Thursday, July 30, 2009


Waterlilies are symbols of growth to our higher selves... sprouting from mud and muck rising to water's surface as a clean, pristine flower ...

It's time for a change. I'm tired of the negativity that I have let into my life ... I can choose to continue holding on to the hurts my adopted family inflicted on me ... or I can let them go. It's time for them to go .... will it be easy? Not hardly ... but they need to go for me to heal and be the person I was meant to be.

One way is through the Buddhist tradition of "Four Limitless Qualities." The practice is to aspire to loving-kindness, compassion, joy, and equanimity. They are as follows:

May all sentient beings enjoy happiness and the root of happiness.
May we be free from suffering and the root of suffering.
May we not be separated from the great happiness devoid of suffering.
May we dwell in the great equanimity free from passion, aggression, and prejudice.

The bodhichitta practices is just one way to sow the seeds of well-being, not only for ourselves, but for others. Everyone has to choose the religous belief that is right for them ... I put none down, all have value.

To me this is a way of thinking, not so much a religious practice. But like all things, it will take practice in learning to want for others as much as myself. It's like moving a river ... the channel has been cut for such a long time and now you are trying to get the water to go another way -- creating a new channel. Thus we atay in the patterns of behavior that keep us unhappy. Maybe -- just maybe ... this is a way to start healing my inner self.

First, I must start with myself and those I love the most.

Express the wish that I enjoy happiness and the root of happiness.
Next expand the wish for someone I love.
Using the thought that they enjoy happiness and the root of happiness.
Continue expanding it to a greater and greater circle of those in my life.

Start with self, moving out to those you love (where love and kindness is already felt) and then on to those that we neither like nor dislike and finally to those we dislike before expressign at long last good wishes for those unknown ... think of what a change could be felt in the world ....

It won't be easy to open my heart and act on my fears. The mediation teacher I had in San Diego warned that these activities had power to cut away useless habits and patterns of behavior. By acknowledging love, compassion, joy and equanimity and nurturing them --- they will strengthen.

Happiness is being free of anger, resentment, guilt, greed, envy, the list goes on. It is through our thoughts that our reality is constantly forming. Learning to train our thinking is fundamental to creating the kind of world we want -- this sounds like a plan. Am I ready for it? I have to be ...

This is a Bodhisattva's vow‏ ... "However innumerable beings are, I vow to save them." A Bodhisattva is anyone who is motivated by pure compassion and love -- seeking enlightenment not only for him/herself but also for everyone. Most people are self-motivated and work primarily to solve their own problems, keeping others a distant second. Should one do an act of kindness, repayment of some type is generally expected be it as a thank you, further praise or other action.
A Bodhisattva is motivated by by genuine concern and love for all living things.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009


Sicily is drying out ... everywhere it is dry and brown. Don and I took an evening trip over to the center of the island to watch a candle-lighting ceremony in honor of St. James, the patron saint of Caltigirone, and when we came back at midnight -- it seemed like every other hillside had a line of fire burning on it. Sardina's having lots of problems too. I heard on the Italian news that arson is being blamed for many of the fires. Sad....

Sunday, July 19, 2009


Mesopotanian gate statue ... meant to be seen either head-on or from the side ... not at an angle - you see 5 legs when looked at from an angle

Last four pictures ... an Elgin marbles taken from the Acropolis- one of the Nike Victories .... Don resting - the British Museum is HUGE! .... and finally, some Estrucan pots similiar to one my adopted father's family was given when Dad was an infant (he was born in Turkey in the early 1900's - the doctor who delivered him was given the pot by a farmer who dug it up in a field) .... Mom had me look for a place to donate it a few years before she died ... the new J. Paul Getty was interested but since there was no official documention bringing it into the country, they would only accept it as a donation ... Mom's birth-daughter insisted on Mom getting money for it .... don't know what ever happened to it. Mom told her chaplain and I at a meeting not long before she died that her birth-daughter had managed to sell it, no idea who it was sold to ... the proceeds most likely paid off Mom's medical bills and other expenses after she died ...

Thursday, July 16, 2009


My husband asked me tonight why I blog ... first response was that I do it to share what's going on in our lives with my son who lives on the other side of the world.
But it's more than that ....

Other reasons I blog:
-To share our lives with family and friends
-Central place to keep and share recipes
-Serves as a photo album
-Better than a diary ... though I don't write my deepest secrets and thoughts here - some things should remain private
-To make friends
-A connection to the world
-Share my thoughts, hopes, dreams and experience
-It's fun!

Why do you blog?

Wednesday, July 15, 2009


May you have...
Enough happiness to make you sweet
Enough trials to make you strong
Enough sorrow to keep you human
Enough hope to make you happy
And enough money to buy gifts.
~ Unknown

I like this thought ... it and today's picture came from SusansDailyDose .. pictures, thoughts, links and all sorts of good stuff...

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Sunday, July 12, 2009


I'm starting grad school in a few weeks studying Library and Information Studies focusing on children ... please go vote for me either by clicking on the green CHECKMARK under the photo or by clicking on VIEW button (also under the photo) and going to the home page to vote ... you can vote every 8 hours ... contest closes 12 August... thanks!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009


Shabby Creations is holding a giveaway for a blog background --- there are some wonderful layoust ... go check it out!


Got off work late tonight -- and it's still nearly 100 degrees. We stopped at a newly re-opened furniture store, a hardware store and a general store (this one is like Super Wal-mart or Super Target) on the way home. By then, it's nearly 8:00 pm - so we decided to pick up a roasted chicken (this vendor stuffs it with french fries and whole olives), the bakery for bread and a fruit store. All this plus the homemade white wine Giovanni and Carmela (our landlords) gave us the other day made a fine dinner....