Tag Archives: people

Up all night birthing a goat

At morning’s first light–before a busy day–slowly scrolling down the Facebook home page.

Marvelling at the differences in friends, family and acquaintances.  Marvelling that I’m not feeling irritated at the differences this morning–that the mind is not judging, sorting, categorizing as it loves to do.

Instead, look at the sparks of God!

This one ponders if she’ll be up all night birthing a goat.

 A week-old baby goat. OK, I didn't help birth it.

A week-old baby goat. OK, I didn’t help birth it.

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After the Vita-Mix roars and before the next impossible question

In our local coffee shop the Vita-Mix machine roars.  I thought it was a coffee grinder, but it’s a Vita-Mix machine, whatever that might be.  I got up from the high-perched computer table and asked what was the noise?

I am drinking black tea.  Outside bagpipe Christmas music blares out of the loudspeakers.  In a half or so, give or take, I’ll head up the hill to the library for a used book sale sponsored by “The Friends of the Library”.

A long-lost friend, OK, not that long-lost, just asked my spiritual advice about a complicated question.  It was one of the most complicated questions on the planet, the kind it’s impossible to answer.  We humans want simple answers.  I rattled off a complicated answer that involved six perspectives and felt sorry that she might try to figure it out.

Ask Abe.

Ask Abe.

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When a legally blind man calls you “Gorgeous”

Life is really super-duper absolutely inarguably funny.

Two days ago I wrote a Farewell for a Little While post.  See ya @ Thanksgiving, readers, because creative fields must lie fallow.  (Oh how Munira and Lisa and I love the word “fallow”.  Isn’t fallow the coolest word?)

I was so happy about my upcoming blogging break.

But the Universe had other plans.

Drum roll, please!

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When people die on Facebook


Yesterday morning I woke up to discover the death of a Facebook friend.

We’ve been watching her die slowly on Facebook for the past several weeks.

She actually friended me about a month ago.  She was the daughter of my children’s babysitter when they were mere babes.  For a very short stint, we once worked together.

About five or ten years ago we had a significant encounter, one of those encounters of which I’ve lost all the particulars.  I know I had a dream about her.  We ran into one another outside the sauna of a local motel.  I shared the dream with her–not one detail can be recalled all these years later–and we bonded deeply for maybe twenty minutes.

Maybe I also shared the dream I had of her mother, our babysitter, before she died.  I dreamed of a Native American blanket wrapped around her basement.  A few weeks later she was unexpectedly dead.

I don’t recall what we talked about outside the sauna, but we talked, and we hugged and laughed and maybe cried, and then five years pass in the blink of an eyelash and she friended me on Facebook.

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Hands and hearts across the planet: Please meet Munira from Pakistan

Today would you please welcome one of my dear blogging friends?  Her name is Munira, and she lives across the sea in southern Pakistan.  I think we met through Kathy McCullough’s blog back last winter.  The name of her blog is Munira’s bubble and I am always mesmerized reading her stories about her life.  She writes very beautifully, and humorously, and keeps you interested from the first sentence on.  She also adds photographs of, say, her latest pre-dawn adventure at a nearby beach.  She doesn’t like to get too political, so maybe we should keep our political comments to a minimum, OK?  (I’m not particularly fond of politics, either…)  Enough of my yammering.  Please meet Munira!  

P.S.  Don’t you love it when the world becomes a smaller more loving place through meeting someone who lives across the sea and far away?  Hands and hearts span the planet, don’t they? Please welcome her warmly!


Dear readers of Kathy’s blog.

I am here because Kathy surprised me one day by wondering if I would consider writing a guest post for her.

Not only am I very flattered to be thought ‘guest post-worthy’, I am deeply honored that she would think you would be interested in what a woman from Karachi, Pakistan would have to share.

Let me introduce myself properly. My name is Munira, the meaning of which has something to do with luminosity (In Arabic it means ‘the light of the sun’.)

Munira with cat named Fuzzy

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Once upon a wedding…

Seunghye’s two-year old niece from Korea

Welcome to the wedding of our oldest child, Christopher, and his bride, Seunghye.

Please come in the Villa Mare and enjoy our celebration.  (I am so glad to have you readers with us in spirit.  It makes for more rays of love and connection, doesn’t it?)

See this little girl in her beautiful Korean traditional outfit over there?  See the little bunny she’s holding?  Barry and I bought a stuffed animal for the two little babies (this one and her little brother) at the bookstore of the University of California San Diego bookstore.

Looks like this bright-eyed girl likes it, doesn’t it?  She even brought it downstairs for the wedding.

Isn’t she adorable?

She’s shy, though.  It takes her a while to warm up to strangers, so don’t go expecting hugs immediately.  It took me a few days before I could pick her up and carry her around.

In the meantime, while you’re wandering around the Villa, please excuse me.  I must go get dressed in the aubergine mother-of-the groom dress.  It’s kind of wrinkly since travel, and we’ve been late arriving at the festivities.  Everyone else is dressed.

I certainly hope ironing is available.  Barry’s pants need pressing–and so does Kiah’s dress.

What shall we do?

In which Kiah’s boyfriend, Diaa, comes to our rescue & helps us iron. We like him a LOT.

Oh my goodness, what is this?  It looks like Diaa has been taught how to iron by his Egyptian grandmother!  Can you believe our luck?  He insists that it’s “simple” and so we give him our pants and dresses and, by golly, what kind of miracle man did our daughter discover?–he irons our clothes.

(Yes,  yes, I know how to iron. But when someone is offering–and it’s almost time for the wedding–would YOU say no?)

Look at the beautiful traditional Korean dress Seunghye’s mom is wearing. She is talking to my mom through a friend of the family.

Chris and Seunghye have hired a translator for the big day, so you can talk to her mom and dad and brother and sister-in-law and even the babies.

My mother thought that talking with Seunghye’s mother and learning more about Korean culture was one of the highlights of the wedding!

I was so busy mingling with the approximately 50 guests that it felt challenging to talk adequately with everyone.  You know how that is, don’t you?

OK, it’s time for the wedding ceremony to start.  Let’s all join together on the outdoor balcony overlooking the pool.  C’mon up–don’t be shy.  It’s very informal.  The bride and groom are going to exchange vows themselves (they have already been married before a justice of the peace) so it will just be a simple celebration.

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People-pleasing and way too sensitive for your own good

Don’t you dare pass, dear reader…

After all these years of becoming an individual, of celebrating individuality, of becoming my own person–there is still a part of this personality which wants to be a people-pleaser.  Who is oh-way-too-sensitive for her own good.

What, you ask is a people-pleaser?

A people-pleaser is someone who wants to please people.  All of them.  All of the time.

Of course, we know this is Impossible.

Of course, we know we must First Please Ourselves, and then others will be pleased as a result.

However, there are usually parts of ourselves which did not get the Memo.

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Mom, I didn’t mean to text that. Honest, it wasn’t me!

We don’t have cell phone service here in our neck of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan woods.

Sure, there’s service down in L’Anse since they constructed that fancy tower a couple of years ago.

But if you drive more than three miles out of town, your cell phone will cease to work.  Don’t call if you’re lost.  You’ll have to find your way through the trees by yourself.

By a strange fluke of nature, sometimes you can send text messages at our house.  Only if you have a powerful signal.  Only if the planets are properly aligned.  It’s kind of like sending smoke signals.

Hello. Hello?

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The blog you’ve all been waiting for! Introducing…

I promised you something special today, didn’t I?  Something different?  Something never before seen on this blog? 


A little bird flew up to me on the deck a couple of weeks ago and said, “Hey, Kathy, isn’t it time that you introduced some of your regular readers to the rest of us?  Isn’t it time we figured out who some of these commenters are?  C’mon, Kathy…how ’bout letting some of them write a Guest Blog and introduce themselves?” 

You can imagine my shock that a bird was talking!  But I quickly agreed. What a good idea.  I want to know more about these readers/commenters, too. 

Therefore…wa la!…I would like you all to meet the first in a haphazard series (which may span a year or two, who knows?) of introductions. 

Ladies and gentlemen, meet Laurie Buchanan.  Laurie is one of several friends who comments on almost every post! 

Without further ado, let’s read what she has to say about herself! 

Meet Laurie Buchanan!

I was tickled when Kathy asked me to introduce myself. My name is Laurie Buchanan. I was born in 1957 with an impish grin and mischievous twinkle in my eye. 

My family used to say to me, “There was a little girl, who had a little curl, right in the middle of her forehead. When she was good she was very, very good. But when she was bad she was …” Well, you get the idea. 

I had an adventurous childhood. In addition to being the only family I knew who had a fallout shelter in their back yard, some of my other odd remembrances include: 

  • My sister shellacking my teeth.
  • Having my stomach pumped because I ate a box of ex-lax.
  • Drag racing out on Jesmond Dene.
  • Being part of a quartette called the Pastel Lollipops.
  • Getting shot at in Elfin Forest.
  • And then of course, there was running away from home …

 Running away from home shifted gears into growing up. Once I realized that we determine our purpose—as opposed to find it—I determined to be a living conduit for Divine Love; a mindful agent of heart-based change. I do this in a number of ways: 


As a Holistic Health Practitioner I use natural, energy-based modalities. This is done at HolEssence, a small healing studio in historic, downtown Crystal Lake, Illinois, that I own with my husband, Len. 


As both a teacher and a student of purposeful living, I created a nine-month program designed to teach the discipline of getting on track and staying there. Working with the whole person—body, mind, and spirit—it facilitates empowerment, getting a person from where they are, to where they want to be. 


I’m a regular contributor of health and wellness articles to Evolving Your Spirit magazine, and I’m an anchor writer for Sibyl magazine: in 2009 I wrote “The Body Temple” column, currently I write “The Enlightened Voice of Wisdom,” and I’ve just been selected to write “The Keys of Healing” column for 2011. 

Speaking from the Heart is my blog space. It’s here where I share information about energy medicine, personal growth, spiritual awareness, and sometimes just musings. 

I’m currently presenting a book I’ve completed to literary agents. It’s a groundbreaking book that introduces people to … 

… you’ll just have to wait. If I tell you now, I’ll steal my own thunder.  

HolEssence...Laurie & Len's healing studio

Cultivating Sacred Awareness 

I believe that each of us is a spectacular expression of Divine Love and I respect all spiritual paths and traditions. 

We’re not just biological in nature—we’re body, mind, and spirit. Each of these aspects is interconnected. We function as a whole. We heal as a whole. As such, part of my job is to help others connect with their inner light. 

Aha Moment 

When I went away on a hermitage for my 50th birthday I had a moment of clarity that enlightened and changed me. It’s when I came to the realization that, “Whatever you are not changing, you are choosing.” 


Being respectful of the Earth and its natural resources, one of my goals is to leave the slightest footprint possible on the planet, while at the same time, making a lasting impression on its inhabitants—one that is positive, uplifting, constructive, and healing. 


I enjoy a wabi-sabi lifestyle. The intersection where wabi (minimal) and sabi (functional) meet is the platform for my “less is more” mindset, and the jumping off place for my creativity. 


I’ve been married to my best friend, Len, for over 30 years. Together we have one son—Eoghan, and three dogs—Claire (Westie), Lexi (Standard Poodle), and Willa (Irish Wolfhound). 


My favorite creatures on this planet are trees, my favorite thing to do is laugh, and my favorite food is garlic bread. A few of my favorite pastimes include swimming, long bicycle rides, travel, photography, and a enjoying peaceful cuppa tea. Voracious readers, we haven’t had a television in our home for over 30 years. Now that’s bliss! 

Listen with your heart, 

 Laurie Buchanan