Wednesday, August 25, 2010

8 Nouns That Describe My Life

1. Family
My family is my blessing. Everything I do is connected to them – whether my career or my academics, all have the purpose of my family’s welfare in mind.

2. Children
I’m happiest when I’m surrounded by the sound of children’s laughter – either my own children or those I work towards making a difference in their lives.

3. Teaching
I’m working on obtaining my masters in education – one baby step at a time. As impatient as I know I am – I need to focus on the journey rather than the destination.

4. Hobbies
My hands and my mind are constantly looking for kinesthetic activities to keep them busy. I knit, crochet, scrapbook, do ceramics and porcelain dolls, and sew the most. I also enjoy looking at my finished work in the gardens or having a nice dinner I’ve thrown together (even though I swear I hate the process) with my family. I do love baking cookies though – especially around the holidays.

5. Laugh
Laughter is my muse. I enjoy laughing and making others laugh – even if I have an odd sense of humor.

6. Learning
I love learning about the world around me and why things are the way they are. Of all the reasons for life – I choose to be a participant and a spectator.

7. Love
I’m passionate about those I love and try to share that love with others in hopes of making the world a better place.

8. Time
Time is a commodity I never have enough of. There are never enough of those moments to appreciate the simple things in life before they change in the blink of an eye.

You are the call and I am the answer

Bei Hennef - a poem by D.H.Lawrence

Bei Hennef

The little river twittering in the twilight,
The wan, wondering look of the pale sky,
This is almost bliss.

And everything shut up and gone to sleep,
All the troubles and anxieties and pain
Gone under the twilight.

Only the twilight now, and the soft "Sh!" of the river
That will last for ever.

And at last I know my love for you is here;
I can see it all, it is whole like the twilight,
It is large, so large, I could not see it before,
Because of the little lights and flickers and interruptions,
Troubles, anxieties and pains.

You are the call and I am the answer,
You are the wish, and I the fulfilment,
You are the night, and I the day.
What else - it is perfect enough.
It is perfectly complete,
You and I,
What more-?

Strange, how we suffer in spite of this.

D. H. Lawrence

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Be generous

Be generous with your encouragement and frugal with your judgment. Learn to gratefully accept whatever comes, and to make positive use of whatever you have.
Give your love and your kindness just because you can. Do a little less analyzing and a lot more living.

Become skilled at quickly letting go of those things that don't really matter anyway. Rise above the distractions and give the power of your focus to what you know is truly important.

When you stumble, go ahead and get back up. When you're making good progress, be sincerely thankful and keep on going.

Recognize the unique beauty that is in each moment. Fulfill the value that is in every situation.

Real, meaningful success is ready to happen for you. Smile, and let it be.

Ralph Marston

Love without concern

Love, without concern over whether you'll be loved in return. You will be.
Diligently and effectively put forth your best effort, without concern for the result. It will be worth your while.

Speak honestly and from the heart, without concern for what others will think. They will respect you for it.

Move boldly and intently toward the goals you have set, without concern about the challenges that might come along. You will find a way to get through every challenge.

Connect with and explore your deepest purpose, without concern for how you will express it. You will find opportunities in every circumstance.

Live fully with joy and positive purpose in this moment, without concern about when it will end. You will experience a total presence that leaves all limitations behind.

Ralph Marston

Each day is a gift

"Each day offers us the gift of being a special occasion

if we can simply learn that as well as giving,
it is blessed to receive with grace and
a grateful heart."
Sarah Ban Breathnach

Happiness comes from giving

Happiness Comes from Giving

This story is about a beautiful, expensively dressed lady who complained to her psychiatrist that she felt that her whole life was empty, it had no meaning.
So, the lady went to visit a counselor to seek out happiness. The counselor called over the old lady who cleaned the office floors. The counselor then said to the rich lady"I'm going to ask Mary here to tell you how she found happiness. All I want you to do is listen to her."
So the old lady put down her broom and sat on a chair and told her story: "Well, my husband died of malaria and three months later my only son was killed by a car.
I had nobody... I had nothing left. I couldn't sleep, I couldn't eat, I never smiled at anyone, I even thought of taking my own life. Then one evening a little kitten followed me home from work. Somehow I felt sorry for that kitten. It was cold outside, so I decided to let the kitten in. I got it some milk, and the kitten licked the plate cle an. Then it purred and rubbed against my leg and for the first time in months, I smiled. Then I stopped to think, if helping a little kitten could make me smile, maybe doing something for people could make me happy. So the next day I baked some biscuits and took them to a neighbor who was sick in bed. Every day I tried to do something nice for someone. It made me so happy to see them happy. Today, I don't know of anybody who sleeps and eats better than I do. I've found happiness, by giving it to others."
When she heard that the rich lady cried. She had everything that money could buy, but she had lost the things which money cannot buy.

Focus on the Joy

Cherish, Love & Respect Yourself
by Jane Powell

“Focus on the joy.”

How many things in your daily life do you do just for the joy of it?

When you do something just for the “joy” of it you are not worried about what you get in return, nor do you do it because you “should” or “have-to.” You do it because you want to.

As you infuse your life with this kind of joy, you internalize the message that you cherish, love and respect yourself. Your self-esteem, self-confidence and self-worth all get a boost because you’re doing things that are important to YOU.

Do something today, just for the “joy” of it. When you experience joy, others around you feel it too!

Enthusiasm is like a magnet

The Massive Power Your Enthusiasm Holds
by Jane Powell “The power of enthusiasm works like a magnet.”

The more excited you are about accomplishing something important to you, the more excited others will be about helping out. Enthusiastic emotions are contagious.

Many great people committed to worthy causes are full of enthusiasm. Their infectious excitement naturally attracts the help and support of others.

The more passion you have for your life and activities, the more charisma and enthusiasm you will communicate. These two traits draw people to you like magnets.

Use the power of your enthusiasm and watch how effortlessly you attract the support of others into your life.

Do it with love and joy

In what you do, whatever it is, do it with love and joy. Make each moment precious by appreciating the value that is surely there.
Give your best attitude and expectations to those around you. Brighten every place you go.
Life is filled with outstanding possibilities. In every situation there is great value.

Continually celebrate the good fortune of being alive and aware and able to make a difference. Go forward carrying the assumption that life is filled with goodness, and events will prove that assumption to be true.

Live with love and genuine appreciation for all that is around you. Give your own unique meaning to the abundance in which you're immersed.

With love, see the true, magnificent value of what you have this day. With love, make it even greater.

Ralph Marston


Manners are a

sensitive awareness of

the feelings of others. If you have

that awareness, you have good manners,

no matter what fork you use.

Emily Post

How we treat others

Being rude doesn't feel very good even while you're doing it. Being genuinely considerate, on the other hand, can leave you feeling more positive and empowered for a long time afterward.

Rudeness and arrogance are unmistakable signs of weakness and insecurity. Kindness and polite consideration are reliable indicators of rock-solid confidence and strength.

How do you treat those whom you have no reason to impress, from whom you have nothing to gain? It says a lot about you, and people do indeed notice.

Those who are truly in a position of responsibility have no need for arrogance. Any positive impression you seek to make through arrogance or rudeness is immediately contradicted by the arrogance itself.

Don't let your own arrogance waste your energy and set you back. Use each encounter as an opportunity to offer genuine respect and kindness.

Lift up the lives of those around you. And you lift up your whole world.

Ralph Marston

What you scatter

I was at the corner grocery store buying some early potatoes. I noticed a small boy, delicate of bone and feature, ragged but clean, hungrily apprising a basket of freshly picked green peas.

I paid for my potatoes but was also drawn to the display of fresh green peas. I am a pushover for creamed peas and new potatoes.

Pondering the peas, I couldn't help overhearing the conversation between Mr. Miller (the store owner) and the ragged boy next to me.

'Hello Barry, how are you today?'

'H'lo, Mr. Miller. Fine, thank ya. Jus' admirin' them peas. They sure look good.'

'They are good, Barry. How's your Ma?'

'Fine. Gittin' stronger alla' time..'

'Good... Anything I can help you with?'

'No, Sir. Jus' admirin' th em peas..'

'Would you like to take some home?' asked Mr. Miller.

'No, Sir. Got nuthin' to pay for 'em with.'

'Well, what have you to trade me for some of those peas?'

'All I got's my prize marble here.'

'Is that right? Let me see it' said Miller.

'Here 'tis. She's a dandy.'

'I can see that. Hmm mmm, only thing is this one is blue and I sort of go for red. Do you have a red one like this at home?' the store owner asked.

'Not zackley but almost.'

'Tell you what. Take this sack of peas home with you and next trip this way let me look at that red marble'. Mr. Miller told the boy.

'Sure will. Thanks Mr. Miller.'

Mrs. Miller, who had been standing nearby, came over to help me.

With a smile she said, 'There are two other boys like him in our community, all three are in very poor circumstances. Jim just loves to bargain with them for peas, apples, tomatoes, or whatever.

When they come back with their red marbles, and they always do, he decides he doesn't like red after all and he sends them home with a bag of produce for a green marble or an orange one, when they come on their next trip to the store.'

I left the store smiling to myself, impressed with this man. A short time later I moved to Colorado , but I never forgot the story of this man, the boys, and their bartering for marbles.
Several years went by, each more rapid than the previous one. Just recently I had occasion to visit some old friends in that Idaho community and while I was there learned that Mr. Miller had died. They were having his visitation that evening and knowing my friends wanted to go, I agreed to accompany them. Upon arrival at the mortuary we fell into line to meet the relatives of the deceased and to offer whatever words of comfort we could.

Ahead of us in line were three young men. One was in an army uniform and the other two wore nice haircuts, dark suits and white shirts...all very professional looking. They approached Mrs. Miller, standing composed and smiling by her husband's casket.

Each of the young men hugged her, kissed her on the cheek, spoke briefly with her and moved on to the casket. Her misty light blue eyes followed them as, one by one, each young man stopped briefly and placed his own warm hand over the cold pale hand in the casket. Each left the mortuary awkwardly, wiping his eyes.

Our turn came to meet Mrs. Miller. I told her who I was and reminded her of the story from those many years ago and what she had told me about her husband's bartering for marbles. With her eyes glistening, she took my hand and led me to the casket.

'Those three young men who just left were the boys I told you about.

They just told me how they appreciated the things Jim 'traded' them. Now, at last, when Jim could not change his mind about color or size.....they came to pay their debt.'

'We've never had a great deal of the wealth of this world,' she confided, 'but right now, Jim would consider himself the richest man in Idaho .'

With loving gentleness she lifted the lifeless fingers of her deceased husband. Resting underneath were three exquisitely shined red marbles.

The Moral :
We will not be remembered by our words, but by our kind deeds. Life is not measured by the breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath.

Words can hurt

Be ever mindful that your words can harm

or they can heal. Choose what you say to

yourself and to others carefully. Use

your words to comfort and heal rather

than to injure.


Don't just sit around

Don't sit around waiting for enough energy

to get going. Get yourself moving and you'll create

the energy necessary to keep you in motion.

Do you just not feel like doing anything?

That's the time when you can make the

biggest positive difference for yourself

by going ahead and taking action anyway.

In ways small and large, your world right now is filled with

opportunities to make a difference. Take the initiative.

The only thing you need to take the first step is your

decision to do it. Take that first step

and put momentum solidly on your side.

If you think you can't do it, stop thinking and start doing.

The smallest positive action can begin to erase even the biggest doubt.

This is a day that you can fill with valuable and

purposeful accomplishment.

Take the initiative, and make something of it right now.

Ralph Marston

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

A bed for baby and me

Today we went to Big Lots to pick up the rest of the bed for Molly and me. I’ve grown tired of sleeping near the floor and was looking forward to a good night’s sleep somewhere above 5 inches from the ground. Molly had been pining for a buggy stroller she had seen when we picked up the mattress part of the bed and as we had promised her to get the stroller when we picked up the bed, she’d began counting the days down until mom got paid again.

Ironically, it was the same gentleman that had helped us choose the mattress we had bought the last time we were there and he had remembered us well. He asked if we had measured the throughway to accommodate the box spring to help us decide if we needed a split boxed spring set or a regular set. Hoping to save money – the split boxed spring was more expensive – I had Kevin measure the area we had to pass through; a task I was too lazy to undertake and boy am I paying for it now!

While waiting for Kevin to bring up the truck, the gentleman asked me why the height from the floor was so important to me. I sheepishly admitted that I needed the under bed storage space for my yarn stash. He laughed hysterically. Apparently, his wife uses the under the bed area to store her 100+ pairs of shoes.

Personally, I’ve never been much of a shoe hound. I’ve simply found no good reason to own more shoes than you can wear in a lifetime. Off the top of my head, I think I have 6 pairs of shoes; 1 pair of sneakers, 2 pair of sandals, 1 pair of pumps, 1 pair of boots and a pair of flip flops for those rare occasions when I get a pedicure. What’s the deal with shoes?

I suppose those things that you spend your money on are those most important to you. For some it may be shoes – for me – well, I guess it’s yarn and power tools. I never claimed to be normal.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Don't look back

Don't look back on what has happened,
Disappointments and sad things...
Instead look toward the future,
And the joy that each day brings.

Don't live your life unhappy,
From things already done...
Concentrate on your accomplishments,
Battles fought that you have won.

The chapters of your life are like,
A book you might have written...
Full of fun and many good times,
And those when you were bitten.

Looking back will serve no purpose,
And is a waste of time...
Mere lessons from the book of life,
That guide you down the line.

Don't look back upon your failures,
Instead keep moving on...
For life is what you make it,
And too soon has come and gone.
© Loree (Mason) O'Neil

Truth Behind the Words

Truth Behind the Words

There's always a little truth
behind every "just kidding",
A little knowledge behind
every "I don't know",
A little emotion behind
every "I don't care",
A little pain behind
every "it's ok."


If you chase happiness, it will run away faster than you can catch up with it. Why is that?
Because when you strive to create happiness, that very act of striving pushes the happiness away. The more you want it, the less you have of it.

Happiness is not something you can go out and get. Real happiness does not have to depend on creating a certain set of circumstances.

Happiness is a way you can choose to be. And you can simply choose it at any time, in any circumstance.

When you do, you instantly become more creative and effective, more authentic and fully alive. Living from a perspective of happiness, you're able to live at your best because you see positive value everywhere you look.

Stop striving to get happiness and just choose to be happy, right where you are. Give your happiness to life, and watch as its positive power fills your world.

Ralph Marston

To be alive

Feel what a privilege it is to
be alive today. Consider all
The possibilities available
to you, right now.
See the wonder and the beauty
all around you. Let yourself
Truly love who you are and
where you are in this moment.
Sense the eagerness within
you to get started, to make
Things happen, and to create
value. That eagerness comes
From your genuine excitement
about expressing yourself
Through your accomplishments.

Sunday, August 1, 2010


You can make your life a triumph in spite of every adversity. Or you could make your life a mess in spite of every advantage.
Success does not depend on where you start. If it did, no one would have ever been successful.

Success comes from what you choose to do with whatever you have. It is fully available to anyone who decides to make the effort and the commitment.

Whatever the day holds, it also holds the possibility of success and achievement. Whatever the situation may be, there is a way to create real value from it.

Choose to see the positive possibilities, and you will. Choose to follow those possibilities, and success takes root.

The opportunity for success is always yours, and so is the responsibility. Decide to do what it takes, and create the success that is your own special destiny.

Ralph Marston

Be a force of goodness

Be a force of goodness in this world. Be a source of light.
Let the joy you imagine flow out from you and take on a life of its own. Give love and see it grow.

Feel the dreams and values and visions that are most authentically you. Let them guide your thoughts and actions.

You are beautiful in your very own way. That special beauty is your gift to life, so give freely and enjoy each precious day.

Live true to what you know is good and what you know is right. What you gain by so doing is truly worth having.

Feel the miracle of which you are a part. And live the goodness in every moment.

Ralph Marston

Follow your dreams

When you are doing what you know you are meant to do, there's no need to struggle. Instead of difficult or challenging or frustrating, there is simply doing.
When you are merely interested, or when you're following someone else's dream, anything can distract you. Yet when you're pursuing your very own passion, nothing has the power to stop you.

True passion is not a matter of gritting your teeth and forcing yourself to take action. True passion is allowing all your words, thoughts and actions to resonate with who you most authentically are.

There's no reason to fight against yourself. Instead, allow yourself in every moment to live out those interests, qualities, longings, ideals and purposes that you value most.

There is a reason why some things feel right and other things don't. Pay attention to those feelings, for they tell you who you truly are.

From your own beautiful, unique spirit can flow a wealth of goodness and meaningful achievement. Feel it, know it, allow it and it will come.

Ralph Marston

Take five

Protect Your Energy
by Jane Powell

“Take Five.”

There’s nothing worse than being overloaded with tasks and having minimal control over your amount of work, especially when you’re feeling the pressure of deadlines. The longer this goes on, the more frustrated and unhappy you start to feel.

It’s not worth it! You need to take care of yourself. Take a break if you need it, and get back in touch with yourself.

Something as simple as a five-minute walk can do wonders. It gives you time to think clearly, relax and put things back in perspective.

Remember, that you can only do what you can do, and stressing out over the impossible wastes the precious energy you need for the rest of your life.

So, take five, and feel glad to be alive.

Set your standards

Let us be about setting high standards for life, love,
creativity, and wisdom. If our expectations in
these areas are low, we are not likely
to experience wellness. Setting high
standards makes every day and
every decade worth looking forward to.
Greg Anderson

Choose your path

Do not ask to walk smooth paths
nor bear an easy load.
But yet pray for strength to climb
the rocky road.
May you have the courage to cope with
the hardest peaks along the way;
and then you shall learn to transform
each and every stumbling block
into a stepping stone.

Keep your heart

Keep your heart free from hate,
Your mind from worry.
Live simply.
Expect little.
Give much.
Scatter sunshine.
Forget self,
Think of others.

Andrew Vincent Peale

Love him or hate him, he sure hits the nail on the head with this! Bill Gates recently gave a speech at a High School about 11 things they did not and will not learn in school. He talks about how feel-good, politically correct teachings created a generation of kids with no concept of reality and how this concept set them up for failure in the real world.

Rule 1: Life is not fair - get used to it!

Rule 2 : The world won't care about your self-esteem.. The world will expect you to accomplish something BEFORE you feel good about yourself.

Rule 3 : You will NOT make $60,000 a year right out of high school. You won't be a vice-president with a car phone until you earn both.

Rule 4 : If you think your teacher is tough, wait till you get a boss.

Rule 5 : Flipping burgers is not beneath your dignity.

Your Grandparents had a different word for burger flipping:

they called it opportunity.

Rule 6: If you mess up, it's not your parents' fault, so don't whine about your mistakes, learn from them.

Rule 7: Before you were born, your parents weren't as boring as they are now. They got that way from paying your bills, cleaning your clothes and listening to you talk about how cool you thought you were. So, before you save the rain forest from the parasites of your parent's generation, try delousing the closet in your own room.

Rule 8: Your school may have done away with winners and losers, but life HAS NOT. In some schools, they have abolished failing grades and they'll give you as MANY TIMES as you want to get the right answer. This doesn't bear the slightest resemblance to ANYTHING in real life.

Rule 9: Life is not divided into semesters.

You don't get summers off and

very few employers are interested in helping you FIND YOURSELF. Do that on your own time.

Rule 10: Television is NOT real life.

In real life people actually have to leave the coffee shop and

go to their jobs.

Rule 11: Be nice to nerds.

Chances are you'll end up working for one.

You have this day

You have this day, this moment. No one has any more or any less.
Thinking that you are too old, or too young, or too much this, or too little that, is merely a deception you impose upon yourself. Focus instead on what you can do right now.

This is a moment to take your most highly cherished values and put them into action. This is the day to give life to your dreams.

Right now you have the opportunity to do something with this day. Right now you are in a position to express the beautiful, unique person you are.

No matter what the circumstances may be, the conditions are always right for making a positive contribution in your own special way. Whatever may have happened before, this moment right now is when you can make a difference.

Consider how truly fortunate you are to be here in this moment. Then get going and make something great out of that good fortune.
Ralph Marston