"We become what we think about." ~ Earl Nightingale

Welcome to Sacred Ruminations

I hope you'll look around & leave comments
then visit me at my new blog ...

Giraffe Journal

and/or website ... Labyrinth Journal
both self-hosted at WordPress
where I publish as myself
rather than under a

I've not had much time for posting or blog visits, but if you're interested I hope you'll find time to check out my new blog, Giraffe Journal or my Labyrinth Journal website ... both self hosted at WordPress.

Thanks for your visit and have a delightful day ;--)
Hugs and blessings,

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Sacred Life Sunday - Benefits of Advanced Age

Daily Meditation from
Keepers of the Wisdom
Reflections from Lives Well Lived
by Karen Casey

"I think women have come a long way. We have come into it by just stepping in and doing something that we were forbidden to do." Clara Glenn

"There are few things we are forbidden to do. That's one of the blessings of old age, regardless of gender. Family and friends aren't as intent on trying to control us as they might have been in the past. We have also earned the right, so to speak, to tackle whatever activities appeal to us now. We're not so afraid of failure as we might have been in our youth or when pursuing a career. And we don't care as much what others think about our choices or pursuits. There are a myriad payoffs to getting old.

Having the freedom to decide exactly what we want to do with the day or hour or summer is a real treat. We have earned this reward because of our willingness to do whatever needed to be done when we were younger. Most of us did far more than was expected of us on many occasions. Fear may have motivated us. It seldom hinders us now.

Excitement generally accompanies the anticipation of forbidden activities. Fortunately we don't have to relinquish excitement just because so little is forbidden any more. Excitement is a matter of attitude. We can have as much of it as we want. Whatever we set out to do today will benerfit from our willingness to get excited."

"I can be as fulfilled as I choose today --
whether my projects are

big or small."

Friday, March 28, 2008

Haiku Friday #26 - Moms and Babies

Photos I have found
on the Internet like these
always make me smile.

Aren't these ducklings cute
following their mom for a
fam'ly walk downtown?

Secrets whispered ... what
might this young cub want of mom?
Come on ... play with me!

This one is my fav!
Are they not the best? Giraffes
have stolen my heart!

General Announcements:
1. My Haiku Friday - Volume 24 got posted very late last week so everyone but Karen missed it. If you have time today, check it out ;--)
2. I invite everyone to participate in the Make a Wish meme, and have left a cool 'incentive' for those who link back here (as Yertle has done already) or here.
3. If you haven't created a Message in a Bottle yet, I encourage you to consider that one too. Mine are here and here. If you need help putting text on graphics, I'd be happy to assist ;--)
4. One Single Impression is a new 'haiku' group of poets you might enjoy reading and/or participating in yourself. A 'prompt' is suggested each week and you choose the day that fits your schedule to post then sign the Mr. Linky and see what others have shared. My first four OSI posts are here with a fifth one here.

For a Mr. Linky to other Haiku Fridays
go to A Mommy Story or
Playgroups are no Place for Children.

Thought for Today
"Animals are such agreeable friends -- they ask no questions, they pass no criticisms."
George Eliot

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

One Single Impression - A Colorful Offering

Prompt #4 is Spring

colorful my yard
brings a smile to passers-by ...
happily I share

images of Spring
to those who remain 'snowbound'
in the month of March.

Click for my 'lateral' Spring OSI post at Small Reflections,
my previous OSI posts here at Sacred Ruminations
and for others participating this week
in One Single Impression.

Thought for Today
"The temple bell stops but I still hear the sound coming out of the flowers." Basho

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Sacred Life Easter Sunday - One Single Impression

Black Elk teaches us
'everything tries to be round'
... thus does 'power' work

I wrote of this idea first on Day 5 of My Sacred Life - Embracing a Larger Vision last October when I began this 'blogging' journey ... just 22 weeks ago ... 7 years into my 'retirement' from teaching. I quote Black Elk again here as I did then ... to remind myself (and others).

"The power of the world always works in circles, and everything tries to be round. The sky is round, and I have heard that the earth is like a ball, and so are all the stars. The wind, in it's greatest power, whirls: birds make their nests in circles, for theirs is the same religion as ours. The sun and moon, both round, came forth and go down again in a circle. Even the seasons form a great circle in their changing, and always come back again to where they were. The life of a person is a circle from childhood to childhood, and so it is in everything where power moves." Black Elk

On this Easter Sunday
as we remember that Christ died for our sins
and rose again ... may we also humbly consider
this affirmation is true for each of us:

"I am the light of God shining in the world."

Are we letting our light shine brightly?
I certainly hope so!
Blessed Be

I hope you'll check out both my entries in the Make a Wish Meme and consider participating yourself when time permits.
I've left a tantalizing incentive ;--)

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Make a Wish Meme

Wish on a star

After being tagged by Linda at Are we there yet? who came up with this beautiful meme, Ivanhoe tagged me (and everyone on her Blogroll plus a few new Ultimate Blog Party friends) for this Make a Wish Meme. I decided to do it on each of my blogs. After spending a week considering my fondest wish, I've concluded I'm 'content with life as is' although (like many others) I'd love to see Peace On Earth ... so I went with two 'Irish Blessings' that might help us achieve this goal in our lives.

Here is my 1st wish.

My 2nd Wish is at Small Reflections
I invite everyone to participate!

Here are the Rules:
1. Think about what it is that you want more than anything, what your heart's desire and fondest wish is, and what it is that you would wish for if you were to see the above wishing star flame across the night sky.
2. Right click and SAVE the blank graphic below.
3. Use a graphics program of your choice and place your wish on this picture:

4. Post the Make A Wish Meme and your wishing star on your blog along with these rules.
5. Tag as many people as you like so that there can be wishing stars all across the Blogosphere and ask them to please link back to Linda so that she can see what wishes others have made and share those wishes with others.

I quote Ivanhoe here: "If you don't currently have a graphics program and aren't sure how to put your message on the picture you can either download one for free (Linda used IrfanView which is an image viewer but also allows you to customize and optimize your pictures) or email Linda at mouseski58@yahoo.com, tell her what you're wishing for, and she'll customize the picture for you and email it back to you so that you can then post it."

After creating two of my own (one for each blog) I checked Linda's blog and she seems to be collecting the 'wishes' and sharing them in a series of update posts.

I hope you'll think about playing along too
and let me know when you do by
leaving a link here.

Thanks to Hootin' Anni for this cool new award!

I'd like to pass it along to all those who
decide to participate in the
Make a Wish Meme!

Thought for Today
"Our deepest wishes are whispers of our authentic selves. We must learn to respect them. We must learn to listen." Sarah Ban Breathnach

Friday, March 21, 2008

Haiku Friday #24 - Tennis Time Again

After a slow start
Fish came back and won the first
set ... Nalbandian

has his work cut out,
though he plays well from behind
Fish is on his game!

Tommy Haas pulled out
Roger Federer has the
day to relax now.

Women play tonight!
Semi-final matches should
be exciting as

Russians play against
one another ... as do Serbs.
All these players ROCK!

* * * * * * * * * *

Addendum after the fact:
For any 'tennis fans' out there who
missed the rest of the Pacific Life Open Competition,
I continued to 'ku and post photos about tennis
at Small Reflections on
Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Tuesday
and when the Sony Ericsson Tournament (in Miami)
begins on Saturday, I'll probably be
writing about it too ;--)

(Photo source: the official Pacific Life Open website)
* * * * *

I hope everyone had a very ...

For a Mr. Linky to other Haiku Fridays
go to A Mommy Story or
Playgroups are no Place for Children.

Volume 23 was posted earlier today
at Small Reflections.

To see my previous Friday Haikus,
click on the Haiku Friday label below this post
or on the link About Me in my sidebar.

Thought for Today
"Happiness is a conscious choice, not an automatic response." Mildred Barthel

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

(Almost Wordless) Wellness Wednesday

Savoring Spring Flowers

Soon I'll have fresh strawberries to enjoy.

For now I'm enjoying a variety of bulbs in bloom.

This is my 1st yellow Iris of the season.

Here is where I sit in the afternoon shade to read.
Ms. Kitty's 'cushion' is under the
chair on the left.

Purple Irises have been blooming for several weeks already

The Azalea given to me by a dear friend
when my Mom died in 1989

Allowing myself time to relax, read, and enjoy my garden
brings healthy, happiness, and a sense of well-being.

'Garden' Thoughts for Today
"The greatest gift of the garden is the restoration of the five senses."
Hanna Rion

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Sacred Life Sunday - God's Handiwork

Have ever seen a Fire Rainbow?

According to the friend who shared this image with me, this is the rarest of all naturally occurring atmospheric phenomena. The picture was captured on the Idaho/Washington border in an event that lasted about an hour. Clouds have to be cirrus, at least 20K feet in altitude ... with just the right amount of ice crystals. The sun has to hit the clouds at precisely 58 degrees.

A very beautiful sight!

Thought for Today
"So often we try to gird ourselves to face a harsh and difficult world when we might instead gentle both ourselves and our world just by slowing down. ...We could take a cue from music here: 'Rest' is musical term for a pause between flurries of notes. Without that tiny pause, the torrent of notes can be overwhelming. Without a rest in our lives, the torrent of our lives can be the same" ~Julia Cameron

Friday, March 14, 2008

Haiku Friday #22 - Shifting Priorities

Neglected this week
Sacred Ruminations has
minimal postings.

No Wellness We'nesday
or Monday Motivator ...
Friday already?

How did this happen?
Shifting priorities have
led me to rethink

what I want to do
with this blog ... but no
firm conclusions yet.

Please bear with me while
I give myself time to sort
through & to decide

how and when and what
to share with you on this blog.
Thanks and Blessed Be!

For a Mr. Linky to other Haiku Fridays
go to A Mommy Story or
Playgroups are no Place for Children.

Volume 21 was posted earlier today
at Small Reflections.

To see my previous Friday Haikus,
click on the Haiku Friday label below this post
or on the link About Me in my sidebar.

Thought for Today
"Live in such a way that you would not be ashamed to sell your parrot to the town gossip." Will Rogers

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

One Single Impression #2 - Kindness

The 2nd prompt is 'Kindness'

eyes meet ... lips curve ... nod ...
strangers momentarily
share lifted spirits

Click for others participating this week
One Single Impression

Thought for Today
"Be not afraid of life. Believe that life is worth living, and your belief will help create the fact." William James

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Sacred Life Sunday - Seven Really Good Things

Seven Really Good Things

1. Long walks along the ocean with Molly at my side on sunny Spring days ... stopping to watch dolphins frolic in the surf and pelicans dive for (& catch) fish ... visiting with others enjoying the day on the boardwalk.

2. Discovering a new site called One Single Impression ... with a weekly 'prompt' ... a host of bloggers who love Haiku as much as I do ... and it's predecessor One Deep Breath. I enjoyed posting here yesterday using the 1st prompt ... 'Change' ... and look forward to creating something for this week on the topic of 'Kindness' ... but even more enjoyable is reading what everyone else shares on their blogs throughout the week.

3. Enjoying the Spring flowers in my front yard as the irises, azaleas, fuschias, impatiens, pansies, Johnny jump ups, allyssum, and other bulbs colorfully burst onto the scene and my roses come back ... developing new buds. Even my struggling hydrangea looks as if it might survive in the unexpected shade of the ever expanding lime tree. You can see a sampling here.

4. Good reads to hold in my hand and turn the pages ... savoring the words. This weekend it's a Dean Koontz story about a woman who 'rescues retrievers' and the man in her life who needs to rescue his 'daughter' ...(and thereby himself).

5. Anticipation of meeting up with my 'colleagues & friends' at our monthly 'Retired Gals Lunch' tomorrow at 11:30 to catch up and share.

6. Receiving 'Awards and Bling' from the friends in the 'virtual world' and sharing it with more Blogging Buddies. Check Saturday's post at Small Reflections for distribution and 'link-love' because there just might be something especially for you.

7. Sharing this special 'friendship award' with all those who pause to read and comment to this post ... because I love to know you're out there ;--)

Thought for Today
"The worst prison would be a closed heart." Pope John Paul II

Saturday, March 8, 2008

One Single Impression #1 - Change

The first prompt for One Single Impression is change.

fifteen pounds of love
joy and boundless energy
learning day by day

kitty watches from
high above and disapproves
yet as time goes on

mellowly accepts
the white 'beastie' finally
claiming the front yard

coexisting with
clarity of who's in charge
even though the dog's

50 pounds or more
and Ms. Kitty's barely 10 ...
"cat's rule while dog's drool"

Click for other participants of
One Single Impression

Thought for Today
"Happiness consists more in small conveniences of pleasures that occur every day, than in great pieces of good fortune that happen but seldom to a man in the course of his life." Benjamin Franklin

Friday, March 7, 2008

Haiku Friday #20 - Spontaneity

It's always something!
Molly wants to play right now
but I wish to write

a Haiku and post
here before I leave the house
even though I don't

have a topic in
mind and there are ninety-five
new emails to read.

How did I allow
so much chaos in my mind
early in this day?

Maybe Molly is
right and we should just go play ...
It is sunny out!

I shall eat a bowl
with my fav'rite cereal,
then give in to her

posting this right now,
reading later rather than
fighting over this!

I hope that you have
a fantastic Friday and
fun-filled weekend too!

For a Mr. Linky to other Haiku Fridays
go to A Mommy Story or
Playgroups are no Place for Children.

My Haiku Friday Volume 17 is here
with 'bling' for friends who commented
on either blog in January & February.

Volume 19 was posted earlier today
at Small Reflections.

To see my previous Friday Haikus,
click on the Haiku Friday label below this post
or on the link About Me in my sidebar.

Thought for Today
"The true meaning of life is to plant trees under whose shade you do not expect to sit." Nelson Henderson

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Wellness Wednesday - Living For Ourselves

Living For Ourselves
(rather than trying to please others)

Yesterday's Daily OM message was on this topic raising the issue of realizing we're all too often trying to make the people in our lives 'happy' and stated the following:

"We may feel shocked or depressed by this information, but we can trust that it is coming to us at this time because we are ready to find out what it would mean to live our lives for ourselves, following the call of our own soul, and refusing any longer to be beholden to someone else’s expectations."
The article went on to to make the point that if we were not 'mirrored properly' as children by our parents ... not 'honored as individuals in our own right with a will and purpose of our own' ... then we didn't learn to look within for approval, support, and direction.

"The good news is that the part of us that was not adequately nurtured is still there, inside us, like a seed that has not yet received the sunlight and moisture it needs to open and to allow its inner contents to unfurl. It is never too late to provide ourselves with what we need to awaken this inner being."
The message in this Daily OM resonated with me greatly. For me, journaling daily has long provided me with 'a way in' ... an opportunity to access & validate that part of me in need of support, encouragement, and nurturing. As a result of my regular writing practice, I've learned to listen to myself while in the presence of others ... and decide for myself whether or not to participate in and/or abstain from activities when invited and/or encouraged by others.

"This experience of becoming is well worth the difficult work that may be required of us to get there. In whatever process we choose, we may feel worse before we feel better, but we will ultimately find out how to live our lives for ourselves and how to make ourselves happy."
I believe I'm healthier for learning this type of discernment ... and I'm proud of myself when I'm able to follow through as I was today ... when I met friends for lunch but skipped the movie afterwards. I know that taking care of 'me' in this manner ultimately takes care of others I care for ... and I'm am grateful for this knowledge. I endeavor to 'mirror' others in my life more appropriately than I was mirrored myself.

Thought for Today
"It is the responsibility of every adult to make sure that children hear what we have learned from the lessons of life and to hear over and over that we love them."
Marian W. Edelman

Monday, March 3, 2008

Monday Motivator - Curiosity

"The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing. One cannot help but be in awe when he contemplates the mysteries of eternity, of life, of the marvelous structure of reality. It is enough if he tries merely to comprehend a little of this mystery every day. Never lose a holy curiosity."
Albert Einstein

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Sacred Life Sunday - Celebrating my Blessings

Since I'm filled with gratitude
(for more than 5 or 6 things) on this Sunday evening,
I have decided that will be my topic tonight.

1. Even though my sister and her husband are 'on the road' traveling the USA indefinitely (currently in Florida), we're able to connect and catch up often thanks to cell phones. We're both exceedingly grateful for Verizon's free cell to cell minutes that let us talk as often and/or as long as we choose without running up huge phone bills ... something neither of us can afford on our pensions.

2. I'm blessed with wonderful friends in the real (and virtual) worlds who fill my life with sunshine and keep me from being lonely and/or too reclusive. This past week Carol hosted Book Club at her house and managed to get me there (even though I've opted out recently because it's become more of a 'social gathering' than a discussion group. I'm glad I attended for many reasons. I enjoyed reconnecting with friends I hadn't seen for a while and catching up briefly, updating email addresses, and learning of more upcoming events. However the best part of the evening was the lengthy discussion of the biographies of women we'd each read this past month. It felt like the Book Club meetings we had way back when we started more than a decade ago.

3. As those of you who read Small Reflections already know, I spent Saturday afternoon with my Red Hat 'sisters' ... enjoying lunch and celebrating St. Patrick's Day a bit early because we won't see one another again until after that holiday. To top off a delightful day, I won a lovely Red Hat mug in the drawing!

4. With help from Hootin' Anni, I learned how to find a program called 'Paint' that is apparently a part of Windows ... but that I knew nothing about. Through trial & error ...(and through a little searching through the Help files)... I managed to teach myself how to put text on a graphic and created my Message in a Bottle post for Haiku Friday. If you've not heard of and/or participated in this meme ... check out the directions and links to others who have ... then consider creating a message of your own to share. I'm planning to do another one at Small Reflections sometime soon.

5. That reminds me ... I'm also thinking about doing a simplified version of the Kind Fives Meme at Small Reflections soon, and I invite others to create your own Kind Five lists on your blogs ... and to encourage others to do likewise.

6. Now that I know how to add text to a graphic, I'll be able to create unique new awards of my own to pass along to blogging friends ... and that sounds like fun!

7. I've managed to free up memory on my Dell Laptop by moving photos to an external hard drive (and also to DVDs as a backup), run 'clean-up' software to remove unnecessary files, and defragment the drive ... so that instead of just 3 gigs of available memory, I now have more than 13 gigs free. That makes everything run better and may allow me to hold off on investing in a new computer right now (which is good for my finances).

8. Although my email 'inbox' has 76 messages to check at the moment, I've managed to ignore it in favor of visiting blogs I enjoy to 'catch up' ... for it had been far too long since I got around to reading and commenting everywhere I wanted to. It feels great to begin to reconnect in this manner, and I hope I'll be able to stay current on a more regular basis in the days, weeks, and months ahead. If I didn't get to your blog today, I hope to do so very soon as time permits.

9. My garden continues to surprise me with new arrivals each day ... even as the weather changes rapidly ... from the rain showers of last weekend ... to 70+ degree weather at the beginning of last week turning to high 50s/low 60s degree weather on Friday & Saturday ... only to return to 68 degree temperatures at the beach here today. Molly & I took a nice long walk together ... but I didn't let her run free at Dog Beach because there are too many dogs on the weekends. She played there last Tuesday and we'll go again next week if the weather holds.

10. I had a shorter than usual, but delightful conversation with my writing buddy (who lives in St. Paul, Minnesota) today. Our commitment as we left Taos in early August was to connect for at least 3 months ... but it's now been more than 7 months and we feel such a bond that we plan to continue our weekly calls indefinitely. Some weeks we talk for 90 minutes to a couple of hours ... and other times (like today) our conversations run 20-30 minutes based on what else is happening in our lives on Sunday mornings.

11. I've followed through now with Wellness Wednesday posts here for the 3rd time and am proud of myself for taking on this challenge. Keeping 'wellness' clearly in mind is helping me make changes in my life. In addition, I've adopted Yertle's 'Monday Motivator' idea and plan to make it a regular feature here ... again as a means to keep myself moving in the 'direction of my dreams' while simplifying my life and breaking free of self-imposed limitations. I appreciate all of you who offer support and encouragement in the form of comments along the way.

12. Meeting new bloggers recently through the 50+ Bloggers and Wordless Wednesday (in addition to the T-13ers and Haiku Friday participants) has extended and enriched my online experience. I'm amazed at the wonderful diversity of interests and talents in this virtual world and delighted that technology allows us to connect with people all over the world we might otherwise never have the opportunity to meet.

An even dozen seems perfect, so I'll stop here.

Thought for today
"I love not rushing the process. My mind doesn't shift until it does, and when it does shift, it's right on time, not one second too late or too soon. People are like seeds waiting to sprout. We can't be pushed ahead of our own understanding." Byron Katie