Friday, November 30, 2012

Measuring Your Life





3600 seconds per hour
1440 minutes per day
168 hours per week
365 days per year


How do you measure your time? Do you glance at your calendar for a monthly glance? Do you check your daily itinerary?  Are your days measured by your time-off…
vacations, long weekends, coffee breaks? Did the day fly by…or was it the year? Was it all a blur? 

Is your time measured in accomplishments or regrets…what you didn’t do? Is it measured in love? Consider those you have touched in your life. Remember those who have reached out to you. If it brings a smile to your face, then the moment was filled with love. If it tugged at your heart, then it’s worth repeating. If you long for that feeling again, then make it part of your daily life.

Love’s the answer. Reflect and act according to that which makes your heart smile.
Love is there. Love is all around you. Let it in, let it out and share the moment.

Love is all there is. Tis the season to love.

Cathy



Thursday, November 29, 2012

Driven




A vibrant bloom
The final testament to spring
Summer and fall
Not yet a faded glory
Surviving a frost
Defying the snow
Beckoning the sun
For a last ray of warmth
Before its slumber
Winter’s hibernation
Affirming its return
Manifesting its beauty
For the springs thaw
With the tenacity
Driven by
Mother Nature herself


Cathy


Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Operation Homefront





This Christmas, one way we can support our troops is by contributing to Operation Homefront. This is just one of a number of organizations supporting our veterans and their families year-round. Many stores are participating in their support during this holiday season. Please look for their logo at participating stores and websites. A number of informational websites are listed below as well as their supporting companies.

Cathy








Dept. of Veterans Affairs:  http://www.volunteer.va.gov/




Monday, November 26, 2012

All Things Great And Small




“E pluribus Unum”
“Out of many, one”

There are times that we think we don’t or can’t make a significant difference in the world. Only large corporations can make a difference may be one excuse we could make for not taking a positive stand for a cause. They have more money, influence or power than an individual could be our next justification. BUT…what happens when many take a stand for a united cause? Community action results.

Here is a website listing five interactive charities. The minimum donation for one is just one dollar; another is five dollars per month.


These sites allow you to choose your cause and collectively use the money with other contributors. Every dollar and intention is counted. When budgets are tight for all, including communities and schools, every penny counts.

If such a commitment, as the ones listed on this site, may still be out of reach for some please consider giving a penny. 

 

Mark 12:41-44

New International Version (NIV)

The Widow’s Offering

41 Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts.42 But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a few cents.
43 Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. 44 They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on.”

So many times we empty our pockets for the burden of carrying spare change. A large jar or vase usually comes in handy for such a collection. Many of us have just such a jar. Pennies almost seem like a bother to tote around…yet their value is still there or they would have been eliminated. Online I found that a pound of pennies is worth about $1.90. It would seem that a ‘penny drive’ would well be worth your time. There are many a pocket, purse and piggybank with forgotten pennies. Every person’s donation, including that of a child, would be valued. Everyone would be able to afford a contribution. Penny collections could be intended for a specific cause. It would be fun to watch the numbers rise.

Christmas is coming, the geese are getting fat
Please put a penny in the old man’s hat;
If you haven’t got a penny, a ha’penny will do,
If you haven’t got a ha’penny then God bless you.

There are many in this world without a ha’penny. If you have a spare penny, please consider putting it towards a worthy cause.




God Bless,

Cathy


Sunday, November 25, 2012

Free Shipping For Cyber Monday



If avoiding the mall is your preference this holiday season, then maybe you’re looking forward to Cyber Monday. Holiday shopping is just a click away. If this is your inclination, the words “Free Shipping” may be a deciding factor in your choice of online stores.

I’ve searched the web for some convenient sites for Cyber Monday offering free shipping. Another option is Facebook. Type ‘free shipping’ into their search space and you’ll be amazed at the number of retailers and apps available for your shopping convenience.

Be sure to look for ‘shipping codes’ that may be required for the free shipping. Some stores require this, so please read carefully before checking out your shopping cart. Be sure to read all details regarding a store’s return policy.

Over fifty percent of consumers will participate in holiday shopping online this year. If you are one of them, have fun shopping!

Cathy







Free Shipping Promo Codes:  http://promocodes2012.com/free-shipping/




Catalogs.com:  http://www.catalogs.com/






Saturday, November 24, 2012

Giving From The Heart





With ‘Black Friday’ under our belt, the holiday shopping season is underway. If you haven’t begun shopping, chances are you have given it some thought. Do you wish to give something memorable, something that has meaning for longer than a day? Perhaps the best way to give is to donate to a charitable organization, a gift that will last the whole year through, and do it in honor of someone. It will certainly be a gift made memorable for all parties.

When giving from the heart, consider the heart it goes to. It will take gift giving to a higher level. Consider also the ways it will benefit others. The following link has some wonderful ideas and websites for just such connections. It may be the right gift for the person who has everything.

Cathy




Friday, November 23, 2012

Enchanted Village





When we talk of our nostalgic childhood memories, we immediately embrace the moments we love. So quickly the memories flood our minds and we are filled with replicated emotions. Our eyes light up, smiles appear and usually laughter ensues. Déjà vu…re-created by us in a single memory.

Sometimes the memories fade and situations disappear from our lives. Then sometimes our fortunes change and circumstances reappear. The very one I speak of now is the Enchanted Village, a magical place where dreams of sugar plums and fairytales were made of. A trip to Downtown Crossing as a child to this wonderland became a memory held so dear.

Formally of Jordan Marsh in Boston and now rebuilt in Jordan’s Furniture in Avon, it’s a gift from our youth, fondly appreciated and transported through time for our holiday pleasure. Good fortune has it relocated it to our very back yards in neighboring Avon. Start the holiday season with a bit of enchantment. Keep in mind the reason for the season…Peace, Love, and Giving from the heart. Let us transfer the magic we saw as children to our new generations as we carry the wonder of Christmas forward.

Cathy





Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thanksgiving 2012







As you count your blessings this Thanksgiving Day please add a prayer for the world. Everyone gives thanks, just not on the same day or in the same way. Pray for those without a voice, without their family, without their friends, without our luxuries without this particular holiday. Add them to your extended family list.

Today we can add to our personal list a day of peace and preferably a lasting peace as the cease-fire in Israel is in effect. We can pray that all who are at war can see the benefits of a peaceful state. Pray that others will see the efforts taken by all participants to create a peaceful world and embrace them by taking these ideals into their lives and communities. May each community be allowed their own peaceful and unique path.   


For all our blessings, we give thanks.
Blessings to you and your loved ones.

Happy Thanksgiving


Cathy









Wednesday, November 21, 2012

12.12.12. Concert



There is another fundraising concert in work to support the victims of Hurricane Sandy.
Please visit these websites for information.






A Stress Free Thanksgiving






Don't sweat it: The true secret to being a gracious host or hostess (and keeping your own sanity) is to not let small problems ruin the day. If one of your side dishes burns, simply toss it out and enjoy the bounty you do have. If the turkey burns, order take-out. And don't forget to laugh!   






Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Hand Jive


Angry fist


Relaxed hand releasing anger


Sharing hands

Hands rejoicing

Hands unified

Hands harmonizing

Hands praying


Prayers heard


Loving hands


Love


Monday, November 19, 2012

Eureka


“Eureka”, an exclamation of epiphany, discovery…an ‘Aha’ moment noted. Archimedes made this exclamation upon one of his discoveries. He certainly would not have said it if he was not thinking outside the ‘box’. He ventured with his mind to new places of thought. The discoveries would never have taken place if he was complacent with the status quo. He sought answers to new questions. He was definitely one who thought ‘outside the box’.



The question at hand is…’Who decided the shape of the box and what went into the box?’ How is it you wish to be defined? Your individuality demands changes over time. Flexibility and diversity will allow you to be changing and re-creating yourself throughout your lifetime. Cookie cutter lives are what most of us are avoiding. We wish to be more than the sum of our parts. We wish to be noticed for our ever-changing ways. The new improved version of ‘self’ should be shared with one and all. Every day should be a new adventure.



When we look within and search our heart with our mind we make a discovery of what makes your heart sing. What kind of box resides there?


Today I am a ballerina dancing through my day.


Today I am a horse in a carousel riding like the wind with my friends.


Today I am a crystal egg in winter holding onto springs’ promise.

Think outside the box. Embrace the ideas that come. Try something different. When it comes from the heart there is no one else to please than yourself, so enjoy the moment, the day, the new life at hand.


The ‘out-of-the-box’ question I pose to you is this…


When is a piano like a drum?
When Jamie Cullum plays it…because it’s ‘thrilling!’

Enjoy!



Cathy

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Ode To Twinkies



Golden cake

Creamy filling

Twinkies

I miss you already
Confection of youth
For my sweet tooth
My pantry feels empty
And it’s only been two days
Nostalgia fills my mind
Sharing the confection dream
With friends and friends alike
Laughter shared
With the past
As I wish for
Youth resurrected this day
Hoping the tasty delight
Is reborn
Gone but not forgotten
It lives forever in our youthful minds
Yum!


Cathy


Saturday, November 17, 2012

Thanksgiving For Hurricane Sandy Victims







This is one of the busiest food shopping weekends of the year. Thanksgiving is upon us already. The ads are flying for both Thanksgiving dinner and Black Friday. Instead of looking at the ads, I started to make a mental list for all there is to be thankful for. It then dawned on me that our thankful list could be quite lengthy. We have been very fortunate in this region of the country; but what about the victims still suffering from the storm?

With very little searching on the net, there are many requests for help and donations. There are many volunteers that need help or relief as well. Many shelters, food kitchens and churches are in greater need this year than ever before.

As we count our blessings, may we find in our hearts a way to reach out to these people…prayers, money, a physical labor of love. Please don’t forget those that are less fortunate, for we have been truly blessed in so many ways.

I have included several links from my search that may be of interest to you.

Wishing for ‘freedom from want’ for all…

Cathy







                       


Friday, November 16, 2012

Welcome


Jake Arthur


Today we welcome our latest addition to the SMF family. Linda, the proud grandmother is holding baby Jake Arthur. Born today…three weeks early…at 6 lbs. 6 oz. All are happy and healthy.

Congratulations to Carolyn and Jimmy on the birth of their first child.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

A Single Voice




Wisdom comes with age…or so we are taught. Perhaps we should pay more attention to ‘the mouths of babes’! Their innocence and passion can be well voiced if we choose to listen.

As I came across this video of Olivia Binfield from Britain’s Got Talent, I was so impressed by her poem that I felt compelled to write. She has a dedication to animals and endangered species poetically expressed. At the mere age of seven, she expresses a wisdom that seldom comes with an adult lifetime. Understanding animals and their place in our world is her obvious passion…a lesson we all need to learn. Her compassion was well appreciated on the talent show by the judges. Her message is being made clear on her own website and other sites who have heard her voice…so small yet so clear.

A single voice can make a difference, just like in Dr. Seuss’ Horton Hears A Who! It’s so nice to know there are those brave enough to speak for those without a voice…or is it that they can hear above the whisper and a glance to hear another heart.

Cathy





Endangered Species Sites:



Endangered Species Lists:



Animal Rights Sites:



http://www.animalrightscoop.com/index.htm


Great American Smokeout Day




For those who do not smoke…keep up the good work.
For those who have quit…congratulations!
For those that do smoke…please reconsider…

            Do it for yourself…
            Do it for those that live with you…
            Do it for those that love and care for you.

Cathy



                                                                                                                                               



Wednesday, November 14, 2012

A Tempest New



O Tempest new
Tumult true
Fire that must be
For now is the time
A fervor
A fever
Reality reckoned
Tempest
Or
Temptress
With a flame that burns
Within
Desired so for what lacks so
In the hearts of those
So cold
That stole the warmth
Of so many lives
Innocence
Innocents lost
Yet there is
An awakening
For a new life
New world
Where all voices must be heard
For the Tempest knew
Of this time so new
With demands true blue
For the children who knew
Of peace in lieu
Of war
Of wisdom due
Instead of chore
Of elements clear
Life without fear
For the Temptress knew
Patience
Endurance
Temperance
Balance
Independence
To nurture the flame
For this future of now
From the phoenix within
Through the ashes of ruin
To the rebirth of light
A new spectrum
Hue
True
To the life
Known only to the soul
Life
As it was meant to be
Free


Cathy


***


The Tempest:




Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Les Mis






Perhaps you have seen the trailers on TV for the new version of Les Miserables opening in the theatres on Christmas day. This story never grows old, much like the timeless story of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. There is oppression in the world, adversity to many people, and for those with strength of character and love in their hearts, a happy ending.

Some battles must be fought, some difficult times must be endured and some dreams must be held on to. Hold on to your dreams, wish upon a star and see a better world in your lifetime.

Here are some websites for the upcoming movie.

Cathy



Website & Trailer : http://www.lesmiserablesfilm.com/



Monday, November 12, 2012

Well Worth The Effort





This quote fell into my lap yesterday. So often I look for quotes & inspirations for the blog; but, this one was just a perfect gift yesterday.

So often we hear and say…”but that’s just not fair” and perhaps at that very moment in time a happenstance is not fair. Is the justice you look for only for yourself? Is there a lesson for a greater good at work in that happenstance? Is the lesson of that moment to be patient, kind, empathetic to the other party?

Or is the lesson for the moment the phrase…”One more time!”

If patterns in life do repeat themselves, and I believe they do, until we learn from them, then the word that comes to mind is EFFORT!!! Are you putting EFFORT into your life or are you a floater? Are you just floating…going with the flow…or watching the world float by completely unattached from your surroundings? Then the answer for you is simply EFFORT! Do something, do anything, but don’t just stand there!!! My words are more direct that the poetic words of Mother Teresa’s, but they are urging you to reexamine each and every moment of your life as it interacts with you. Why wait for your ship to come in when you can make it happen. Be your own catalyst. Make a change. Be the change. As Gandhi said “Be the change you wish to see in the world”.

Maybe as you persist in the higher road suggested by Mother Teresa, if no other lesson is learned from you by others, it will be that you gave it…life…your best EFFORT! EFFORT, with high esteem for the life that we live, will surely reap its rewards….for surely NO EFFORT will not have the same results.

EFFORT, passion for one’s beliefs, tenacity and sometimes bravery are all in the biographies of saints, great spokesmen and activists of this world. These courageous people fought for the greater good of humanity through their community. They did not sit by in idle fashion.

The highest conviction of all, first and foremost, would be LOVE. LOVE has always been the greatest catalyst of all. It allows one to look within to find the strength and direction to proceed outward into the world. I believe Mother Teresa’s life and legacy are the proof of her EFFORT.

Find your LOVE. Apply your EFFORT. Strength will follow in its wake.

Cathy


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