Thursday, 22 May 2008

Sometimes this is all you can say....

Love this song...everyone deserves that feeling

Tuesday, 20 May 2008

A city taken for G-d

I read a post on Losing my Religion about envisioning a city "taken for God". I was inspired! What would that entail? Here is my response...and thank you Jeff for the inspiration!!

A city "taken for G-d"?

First of all, it would be a place where it is finally understood that G-d is too large, to wonderful, too "other and beyond our simple imaginations" to fit within any one religion. It would be a place of peace, of open-minded inquiry, a place where human laws and rules would be unnecessary because people would be living in submission to G-d directly.

It would be a city of beauty, where art and music and dance flourish, and our minds are finally free from the stress of survival and able to explore all the vast potential we've been endowed with. Science, philosophy, mathematics, and literature would grow and evolve at a pace unimaginable in our work-based world.

Children and old people alike would be cherished and cared for by all. Families would be the prime concern, rather than corporations or profit. Labels like ethnicity and religion would be at most ways to joyfully describe the incredible diversity of G-d's creation. There would be no attempts to "convert" or "proselytize" anyone, because we would live in wisdom and see that there many paths to the mountain top.

Gender and all that comes with it would be honored and respected as two parts of a whole. Male and female, female and male. Equal, certainly. But different. Thankfully. Neither would be seen as superior -- just uniquely fashioned for their role in creating and sustaining life.

Housing would be to air and sunshine and breezes and star-lit nights. Food would be chosen so as to do no being would have to die to lie on our tables or feed our appetites. Energy would come from the earth without ravaging, wind, hydrogen. Silent and free. We would share our gifts, some as healers, some as teachers, some as makers of things, some as fixers ...but no one would have to spend most of their days or hours doing a job ill-suited to their God-given talents and interests.

Clothing would be beautiful, soft, comfortable. The concept of in-fashion or out-of-fashion would fall away, along with unhealthy shoes, underwire bras, neckties, and skin tight jeans. Medical care would focus first on encouraging health and preventing disease. It would see the whole person, and not just one organ or one problem. All kinds of medicine would be welcome...the wisdom of Asia, the useful technology of the West, the gentle healing of Ayurveda...and no profit would be taken from sickness.

Visitors would be welcome, and residents would often travel in order to gather more wisdom and bring it back to the city.

And talking about G-d and spiritual matters in public would be no longer considered "in bad taste"!

Ah, that such a city could exist! Thank you for the dream!!

What do our dreams mean?

Last night I dreamed that a friend of mine was dying. It was an ironic choice, because for as long as I have known her, both of her parents have been serious ill. One would be tempted to say terminal, if you didn't know the full story.

Her mom was diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer a couple of years ago. It has not budged, nor has she. And this in addition to a host of other serious, even life threatening illnesses. And yet she's still home...on her own. Working via the computer, even. She is, I think, in her 70's. (I tend to lose track of ages.)

My friend's dad has been in and out of the hospital with congestive heart failure. Pneumonia. Other serious issues. But he is also still hanging in there.

And yet I dreamed, not that her parents had died, but that she was on the verge of dying. What is the message there? And where did it come from?

Are dreams just our tired brain's way of entertaining itself when there is no real external input? A tape running, based on events of the previous day? Or are they messages?

If so, from where? From our own subconscious mind? from G-d? From angels or spirit guides? From the universal energy? Or are they communications from other people?

I would love to know what you think and why. I will post more about my thoughts tomorrow.

Monday, 19 May 2008

A lost MEME page!

Ok...I was surfing among the sites is often visit and found this MEME. I copied it over, planning to add their contact info and post my link on theirs. But then the web went down, and I cannot remember where I found this! If it's from you, dear reader, Please let me know! And sorry!

First the Rules: The rules of the game get posted at the beginning. Each player answers the questions about himself or herself. At the end of the post, the player then tags five people and posts their names, then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment, letting them know they’ve been tagged and asking them to read your blog. Ready, set, go!

10 years ago: I was getting to know my new baby daughter

5 things on"to do" list for today
  • Go to the bank
  • Pray for guidance on this travel issue where my ex- wants to have my 10 year old fly alone on a three hours flight (she is terrified and does NOT want to do it), but balks at paying the unaccompanied minor fee so someone will actually watch her.
  • Get the projects on my desk completed
  • Deal with a school issue for my daughter
  • Try to maintain a sense of perspective on so many things ..this too shall pass, this too shall pass, this too shall pass...

Things I would do if I was a Billionaire

  • Invest well enough to ensure that the money would never run out
  • Pay off all the debts and obligations for my family and friends
  • Make one dream come true for each of them
  • Start a newspaper and radio station that would never take an ad so they could ALWAYS tell the truth about what's REALLY happening in the country (take that, Mr. Bush and friends!)
  • Take over all the schools in one really poor city and make them into centers of learning and experience instead of classrooms where people talk at them. Homeschool reality meets EVERYONE!!!!!
  • Help people as I meet them...the waitress working two jobs to support her child, the single dad with the car that just died, the elderly person trapped in a one room apartment with no money to go out and each, hopefully, the thing(s) they need to have a joyous life
  • DO all of the above anonymously
  • Get a nice house in a nice neighborhood with great families and live a normal life

3 bad habits

  • Not trusting my instincts as soon as someone I care about questions them
  • Not exercising enough
  • Believing people even after they've shown they cannot be trusted

5 places I've lived

  • Gainesville, Florida
  • Provo, Utah
  • West Warwick, Rhode Island
  • Cooper City, Florida
  • Hershey, Pennsylvania

5 jobs I've had

  • Children's photographer
  • Writer
  • Social services administrator
  • Tennis coach
  • ER assistant

People I'm tagging
If you haven't been tagged, and would like to play, consider yourself tagged.

Friday, 16 May 2008

Praying for money...allowed or not?

I was taught by my Rabbi years ago that G-d is not an ATM machine. We were not, he said, to pray for money, toys, cars, and other "things", but rather for wisdom, understanding, etc.

I have carried that belief with me till this day. That doesn't mean I have never silently uttered a plea for a check to clear, or a client to pay their bill. But to sit down, or kneel down, or stand or prostrate oneself and pray for money....


Could not.

To me, the consequences would be too awful. I guess I pictured a kind of Fantasy Island result. You get exactly what you asked for, but it happens in some terrible way. You win the lottery and lose the love of your life. You get the dream job, and a terminal diagnosis in the same day.

So what do you think? Is is still spiritual to pray for abundance? Or is it an invitation for loss? I'd like you hear your thoughts.

Wednesday, 14 May 2008

Finding faith -- a how-to guide

(Yes, the images are Christian, but the message in the words and music is universal)

Yesterday, someone asked me how they could find faith in G-d. My answer --- my honest answer -- was I don't know. They seemed a bit annoyed at that answer. I explained that I could not remember a time before faith, so I did not know how one went about acquiring it. This too annoyed him.
"Don't you know anyone who has found faith? Can't you tell me how they did it?"

I thought about it for a moment, and said I did know such people, but their path to G-d and faith was a varied as they were. Some how found faith through intense study, some through retreat, meditation and prayer, some through crisis or loss, some through a blinding moment of clarity. One or two by acting as though they had faith, and finding it through ritual or interaction. Some found faith with the help of another or a group, some alone. There simply was no step by step answer. I don't know was the best I could do.

I have a feelings that for many, it's a two step process. They decide they want to have faith or wish they had faith, and they seek out evidence or experience to help them along their quest.

I wish I could answer this man. He is a good of the kindest people I know. And yet, he has no faith in G-d. I would sincerely love to bring him that gift. I don't know seems like a bad answer, even to me. I just don't know any other one.

Is there a reader who can help? Can you share your stories?

Information about Meghan's Scholarships

A few of you who read Meghan's story here have asked about the scholarships set up in Meghan's name. Here is the information:

Meghan Freas Memorial Scholastic Fund,
c/o Camp Hill High School
1100 South 24th Street,
Camp Hill, PA. 17011


Harrisburg Area Community College Foundation for the Meghan Freas Scholarship Fund
One HACC Drive
Harrisburg, PA 17110.

Tuesday, 13 May 2008

Friday Fill-In Questions....Just a wee bit late!

Found this on Friday Fill-ins! What a great idea! It says Friday, I know, but I am going to start now! What would your answers be to this....go to the site for a blank copy to add to the comments or your blog. If you do it on yours, give your URL to me in a comment so I can read them!

She wrote:
Questions courtesy of Julie this week; if you'd like to leave some for future use, I'd love it!

1. The cake had an extra secret ingredient; it was violets!
2. Send some sunshine through my window.
3. Right now, I need some time to sit at a sidewalk cafe in Paris.
4. Home is where I went Thursday night; it was cozy.
5. Why does lonliness hurt so much?
6. All I can think of is the way I'll feel when I finally get to relax tonight.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to catching up on stuff at home, tomorrow my plans include taking a long walk and Sunday, I want to read The New York Times cover to cover

Monday, 12 May 2008

Mother's Day on a Boat!

The sunshine, a 19' power boat, the warmth, the water, a yummy picnic, and two of my three kids with me. What an awesome Mother's Day!

What was your day like?

Friday, 9 May 2008

Mother's Day Ideas

Ideas first, story second....

For those who want a way to celebrate your moms, or the mother of your children, or any other special mom in your life, here are some inexpensive Mother's Day ideas for for my favorite kind of Mother's Day! They are last minute Mother's Day ideas, yes. But they are also thoughtful ideas your mom will love.

  • A picnic near the water, in a wooded setting, in the park, or just in your own backyard. Homemade sandwiches. juice, cupcakes and fruit. Stuff kids can prepare if you have little kids. Even if you don't, a simple meal so the focus is on mom instead of a gourmet feast

  • Homemade cards. Doesn't matter how young or old, we can all MAKE a heartfelt card for mom. Beats Hallmark hands down!

  • A small sentimental gift. Forget the big stuff. If you're buying a gift, make it something she can see/touch/look at every day. A silver heart necklace. An I love you key ring. A teddy bear with a bow around its neck for each child (or grandchild...or both!) A framed photo YOU took (not a studio!)

  • Time. this is something no mom has enough of. Give her time to do what she loves without grumbling about where you'd rather be. Time for a bubble bath, scrapbooking, a long walk, browsing at an art gallery or museum, or sitting at a cafe reading a new book in her favourite genre.

  • Help at home. What mom wouldn't like to have a day (or a week) where the kitchen is cleaned or the laundry is done, or the carpet is vacuumed by someone else in the family.

  • A collage. Find pictures in magazines or ads that show how you feel about your mom. Make it big or small. Frame it or just give it to her to hang on the fridge. If you want to use family photos in it, make color copies and use those instead of originals.

  • A website or blog. Give your mom her very on space in cyberspace. If your mom is new to the web, choose a simple type and post site like Blogger or Wordpress. Set it up. Add some of her favourite photos, or create it in her favourite colors. Just be sure to be on hand to help her learn how to use it.

  • A day in the life scrapbook page. Moms are busy people! Let her know you appreciate everything she does by creating a day-in-the-life scrapbook page. Take photos of all she does in a day. Or if it's too late for that, take pictures of things she uses every day, places she goes every day, and describe her daily routine. You can give it to her for her scrapbook, or buy an inexpensive 12 x 12 frame at any craft store. Either way, she'll love the fact that you notice all she does.

Now for my story....

When I was growing up, Mother's Day was a spend-a-thon. My dad would take us out, and we would buy perfume and jewelry and clothes and fancy cards and all sorts of things for mom. Ironically, she was never happy with any of it. Our best efforts never seemed to be enough. At the time, it made me very sad. Now, looking back, it just makes me sad for her. She missed a lot.

It's different for my kids and me. From the time they were able to pour a bowl of cereal, we have started Mother's day with a homemade breakfast in bed. A tray decorated with homemade cards. And since preschool, gifts they made themselves. Actually, a few times, we've gone out to eat, but there are still the handmade cards and gifts. I love Mother's Day. I love this chance to celebrate my beautiful children who made me a mom. I love their cards and messages, their love and caring.

My mom wasn't the homemade cards and gifts kind of lady. But even with the kind of gifts she loved, she was never happy with her Mother's Day. She'll never know how much she missed.

To all of you moms -- happy Mother's Day. And to you kids of all ages, GET BUSY!

Thursday, 8 May 2008

To the person who hit Meghan and caused the accident

You know who you are. You know what you need to do.

It was probably an accident. Maybe you weren't being reckless...just doing the things we all do everyday while we drive. And then suddenly...things are out of control.

You ran. You were scared.

But it's time to come forward. Meghan's memory deserves that. Her family deserves that.

Maybe you have kids of your own. Can you imagine the pain you would feel if this happened to your child and the person responsible ran? Maybe you are still scared.

But two people have died. Two families are hurting. An 18 year old girl will never again chat with her friends, or hug her parents, or take a drive on a rainy Pennsylvania spring day.

It's time.


Bring her grieving family some degree of peace. Tell your story.



Wednesday, 7 May 2008

Do it now!

The one thing everyone has said about Meghan was that she lived -- REALLY lived -- every moment of her life. We can honor her memory by contributing to one of the scholarship funds that have been set up in her name, and I hope everyone will.

But even more so, I hope we will all honor her memory by following her example and the example of extraordinary people like her.

  • If there is someone you love, tell them now. Right now. And then tell them again tomorrow and the next day and the day after that.

  • If there is a chance to laugh and really enjoy the moment, laugh. Share your laughter and joy with everyone around you, especially those who look least likely to laugh.

  • Don't worry about looking silly, or trying to maintain your dignity. Once you've gone, your dignity will be long forgotten. Your willingness to put yourself out there and be yourself will be what people remember.

  • Smile. Really, and truly smile. At your friends, at your family, at the world and above all, at the camera. So what if you think your hair is messy or your makeup is wrong. Someday those photos may become treasures. Make them happy.

I would like to ask those of you who knew Meghan far better than I to add to that list. What lessons did she teach you that we should all learn? What will you take from her far-too-brief life, and carry forward in your own lives?

What is the very best lesson anyone who has gone Home has left with you?

Feel free to post it here, or own your own blogs and web pages. Share it at her Memorial service if you're able to go. Make it happen in your life.

I will start the list:

My Great-Aunts, Eva, Helen, Ruth and Blanche, taught me that life is a grand adventure. This may be the only one, or there may be more. But even if we get another time around, it won't be the same as THIS time. So go for it, girl!

Your turn....

Tuesday, 6 May 2008

Meghan has gone Home

Meghan Brittany Freas passed away at 10:20 pm last night. Please pray for her family.

And to the driver who caused this horrible tragedy, and the loss of two precious lives, COME FORWARD NOW!

Monday, 5 May 2008

Update on Meghan and need for ongoing prayers

Meghan is a fighter. My son says it's because she's a true redhead...stubborn, determined and willing to go the distance. I don't know if that's the reason, but whatever it is, its good. She is hanging in there, against all odds, but is having a rough time.

They are still unable to do any surgeries because of intra cranial pressure issues, and now problems with her blood oxygen levels. Her compound fractures have not yet been repaired because anesthesia is too risky still. That means she will be facing extensive surgeries once she is well enough for those to be addressed.

She is a wonderful young lady....please keep up the prayers...they are ALL helping!

The paramedics said she should not have survived the crash in her little Civic. She's made it a week today. Miracles.

Thursday, 1 May 2008

Pray for Meghan

Meghan Freas, age 18, was in a serious head-on car accident a few days ago in York, Pennsylvania. She is not doing well. Please pray for her, in whatever tradition you follow. Please ask your friends and family and churches and mosques and temples to pray for her.

She is a friend of my son's and a very sweet girl.

UPDATE: It has been determined that Meghan's car was hit and pushed into the guard rail. Please pray that the person responsible will have the courage to come forward.