Hip, Hip, Hooray It’s A Girl

Hip, Hip, Hooray! There’s a baby girl coming in May and she is my granddaughter.  There’s something about interacting with a baby that ignites something magical in all of us. isn’t there? 

They stare at us with inquisitive eyes and they are curious about everything that is happening in their world.

We look into their eyes and we remember a time before, when we where sure we had seen everything meaningful in life. They are like their parents only in miniature size and when we look at their tiny features and their cubby little bodies and we can’t help but smile as we realize that interacting with a baby can be truly miraculous. Can’t it?

I started writing this baby announcement in October and up dated it in May and continued up until today. In two weeks or less my grand-daughter will arrive and I am over the moon excited. All I can say is Hip, Hip, Hooray its a Girl! I want to thank all my friends who have shared in my excitement and prayed for this little darling. She is differently a gift from heaven and there are two awesome little brothers who are looking forward to meeting her.

When I think about my grand-daughter I think about the color pink and all the girly things that the color pink represents and this hasn’t happened since my daughter was born. I can’t wait until they put her nursery together so I can see all her girly stuff. Once again thanks for all my friends for your prayers these last few months and I can’t wait to introduce her to you.

                                                                                                                                                                 Hi every one this is a photo of my grand-daughter Julie isn’t she a beauty? This photo was taken shortly after she was born and as you can see she’s a blessing from heaven isn’t she? 

When you think of a baby girl, the mind conjures up images of satin ribbons, pink frilly frocks, dainty shoes, and delicate tutus. But be warned! Girls can be full of surprises too. A baby girl can be sweeter (badder) oftener than anyone else in the world. She can jitter around, and stomp, and make funny noises that frazzle your nerves, yet just when you open your mouth she stands there demure with that special look in her eyes. A girl is innocence playing in the mud. Beauty standing on its head, and Motherhood dragging a doll by the foot.

I started writing this birth announcement in October of 2011 and today I up dated it after Julie was born. It is my way of thanking everyone for their prayers, love and support thanks a million you guys.

A Lot Of Otters

Every now and then a children’s book comes along that sparks our imaginations and puts a smile on our faces and A Lot Of Otters is one of those books.

The other day my sister called me to tell me how much she enjoys swimming with her grandson who has autism.

She went on to tell me how much he enjoys watching the Otters in the Aquarium of the Pacific (it’s in Long Beach, California our home town) and she wondered if when she is swimming with him in their family pool was he pretending they were otters swimming and playing freely in the water like Otters do? As she was talking to me I started to  image the two of them laughing and playing in their pool together like otters do.

Later that day while I was shopping in Books A Million I came across a book called A Lot Of Otters. After browsing through it I decided to buy it because it reminded me of the story that my sister told about of Milo liking otters. It turns out that Milo swims like a fish and swimming is one of his favorite things to do and we are hoping that one day he will be able to tell us all about swimming like an Otter.

It’s called A Lot of Otters isn’t that a great name? It’s written by author Barbara Helen Berger and in 1997 this book was selected as best children’s book by The School Library Journal. It was also selected for The Prestigious Exhibition The Original Art 1997, Celebrating the Fine Art of Children’s Book Illustrations, sponged by Society of Illustrations, New York.

The Author’s Comments: When the toddler climbs into the cardboard box, the blue shadow under the box turns into water, and as he reads his book he sails away. From then on, everything takes place in this fantasy water, made with washes of blue to flow from page to page.

The sea otters are based on her careful observations (in two Aquariums, videos and books). So their activities show what sea otters actually do. The way they dive, the way they carry their food, the way they eat, groom, play. However they are playing with stars, and one otter is reading the toddler’s book from the moment he drops it (Oops) to the end.

She always likes to have some element in art which is never actually mentioned in the words. That is one of the things about a picture book that can be most magical and fun. In this case the toddler’s cardboard box and his book with its red cover are never mentioned, nor is the otter who keeps on reading the book whiles everything goes on around him.

 Take a look at the photo of the cover jacket for “A Lot of Otters.” After looking at it. Who wouldn’t want to be friends with otters? This photo sparks my imagination, and before I know it. I’m pretending that I’m reading a book, while sitting in a card box surrounded by friendly otters. Then I feel carefree like a child again. Honesty what could be more fun than children than pretending they are playing with Otters?  Stop reading this for a minute and pretend that you are swimming with a group of fun-loving otters like the ones in this book. Did you really stop?  Wasn’t that fun?

There is nothing more delightful than watching children while they are swimming except for swimming with them. I wonder if while children are frolicking in the water are they pretending to behave like otters too? They move so carefree the way Otters do? Don’t they?

This article is for Trish and Milo because they love to read and look at books about otters and swim together. It seems that Nana’s, Otters, and Swimming are a good combination for some children with autism at least it seems that way for Milo.

 Some children can tell their parents when they are pretending to be like otters while others can’t because they have autism regardless if a child can speak or not, books can be a powerful influence in a child’s life.

It feels good when our imaginations are sparked doesn’t it? Children and books about animals as their friends is magical regardless of what their challenges are. Just ask a grandparent and they’ll tell you all about their favorite childhood books that were full of friendly animal characters.

Children’s picture books date back to the seventeenth century, but they really came into their own in the nineteen-twenties. Children’s picture story books like “The Little Red Hen” and “Little Black Sambo ( which would not be considered politically correct today) but were popular in the good old days.

Protect Your Soul

The journey of the soul is not all joy nor is it always consummated in the light. In life we make choices at every moment of what our soul’s destination shall be.

Just as in a dance one may move in any direction, forward, side to side, around and around or seem to be beautifully floating in the air. In life we are constantly through every infinitesimal increment of our behavior choose a direction the path our souls will take. If a man kills his wife and uses the legal system’s loopholes to escape conviction he has not only gotten away with murder he has lost his soul. He may be set free to return to the usual circumstances of his life but he will never be free.

 He will be a soulless man whose very existence is the embodiment of untruth. No matter how many people he may falsely convince himself in the light of the truth he is still condemned and will try insanely to convince himself of his own innocence, then surely his soul shall be lifted by the darkness around him.

There is no neutral moment or action in our experiences. Everything we do, every action we enact, every nuance of movement, each word we utter either creates the further illumination of our souls or moves us into a dark unconsciousness. Our souls can be utterly compromised and the potential for loss of soul to one degree or another can become an affliction of a society that as a collective has lost its sense of morals and ethics, of a culture that values everything else above the spiritual. Do we live in such a spiritually impoverished culture and in such a time that loss of soul to one degree or another is a constant teasing?

We seem to be invited at every corner to hedge on the truth, indulge ourselves, act as if our words and actions have no ultimate consequence, make an absolute of the material world, and treat the spiritual as it were an unsubstantial, angelic fantasy. In such a world a man can lose his own soul and have the world culture support him, and in such a world conversely the light of a single great soul that lives in integrity can truly illumine the world.

Create A Happy Heart

Life is full of opportunities to create a happy heart. My mother use to say the most wasted of all days, is one with out laughter. She believed in positive thinking and that singing happy songs help to make for a happy heart.

 She loved to dance, sing and laugh. When I was a young girl my mother had a happy song, dance, a funny joke or saying for every situation in life. I don’t mean that as a metaphor I mean it literally.

When life dealt her lemons she was the kind of mother who would make lemonade out of the lemons. She was a half glass full kind of mother. One of my favorite examples of my mothers positive attitude and keeping a happy heart took place when I was thirteen and my best friend Vicky was celebrating her birthday at Disneyland.

The day the invitation arrived I was ecstatic. As far as I was concerned there was nothing better than the E ticket rides at Disneyland. I had lots of E tickets from  previous visits and I was full of expectations. The night before the big day all I did was talk, talk and talk about the rides. I don’t know how my mother kept her wits about her while she listened to my excessive talking. 

 One of the songs my mother and I use sing and listen to was called ” You Talk To Much”. I remember she was singing the words to the song under her breath. I’m sure she was hoping that I would get a clue and stop talking but you know how thirteen year old girls are.

Finally when the big day arrived I woke up and my neck hurting when I told my mother she did everything she could to try to help stop the pain but nothing worked. I was broken-hearted when my mother told me to call my Vicky and let her know that I wouldn’t be able to go.

I hung up the phone and I realized that I was not going to be able to celebrate Vicky’s birthday. I wondered how was I ever going to get over being disappointed?  The girls and I had mapped out and made a list of rides we were going to on and we saved our allowances so we could buy a present for Vick’s birthday.

 I started crying and my mother tried to console me. She said maybe, if your neck starts feeling better she could drive you to meet up with Vicky and the girls later in the day. I said, sure mom that would be ok. When I finished my melt down I noticed that my mom had left the room and I became curious and went to find out what she was doing.

When I found her she had taken off her night-gown and had put on a funny dress, hat and fun music on her old RCA record player.  At first when I saw her I thought to myself, how dare her be so happy when I was so sad. Then after listening to a few of her happy songs I started to sing and dance along with her. The next thing I knew. I wasn’t sad any more. The pain in my neck was gone but it was still stiff.

I’m glade that my mother applied a positive attitude to my situation and it did make for a merry heart. Life isn’t always about waiting for the storm to pass, it’s about learning to dance in the rain.


Let Go And Surrender

Letting go is an emotional and spiritual surrender. It means willingly jumping out of the lifeboat of your preconceptions of reality and taking your chances out in the open sea of anything-can-happen.

It means that even as your definition of reality is dissolving before your very eyes, you willingly relinquish it, instinctively comprehending that the state of surrender itself will be a creative condition. It’s hard to let go, to live in a formless, destinationless place. All our lives we’re taught to hold on, to be the masters of our fate, the captains of our souls. Letting go isn’t comfortable; it can feel like anything from laziness to utter loss of control. It’s not aggressive and self-assured. It’s not the American way.

But letting go is, in truth, is a most elegant kind of daring. It is vulnerability of the highest order, an emptying out of self, of all the clutter, chatter, ideas, attitudes, schemes, and plans that, ordinarily, we all contain. In this emptiness, there is room for so much; in this vacancy, anything can happen: breathtaking transformations, changes of directions, miracles that will purely astound you, love that comes out of a spiritual conversion. But only if you are willing to truly let go of it all: as the tree dropping her bright leaves for winter, the trapeze artist, suspended in midair between two bars, the diver free-falling from the high dive, have all unequivocally, wholeheartedly let go.

Letting go is being alive to the power of anything is possible. It is living in surrender, trust, and the belief that emptiness is at once the perfect completion and the perfect beginning. So let go. And remember that if you hang on to even a shred or try to make a deal with Gods meaning of letting go you might not experience all the wonderful things that are ment happen to you.

To Realize The Value Of A Sister Or Brother

To realize the value of a sister or brother ask someone who doesn’t have one.

To realize the value of ten years ask a newly divorced couple.

 To realize the value of four years ask a graduate.

To realize the value of one year ask a student who has failed a final exam. To realize the value of nine months ask a mother who gave birth to a still-born. To realize the value of one month ask a mother who has given birth to a premature baby.

To realize the value of one week ask an editor of a weekly newspaper. To realize the value of one minute ask a person who has missed the train, bus or plane. To realize the value of one-second ask a person who has survived an accident.

Time waits for no one treasure every moment you have. You will treasure it even more when you can share it with someone special. To realize the value of a friend or family member ask someone who has lost a friend or family member.

The Sweet Knowings Of Love

The journey of love is a journey of many sweet knowings. It is the sweet bliss, in first love, of discovering all your love’s little secrets, her favorite flower and fragrance, the color that sets off her eyes so; his plaid flannel shirts, the way he laces up his boots, his shaving brush, and that one wild hair in his eyebrow; the scent of her skin, the feel of her hair, the drawer she keeps her lingerie in.

It is later the being together and love becomes the sound of the key as he locks up the house, the sound of the rain in the shower each morning as she is singing and shampoos her hair. It is how she rolls over at night in bed, how he sleeps like a saint, with his hands folded over his chest; it is what he can fix; what she can mend. And it is the changing, this way and that way.

Sometimes there are unkind words spoken the anger and love in the mist; making love, holding hands. And the children, wanting, not being sure about wanting them; being scared, and so overjoyed and seeing them sleeping and carried at night in his arms; how he is so tender, how she is so easy, so strong with them.

It is watching the years go by they come and go and come and go and then they just seem to Go and Go. Autumn and spring and winter and summer. So slowly and endlessly beautifully folding, unfolding so quickly go. And how we have done every year, so many things and so few. Each day, and the meals and the work and the talk.

Each day a small town with a map and the trip they have taken in it. And the walks and the light and the changing of the light and how they have traveled. And how they have given the gifts. At Christmas, birthdays, wedding  anniversaries and just because. They want to remember all the words they have written on cards. The things they have said and the things they have whispered to each other. I love you, good night and I adore you. You are my one and only.

And how time has passed He has grown old and he has white in his hair and the fine thin lines of his life and sun are remaking his eyes. He notices that her eyes softer now but still blue and even after so many years and the fading he still loves her. He still loves the scent of her perfume after all these years. 

She still loves how he after all these years he still sleeps with his hands folded over his chest and the scent of his after shave lotion. They love remembering now and not forgetting why they love each other. He said for them it’s been like a long love song that tells the story of how they have melted, woven themselves, befriended, ensouled one another.

 Now that they are here at the end of their lives that they know one another so well, like the bird knows the air like the snowdrift knows the snow; and how he said long a go, until we know each other like the seasons; and now it is spring; and now it is summer now it is autumn now it is winter; and we know we know, that love is endless and we will know each other in eternity too.