/shirts/clean underwear to find, permission slips to return TODAY!), you won't have to bring lunches in later.

Did I mention I'm not a morning person?!!

Drive the middle one and her best friend to school.

Luckily the oldest one is pretty self sufficient.

The only constant in my day - walking the dogs.

Check blogs for my daily dose of funny.

[see "Places I Visit" on left]

Choose one of a sprinkling of school-related duties [help in class, take care of critters, chaperone field trip]

Pick one or two household errands:

Add a chore or two (or more!):

One thing you won't find me doing any more - dishes! I got "fired" for lack of even trying. [See chores later in evening]

Hopefully, I remember to fix myself lunch - this usually is tied to whether or not I remembered to fix myself breakfast.

Realize I only have another hour or two before the "afternoon shift", and frantically: [organize something, get dinner going M/T/W, and/or prep for soccer]

Meet the bus (and any extra children I may have coming my way - child care, playdates possible only on Tues. or every other Fri.)

Snack, which I sometimes get a reprieve from fixing when the right friend comes over for a playdate:

Shuttle off to one of the following:

Every other Friday - Girl Scouts!

For dinner we have a choice between a lovely home-cooked meal and last minute drive-thru/leftovers/sandwiches (they're not just for lunch any more!)

In between any/or all of that - there's my supervisor/beat-cop role [making sure the youngest 2 practice violin, the oldest 2 do their homework, everyone does pet care, keeping the peace (managing access to radio/computer), enforcing whose turn it is in the shower, chores] and sometimes we have a meeting to go to.

If all goes well - a half hour of QUIET TIME!!!

Followed by reflections on the day and prayers

and bedtime, which is usually delayed by one of the following: need for bandaid/medicine, forgotten homework, urgent need for a particular item/outfit for school the next day.

Then I finally get to sit down with my husband, but I have to watch:

Maybe we sneak in a TiVo'd Daily Show or Colbert Report before he falls asleep - then I get the remote and watch one of MY shows:

A quick pee for the dogs.

One last check of the email/blogs/facebook.

Off to bed (way too late, usually - clock reads 1:37 a.m.).

But through it all - most important is to remain detached and open enough to always have time to scrap all this (or add more to it!) in favor of helping out a friend and/or neighbor in need.