Be the Voice of Calm

Stay calm and carry on was an encouraging announcement on a poster from back in 1939. It was created by the British government to raise public morale when mass air attacks on its cities were widely predicted during World War II. 

Staying calm was good advice then, and it’s just as relevant today. In times of trouble and turmoil, we need to keep our wits about us. All of them. We must think reasonably, rationally and creatively when the storms of life hit. We humans don’t behave at our best when we’re panicked.  Continue reading →

Alone. Not Forsaken.

Maybe it was the faint click as they closed the front door. Perhaps it was my heightened intuition or merely an uncanny coincidence. I can’t say for sure what caused me to wake up with a start. I could see the landing light shining onto my feather eiderdown through a crack in the door, which was always left ajar at my request. The shaft of light was immediately reassuring, so I pulled back the bed covers, slipped my feet into the cozy slippers beside the bed, and headed for the bathroom just in case that was the reason I’d woken up. I wondered what time it was. It felt as though I’d barely got into bed, but perhaps I’d slept longer than it seemed. Continue reading →

Every Vote Counts and Each Soul Matters

The following is a chapter from my book, My Souls Sings for YOU, written and published in 2019 …..

How do you feel about elections?  For many years I had to sit on the sidelines, unable to participate in any election, as I was not yet a citizen of the United States. Neither had I ever voted in the UK, my birth country because I left before voting age. I was nineteen years old when I moved to the U.S. and at that time in the UK, the voting age was twenty-one. I sort of fell between the cracks.

So, when I finally was naturalized as a citizen, I literally couldn’t wait for the next election so I could have a voice. I was thrilled the first time I cast my ballot.

I love to vote. I consider election day one of the “high” days. It always feels so good to exercise my privilege to cast a ballot for candidates of my choice, and I especially enjoy being able to do it early to avoid the craziness of the official day. I’m so grateful for the freedom to vote my conscience with no fear of coercion, no mandate to choose a designated candidate, and no worry of personal reprisal for my selection, except possibly some sneers or jeers from those who ardently oppose the candidates whose names I checked on the ballot.

Does it seem to you that the tone of elections has intensified, and the rhetoric become more hateful with each passing year? Have you noticed that the campaigning starts earlier and earlier and dominates the news long before the actual day to vote? Despite all the increasingly desperate and intense attempts from candidates to garner votes, along with the incessant chatter of mass media and political spin artists, we thankfully reside in a country where we, the people, still elect our governing body by casting a ballot. I thank God for that freedom. Around election time, I always think about those souls who shed precious blood in bygone times, to secure the right for each of us to vote our conscience.

Continue reading →

Mitten’s Frightful Demise

By a stroke of good fortune, I survived to tell this tale, but last week I nearly died at the hand of a well-meaning human. It was a kill-with-kindness situation which resulted in an unfortunate outcome, reminding me that good intentions can have far-reaching consequences! The human’s generosity toward me, Mitten the hamster, quickly turned into a living nightmare for me and for her too! Of course, I must confess I wasn’t altogether blameless in the fiasco. Desire and greed contributed to my demise.

I’ll share the experience later but first a little history. A few months ago, I was a very unhappy little hamster with no family. I found myself in what the humans call a pet store. I was sad, homeless, and hungry. Although the store humans scattered food around the cavernous cage, it wasn’t like my mother’s cooking. There was a mechanical contraption that dispensed water, but it tasted bitter—not at all like the cold, sweet water I was accustomed to sipping from the woodland streams. The conditions in that store-place were appalling for a well-bred hamster. It was not like my warm, cozy nest under the sheltered tree roots in the wood—the only home I’d known before I was snatched away from my parents and nine siblings.

Home was never like this! This place was an overcrowded, stinky prison where I was forced to endure many indignities, like sharing a small space with others of my species—many were common types who stole food from each other and threatened me harm if I got too close, so I spent most days curled up in a tight ball, trembling in a secluded corner of the cage, hiding as best I could under a few bits of scratchy straw. I tried to sleep and stay out of the way of the other not-so-nice hamsters. Sometimes, a human who worked in the store would open the cage door and remove one of the more boisterous ones. I can’t say for sure what became of them, but chatter from the other hamster inmates suggested that a human bought them. What? Is it legal to steal animals from their families and sell them to humans? Isn’t that animal trafficking? I shuddered at the thought. Continue reading →

A Closer Look at the Author

A deeper dive into my thoughts.

While I love people and am considered outgoing, friendly and sociable, I value time alone—time to be still and just be. In the silence of solitude is where I process deep thoughts and reflect inwardly on a wide variety of circumstances and situations that I encounter or observe in life.

As a result, a great deal of thought and expression is woven into the pages of My Souls Sings for You, and in the nine chapters in the book numerous topics are covered—ones most prevalent in the minds of so many people in the life and times of now. Some may see the book as the way I view life, or my philosophy on living. Continue reading →

My Soul Sings for You

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Earlier this week, my publisher Westbow Press, a division of Thomas Nelson and Zondervan, alerted me that they had submitted my book files to the printer for formatting, and that the official publish date of the book was 18th September 2019. I am delighted to reveal the title and its accompanying tagline.

My Soul Sings for You
Spiritual Peace in the Life and Times of Now

Publishing this 356-page book has been a unique journey that has challenged me as a writer and a person at each step of the process—actions that included writing, editing, selecting cover graphics, interior chapter graphics, creating unique captions to each graphic, as well as reading the entire book numerous times. It all added up to a lot of planning and decision-making amid intermittent periods of waiting patiently as my publisher performed their part in the production process. Continue reading →

Beyond Words

We must read beyond words! When strung together, they can evoke strong emotions or ignite the imagination, creating vivid pictures in the mind. Sometimes, silence speaks louder than words, touch is more powerful, or just being can be the most appropriate of expressions. Then, there are times, when reading or listening, we must look beyond words to discover an inference or a deeper meaning.

For the last five months, while writing the manuscript for my book, I’ve never been more conscious of the power hidden in words, their unique meanings and the impact of connecting the right words into a phrase, a sentence or a paragraph for the most accurate interpretation by the reader. Continue reading →

Remembering Don Allen

I had seen Don around town and heard him singing in the choir on Sundays in Church of the Valley, where Chuck and I and Don and Leota were members. It was hard to miss a man of his stature, but what really caught my attention was the joy on his face as he sang his heart out to the Lord, as beautifully as the birds, which he loved and knew by name. His passion and appreciation for music were undeniable.

My first encounter with Don, and where I really got to know him was in the Rotary Club of Apple Valley. We were inducted the same day and soon became good friends. Our time together in Rotary was fun and memorable and during one of the fining sessions, Don suddenly stood up, and in his booming voice we know so well, he pointed at me and, from across the room, blurted out: Continue reading →

Reflecting and Projecting

At the end of each calendar year, I do this thing in my head. I ponder the year just ending and dream about the year ahead.

I think back over the past and I imagine the future … in context to today, the present. Keeping it in context to the present is important, because inevitably the past year’s impact has changed me in some way, molding me into who and what I am right now. Maybe not a better or worse “me” … but different. There is no status quo because we’re all constantly morphing as we’re affected not only by circumstances within our control, but also those outside our influence.

I’ll clarify for you. Simply put, I do some in depth soul searching of the immediate past, present and future. This process isn’t written down. It’s not a structured format I follow on paper, though I’m pretty sure there are great books and articles available to guide someone through a similar {and probably better} process, but this works for me and has done for many a year and I’m too seasoned to change now!  Lol! 

My thinking goes something like this …. Continue reading →

The Reluctant Participant

I slowly opened the envelope and stared intently at the words on the invitation while a flock of conflicting thoughts flew hither and thither inside my mind.

There was a minute or two of pure mental chaos! My first thought was to accept and go to the party, but ……….

Here it came! The dreaded “but”.  Of course you know the sentiment that follows a “but” usually contradicts what precedes it. The words after “but” seem to be more powerful and they often cancel out what was previously expressed.  Like “I really like holiday parties but ….”.   

In this case, an entire family of “buts” rushed into the white space in my head. Continue reading →