Thursday, December 19, 2013

A widow for Christmas

Imagine spending the holidays without your spouse. The grief gets doubled when you have young children. And all they want is mommy or daddy back. For things to be normal and happy—they were they were before the death of their parent.

It will be the 4th Christmas my sister and her three boys spend without him. Husband and father are no longer words in their daily lexicon. The boys don’t get dad to play Santa again. My sister doesn’t get a special kiss under the mistletoe. This is their new normal. Deep down the family that surrounds her—on both sides--feel awkward and helpless. We know nothing of being single against our will. We’ll smile and pass out gifts, secretly praying that we could win the lottery and make life smoother as she struggles with day care and school and holiday things. Heck, we wish we could win the lottery to make our own lives smoother. The only thing we can do now, is struggle alongside of her.

I once interviewed a man who was 101 years old. Some think of age as a blessing, others a curse. He thought of it in terms of the people he missed. I said to the old man: “If you stood before God and could ask one question, what would it be?” Without hesitating he said: “I would ask why did He allow me to find two women I loved so much only to take them both away. Why did you do that God?” It has been over decade since I spoke to the old man. I believe he now has his answer.

I don’t know why bad things happen to good people. I don’t know why my sister has to be alone at Christmas again. It’s not fair. I don’t have the answer. I can only say to her:  You are valued and beautiful and if you find love again, he will be the luckiest man on the planet.

Friday, November 29, 2013

wrap yourself in a warm quilt and snuggle on the couch...

Today is Black Friday...ugh

But for lovers, it's Blessings Friday.
While many are invading the malls and retail stores, to buy things. Today is actually a the perfect day for lovers to count the blessing of each other in their lives.

Today is the day for leftovers. For naps and snuggles. Movie time, relaxing time, precious alone time.

Build it up now while you can. While the relatives have gone shopping or home and the kids and pets are (hopefully) sleeping.

These are the quite times that you can talk about future plans. Not just about what to do for Christmas or next year, but what plans you have for each other. These are the blessing times. The times to remember and plan.

A weekend away, a working vacation, a cruise. Talk about what the two of you want to do together.

Hurry, the kids are waking up...

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Love ain't nothing if it ain't foolish.
    --Old French Proverb

Trust the French, notorious for the art of romance, to come up with some rather corny love advice. But they're right. Love makes us do really stupid things. And those stupid things remind us that when we love, we are all in. There isn't a player (or a lover) who can claim to have his or her head in the game, if they aren't willing to take risks. The risks that will make them look like a hero or a fool. And then, keep taking those risks until they win.

That's love. Forget the game plan, just go for it!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

solar flares

Our Sun is an active star.

How active? 

So active that giant solar flares considered X-Class because they were so huge and so fast (about 2.6 million mph), they were rated the largest in the Sun's 11 year cycle of flare activity (from 2008).

The first eruption registered as an X1.7-class event on the space weather scale, and was followed midday Monday by an even more powerful X2.8 solar flare.

pretty cool.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

2013 Writer's Conference, Bethlehem, PA

Every year a gathering of writers from as far as Houston and as close as Allentown meet in Bethlehem, PA to talk writing and publishing stuff. All good stuff--the write stuff.

Every year its amazing to see how much the industry has changed and how much it hasn't.

Here are a few of the presenters, authors, agents who will be speaking and listening at this conference:
Jane Friedman, web editor
Emily Keyes, agent
Lee Upton, poet, professor
Jeanette Windle, author & editor
Ramona DeFelice-Long, author, editor, writing instructor
Jean C. Gordon, author, financial advisor
Jon Gibbs, author
Bonnie Calhoun, author
Sara D'Emic, agent
many more...,

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Roe v. Wade

In 1973, the Supreme Court allowed abortions to be legal in the United States. There were limits--parental consent, medical clearances and after 12 weeks of gestation (first three months of pregnancy) no abortions were to be legally performed.

Over the years statistics have been compiled for the U.S. but in many countries abortion has always been legal, used as birth control and as population maintenance. Here are a international statistics for comparison:

Abortions (annual*)**
Brazil: 0 (abortions can only be performed if the mother of the baby is in danger)
Italy: 117,156
Russia: 1,385,600
UK: 189,100
Switzerland: 10,200
Greece: 16,264
Kosovo/Serbia/Montenegro: 162,643
China: 6,111,375
Spain: 115,812
United States: 784,507

* based on figures from 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 or 2010)
** Source:

After 40 years of legal abortion it has been estimated that 55 million babies have been aborted. Planned Parenthood is the primary provider of abortions. Although clinics are closing, many still operate outside the law. But some clinics have killed mothers and born alive fetuses. One of the counts faced by Dr. Kermit Gosnell includes the death of a woman following an abortion at his office. The other seven were late-term babies, born alive, who were then killed by Dr. Gosnell with a pair of scissors he used to severe their spines.