Friday, March 30, 2007

Breathe deep ~ Let Life in!


by Mary Oliver

Have you ever tried to enter the long black branches
of other lives
tried to imagine what the crisp fringes, full of honey,
from the branches of the young locust trees, in early summer,
feel like?

Do you think this world is only an entertainment for you?

Never to enter the sea and notice how the water divides
with perfect courtesy, to let you in!
Never to lie down with the grass, as though you were the grass!
Never to leap to the air as you open your wings over
the dark acorn of your heart!

No wonder we hear, in your mournful voice, the complaint
that something is missing from your life!

Who can open the door who does not reach for the latch?

Who can travel the miles who does not put one foot
in front of the other, all attentive to what presents itself
Who will behold the inner chamber who has not observed
with admiration, even with rapture, the outer stone?

Well, there is time left
fields everywhere invite you into them.

And who will care, who will chide you if you wander away
from wherever you are, to look for your soul?

Quickly, then, get up, put on your coat, leave your desk!

To put one's foot into the door of the grass, which is
the mystery, which is death as well as life, and
not be afraid!

To set one's foot in the door of death, and be overcome
with amazement!

To sit down in front of the weeds, and imagine
god the ten-figured, sailing out of his house of straw,

nodding this way and that way, to the flowers of the
present hour,
to the song falling out of the mockingbird's pink mouth,

to the tiplets of the honeysuckle, that have opened
in the night.

To sit down, like a weed among weeds, and rustle in the wind!


Listen, are you breathing just a little, and calling it a life?

While the soul, after all, is only a window,
and the opening of the window no more difficult
than the wakening from a little sleep.


Only last week I went out among the thorns and said
to the wild roses:
deny me not,
but suffer my devotion,
Then, all afternoon, I sat among them. Maybe

I even heard a curl or two of music, damp and rouge-red,
hurrying from their stubby buds, from their delicate watery bodies.


For how long will you continue to listen to those dark shouters,
caution and prudence?

Fall in! Fall in!


A woman standing in the weeds.
A small boat flounders in the deep waves, and what's coming next
is coming with its own heave and grace.


Meanwhile, once in a while, I have chance, among the quick things,
upon the immutable.
What more could one ask?

And I would touch the faces of the daisies,
and I would bow down
to think about it.

That was then, which hasn't ended yet.

Now the sun begins to swing down. Under the peach-light,
I cross the fields and the dunes, I follow the ocean's edge.

I climb. I backtrack.
I float.
I ramble my way home.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

*~* Happiness *~*

I was at an end of a day's work when my supervisor Billie (who somehow recognizes all of the ladies ring tones to our cell phones) told me I had gotten a call. She will always let me know when I am getting a call since this is when my son Rob will call and leave me messages when on his break. It always cheers me up to get messages from my kids or loved ones.

I got my phone, pressed for my messages, started listening to a sweet voice from my friend telling me to come to her house when I got off from work because she had something for me......

When she orders her beads for her many creations, a certain company will give her a little courtesy bag of beads for her order as a "thank-you." On one of our visits together at her house, I was admiring all of her beautiful gems, when she noticed me looking at these particular flower beads and then explained how she got them. She proceeded to tell me she didn't know what she was going to do with them... probably make some jewelery for children. I questioned her why for just children? She said she wouldn't wear them, so she didn't think many adults would wear them. I told her I would wear them... She was surprised and said,"You would?" I told her I thought that they were pretty!

I was very surprised when I got to her house and she presented me with this lovely flower necklace regardless of how she felt about the beads! This necklace has even more meaning to know that she not only listened..... but she heard me and cared enough to show me.

I love it! My necklace makes me feel happy when I wear it!

The Comfort of Friends~

There are certain people whom we are
so close to and who are
so dear to our hearts
There are certain people who can
bring us a ray of happiness with just a smile
and who can make us feel better
just by listening and showing that they care
There are certain people who can
make our day with a kind word
They can bring us hope when
our hearts are low
They are a part of who we are, and
they make a difference in our lives
They offer us the comfort of knowing
someone understands
and the satisfaction of knowing
we have something to believe in
They are people like you
who are so deserving
of such admiration and praise...
for it's friends like you who are
forever loved so dearly

Shannon M. Lester

Today, show someone who is special and matters to you that you do care!

Monday, March 26, 2007

Kids are so darn cute!

One of the ladies that I work with had to go to a funeral in Hawaii, so we were short an extra person. You see, we're already down with one lady regularly due to long-term sick leave. When we have two people short, our supervisor has to fill in. All of us ladies love this and see it as an oportunity for our boss to see first hand what we are talking about with different issues within the cafeteria.

I don't know if it is just the change of weather, but the kids at school are acting strangley different! The fourth and fifth graders have been so rambunctious and loud! When Billie (our supervisor) is in her padded office she can not hear them. Sometimes it has gotten unbearable with the lunch ladies/cafeteria aids blowing their whistles in addition to the sound level that the kids are making. Billie was now experiencing the loudness for herself, and would get up from the register several times to walk out into the cafeteria where the kids were being seated. I guess she was hoping her presence would quiet them down.... it worked only for a short while. After they were all seated she gave them a "talking to".

It was time to wash tables, and I was standing out there with the children listening to the cafeteria aids blowing their whistles once again. Then a hush came over the room. I looked to see Billie enter with an "I have HAD it!" look on her face. She then proceeded to tell them she didn't want to hear one sound out of them for five minutes!

She told them all, "Look at the clock, don't look at me... look at the clock! You all know how to tell time. For five minutes not one sound! I want to hear a pin drop!"

One, two, three, four and finally five mintues pass. She then said, "OK! I know that you can do this! From now on, I want to hear nothing but a dull roar come out of you!"

While she was walking back to her sound proof office, as if planned unanimously, all the kids said in a dull, low voice... "ROAR!" She whipped her head around as if had she gotten bit in the butt. The aids and I started laughing hysterically and Billie had to turn her head fast because she almost lost her look of sternness, and started to laugh with us!

I love working with children! I couldn't believe how quick-whitted they were, almost as if it were planned!

Saturday, March 24, 2007

My Baby ~

Last weekend I did something that was just a blast! I took my daughter Diandra out in the country and we took pictures. The picture taking was mostly of her... I have to tell you from the most bias opinion, I think my daughter is beautiful! The beauty that I see is not only an outward beauty, but she shines from the inside out.

I will never forget when she was very little, one Halloween after we got back from trick-or-treating, we had some late stragglers ring the door bell with a cheerful "Trick-or-Treat!" My bowl of treats was almost bare at that time and when I got to the last two children I had no more candy to give. As I apologised to them, my daughter's mouth dropped and she yelled "Wait!" She ran to her plastic jack-o-lantern, grabbed the handle and ran back as fast as her little legs would take her. When she came back to the door, she not only gave the two that got none a handful, but then went on to give the others more that I had only given one piece of candy to; I was trying to stretch what I had. If you could fall in love even more with your child, I did at that very moment!
Back to my blast that I had...

As we were looking at the screen examining each photo... Diandra said that I take good pictures. My self esteem has been running on low. Trying to figure out where I just fit in, if anywhere and what my talent or "gift" is. I had to be honest though, my model was quite exceptional and made picture taking very easy! I couldn't really go wrong pressing a button on the camera! I really had fun!

Friday, March 23, 2007


My daughter and I had a chance to take a drive to our local Barnes and Nobles Book store. I had quite a few books on my list, which has been growing each day, and wanted to pick up a few of them. My very thoughtful daughter, Diandra, surprised me with one she saw, knowing that I would love to read it if I had known about it.

I got three books of poems I have had my eye on for quite some time.

A book I came across on a blog I like to visit, looked so interesting. It's just the kind of insightful book that I am needing to read right now in my life! It is called Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert.

The book my daughter gave me is a novel called The Memory Keeper's Daughter by Kim Edwards. Diandra and I are actually going to do a little "mother-daughter book club" with this book; she got herself a copy as well!

I can not wait to dive into these!

What are you reading right now?

Thursday, March 22, 2007

A Poem~


by David Whyte

It doesn't interest me if there is one God
or many gods.
I want to know if you belong or feel
If you know despair or can see it in others.
I want to know
if you are prepared to live in the world
with its harsh need
to change you. If you can look back
with firm eyes
saying this is where I stand. I want to know
if you know
how to melt into that fierce heat of living
falling toward
the center of your longing. I want to know
if you are willing
to live, day by day, with the consequence of love
and the bitter
unwanted passion of your sure defeat.

I have heard, in that fierce embrace, even
the gods speak of God.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

I have been Tagged again!

Lets play Birthday Tag!
Here is a fun and informative tag from my friend Cheryl

1. Go to Wikipedia and type in your Birthday Month and day only.
2. List 3 Events that occurred that day.
3. List 2 important Birth days.
4. List 1 Death.
5. List a Holiday or Observance. (if any)
6. Tag 5 other bloggers.

Here are the results for my Birthday,
February 23:

1861 - President-elect Abraham Lincoln arrives secretly in Washington, D.C., after an assassination attempt in Baltimore, Maryland.

1919 - Benito Mussolini forms the Fascist Party in Italy.

1954 - the first mass vaccination of children against polio begins in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

1868 - W.E.B Dubois, American Civil Rights leader.

1994 - Dakota Fanning, American Child actress.

1848 - John Quincy Adams, 6th President of the United States.

Holiday or Observance:
February 23 (Eastern Orthodox liturgics)

I now Tag...


Monday, March 19, 2007

I have been Tagged!

I have been tagged by Paige better known as Skinny little Blonde. I am to list 5 little known facts about myself. At first I thought that I was to list "5 weird," I then checked to see what the other lucky tagged people listed and I found them to list both "little known" and "weird." I believe I have accomplished both! I found this to be fun and a little harder then I expected!

I will constantly check to see if I have turned something off or unplugged it. It can be as bad as having to be somewhere, almost getting there and turning back to check. This drives my husband cRaZy about me and not in a good way! I believe there is medication for this.

2. Most of the time, I have to sit by a door when I am at a function, meeting, or even at church. I don't like feeling like I am closed in or trapped. If I do sit in the front or middle of the room at these events, it is a good day for me or a real work is going on inside me. Medication for this too!

3. I get a little disgruntled when I go to read the Newspaper and it is all messy and out of order.

4. I will stay awake to hear the crashing of the waves, or the wind chimes in the breeze. I do not want to miss the melody of the sweet crashing waves washing in, and returning out again to the sea.

5. For being on the shy side, I find it easy to talk and share personal things with people that I do not know more than with people I have known for quite some time.

I will throw this one in!

When I was younger, in my high school days. My friends and I would jump off of this bridge before they boarded it up. We would also go to Rainbow Falls somewhere in Mariposa County and slide off of the cliffs. Way to much fun!

Someone who's Major is Psychotherapy would have a field day with this post!

hmmm... I am supposed to pick five lucky people and I choose:




Tourette's mom

Turquoise Cro

You can consider yourself tagged!

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Post Office?

As I drive doing multiple errands I admire the painted canvas of the mail boxes; they give you a little peak of the owner's individual personality. This brings a memory back to me, of my mom buying the biggest traditional mail box and painting a mural of wild flowers and a butterfly similar to the one I posted. I can recall over-hearing my dad giving a friend instructions to our house and then telling them they couldn't miss it, just look for the mail box with the beautiful painting on it! My mom would just smile.
We have come a long way baby! From the beginning of the Pony Express to the United States Postal Service ... getting mail to each other via the horse, vehicle and airplane.
Not only can we correspond and communicate, you can now pay your bills with your computer, by putting your cursor arrow on send and by the click of the mouse. Before you can say squeak... it's on its way!
In the morning, I check my e-mail and will usually find a "letter" from my son Rob. He is already at work in Nebraska, it is a two hour difference. As I am waking up drinking my coffee, we have a conversation via e-mail. sigh.... My daughter Diandra will send me letters from the heart. I cherish e-mails like these. smile.... I can compose a letter, send it, come home, and have a reply waiting for me. Just like that! It is faster than sending it in the mail with the United states Post Office. Now, with blogging you can post something, meet, and get to know people from all over the world, through comments. Just like that!
Let me tell you about a Dear wonderful friend of mine. She is so sweet and caring, I call her my Wanda Mom! I look forward to getting newsletters from a church I dearly love. She has a monthly article in it, and no matter what, I read it first!... (Sorry Pastor Don). Well, guess what?! I no longer have to wait once a month to read her insights; she now has a blog! I can read her inspirational musings each time she has "posted" (no pun intended) something new! Be sure to check her blog out and say "Hi!"
I am loving the speed of the computer, however, I do worry about the sending and receiving of traditional mail. I wonder, will it soon be a lost art?

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Butterfly ~

A butterfly tickling my hand
Butterfly Child~
When I first saw you
Standing in the morning dew
Butterflies were dancing in your hair
Holding you seemed
As impossible as a dream
As I reached out to touch you... you were no longer there.
How could I know
That I'd ever let you go?
The butterflies and you were much too rare.
You fluttered away
And I couldn't make you stay
The call of the wild was much too strong to bear.
Butterfly child
You're running wild
Up in the air, lovely and rare
Gentle and mild
I tried so hard to tie you down... but you just flew away.
By Ruthie Pearlman
* * * * *


Take a step outside your shell
To drink the secrets of the well
No longer will you fit inside
There's no more need to run and hide
It's easy now to be yourself
And set your fears upon a shelf
To close your eyes for just a thought
And reconsider all you're taught
Wishes made when you were young
Captured in the songs you sung
Freed your heart to laugh and play
Reminders of a former day
So now you look through open eyes
To ask the hows, the whens, the whys
To search the world to find your part
And free the dreams within your heart

By Robert Longley

* * * * *

She's almost a butterfly~
She's almost a butterfly
She has not yet evolved to the beauty sure to be hers
But growing pains will not hold her back
She left the cocoon forever and is destined to seek and claim the sky
She's almost a butterfly.
She struggles to find wind strong enough to lift her wings
And gentle enough to let her spirit learn to soar
Soar above those who doubt with judging eyes
And from those too afraid to live or even try.
Is there really such strength waiting to flick from the wings of youth
Wings that do not yet span or flutter or dance
But leave her grounded, sorting through a riot of color
To find those that fit her best.
Years feel like ages when really it's only been a moment
Since she started the quest of self image and growth
But she'll see it through and claim her sky
So that never again can it be said
She's almost a butterfly.

Copyright 2009-2010 @ Sundrip Journals. All rights reserved.
* * * * *
I have been thinking a lot about when a caterpillar turns into a butterfly lately. The transformation that takes place. I feel at odds with myself. The kids are all grown up, they do not need me like they use to. This is the way it should be. Please do not misunderstand me, I get and want that.
I read other blogs and everyone seems to know what they are doing and what they want just in general. I had a life that I felt very content with. This is a season of change for me... instead of feeling like a fish out of water, I am hoping that it will be as graceful as the butterfly.

Monday, March 12, 2007

You can see for miles and miles! ~

High Sierra snow capped mountains

I love it where I live! The view on a clear day, you can see the snow capped mountains in the High Sierra. It's a beautiful two and a half hour drive to get there.

Western Foothills

Just on the other side of these western foot hills you can drive over the Pacheco pass and be standing on the beach with the coast wind blowing in your hair in two hours and 15 minutes. I have gotten there in two hours flat.

When it isn't a clear day, we just have a haze over the valley and warnings of it being a "Bad Air Day," and encouraging us to stay indoors. The local papers and news stations are always giving us tips and guide-lines to live more comfortable and how to improve our air.

I have tried to do my part... very little I know in the grand scheme of things. Nonetheless, I have to believe it makes a little difference. I live one half of a mile from where I work and I sometimes walk. I will also try to wait to make a trip uptown unless I have at least several errands to make. We also have slowly changed our regular light bulbs to the energy saving fluorescent light bulbs.

I am not trying to toot my own horn... but the state of the world on so many different levels does concern me. I do notice days like this and really appreciate them. When it gets hotter, we see fewer and fewer days such as these.

What do you see where you live?

Saturday, March 10, 2007

My Beautiful Broken Shell ~

It is low tide and I watch, mesmerized, as the
ocean rises slowly...curls... and then spills its
white-laced foam onto the shore.

I walk by a broken scallop shell...
and leave it to search for
more perfect ones.

But then I stop...
go back...and pick up
the broken shell. I realize
that this shell is me
with my broken heart.

This shell is people who are hurting...
people who have lost loved ones...
people who are frightened or alone...
people with unfulfilled dreams.

Broken shells teach us not to
look at our imperfections... but to look
at the beauty... the great beauty...
of what is left.

I watch the rolling surf
toss new shells onto the shore,
and I am reminded of the many times
that I, too, have been tossed
by the storms of life and worn down
by the sands of time, just like
my beautiful broken shell.
But I am reminded that broken
shells don't stand alone.

Thank You, Lord, for being with me
to share my life... to help me
carry my burdens.

Thank You for the precious gift of faith
that keeps me strong when I am weak...
that keeps me going when it
would be easier to quit.

Thank You, Lord, for hope in times of despair...
for light in times of darkness...
for patience in times of suffering...
for assuring me that with You
all things are possible.

The Lord is close to the brokenhearted;
and those who are crushed in spirit He saves.
Psalm 34:18

*Taken from the book, My Beautiful Broken Shell by Carol Hamblet Adams

Thursday, March 8, 2007

Gift of Sunshine ~

The other day in the mail I received a package full of happiness from a very sweet friend of mine named Cinda. She is a very creative, talented artist and included some of her creations! I was so excited to be holding them and I have to say they are even more beautiful in person!

Thank-you my friend for your gift of sunshine!

Wednesday, March 7, 2007


My daughter gave this card to me....

I am sharing something with you...and I ask myself, "Why?" The answer: I have absolutely no clue. Maybe I am just sending this out into the world and hoping that the faeries will sprinkle some of their magic dust on me for a simple cure! I have been trying to redeem myself. It all started when My dad became ill and we discovered that he had cancer and I was unable to keep up on the house. Well.... that is not fair of me to say. I have always been somewhat of a pack rat. Is there another form of animal I can use to describe that!? In my own defense, everything had its place, you know, a home. I guess you can say I was an organized pack rat. I have been trying to think when all of this got out-of-hand. I keep coming up with when my dad needed me. Don't take me wrong; I would do it again in a heart beat. However, I would do it differently, starting with spending even more time with my dad. I would have insisted that my children were with me always, and not at home or elsewhere. Whether they liked it or not, it would have been, "Too bad!" I think that if you were to ask them if they had to do it over again.... they would want it that way as well. Anyhow, it was a hard year, and I was numb for almost a year after that. Then hit with some more family crisis. I had to see a doctor for some help. All of this has been over several years, though nevertheless back to back. When you're already on your knees, its hard to have a clear head going into another endeavor. It can really take a toll on your spirit and emotions. Okay, enough of that. Back to my...issue.

I have seen enough Oprah shows to know I have a problem. It is very hard for me to throw things away. My son Rob is sweet in telling me that I, "just hold things close and dear to my heart. Everything has some meaning to me and it is hard for me to part with it." By the way, he is a lot like me in that way. Now, my daughter on the other hand, is a lot like her dad. I get a little harassed from these two. She has something for so long, and then when the time is up.... poof it is gone! Her sweatshirts for instance.... she allows herself to have just so many, and if she has gotten a new one, one must go, and it does! Believe me, it is very hard for me to watch this. She will have bags of her things or clothes ready to be taken to Good Will and as I go to the bag to see what she has put in there, I hear a voice "Step Away From the BAG!" She is so much better than I. How I wish I could just let go. Feel the Freedom.

So, I have gone out to Wal-Mart and bought three file boxes. I am going through all of my papers, recipes, everything, and giving it a home. I have thrown away ten brown grocery bags full of papers. It can be overwhelming and I to have to walk away from it often. I have told myself that I have to stay and do this for at least 30 minutes at a time. I am actually making a dent in this clutter. I can see a dim light. My daughter will walk by and say in a faint, hypnotizing voice, "Go to the light.... " She is my little cheerleader. I have started boxes for a "Yard Sale," that I will have when I am done with this, because not all of my clutter is paper, as my daughter explains. I believe this clutter is keeping me in a state of just being stuck in one place. I am ready to move forward. Grow!

So! Come on faeries, sprinkle the dust!

p.s. Cinda Cro and I have been discussing a possible "Pack Rat Anonymous" group out there. I will be the first to stand up and say "Hi, My name is Angela, and I AM a pack rat."

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

A Grace Disguised ~ Pain ~ Darkness

And sometimes, when the cry is intense, there emerges a radiance which elsewhere seldom appears: a glow of courage, of love, of insight, of selflessness, of faith. In that radiance we see best what humanity was meant to be.... In the valley of suffering, despair and bitterness are brewed. But there also character is made. The valley of suffering is the vale of soul-making.

Only when we choose to pay attention to our souls will we learn how much more there is to life than the external world around us, however wonderful or horrible that world is. We will discover the world within. Yet such attention to the soul does not have to engender self-absorption. If anything, it eventually turns us toward the world again and makes us more compassionate and just than we might otherwise have been.

Not that the choices we make will always have happy results. That is especially true when we choose to face our losses squarely. When we plunge into darkness, it is darkness we experience. We feel pain, anguish, sorrow, and despair, and we experience the ugliness, meanness, and absurdity of life. We brood as well as hope, rage as well as surrender, doubt as well as believe. We are apathetic as often as we are hopeful, and sorrowful before we are joyful. We both mourn deeply and live well, We experience the ambivalence of living simultaneously in the night and in the light.

*taken from A Grace Disguised, How the Soul Grows Through Loss by Gerald L. Sittser

Thursday, March 1, 2007

Windows of Thought ~

Just Once ~

Just once in the year do the geese fly south,
And once does the first snow fall,
Just once do the buds burst forth in spring,
And once does the corn grow tall!

Just once in the day does the purple East
Light up with the glow dawn,
And once do the deepening shadows fall,
At dusk, when the sun is gone.

Then how can a person be tired of Life
Or bored in a world like ours?
Where once is the season of crimson leaves
And once is the time for flowers.

For so it is planned in the life of man,
His story is quickly told,
Just once he's a child at his mother's knee,
And once he is gray and old.

Then give me the wisdom, good Lord, to know
The miracles shown to me,
That I may watch any passing day~
Yet never again may see!

Stillman J. Elwell