Saturday, December 24, 2011


My Grandmother Ollie quilted. In the winter, she sat in her rocking chair located by the blazing, wood stove. There, she cut out or stitched many quilt blocks. I also have fond memories of her and her quilting bee meeting in the one-room school house that my father attended. For warmth, there was a pot-bellied wood stove burning brightly through its window.

My Grandmother made me, as well as her other grandchildren, a beautiful quilt for my "hope chest."

Today, I completed six lap-quilts for my grandchildren. I started the project last year. My quilts are not as detailed as my grandmother's, but they contain just as much love.

I enjoyed making these personal gifts for my grandchildren. Tomorrow, I will enjoy their smiling faces.

Merry Christmas & Many Blessings, L.B.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011


Stop and/or wait are the most difficult actions for me. My motor runs on do, do, do or go, go, go. The last few days have been a refresher course in the former actions.

In my ignoring those commands, I thought I had ruined two paintings. They are in no way complete, but they do have promise.

Last night, I sat and looked at my walls, which display many completed pieces. As I gazed upon each one, I remembered their awkward beginnings or middles. With each canvas, I had to wait for inspiration, which arrived in God's time.

Trying to complete a painting, or any of life's projects, before the path has been revealed is about as successful as pushing rocks or water up hill.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011


This morning I was feeling considerable angst over a business situation. I wanted to do something about it. I wanted to fix it, as if I could. I was caught up in my ego and the illusions of the world.

Finally, I knew, if I was to have any peace today, I must sit quietly, pray and listen. I was directed to the book shelf where my copy of Yogananda's In the Sanctuary of the Soul resides. Upon locating the book, I settled into my comfort chair.

I opened the book to its concluding pages, 115-124. Yogananda speaks of the "inner temple of silence" and said, "When tigers of worries, sickness and death are chasing you, your only sanctuary is the inner temple of silence." Within that temple, "receive God with your awakened intuition ... God is in the heart of soul of every being. And when you open within yourself the secret temple in your heart, then with the all-knowing intuition of the soul you shall read the book of life. Then, and only then, will you contact the living God. And you will feel Him as the very essence of your being."

On closing the book, I went into my temple. As I sat in blissful silence, I knew to the depth of my being worldly objects and thoughts were of no value. I can live without them, but I do not want to live without God's peace.

Monday, December 19, 2011


My Divine Guides are attempting to teach me when to stop. I am given very clear inner directions in my painting. Yesterday, I knew I was to use bright-red paint on a 16x20 canvas. Initially, I thought I knew where I was going. All of a sudden the painting made a turn. My original idea was abandoned, and I began loading the canvas with another 16 ounces of paint.

(A friend of mine said that I do "paint sculptures.")

As I moved the luscious color with a brush, gorgeous patterns began to emerge. Suddenly, an exquisite design presented itself, and my inner voice directed me to "Stop." I hesitated, but thought I could improve it by one more stroke. Wrong. The vision now only exists in my mind.

With one stroke, it was gone. I worked the paint for another hour. Finally, exhausted, I came to what I considered a quasi acceptable form. My spirit guide said, "Don't analyze. Leave it."

The painting will dry in about a week. Then, I'll have a better idea of its form.

Today, I had a similar situation. I have worked on one piece for two months. I have applied layer after layer, with intervening drying time. The painting was coming into focus. I thought I was almost there. I was again instructed to stop, but I continued. At one point, I became so frustrated I started to smear paint all over the canvas and obliterate the design, which had come to me in a vision. I was into it a bit. Then, I heard, "Now that you have had your tantrum, clean it off and do it again."

With many warm, wet clothes, I removed the paint and resurrected the dry undercoat and began again. Believe me, the next time I was told to stop, I listened.

Obviously, it is very difficult for me to stop in the middle of a project. Especially, when I think, "If I work just a little bit longer, it will be the way I want it." You see where that philosophy took me the last two days.

Sometimes, I think I know where I am going, so I want everyone to move out of my way and let me "get'er done," as Larry the Cable Guy would say.

The truth is I don't know where God is taking me. So, when instructed, I must stop, rest and wait for guidance.

Saturday, December 17, 2011


Yesterday, I traversed my 65th birthday. Yes. Medicare.

I received two wonderful cards. I'll lay some of their wisdom on you.

One began with, "On your birthday let's analyze your mind with this fun test! The answer will reveal your mental attitude?"

"Which of the following would you prefer to receive?"
A. a cake
B. a present
C. money
D. a card

With retirement in mind, I choose money.

The test results were printed inside the card. If you choose -

A. (a cake)It means you are practical. You are satisfied with the barest essentials of life.

B. (a present) It means you are optimistic and you enjoy surprises.

C. (money) Indicates you are highly imaginative. You believe in the impossible(like opening this card and finding money in it).

D. (a card) This shows you are a realist. You don't expect too much, and in this case, you were not disappointed.

A good laugh was had by all, especially me.

I'll share the second card later.

Many Blessings L.B

Monday, December 12, 2011


Old, flannel nightgowns are like old shoes and old friends, priceless.

A few minutes ago, I pulled my tried and true, favorite gown from the dryer. I felt a moment of panic, when I spied its frayed neck and cuffs. Immediately, I thought, "How am I going to survive the winter without its warmth and comfort?"

Then, I relaxed a bit. I remembered the catalog from which it was purchased. I recalled recently having seen the same gown in the company's current book. Whew, thank you God, a reprieve. That was a close one. Unlike friends and sometimes old shoes, I can order a new flannel nightgown. However, to honor my red friend, I'll order a blue one this time.

Saturday, December 10, 2011


Last night saw the first exhibition of any of my work, which consisted of two paintings. What was special for me was another exhibiting artist, Michael, raved about one of my pieces, "Roll With It," and complimented me by saying, "I wish I had painted it."

My art teacher, Patti, also said, "I've never seen anyone do the things with paint that you do."

Truly, the only thing I can claim as my own is hard work and perseverance. My emotional and spiritual healing opened the channels within me through which the Divine energy flows onto canvas. The visions and inner voice issues from the collective conscious of all that is and ever shall be. I feel blessed to be their recipient.

May each of you receive the Universe's blessings. L.B.

Monday, December 5, 2011


Not too long ago, I visited my nephew, Rick, and his two daughters, Evelyn, age 7, and Mary, age 2, on their cattle ranch.

During calving season, Rick keeps the expectant cows near the house, where they can be seen from the yard.

As we prepared for an outing, Rick spied a baby calf. Promptly, he straddled a 4-wheeler, put Mary on behind him and off they went into the herd.

From the yard, Evelyn and I watched.

Rick captured the calf, hoisted it onto a set of scales mounted behind the vehicle and recorded its weight and its mother's ear-tag number. Then, he tagged the calf's ear with its own number.

(The tags and record keeping process details the breeding line of the calf's mother, its sire and is followed by the calf's developmental history.)

Afterward, the four of us piled into Rick's truck and headed out. While driving, Rick put on a Garth Brook's CD, That Girl is a Cowboy, and Mary and Evelyn sang along. They particularly punched home the phrase, "Sometimes the best cowboys aren't cowboys at all."

On our return to the ranch, Rick spied another new calf. From the back seat, Mary piped up about needing to tag the calf. Then, she started talking about "balls."

I was puzzled.

Then, Rick said, "Mary, what do we do with rubber bands?"

Mary promptly replied, "Put them around the calf's balls."

I was stunned and delighted.

(Rick later explained that the calf's testicles would fall off in about 10 days, changing the critter from a bull to a steer.)

Everyone dismounted the truck, and Mary and Rick rode off to weigh and tag the calf. However, on another 4-wheeler, Evelyn and I followed in hot pursuit.

You haven't lived until you have ridden behind a 7-year-old driver. She knew no fear. I was looking for something to hold on to, but Evelyn insisted that I hold on to her, because it made her feel better.

Soon, Evelyn discovered that I didn't like driving over cow piles, so she delighted in hitting every wet one. Finally, Evelyn rolled the machine to a stop, turned around and looked at me and said, "You have something on your cheek." She immediately flicked it off with her hand and matter-of-factly said, "cow manure."

At this juncture, Evelyn demonstrated, for my edification, the proper etiquette of spitting. She leaned out over the machine and spit on the ground.

Then, Evelyn proceeded to show me how to blow my nose. Resuming her same posture for spitting, she held one nostril with her finger and honked out through the other. Then, she reversed sides.

I was appropriately impressed.

Evelyn then revved up the engine and took off at high speed to find more, fresh, cow piles.

Rick later told me that Evelyn has ridden horses for years and, in the local 4-H Club, she practiced barrel racing and tying goats, which I suspect is a prelude to calf roping.

To say the least, Evelyn and Mary are cowgirls to be reckoned with, and woe be to any cowboy who attempts to stand in their way.

Sunday, December 4, 2011


Are you wondering what to buy for someone who has everything he or she needs, plus some? For the child who has a myriad of toys, are you tired of throwing money down the drain? I am certainly tired of buying presents for folks that don't need anything.

I have struck upon the perfect solution, Heifer International, ( For less than you would spend on an unneeded item, you can change a family's future.

For the past few years, I have given my adult children and their spouses a llama ($150), sheep ($120) or goat ($120). I have stayed on the practical side with my six
grandchildren, clothes. Each one of them also receives a flock of chicks, ducks or geese ($20), honeybees ($30) or trio of rabbits ($60). For those of you who are more affluent, consider a water buffalo ($250), heifer ($500) or camel ($850).

Included in their Christmas card, which states their gift to another, I include a sheet on how that particular animal or group of animals can create a new life for those who live in great need. My grandchildren enjoy reading about how their gifthelps someone else.

Last year, a friend of mine gave her husband a goat. She thought it matched his personality. He laughed.

Purchasing any one of these gifts can help nourish and create an income for a family. With the money, children can receive an education. As their animals multiply, part of recipient's obligation is to pass on a portion of their offspring to others in their community. Make a difference with your money. Help others.

Saturday, December 3, 2011


Sixty-five is the magic number. I have a Medicare card. Yes. I have been without insurance for 17 years. I consider insurance companies another form of organized crime. Therefore, I have refused to give them any of my money. I have paid for my medical needs, which included a major surgery and the spin-off from a broken back, and I am way ahead of the economic game.

There are those who are attempting to cut back on "entitlements." Certainly, I believe our health-care needs can be provided with simple, basic, good medicine, without all the expensive toys. MRIs and CAT scans have their place but not with the frequency they are currently used.

I am one of the 99 percent. I have paid into Medicare for forty-seven years, and I will continue to pay into it. If the government had put a lock on Medicare and Social Security revenues, as President Clinton suggested, our nation's finances would have a different complexion.

The last President Bush drained our nation's funds into the pockets of the wealthy and gave them tax deductions galore. In the name of "terrorism," this president began two wars and created a staggering national debt, in the neighborhood of $14-to-17 trillion.

Now the wealthy 1 percent want to keep their "entitlements," lower taxes, and cut Social Security benefits. I hope everyone realizes that $4.6 trillion of the national debt is owed to Social Security.

I support the "Occupy Wall Street" movement. It is time to level the playing field, and I celebrate being 65 and having Medicare.

Friday, December 2, 2011


For several days, I was abducted by paint brushes, beautiful colors and canvas. During such periods, I am fairly silent and non-verbal. Having surfaced for a few hours, I thought I'd catch up with my fledgling audience, whomever you might be. I recently made the leap from three to four followers. God bless you.

I often wonder, "What is the point of all this writing?" Then, something, like a new follower, helps me feel this blog might be useful to a very small sector of humanity.

I have been writing for fifteen years, resulting in five, adult works of non-fiction and six children's books. My investment, in time, emotions and dollars, has been enormous. My book sales have been negligible. This time of the year, I often become discouraged about these facts. However, after the slump passes, I pick up and go again. I write because I must write. The Universe will determine if any words that issue through me merit reading.

The good news is two of my books, Red Earth Woman and Red Earth Wisdom, are, or soon will be, in Amazon's e-book library. Carol and Edna will follow. Next, my newest book, Ivey Hayes: The Art of Living, will join its sibling's ranks. Then, my 2006 book, Renaissance Woman will join them.

I wish many blessings to all who wander into this blog. May you live in peace.

Thursday, November 24, 2011


My daughter and her husband, both excellent chefs, invited me for Thanksgiving dinner. On my arrival, much to my delight, three of my grandchildren, ages 4-to-9, surrounded me as I sat on the couch. They talked non-stop. Each one had multiple tales to tell. I partook of their loving bounty.

As all three of my children know, I am not much in the cooking department. However, following the meal, I am great in the clean-up crew. In dish washing, I believe in a sink of hot, soapy water, another of rinse water and a dish towel. Today, my seven-year-old granddaughter, Azriela, pulled up a stool and helped me.

As we worked and talked together, I thought nostalgically of my childhood, the holidays and large family gatherings, with their accompanying meals and dirty dishes.

I fondly remember those times, standing around the kitchen sink, washing and drying the dishes with my Grandmother Ollie, my aunts and my mother. It was the time the women chatted and caught up on the family news.

Women commune together as they work in the kitchen, the quintessential hearth. There, they return to their primal essence, the giver of life and sustenance.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


Recently, Chris, my art teacher's son-in-law, photographed fifty of my completed paintings. Earlier Chris had seen some of my work and appeared enthusiastic about it. After Chris saw more of my pieces, he seemed excited about showing them to his friend, who owns an art gallery. I am smiling inside.

In my art's process, be it writing or painting, I must release any expectations of the outcome. My job is to surrender to the Divine Source and follow the path that opens before me. When I release all of my expectations, the Source takes me on grand adventures, which are beyond my wildest imagination.

Monday, November 21, 2011


I awoke on the morning of 11/20/11, which was actually noon, with a painting dancing in my mind's eye. I saw one bold, central, dark color flanked by a bright color. The painting occupied my mind throughout the day. One by one, the canvas size, 24"x30," and its colors, turquoise green and orange, were revealed to me.

It is currently 2:00 a.m., my time, on 11/21/11. The bare bones of the painting is on the canvas. I know the piece will require several layers. However, I can now rest. Whether it is writing or painting, I know, when the muse sings, I must dance.

Sunday, November 20, 2011


I look for the good in all beings. Lying is foreign to me, and those who use lying as a means to navigate in the world is almost incomprehensible to me.

Yesterday, I received information verifying my suspicion that one of my patients had lied to me on numerous occasions. I am deeply saddened and disappointed by his behaviors. His ability to look me in the eye and lie is uncanny. In his perfidy, his performances were of Academy Award caliber.

Because of his lies, over the past eight months, he has significantly increased my stress level and wasted a great deal of my uncompensated time. At this stage in my life, my energy to help others in therapy is very limited. Perhaps another could have benefited from my time. It remains to be seen if he, on some level, has benefited by our work together.

I see a great deal of potential in this individual. At this point, I am unsure if he truly wants help and is willing to work to change his behaviors. Only God knows the answer. Time reveals all. I may not be around to watch his story's conclusion, but I am certain God brought us together for a purpose. It is not necessary that I know the reason.


Horace has been with me two weeks. The bark collar has worked its magic. He sits down to receive food and is in the process of leash training. Horace is a big, bouncing, lovable kid.

However, for me to survive Horace's puppy hood, I must teach him a few manners such as:
1. It isn't polite to pounce on or knock over your source of home and sustenance.
2. Breaking any of your owner's bones is considered very poor form.
3. Sniffing your owner's privates is exceptionally rude.
4. And, of course, you don't belch or fart in polite company.

Today, I worked in the backyard to put the garden to bed for the winter. The two little dogs, Bodhi and Sophia, stayed inside. Since they are yappers, their absence gave Horace and me a little peace.

As I clipped, weeded and mulched, I discovered Horace is a very thoughtful gardening companion. As did one of my previous pit bulls, Greta, Horace protectively lingers nearby and surveys his domain. He occasionally oversees my work, which can be a strain on his manners. However, I see in him a budding gentleman, scholar and gardener.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


Recently, I took a movie escape break and saw Clint Eastwood's superb movie, J. Edgar Hoover. The man's tyranny was well known. The movie portrayed many complex psychodynamic elements, particularly the psychopathology of Hoover's relationship with his mother. However, the most memorable theme for me was Hoover's homosexual relationship with his second in command.

Again, like Memphis, the movie portrayed the trauma of society's condemnation of people for their sexual interest or orientation.

There was the very poignant scene of Hoover's conversation with his mother regarding his fear of dancing with a woman. His mother reminded him of their relative, Daffy, who dressed in women's clothes and eventually committed suicide.

Very pointedly, Hoover's mother said to him, "I'd rather my son be dead than be a Daffy."

Another powerful scene was after Hoover's mother's death. He put on his mother's necklace and dress and allowed himself to grieve.

The debate, of the movie's fact or fiction and its various psychological themes, could go on ad infinitum and are of no importance to me. However, what saddens me most about the story, which is based on social reality, that any form or expression of love is forbidden in our society.

We, the members of the human race, must realize love is just another word for God.


Over the years, I have seen many people imprisoned by their fear. No matter how miserable they are in a job, relationship or situation they refuse to change. They are terrified of the "unknown."

I have seen individuals paralyzed in marriages. The only freedom they will know is death, unless their spouse bails out first. In the latter case, as painful as that is for them, their spouse is doing them a favor. They are being forcibly evicted from their self-imposed prison.

The only true solution I know to fear is prayer, prayer and more prayer. The Divine Source will reveal the path. If they resist, their pain usually intensifies. Some will explore beyond their bars. Others, will huddle in the corner of the living death of their cell.

Enjoy the adventure of life. The wide-open expanse of all that is invites you to the dance. Check your fear at the door.

Sunday, November 13, 2011


Yesterday, in Oklahoma City, I saw the Broadway Musical, "Memphis." The traveling play was on its first national tour. The music, singing, choreography and staging were superb.

Set in the 1950s, the story is based on the life of Huey, a white, Memphis disc jockey, who introduced the Caucasian population to the music of his "soul," the Rhythm and Blues of the "Negroes." In addition to the music, the story revolves around segregation and the forbidden love between a white man, Huey, and a black, female vocalist, Felicia.

At that time in our nation's history, there were anti-miscegenation laws, meaning laws against interracial sex or marriage. Hidden behind closed doors, Huey and Felicia were lovers and desired to marry.

To forbid love between two people, because of skin color and/or race is incredibly sad. I rejoice when I see racially diverse couples and their offspring. With racial blending, perhaps someday our planet will know harmony and peace.

Friday, November 11, 2011


Today, six of my art works were photographed for participation in my first art show. When told of the opportunity, I was ambivalent. I wasn't sure that I wanted to sell any of my first born, especially those most dear to me. After some thought, I decided to charge what I felt they were worth. If viewers were not willing to pay those prices, they didn't sufficiently appreciate them, and they didn't deserve to own them.

When I began writing, almost 15 years ago, the words poured out of me onto paper. I am experiencing the same phenomenon with art. With visions of colors and forms, paints are exploding onto canvas. As some would say about independent souls such as myself, she dances to her own drum. From celestial origins, I love the beat of my drum. It soothes and heals my soul.

ANNOUNCMENT: The first showing of a small portion of my work can be seen on 12/9/11, 6-9 p.m., at the Shevaun Williams Photography Studio located on Norman's Main Street, between Peters and Crestwood. This event is in conjunction with Norman's Art Walk.

Eventually, my art work will be available on my website. I invite you to experience the healing power of color.

Thursday, November 10, 2011


I decided the big boy was not to be named "Ulysses," a hero of Greek Mythology, even though I am sure his character qualified him for such a title. The name, "Horse," came to mind, but it was not sufficiently dignified. Then, his name plummeted from the sky, "Horace." Horace, (c. 65-8 B.C.), was a scholar and author. The big boy has intelligent eyes. I am sure he will grow into his name.

Yesterday, one of my neighbors approached me with a fierce look on her face. Apparently, Horace's bark was destroying her serenity. I responded that I would give the situation some thought and proceeded to my art class.

I shared my dilemma with my artistic compatriots, who are also animal lovers. Patti, our teacher, saved the day. Patti has five dogs. She introduced me to her "bark collar." The device has been worn by each of her dogs and has minimized their barking. The device is placed over the dog's vocal cords. Each times he barks, it shocks him.
After class, I headed straight to the pet store. Horace is now the proud owner of a $50 collar and leash and a $60 bark collar.
I hated to subject him to the latter. He had already been traumatized by his new surroundings. However, if he was to stay with me, he and I had no choice.

Well, the collar works. I am sure Horace has been stressed today, but the neighbors are happier. I have to admit that I am also enjoying the silence.

Horace, Sophia and Bodhi have eaten their evening meal, and it is dog bone time. With food in hand, perhaps Horace will forgive me for his discomfort.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011


I live in a modest home in the older part of the city near an area that one might call "the hood." I am told the hood has chop shops, drug dealers and prostitutes. Individuals of those occupations often have dogs chained to and/or roaming their places of business. Judging by the length and caliber of his chain, I suspect my new and biggest dog escaped from such a domicile.

He seems blissfully happy to have found a home with food, shelter, kindness and no chains. I suspect he is just a big puppy. He certainly acts like one. The veterinarian will soon enlighten me on that topic.

I have also heard that pit bulls, often crossed with Great Danes, are frequently groomed to fight, sometimes to the death.

When finding their way to the pound, dogs of this breed may not be adopted and are exterminated. "Putting them down or asleep" is much too polite of a phrase for such activities.

I'm glad the big guy found his way to me. Perhaps, his name will soon follow. Perhaps his name is Ulysses? We'll see.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011


For the last four days, I have been submerged in the nonverbal world of color, form and movement, and the paint has been flying around me.

Add to this mix, my furry friend population has expanded. During my morning walk in April of 2007, a yellow, Manx cat adopted me. With behaviors of a mighty female warrior, she obviously hailed from that ancient Greek lineage of Amazons and bears the name of that sisterhood.

In August of 2009, I heard barking emanating from behind my trash barrel. Upon investigation, I discovered a hungry, thirsty and tattered Pekingese. He immediately
followed me onto the porch and into the house. There was no doubt he planned on staying. His big, brown eyes could melt the most hardened of hearts. Mine was immediately mush. The Pekingese are of Asian origins. I knew his name was to begin with the letter "B." I questioned if his name was Buddha, but it didn't fit. Finally, a friend mentioned Bodhi, like Buddha under the bodhi tree. Bodhi has a contemplative spirit.

In April of 2010, I decided Bodhi needed a playmate. I scoured the paper for a listing of Pekingese puppies and found a litter in Weatherford, Oklahoma. Bodhi and I were on our way. I thought Bodhi might decide which puppy was to be his new running mate. When we arrived at the breeder's home, we found six puppies occupying a dry, child's swimming pool in the middle of the family room. Bodhi immediately deserted his duty in pursuit of the family cat. Beforehand, I decided our new family member was to be a female. The owners placed three black females on the floor near me. One was disinterested and wandered away. One was timid and fearful. The third female promptly walked over and climbed into my purse. Her name became Sophia, after the Goddess of Wisdom. She has yet to live up to her moniker. However, she is the smallest and dominant alpha of the three animals.

In the past two weeks, a beautiful, black cat has frequented my porch and the feline food bowl. She is shy and has lovely green eyes and a sweet disposition. For now, I call her Sweetie. Time will tell if she will continue to inhabit my life.

Then, I came home last Friday, to find a dog, dragging a 10-foot chain, on my front porch. Good-hearted neighbors were concerned for his safety and attempting to soothe him. He was obviously a mixture of pit bull and possibly Great Dane. I decided to take the situation in hand. I tied his chain to my porch railing and went into the house for a quilt for bedding and bowls of water and dog food. Presented with sustenance, he immediately settled down. The neighbors were relieved that he was safe and were free to return home. I was tired and figured the solution the situation would come to me in a day or two.

I checked on big fellow throughout the night. The next day he gained access to the back yard, with his chain secured to the metal fence post. He showed not signs of aggression toward Bodhi or Sophia, and he and Bodhi became fast friends. He is a big, happy, lovable galoot, who whines when he wants attention. The third day, all three dogs were free to roam the fenced yard. The little dogs have a dog door into the back porch. The big guy can only maneuver his snout and eyeballs through the door. It was cold and wet last night. I cleaned the tool shed and secured it for his bed. He was appreciative.

He has been here for five days, and I don't want to part with him. He is a brindle and reminds me of my dog, Greta, who was a pit bull. While living on the farm, Greta died from a snake bite. I have long mourned her. She was such a special spirit. I always thought she might return to me. Maybe she has. I have yet to receive his name. It will come.

This evening, all the animals are fed and bedded down for the night. I think I'll do the same.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


I have been estranged from my parents for over twenty-five years. Following my inpatient trauma treatment and memory retrieval, I was emotionally devastated and terrified of allowing them near me. I wrote them a note and stated, "A child remembers everything. Do not contact me again."

Over the years, I prayed for my parents. My fear of them and my anger toward them had largely abated. My pain had diminished, and I felt compassion and love for these two souls.

In 2010, I became aware of my need to see my parents. Before they crossed to the other side, I wanted to tell them that I loved them.

I sent them a card requesting to visit them. My mother responded. Over time and several correspondences, she invited me to visit. We planned to share lunch. I was to stay in nearby lodging.

In October of 2010, I made the journey to my childhood home. The distance required for me to travel far exceeded the mileage on the trip meter.

Having moved from the farm, my mother arranged for me to meet her at their new home in town. My father refused to see me. He had vacated the premises for my arrival.

At 86, my mother looked well. Her hair color and style were unchanged. Her face, due to cosmetic surgery, was as I remembered it. I was glad she had the means to meet her needs.

We had a very stilted conversation, as we sat at my parent's kitchen table. I inquired about her health and the various people in the community. With little visible emotion, she spoke of her health and reported the local news. She told me of her church activities and the monetary contributions she and my father had made to the church.

Throughout our time together, my mother avoided eye contact and made no inquiry into my life.

At an appointed time, she announced we were going to the farm where I was reared. My nephew, his wife and their two daughters now lived there and continued the farming operation started by my parents.

With my mother in the passenger seat, I drove to the farm. On arriving, I noticed little had changed. The house, barns, granaries were as I remembered.

As I gazed upon the various structures, I attempted to appear normal. However, I was experiencing a movie reel of flashbacks of the abuse that I had sustained in those buildings. The same was true when I entered the house. In vivid color, I was reliving my trauma.

I had not seen my nephew since he was a small child. I was struck by his resemblance to his father, my brother. My nephew and his daughters, ages two and seven, were filled with energy and delightful. I was unable to meet his wife, who was working out of town.

My nephew began to inquire about my life, profession and world views. To our surprise, there were many parallels in our journeys.

For lunch, we took my mother into town. Afterward, my mother was tired. I drove her home and returned to the farm. My nephew had invited me to spend the afternoon with him and his daughters.

At the day's end, I was exhausted, feeling emotionally fragile but glad I came. During the evening, on my return drive, I listened to the radio broadcast of the day's events. To my surprise, it was Halloween. Unknown to my conscious mind, my subconscious mind and Higher Source had coordinated the scheduling. During the subsequent four months, I was depressed and in emotional pain. The trip reopened my wounds. I had more work to do.


I am a survivor of satanic abuse. As a child, Halloween was a time of horrific cult rituals. Twenty-five years ago, my repressed memories exploded into my consciousness.

Until the past two years, Halloween has created angst in my life. Last night, I wanted to turn off my lights and pretend I wasn't home. However, four of my grandchildren had other ideas. After school, with parents in tow, they arrived on my doorstep in full costume. I enjoyed their anticipation of their upcoming candy hall and relented.

After the children were on their merry way, I drove to the grocery store and purchased a large bag of assorted candies. My attitude had changed, and I looked forward to seeing the children in their regalia.

Soon, my doorbell was ringing. Often, accompanied by parents, there were small, timid children, of Spanish, Asian or African descent. I relished their diversity and the obvious effort the parents had expended for the event.

Making a big haul, the pre-teens were having a whooping, good time. They had yet to be jaundiced by puberty.

After the last reveler had vacated my street, I was smiling. The children's joy was catching. I was glad I had joined the party.


I needed a respite from the world, so I unplugged it for a few days. I sought to disconnect from the chatter of patients and their interminable needs, but a few insisted upon intruding into my space.

Eighteen months ago, I was emotionally depleted, and my health was hovering on the brink of dissolution. I sent sixty patients letters stating, "For physical and personal reasons I must markedly decrease my practice and will no longer be able to see you." I saw this group of patients on an annual basis, and their medications had not changed for a number of years. In the envelope, I included 6-to-12 months of their medication refills, which gave them ample time to locate another psychiatrist.

Of this group of sixty, only one person contacted me with concern for my well-being. Most of them, when their refills expired, I received requests for renewal. Apparently, they mistook me for a free, psychiatric 7-11.

Over the years, I have seen patients who were very needy and self-absorbed. They consumed my energy. At times, I felt like they had an I.V. in my arm and were draining me dry. If I laid dying on the floor, I felt these people would step over me and keep on talking.

A few years ago, one such individual reported to me, with no sign of emotion, that her massage therapist, of many years, had died. His death appeared to be an inconvenience to this person. However, I was assured they had already found a replacement therapist, who was even an improvement over the recently departed.

Needless to say, to preserve my sanity and health, my work requires me to set firm boundaries and, on occasion, to pull the plug on it.

For several days, I have painted, read and rested. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time for me and plan to make it a regular habit. I encourage you to do the same.

Thursday, October 27, 2011


After a late night in the ICU, I was exhausted and famished. I made my way to a nearby restaurant. My mind was jumbled, but I finally found something on the menu that appealed to me. Petya took my order. As she spoke, I noticed her lovely accent.

After nourishment, I felt somewhat restored. I asked Petya of her accent's origin. She shared, thirteen years ago, she immigrated to the United States from Bulgaria. During each airline connection from Prague to London and on to Minneapolis, Petya noticed a man her age, who was on her flights. Finally, she asked him, Ivo, where he was going. He was also from Bulgaria, and his destination was the same as Petya's, a university in Edmond, Oklahoma.

"It must have been meant to be," said Petya.

Petya and Ivo eventually married. Each of them worked one-to-two jobs and, without student loans, went to college. They completed two-year degrees, followed by receiving Bachelors Degrees in Finance. They both continued to work and Ivo advanced to graduate school.

Ivo had just completed his Masters Degree in Business Administration and was looking for work. Petya proudly related rather than a CPA, Certified Public Accountant, Ivo wanted to become a CFA, Certified Financial Analyst. To obtain the latter certification, Ivo must work three years in the field and yearly pass a rigorous examination.

Petya plans to enroll in graduate school and possibly obtain a Masters Degree in Dietetics. After which, she wants to start her own business and work with obese children and diabetics.

From Petya's count, there are 10-to-12 Bulgarian immigrants living in the Oklahoma City area, and they are a close-knit "family." With Petya's evening job, she babysits, during the day, for two of her Bulgarian, women friends, so they can also work.

With the absurd furor about immigration, Petya and Ivo are people that I am absolutely delighted made their way to my home state. I'd like more people like them to follow their path. The have much to teach us about perseverance and hard work.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011


As we watched and waited, I became acquainted with Donna. Four months earlier, her husband, Wayne, had been diagnosed with in-operable colon cancer. After traversing the rigors of chemotherapy and radiation treatment, Donna said Wayne continued to have severe pain.

A day prior to Nick's heart attack, Wayne, at 57, had a stroke, affecting both sides of his brain. Wayne's neurologist told Donna and her two sons that Wayne would not survive the stroke. He gave Wayne only a few days to live.

Donna and the sons stayed at Wayne's bedside and reviewed each new brain with the doctor. They looked for some sign of improvement. The scans revealed the contrary.

Finally, Donna signed the Do Not Resuscitate, DNR, papers. The following night, outside the hospital chapel, Donna and I had a long talk. She was questioning her decision to sign the DNR papers. She talked of Wayne and what a strong, vibrant man he had been. We discussed the possibility the stroke might have been a blessing in disguise. It would spare Wayne a long, agonizing cancer death. We also spoke of our spiritual beliefs. On my departing for the night, Donna and I hugged, and she entered the chapel to pray.

When I saw Donna the next morning, she was peaceful. She had let go. After 32 years with Wayne, Donna knew living without him would be lonely and painful, but she appeared resolute and strong. Clearly, she would find her way.

I was fortunate. Nick came home and has recovered. I felt love and compassion for those who lost loved ones. For, all vigils come to an end, and the survivors are left to carry on.

Monday, October 24, 2011


During Nick's five days in the ICU, I was often found in his room or standing outside it or in the waiting area. From this vantage point, I watched the comings and goings of many.

For every occupant in an ICU bed, a constellation of family and friends hold vigil. Bound together in similar experiences, we often confided in and comforted one another.

There were the three sisters, along with their husbands and children, grieving the last few days of their mother's life, after her long struggle with breast cancer.

Fifteen years earlier, Molly's husband, Frank, had three-vessel, heart-bypass surgery. Now, in his late sixties, all of his vessels were occluded, and his time was near. As his life ebbed, Frank was lovingly tended by his wife and sons. Molly had resigned herself to the inevitable but received comfort in knowing that Frank was "returning home."

Standing less than five feet tall, in a yellow, sweat suit, Maxine hovered outside her husband, George's, room. Maxine, 85 and the mother of five, said she and her husband had been married for 67 years. George was a retired Southern Baptist minister. According to Maxine, he had been the epitome of a loving husband and father. However, during George's stay in the ICU, Maxine related he had been "out of his mind." With much chagrin, Maxine tearfully said that throughout their years together, George had never spoken to her or used such language,as was his current manner. Maxine attributed it to the medicine being used to treat George's pneumonia.

Maxine looked lost. I sensed George was her anchor. I was reminded, in such marriages as Maxine and George's the death of one spouse is often quickly followed by the death of the other.

Maxine, Molly, the three sisters and I continued to wait, watch and pray.

Sunday, October 23, 2011


Last February my man "friend," Nick, had a "massive" heart attack. As he struggled to breathe, I called 911. The firemen came, followed by the ambulance and its attendants. In a very orderly fashion, they worked to stabilize Nick and transport him to the hospital. I followed behind. After an angiogram and a stint placement, he was transferred to the Cardiac ICU, where we settled in for the next five days.

With bells ringing, lights flashing and whistles blowing, electronic wizardry monitored Nick's heart rhythm, blood oxygen level, blood pressure and pulse. The gadgets were crucial, but the nurses were invaluable. To what could have been a very dehumanizing experience, these women enfolded Nick with thoughtful kindness. It was obvious that Nick was not a diagnosis in a bed. He had no doubt the nurses cared and his well-being was important to them.

Nick's cardiologist, Dr. Prabhu, was extremely well-trained and a very kind soul. Knowing Dr. Prabhu was heading the medical helm gave us confidence and a sense of safety, but the ever-present ICU nurses were our vital, human link.

Our bodies, minds and spirits are an integrated whole. Hardware and technicians can tinker with the body's mechanics ad infinitum. However, if the patient's emotional and spiritual needs go untended, the body will die. The ICU nurses provided the healing, human touch.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011


I am having a love affair with acrylic paint. On a canvas, there is no amount that is too much. I might use three or more large tubes on a 16" x 20" canvas. I love the paints swirling fluidity, and the exquisite patterns formed as the colors merge.

For now, I am not interested in creating a particular image. I am exploring my inner world of rotating, spiraling, oscillating color. I enter and dance in this realm of energy and its vibrations.

This world at our centers is the seat of our souls. This domain is a part of Divine Consciousness and the source of our inner knowing and intuition. This realm is as much a part of God as a drop of the ocean is the ocean.

After a stressful day, my tension dissipates when I pick up a brush or palette knife and allow my spirit free rein. Then, I am allowed admittance into the Divine symphony of color and form.

Sunday, October 16, 2011


Over the last fifteen years, my writing has been subjected to the scrutiny of a number of human editors. From them, I learned much.

Now, I am edited by a computer. Often, my computer program is my best friend. Other times, it makes me laugh. Its lack of a brain creates a nonsensical sentence or two. However, I am sure the sentence is well punctuated.

My program is very picky about my repeating a word. I frequently over-ride its suggestions. The repetition clarifies my point.

This electronic gadget also chastises me for my long sentences. I have become used to it. The program will have to get over it. My name goes at the top or bottom of the page.

I often enjoy a country spin on things. My rural vernacular is also subjected to my electronic editors scorn. Sometimes I spiff it up a little and, other times, I don't.

Well, for the moment, I have run out of words. So, I will check with my editor and see how I fared on this piece.


Before I begin a new canvas, I feel the need to experience a particular color or combination of colors. I frequently receive visions of one or two strokes of the color on canvas.

In the midst of the process, with painting flying everywhere, I may hear an inner voice. In an early piece, of course everything is early now, I was using a combination of orange and yellow and was told, "Make it dance." I began to feel the rhythm of the colors, and they danced.

On another canvas, I was again working with yellow and orange. It was 2:00-to-3:00 a.m. I kept making a circle that resembled a fiery orb. I repeatedly questioned, "What is this?"

A few minutes later, I began to laugh. Internally, I heard Johnny Cash singing, "Burn, burn, burn and the flames grow higher ... that ring of fire." I was painting the ring.

Other times, I am in the throes of various color combinations and am not sure where I am going. Then, the title comes to me. I am never left wandering alone.


I have studied art, artists and art history for almost fifty years. Art is my passion. When I was pregnant with my first child, Billy, I worked in the town library. Ms. French, the librarian, allowed me to paint posters for book displays. My paint drippings resembled those of Jackson Pollock. Bless her heart. Ms. French was blind as a bat. She and I loved my posters. The remainder of the rural townspeople had other opinions, but at least they kept it to themselves.

To date, I have written two books framed in art, Renaissance Woman and Ivey Hayes, the Art of Living. I had presumed my artistic abilities were limited to enjoying and studying art but did not include its creation.

In April of this year, I joined other women in an art class. I enjoyed talking to the women, particularly Patti, the teacher. I was afraid to pick up a brush and was preparing to leave. Then, I saw the other women go to work on their projects. Like an orphaned child, I looked on.

They were painting a bit of everything. Patti said there were no rules in her studio. "Paint whatever comes to your mind," she said. "And you can never use too much paint."

Well that suited me to a T. I love art with lots of color and texture. Van Gogh was my kind of guy.

As I perused the jumbled array of materials, I spied a long, narrow piece of canvas, with stringy edges. I promptly began to separate the loose threads.

For weeks, the color, purple, had come to my inner vision. I was hungry for it. I rummaged through the paints and found a match. I squirted purple on a palette, also known as a meat packaging tray. Finally, I picked up a brush. Floodgates opened within me. I was carried into another dimension of myself, the artist.

Fifty paintings later, I am going strong. As I said earlier, it is never to late to have a happy childhood.


I have spent much of my life in rooms with white or beige walls. In the spring of 2010, I was depressed and decided I needed a little color to cheer me up. I promptly began to purchase green paint samples, for one wall of my living room. I splashed six shades on it before I found "the" peridot green I desired. The green, which resonates with the heart chakra, energized me. So, I covered the opposing wall with the same hue. My living room looks like a long, peridot sandwich.

In the meantime, my project had mushroomed. I decided to paint my dining room a solar-plexus yellow and a bedroom wall, behind my bedstead, an indigo blue, which vibrates with the energy level of the third eye.

I repeated my color selection process. Those little sample cards don't do it for me. I require a big dollop of paint on the wall to see and feel its frequency. During this process, my walls looked like a two-year-old had gone wild with a paint brush, and they probably did. (You are never too old to have a happy childhood.)

It worked. The colors morphed my spirit to a higher plane.


Following a suicide, I have repeatedly heard mourners espouse the departed is free of pain and in a peaceful place.

I'm not so sure about that. I have also heard and read that when a soul exits its body, self-induced or otherwise, it vibrates at the same energetic frequency as it did during its embodiment. For me, this belief resonates true.

I also believe that each soul incarnates on the planet to grow spiritually and/or to help others grow spiritually.

For many years of my life, I suffered from severe depression and was daily suicidal. The only thought that kept me alive was my belief in reincarnation. I reasoned that I wanted to learn whatever lessons I came for, because I sure didn't want to repeat this sucker again.

After growing, and continuing to grow, through my pain, I smile over the latter paragraph. For I now have a much broader awareness of the purpose and meaning of this incarnation.

For now, my message is:

"No matter what your pain, pray and don't hurt yourself."

"And don't quit before your miracle."

Saturday, October 15, 2011


Eleven years ago, a patient and I had a parting of the ways. We "agreed to disagree," regarding issues of my time and payment. Since that time, we have concurrently attended a number of non-professional meetings. Through gossip, she has assassinated my character. When she and I are in close proximity, her anger toward me is palpable. When I speak in the group, she often leaves the room.

She is very popular, charming and has a great sense of humor. Over the years, her behaviors and attitudes toward me have been very hurtful. When she is near, I pray for her.

Today, we were again in a meeting together. She shared her struggles and pain. Later, as others shared similar experiences, she began to cry. It was the first time I had seen her cry. I felt an enormous amount of love and compassion for her.

She was sitting a few chairs away. I was drawn to hand her a tissue and tell her I loved her. When I approached, she recoiled and said, "I don't want to talk to you. I don't consider you my friend. Don't talk to me."

Emotionally, I felt slapped. I returned to my seat, and my tears flowed. Throughout the day, I have reflected on this incident.

My hurt is dissipating. I feel incredible sadness for this woman. She is a tortured soul. I hope she finds her way.

Friday, October 14, 2011


Over the years, I have learned everything I think does not require my expression. If I do not practice restraint of tongue and pen, I will have to apologize for my ill-tempered words. I certainly had a close call last week.

Earlier in the year, I had seen a depressed, young man and received many phone calls from his distraught mother. Her son kept two therapy appointments. As we approached his issues, he became a phantom patient. He missed his three subsequent visits and followed none of my recommendations. Occasionally, he would call for an appointment. When I returned his call, he did not answer and his message machine was full.

I had not seen him for six months. Last week, he called, left a message and urgently requested/demanded that I write a letter on his behalf and fax it to his attorney. First, I always see the patient immediately prior to preparing a letter for the court. Second, I'm like a Missouri mule. A patient can politely ask me for a favor, and I will usually accommodate them. However, I refuse to respond to a demand.

Weary of being treated like a free Psychiatric 7-11, I promptly returned the call. To my surprise, I could leave a message. I reminded him that he had missed several appointments, and I was not a get-out-of-jail-free card. Yes, I was a little over the top, but he was the end of a long line of entitled young men, who have paraded through my office and mistook me for their mother.

A few hours later, after a long day of seeing patients, I received a voice message from the young man's mother. She was irate and unkind. As it often happens, the young "adults," problems stem from overly indulgent caregivers.

I was exhausted, infuriated and hurt. I wanted to call her back and tell her what I thought, but I refrained. I knew I needed to sleep on the situation.

The following morning, I composed a rational, professional letter for the mother and itemized the series of events that led up to previous day. I was grateful that I used restraint of tongue and pen, because I did not want to apologize to her or her recalcitrant offspring.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011


We often live with our eyes downcast or our vision obstructed by blinders. It takes courage to live with our eyes wide open.

What does it mean to live with eyes wide open?

It means to have a full view of the banquet life places before us. To feast on the banquet, we must release our narrow ways of thinking and our judgemental and self-negating and world-negating attitudes.

It is our choice to walk within the narrow view made visible with our blinders. It is a familiar path, worn smooth by our plodding. We know every twist and curve along its course. Often times, the journey is boring,depressing and devoid of energy, but it is "safe." Its choice is a living death.

However, if we choose to rip off the blinders of our narrow thoughts, we will see the luscious panorama of life's abundance. This path requires trust in the Divine. In spite of our fears, this path also requires action. But, living life with eyes wide open brings fresh air, sunshine, adventure, joy and fulfillment and, when its your time to leave the planet, you will know you truly lived.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011


After reading my autobiography, Red Earth Woman, a friend, Nell, asked me if I had forgiven my parents.

I told Nell, because of my spiritual healing over the past 25 years, I had forgiven them.

However, I wondered if Nell had asked me the question because she had been emotionally and/or physically traumatized. I went on to caution her, in the early phases of recovery, one must feel to the depth of their being, their pain and anger. Forgiveness comes much later.

I believe we incarnate on the planet to grow spiritually and to help others grow spiritually. My parents were my greatest teachers. They forced me to go to the center of my being, where my True Self resides. In my pain, I cried out to my only source of strength, the God of my understanding. To be free of my pain, I had to surrender all of me to my Higher Power and become willing to do whatever was necessary to change my thoughts and their resultant emotions and actions.

My parents are in their eighties and preparing to cross to the other side. I send them forgiveness, love and compassion. They each carry heavy burdens, and I can only imagine the torture of their souls. I pray they both find peace.

Monday, October 10, 2011

PRAYERS - Abbreviated

In addition to the preceding prayers, I have three abbreviated prayers I frequently use throughout the day.

"I am yours, Dear God. I am yours."

"Thy will not mine be done."

"Show me the way, Dear God. Show me the way."

I have practiced these prayers for many years. Now, on awakening, I internally hear their words. Throughout the day, I realize I am praying them. They have become my mantra. As my friend, Jo Ann, says, "The prayers are now praying me."

Sunday, October 9, 2011

PRAYER - Lord's Prayer - Another Translation

Apparently, there are a variety of translations, from the original Aramaic, of the Lord's Prayer. My favorite is Mark Hathaway's translation, which is based on the work of Saadi Neil Douglas-Klotz.

"O Cosmic Birther of all radiance and vibration!
Soften the ground of my being and carve out a space within me where Your Presence can abide.
Fill me with Your Creativity so that I may be empowered to bear the fruit of Your Mission.
Let each of my actions bear fruit in accordance with Your Desire.
Endow me with the wisdom to produce and share what each being needs to grow and flourish.
Untie the tangled threads of destiny that bind me, as I release others from the entanglement of past mistakes.
Do not let me be seduced by that which would divert me from my true purpose, but illuminate the opportunities of the present moment.
For You are the ground and the fruitful vision, the birth-power and fulfillment, as all is gathered and made whole once again."

This beautiful prayer comforts me and resonates with my True Self.

Many Blessings, LB

Saturday, October 8, 2011

PRAYER - The Serenity Prayer

The Serenity Prayer is another prayer used frequently in 12-step programs:

"God grant us the serenity to accept the things we cannot change,
Courage to change the things we can,
And wisdom to know the difference."

I use a personalized version of the prayer, changing us to me and we to I. Over many years, the use of this prayer has taught me that I am powerless over people, places, things and situations. Acceptance is difficult but, after many failures to change anything outside of myself, I had to admit complete defeat, which is the beginning of acceptance.

The only person I can change is me, and I require God's help to do that. Many of our ways of thinking, that result in our feelings and behaviors, are very familiar but uncomfortable. Great courage is required to ask a Power greater than we are for help and take a leap of faith into the unknown. The Third Step and Seventh Step Prayers guide us in this process.

It is a wise person who stops fighting anything or anyone, including themselves. Knowledge or information can be gleaned from a book or computer and regurgitated. After an arduous journey, wisdom is found within, in the seat of the soul.

Friday, October 7, 2011

PRAYER - Seventh Step Prayer

The following is the Seventh Step Prayer, which is also from the literature of the 12-step programs.

"My Creator, I am now willing that you should have all of me, good and bad.
I pray that you now remove from me every single defect of character which stands in the way of my usefulness to you and my fellows.
Grant me strength, as I go out from here, to do your bidding. Amen."

In the first sentence, we are willing for our Creator to take all of us, not just our "bad" traits. Actually, what we think is a good trait, used in excess can become a negative trait. Excellent organizational skills are an attribute when held in balance, but the skill becomes destructive when it is used to organize and regulate the lives of others. If we are to grow spiritually, we can't pick and choose what part we give to our Higher Power. We have to turn over the whole package.

The second sentence allows God to select which of our characters traits need to be removed. However, we usually have an inkling of what our character defects might be by the emotional and/or physical pain they cause us.

Furthermore, the reason for the removal of our character defects is not so we can tip toe through the tulips and live happily ever after. The purpose is to fit ourselves for maximum service to God and man.

And, so it is.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

PRAYER - Third Step Prayer

For many years, I have used four prayers. Three of them are borrowed from 12-step programs, the Third Step, the Seventh Step and the Serenity Prayers, and the last prayer is an alternate translation of the Lord's Prayer.

In my belief system, God, or the Universe, does not need a grocery list or a Christmas list of my wants. For me, the following prayers align my will rightly with God's.

Third Step Prayer:

"God, I offer myself to Thee - to build with me and to do with me as Thou wilt.
Relieve me of the bondage of self, that I may better do Thy will.
Take away my difficulties, that victory over them may bear witness to those I would help of Thy Power, Thy Love, and Thy Way of Life. May I do Thy will always! Amen."

There are several elements that are key for me within this prayer. In the second sentence, the word, bondage, is power packed. My bondage is my wants, my fears, my anger, my selfishness and my ego, to name just a few. I can only be released from these defects of my character through Divine Power.

Sentence three, "Take away my difficulties, that victory ...," the operative word is "victory," not defeat. But the purpose of our victory over our difficulties is not for our self-aggrandizement, but to "bear witness to those I would help" of God's Power, Love and Way of Life.

Our victories are signs of Divine Power and Will in our lives. We carry our Higher Source's light to others in our thoughts, words and behaviors. We are the message.
God is the messenger.

Monday, October 3, 2011


Anger, when harbored, becomes resentment, and the person they hurt the most is their owners. I have heard it said that if we are angry and resentful toward someone that we are carrying them around in our head's rent free. Actually, we are carrying these toxic emotions around in every cell of our bodies.

I have also been told, if I have anger or resentment toward someone, to pray for them. My prayers have varied over the years. Early on, I prayed for their happiness, health and prosperity, whither I meant it or not and, eventually, I would mean it. Later, I prayed for them to be surrounded by Divine light and love, and I still use this prayer. Now, my go to prayer is, "God bless them."

I have found that I cannot bless someone and be angry with them at the same time. The "Law of Attraction" holds that what I send out returns to me multiplied. I prefer to send my boomerang out loaded with blessings.

Sunday, October 2, 2011


Recently, a friend asked me, "Are you ever afraid?"

My immediate answer was, "No."

What I meant by that statement is that fear does not run or control my life. Certainly, being human, I have the occasional niggling fears about my health or my finances. But, through years of practice, my next thought is that the Universe always supplies my needs, not my wants, and all I really need is food, clothing and shelter. The second thought restores my internal peace.

For many years, I have practiced two principles:

- I turn my will and my life over to the care of the Higher Power of my understanding.

- I seek through prayer and meditation to improve my conscious contact with that Power, or God, and I pray only for the knowledge of God's will for me and the power to carry it out.

For me, if I practice these principles to the best of my ability, there is an inherent promise that I will be taken care of, and I will be given the power necessary to do my Higher Source's will.

I have a daily choice. However, when I work to align my will with the Divine will, I am peaceful, free of fear and things just seem to turn out better.

Saturday, October 1, 2011


Dr. Masaru Emoto's book, The Hidden Messages in Water, discloses his research on the simple molecule, which comprises 70 percent of the adult human body. Dr. Emoto provides evidence of the impact of our word and thoughts on the crystalline structure of water exposed to words or phrases, either written or spoken, such as "Love," "Gratitude," "Thank You" or "You're Beautiful," the water forms beautiful crystals. The same is the case if the water is exposed to the music of Beethoven, Mozart or Chopin.

Whereas, under the same conditions, if the water is exposed to the words "You Fool," "Hate," "War" or heavy-metal music, the crystals are malformed and fragmented.

Every molecule of water in our body knows every thought we think and every word we say and responds in kind. The same is true for every cell of our body that contains water. And, as far as I know, they all contain water.

If we sent forth kind and loving thoughts and words toward ourselves and others, our body's molecules and cells manifest that loving, healing energy.

Likewise, if we send forth fearful or angry thoughts or words toward ourselves and others, we pollute our body with toxic energy and create ill health.

Listen to your words and thoughts. Your health depends on it.

Friday, September 30, 2011


Driving home from the Post Office today, I approached an intersection, but a large van, with lights flashing, blocked the road. After navigating around it, I saw a young woman carrying a gas can. She looked frantic and asked for a ride. I opened my door. She look relieved and took the passenger's seat. She also carried an electronic item, which she said she was preparing to pawn, and the pawn shop was located near the gas station that we both frequented. I told her I'd buy the gas and, looking shocked, she said, "Really."

As we drove to the station, she said that it was really hard for her to ask for help, and I sensed she was very appreciative of the ride. She spoke of her husband and four children, ages nine-to-two. She related that they had lived in a shelter, until they could receive a house. She added that she always paid her bills at the first of the month and, because of the summer heat, her electric bill was very high, and the remainder of the month she had little money for food and gas. That morning she had visited the Food Pantry for assistance.

At the station, I gave her a $20 bill. She prepaid for the gas and filled her container. She went in for the change and, on re-entering the car, she handed it to me. I told her to keep it. She promptly said that she would return to the station and fill her tank.

Then, she turned to me and said, "My name is Mollie. What is yours?"

I replied, "Linda."

Mollie appeared relieved. She spoke of her fears and confusion. I shared that, when I was in such a state, I would sit quietly and pray. I told her that God knows our every need, and I am always amazed how the solutions come.

As Mollie stepped out of my car, I quietly handed her another bill, which would allow her to breathe easier for the remainder of the month.

As I drove, I felt blessed that I could love another through a random act of kindness.

Thursday, September 29, 2011


Following yesterday's blog, you might ask, "Why do bad things happen to good people or, the converse, why do good things happen to bad people?"

I reply, "Who am I to judge a soul's journey?"

Souls incarnate on this planet for a myriad of purposes and to learn a similar number of spiritual lessons.

For instance, many ask, "Why would a loving God allow a beautiful, innocent child to die?"

I respond, "Who am I to know the duration of a soul's stay in any particular embodiment. If an angelic soul has taken a bodily form, perhaps they have come to help others grow spiritually? Perhaps, those they came to help only grow through the pain of the child's death?" The Universe is filled with infinite possibilities and is orchestrated by Divine Intelligence, which operates beyond any human understanding.

I have many past-life memories and have often pondered these questions. I am currently working on a book, Beyond the Red Earth, a Soul's Journey, which will complete my Red Earth Trilogy.

One of the topics I am processing is the current belief in the black and white or reward punishment nature of karma. This is a very simplistic, linear view, with which I take issue. In this holographic universe, I suspect the dots connect in a much more complex and convoluted fashion.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011


For you, the reader, I thought you might like to know more about me. This is a distillation of my beliefs.

I am a very spiritual person, but I am not an advocate of any particular religion. I believe there are elements of sacred truths within various religious traditions but, as in so many things, my approach is very eclectic. My Higher Source or God is the Positive Force of the Universe. Some say, the only religion is the religion of Love. I agree.

My life's intent is to align my will with the Divine Will. I frequently pray, or talk to God, and I pray only for the knowledge of God's will for me and the power to carry it out.

To meditate, I spend much time in solitude and silence, and my path is revealed through that intuitive knowing, that inner voice, our connection to the Divine.

My Source is all loving and only wants the best for me, but my thoughts and subsequent actions and emotions must be properly directed, which might entail physical or emotional pain or discomfort. In other words, the Universe has to get my attention.

I also believe that my life's events happen in Divine Right Order, but I may not like or understand the order. My experience has been that out of the most negative appearing events can evolve the highest good for all concerned.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011


Many years ago, I traveled to Texas' Big Bend State Park. While there, I found a biography, Border Healing Woman, on Jewel Babb, who was eighty at the time of the book's publication in 1981.

Ms. Babb lived the latter portion of her life on the Texas-Mexico border. She grew up in the days of horse-drawn wagons and cattle roundups. She married, raised children and, in later years, discovered her healing powers.

When her biography was written, Ms. Babb resided alone, living in a home without electricity or running water. There many sought her for her wisdom, her cures and to learn her healing methods. Since reading of Ms. Babb's life, I have valued her wisdom.

"Television makes me sick," said Ms. Babb. "People who look at TV know what other people know. I want to know what I know."

She added, "If you go to church, you'll hear it how they tell it. But if you sit on a hill for fifteen years, with your animals and no one else, you learn a lot. It comes to you."

For many years, I have lived alone on my hill, with my animals. Ms. Babb was right. It comes to you.

Monday, September 26, 2011


Our inward journey is to our true Selves and to the Divine.

I am very aware that I am being led to continue to release ideas, attitudes, behaviors and objects, which no longer serve my highest good or the highest good of all concerned.

I am currently on an office hiatus. With solitude, rest and diminished demands on my energy, I feel significant internal shifts are occurring.

Last night, I had another dream, one of many, of my childhood, satanic abuse. In the dream, I was going to a "spiritual retreat" with a group of women whom I admired. We walked along a wooded path toward a gathering place. Suddenly, I was aware that I had been duped. The group leaders were members of a cult, and they were luring us to a satanic ceremony. I did not want to loose my new found friends. I was frozen in silence and continued to walk with them on the path. I awoke in fear.

The dream has haunted me today. I ask myself, "What is the Universe attempting to show me?"

Many thoughts have come.
- Be a leader, not a follower.
- To be true to my highest good, I must often walk alone. (However, I am always accompanied by the Divine.)
- Happiness is not derived from society. It is a byproduct of following God's will.

The answers may be these and/or many others. It will be revealed.

Sunday, September 25, 2011


As we evolve spiritually, we travel to our centers and our truth.

For many years, I have recurrently dreamed that, even as an M.D., because of a clerical error, I had to repeat my senior year of high school to receive my high school diploma. I was humiliated.

Because of childhood programing, one theme in my life has been that regardless of my achievements, I could not succeed. Prior to medical school graduation, I became intensely suicidal. To approach an assault on my programing, such as walking across the stage and accepting my diploma, created almost unbearable stress.

During those four years of living hell, I thought I would surely die of a brain tumor or leukemia before I received the coveted degree.

For eleven years after graduation, I trained and practiced in the field of pathology. Following considerable, personal growth, I realized in pathology I dealt with dis-eased bodies, which were often the result of dis-eased thoughts and the subsequent emotions and actions they generated. Twenty-five years ago, I retrained as a psychiatrist, the field in which I currently practice.

As I approach retirement, my dreams indicate that I am having difficulty transitioning from a human doing to a human being. For several years, I have dreamed, because my skills were rusty, I must repeat my pathology training. Again, my achievements are not "good enough," and there is more for me to do before I rest or play. On awakening, I felt guilty about the many times, during my medical training and career that I was unavailable emotionally or physically for my three children.

Because of my commitment to my patients and my fear of financial insecurity, I have pushed myself to continue my practice. My gastrointestinal tract is a perfect barometer of my emotional state. Eighteen months ago, my alimentary canal went into full revolt. It informed me, in no uncertain terms, that if I didn't quickly do something, drastically different, death was eminent. So, out of desperation, I decreased my patient load and my hours in the office.

For several months now, when I go into the office, I often feel as though I am dying. Last night, the dream of returning for a second pathology residency was more vivid than ever before. I had an infant. She was malnourished, lethargic and near death. If I attempted to perform the tasks entailed in the residency, she would die. I awoke knowing the child was me.

Soon, I know that I must leave my psychiatric practice. This phase of my life is drawing to a close. If I am to continue to help others, I will do so via another vehicle.

For many years, I have been drawn to follow my passions, art and writing, which issue from my center, my true self. As of yet, my literary footprint has been invisible, and I have not publicly shown my art. I am coming to know that it is not important that I have an audience, receive praise or earn an income from these endeavors. What is important is that I follow my passion and my truth, and so it is.

Saturday, September 24, 2011


Beautiful movie,
Staring Robert Duval,
Movie's message,
SFT: See, Feel, Trust
Not think, think, think,
But see with eyes that see,
Feel your heart's truth and
Trust God
Movie concludes:
Utopia is the place where the truth lies.

Friday, September 23, 2011


As one approaches the entrance of New England's Hannafords' Supermarkets, signs are posted asking, "Did you remember your reusable bags?"

Upon entering, customers are greeted by five recycling bins, each designated for a specific category, such as glass, cans, paper, plastic containers and plastic bags.

Hannafords' shelves are stocked with organic foods, biodegradable cleaning products and paper products derived from 100 percent recycled paper.

The stores' bathroom mirrors and glass refrigerator doors bear decals stating that the store is naturally illuminated by skylights and solar tubes.

On leaving, one feels as though their consciousness has been elevated to a more sustainable lifestyle.

Oklahoma's supermarkets appear oblivious to environmental needs. I'd like to beam down into our state and elevate its social consciousness.

Addendum: This piece concludes my New England Travel Series. I hope it was meaningful to you.

We are all travelers along our internal and external life pathways. I now return to my primary venue of holistic health and healing, in hopes my experiences and observations will be helpful in your life's journey.

Thursday, September 22, 2011


Besides enjoying the economy and social aspects of diners, I also enjoy clean, bare-boned, low-cost motel rooms.

After an exhausting day of travel, I stopped at the East Hill Motel in Warsaw, New York. I stumbled into the office and was greeted by a warm and inviting smile on the face of Mohammad Islam. When Mohammad smiled, his eyes sparkled and his whole face lit up. Immediately, I knew this man had a good soul.

As I checked in, I noticed a well-worn Bible on Mohammad's desk.

Meeting my expectations, my room was clean and neat and the mattress was firm.

After a night's rest, I became acquainted with Mohammad and discovered he had emigrated from Bangladesh twenty-one years earlier.

Mohammad appeared to be in his early forties and was obviously well-educated. He had lived in New York City and in Connecticut, where his brother and sister, respectively, continued to live. Mohammad also had a sister living in Canada.

Several times, Mohammad mentioned how much he enjoyed living in "the country." He added, "I don't have to live like this, (referring to his modest surroundings). I choose to live like this."

Mohammad was very clear that money could not replace the serenity he had found living on a winding, state highway, in a humble motel in rural, upper-state New York.

As I was leaving, Mohammad, with a cheerful attitude, was cleaning the vacated rooms. He said his wife, Ange, was visiting in New Brunswick, Canada. As he spoke of his wife, there was a soft sweetness on his face.

By choosing to live a simple life, Mohammad Islam found peace. For, on some level, he knows the sacred is in the ordinary, and enough is enough.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011


Vermont has a large number of homes and commercial structures that were built in the early 1800s-to-early-1900s and, over the years, Vermont's frugal citizens have maintained, repaired, restored and reallocated these buildings.

In 1791, Vermont became the Union's 14th state. Oklahoma, my home state, was admitted to the Union as the 46th state in 1907. With over a century head-start, Vermont's moneyed families employed skilled, immigrant workers to erect magnificent edifices, while Oklahomans were still living in tents, sod-houses or ram-shackled, wood-frame dwellings.

Vermont's early buildings were built to last. They were set upon deep foundations of granite, which enabled their roof lines to remain straight and their brick and stone walls to be without cracks.

In the ultimate form of recycling, many of Vermont's elegant, 19th-century mansions now house health clinics, senior citizen centers, libraries, state agencies and offices for attorneys and insurance agents.

Other brightly-bedazzled, Victorian homes are no longer occupied by single families, but have opened their doors for many guests to sleep beneath their roofs. In Burlington, the windows of these homes frame many families in their daily routines and countless students at their studies.

In addition, Vermont's abandoned factory buildings, often previous fabric mills, have transformed into apartment buildings, restaurants and shops.

Built in the early 1800s, many of Vermont's massive, stone churches continue to hold Sunday services. Likewise, many banks of similar vintage, with their original vaults, continue to transact business.

Unlike Vermont's architectural heritage, Oklahoma's aged buildings are too often demolished, with the remains deposited in a land fill, while new structures, of dubious quality and scant beauty, take their place, to repeat the cycle anew in 30-to-40 years.

Oklahomans, too often follow society's illusions and build their dream McMansions, which keep the builders and bankers in money, but leave the new homeowner with a large mortgage and a lifetime of work.

On the flip side, Vermont, as does Oklahoma, has it's trailer-house blight, with no aesthetics and a short life expectancy but, gratefully, trailer homes do not have a significant presence in most of Vermont's towns and villages.

Because Vermont's residents often live in smaller, more centralized communities they frequently walk or ride bicycles to shop, visit friends or go to school, work or church. Vermont also sports numerous fit mothers pushing baby carriages, with their elder children in tow.

Frequently, Vermont's children can be found playing outside. Its high school students can be seen walking home after school. These same students are frequently without cell phones or DVD players plugged into their ears, and they actually laugh with and talk to each other.

In contrast, after the last school bell rings, Oklahoma's mothers are usually lined up, with engines running, in their over-sized vehicles, waiting to pick up their darlings, the latter of which, upon arriving, promptly put on a head set or start pushing buttons on their electronic gizmos.

Overall, Vermonters are much slimmer than Oklahomans. Our state ranks dead last on the health polls and at the top of the obesity charts.

Besides recycling, repairing, maintaining and reusing their buildings, Vermonter's environmental consciousness was also evident by their volume of pedestrian traffic, clothes billowing dry on clotheslines and well-placed, recycling containers.

I love Oklahoma and its people, but it is time for Oklahomans to wake up and get with the program, and Vermonters have much to teach us.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011


Diners are without pretense, phony sophistication or inflated prices. Therein, conversations are relevant and to the point. As in all eating establishments, diners sport menu items that are not so kind to the waistline. However, diners also serve nutritious foods.

Jim is the manager and chef in Burlington, Vermont's Henry's Diner. Jim is in his mid-thirties, of stocky build, with reddish hair and a face to match. Watching Jim handle a number of orders at once is like watching a ballet, graceful and perfectly timed.

After a few rushed minutes, Jim stepped from the kitchen, walked to the counter and introduced himself. He said that he was of Heinz 57 lineage, but I suspect there was a heavy dose of Scott and Irish in that batch.

Jim said that he had worked in a kitchen his "entire life" and explained that he grew up in his grandfather's bakery, Dough Boy's Bakery, which had been located around the corner from Henry's.

With kind eyes, Jim smiled and revealed teeth in need of a hefty dental bill, but Jim had his priorities straight and spoke of his plans to buy his own diner.

Jim also bakes the Henry's pies, and we discussed the virtues of a good piece of pie. Jim fondly spoke of his wife and three children and of the two apple pies he'd baked for them the previous evening.

With orders stacking up, Jim hot-footed-it back to the kitchen and resumed his rhythmic dance.

Besides the good food and homey atmosphere, I especially like diners because of people like Jim, good, down-to-earth souls, who enjoy the quintessential hearth, the kitchen.

Addendum: If anyone wants to share an experience, offer a comment or ask a question, I'd welcome the dialogue.

Monday, September 19, 2011


Admir waits tables at Henry's Diner, located near Burlington, Vermont's town square. At 22, Admir is tall, has handsome features and is clean-cut, well-spoken and nicely mannered. In 1999, he, his parents and his now 20-year-old brother, Nerman, emigrated from Bosnia. Following the Bosnian war, the country's economy was depressed and many workers lost their jobs, including Admir's father, a police officer, and his mother, a nurse.

I asked Admir about his life in America.

"We like it here," he said. "People have jobs and can even work more than one job. People can go to school. In Bosnia, only rich people can go to school."

Admir, Nerman and their parents all work two jobs. By day, their mother works for a dry cleaner and their father works at the Burton Chocolate Factory. During the night, all four of them clean office buildings for the Burton Cleaning Company.

About the Burton's, Admir appreciatively said, "They are good people."

In addition to Admir's jobs, he is also working on a degree in business management from the University of Vermon, located in Burlington.

America is a nation of immigrants, be they from Europe, Africa, Asia, Mexico, South America or elsewhere. Admir's work ethic and enterprising spirit are an inspiration. In this nation of plenty, many of us have grown soft, lazy and entitled.
America's "unemployed" must get off their royal duffs and, with the humility and determination of their immigrant forebears, go back to work, even if they think that work is "beneath" them.

Sunday, September 18, 2011


Barre, Vermont, granite country, was settled by a potpourri of immigrants, especially Italian stone workers, the descendants of Renaissance masters.

From the earth, these men wrestled enormous blocks of granite. Then, they cut, carved, sculpted and polished the Stone and, often, they died young from accidents, back-breaking labor or lungs filled with silica dust.

From the quarried granite, these immigrants, their children and their children's children anchored and adorned buildings and populated graveyards of the wealthy with exquisitely finished, carved and lettered monuments.

Barre's "Hope Cemetery" is the resting place for many of these immigrants and their families. Though their incomes were meager, their headstones mirror those with greater means and are a testimony to their artistry. Many of the monuments bear birth dates of the mid-1980s and surnames such as:

Abbiati, Andreoletti, Amici, Barberi, Benvenuti, Bianchi Bielli, Bogni, Bottaro, Bottiggi, Broggini, Brunella, Brusa, Buzzi, Calcagni, Calderara, Cardi, Cassani, Casellini, Catto, Coletti, Colombo, Corti, Cozzi, Croce, Domenichelli, Fasola, Fumagalli, Furloni, Giannarelli, Gilli, Guidici, Guidugli,Lamperti, Lanfronconi, Lotti, Malnati, Marchesi, Masi, Mazorati, Mochetti, Moruzzi, Movalli, Orlandi, Parnigoni, Pasetto, Peduzzi, Pellegrini, Pilini, Piretti, Pironi, Puricelli, Rizzi, Roncoroni, Rossi, Rusconi, Sassorossi, Simonetta, Sironi, Stefanazzi, Tamborini, Tarelli, Tosi, Valli, Vanetti, Vasoli, Veronesi, Zanleoni.

Residing in central Barre's Dente Park is a large statue dedicated to Carlo Abate, an artist, who was born in Milan, Italy in 1860 and died in Barre, Vermont in 1943. The sculpture is also a tribute to all Italian-immigrant stone cutters and their progeny.

The heroic, squarely-built, standing figure has muscular, heavily-veined arms. His large hands hold the tools of his trade, a hammer and a hand point. He wears a cap and a sturdy apron. His furrowed brow, piercing gaze and firmly set jaw definitively establish his determination and will to not only survive, but to prevail.

Now, with paltry results, in the name of speed, money and progress, machines and less-dedicated, less-inspired men, unaccustomed to hard work, attempt to imitate quickly the grace and artistry of those dedicated and gifted craftsmen. Like all of today's society, this generation of workmen must slow down, take pride in their work, study the techniques of the master stone cutters and learn to listen to and communicate with the stone. For, the masters were one with their tools and the stone.

Saturday, September 17, 2011


The diner opened in the 1950s, on Main Street in South Portland, Maine. In 1972, the diner was sold to Rudy Ferrante and became Rudy's. When Rudy's son, Robbie, was a junior in high school, he began working at the diner.

Steve Cook and Robbie have been best friends since they were ten years old. In 1996, Steve bought the diner from Rudy, who is now deceased.

On entering the diner, each arrival is enveloped by savory aromas and a homey atmosphere. Looking from the kitchen window, which faces the front door, Robbie, a loquacious jokester, mans the grill and carries on a rolling conversation with his customers.

With regulars, Robbie calls them by name, shares an inside joke or banters about recent sporting events. With newcomers, Robbie often steps from the kitchen, wipes his hands on his apron and shakes their hand. With such a welcome, they immediately feel comfortable enough to belly-up to the counter and partake of Rudy's food and family.

Steve and his eighty-year-old mother, Jenny, own the yellow house behind the diner. Silver-haired Steve is the diner's silent anchor, solid businessman and a chip off his mother's block. Jenny is a crusty dame, with a soft heart. Steve and Jenny wait tables and, with a gleam in their eyes, mutter an occasional satirical comment.

On returning the following day, a Saturday, Robbie and Steve were off playing golf, and Jenny and Beth "womanned" the diner.

Beth grew up in the blue house next door, where her parents still live. Beth has worked in the diner most of her life. In Robbie's absence, without missing a beat, she assumes his role as greeter and cook.

If you are ever hungry and in South Portland, Maine, visit Rudy's Diner, a home away from home, where the food is delicious, the conversation lively and the experience heartwarming.

Friday, September 16, 2011


Cape Elizabeth, Maine,
Ocean pounding,
Tide rolling in,
Reclaiming its domain,
Stranded, rock-bound barnacles, bivalves, seaweed,
Await their Mother's nourishment.


On a rainy night in Kittery, Maine, Doug greeted his customers, with a warm and inviting smile, as they entered Ruby's Diner. Doug has a square, muscular build and is the father of six. Last year, after working for a company for fifteen years as a graphic designer, he and other colleagues with tenure and higher pay were laid-off. As he spoke, Doug's attitude was upbeat, and he had a positive outlook.

Doug was reared in Kittery. He spoke highly of his friends, many of whom he has known since childhood. When Doug lost his job, his friends surrounded him and his family with love and support. Two of Doug's friends own Ruby's, where he works as an assistant manager and waits tables. You couldn't ask for a more gracious host than Doug.

As Doug spoke of his and his family's economic belt tightening, he said that they had lots of things, but they were all old and paid for. Apparently, Doug and his family had always lived modestly but, with a diminished income, they lived even more creatively and frugally. One such measure was to raise chickens for eggs and meat.

On the up side of the economic downturn, Doug spoke of enjoying having more time to spend with his children, who enjoy fishing and outdoor activities.

For their summer vacation, the family drove "Hank the Tank," their 1984 RV, to Colorado. En route, the fan belt broke, and repairs entailed a costly tow. After that experience, Doug said he carried extra fan belts and could change one in fifteen minutes flat.

Radiating with love, Doug went on to extol the many virtues of his wife, a school teacher. He proudly stated that he and his wife had cleaned motel rooms that summer, and they had outworked the "kids."

"Kids don't know how to work today," said Doug. "They're always smoking, talking on the phone or texting."

As a footnote, Doug added, "If you're a hard worker you can always find a job."

As we say in Oklahoma, Doug hit the nail squarely on the proverbial head.

Thursday, September 15, 2011


York Harbor, Maine,
Seawall bolstered by billion-year-old boulders,
Containing stripes, curves and variegations.
These runes, like the sea,
Emanate immortal truths.
We humans, how trivial our plans;
How delusional our "wealth" and social posturing.
The clock is ticking,
Recycle, revitalize, replant or die.


The Firefly Diner,
Kittery, Maine,
Open 6:00 a.m.-to-2:30 p.m.,
Except Thursdays,
Breakfast all day,
Stephanie waits tables and lights the room.
Everyone feels special,
As she smiles and calls them, "Honey," "Sweetie," "Precious" and "Darling,"
Or she says, "Good for you, you cleaned your plate;
I grew up when you didn't waste food;
The ocean, she's kind of blustery today, and
Don't miss York's lighthouse."

While her customers eat, Stephanie hovers about the room,
Like a loving mother.
Because she's there,
The food tastes better.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011


Clark Art Museum,
Williamstown, Massachusetts,
Volunteer, maybe a board member,
Smooth, understated money,
Her hands unsullied by work,
Attention for her daughter and collie dog,
But others unworthy of glance

Her forebears,
Empire builders,
Their wealth built on the backs of others.
Their greed tramped through the pages of history.
The "Great Depression" of the 1930s,
The Grapes of Wrath,
Now banned in libraries,
Because its truth is too "socially offensive."
The "Great Recession," (supposedly 2008-2010, but continues still),
Corporate magnates, bankers and Wall Street hustlers,
Gambled with others' money, lied to and stole from those who trusted,
Received government bail-out money,
But continued to foreclose on homes and small businesses,
Like 1930s tractors rolling over farms and homes,
Yet another generation of Joads,
Except the wealthy,
Who own the media and
Feed us pabulum and their spin of the "truth"

Williamstown matron,
Hear the words of Kate Barnard (c. 1875-1930),
"How can a woman wear diamonds in a country where little children starve?"

Tuesday, September 13, 2011


Driving the lower tier, one sees rolling, tree-laden hills, lush, green fields with their accompanying barns, farm houses, hay bales, cattle and horses. The roadway is dotted with exits to quaint villages, full of unrecorded history, such as Cuba and Bath.

Cuba is known for its cheese production, and the Cuba Cheese Shoppe has free samples of that product, along with samples of other locally produced foods. With such tasty treats, you can't leave empty handed, so carry in your tote bags.

Bath's streets are lined with vintage churches, homes and business dwellings. Victorian homes abound with frilly flowers and lattice work of every description and color. My favorite home, on East Steuben Street, has a white-picket fence, yellow and orange trim and a yard that overflows with an array of flowers, including zinnias, marigolds, sunflowers and such.

Chat-a-Whyle eatery has resided on Bath's Liberty Street for 52 years and continues to provide its customers with a sense of family and good, home cooking.

Everywhere one looks in Bath, the young and the old can be found walking, on sidewalks shaded by towering, graceful trees. In this lovely village, walking is a way of life.

We, from the Midwest, only hear about New York City and often believe it is the sum and total of the state. Thankfully, that notion is far from the truth.

Monday, September 12, 2011


Amazon and Bodhi
Glad to see me,
And I them.
Strawberries blooming,
Grape and blackberry vines leafing,
Blueberry bushes happy,
Fruit trees flowering,
Time to plant
Green beans,
And such.

Fertile soil
Await planting.
What will your garden grow?

Addendum: This concludes the series on my spring travels to North Carolina. I am currently on my third, consecutive, fall trip to New England and, no, it is not a foliage tour. I'm having a love affair with Maine, its coast, Vermont and upper-state New York. Cuba and Bath New York are in my sites today.

Sunday, September 11, 2011


On the road,
Truck stop,
Long, hot shower,
Aching regions
With peppermint,
Nature's balm,
Then to bed,
In my backseat nest,
Eight hours later,
Ready to roll

Saturday, September 10, 2011


I went to the Grand Ole Opry, once,
After the Gaylords raped it.
Half-the-time I paid for,
I listened to semi-harmonic humans,
Sing "Cracker Barrel" commercials.
I swore I'd never eat there again.
Alas, on this trip,
My resolve vaporized.
I was hungry.
They promised good country cooking,
And it was.
Atlantic haddock grilled to perfection,
With fried apples, cornbread and a veggie.
So much for my proclamations,
Hunger levels the playing field.


Two lanes,
Moving good,
Pass the biscuits,
Some jelly too.


Finding Forrester,
"Those who can write, write.
Those who can't write, teach."
I'm not a teacher.
The rest is open for debate.
Unless it's good,
I don't want to hear it.
Opinions are like rectal outlets.
Hopefully, everybody has one.
If not, they've got a big backlog,
Just like this traffic jam.

Friday, September 9, 2011


Into Knoxville,
Twenty miles of gridlock,
If I'd known,
I'd put up a hot-dog stand.
Frustrated travelers,
Me included,
While waiting,
Cobweb formed on dash.
Fine for speeding, $500,
What about loitering?