a cleanse, or bread and ice cream?


My son and daughter-in-law, Michael and Alicia, are doing a cleanse. I see their Facebook pictures and read their comments about the weight flying off of them, so to speak. I can imagine the delicious juicing going on in their kitchen.

And I am in Cuenca, Ecuador gaining weight from doing what seems to be a favorite pastime here – eating bread and ice cream. Oh, dear, the temptations are great . . . rarely can you walk down a block without seeing people eating, usually ice cream. Then there’s the passing of one bakery after another on almost every block. Additionally, and unfortunately for me, I met a gringo who told me about Maria’s Alemania at Hermano Miguel 809 y Sucre – it’s all about delicious bread! I could have done very nicely without that information. And to boot, Ecuador has an abundance of luscious fruits, and fruits have their own calories that can add up unless mindful eating is taking place. Ha! – hardly at the moment. So, I’ll say this, right now it’s okay, the enjoyment is nice, and I know how to change it at a moment’s notice . . . when I’m ready.

So, Michael and Alicia, enjoy losing all those toxins and seeing the weight flying off your bodies. Good for you!

As for me, well . . .




I hope you’re having the kind of day that makes your heart sing.

joel osteen


Did you read about the preposterous spam: “Joel Osteen Hoax: Man Allegedly Behind Ploy To Discredit Leader Wants Televangelist To Change His Message”? It had Joel Osteen abandoning his faith, and fleeing his congregation. And I ask myself, does the spammer have nothing else to do than to waste that amount of time doing what he did by sending biting words – supposedly from Joel Osteen’s mouth, along with pictures seeming to agree with the words – around the online world?

The following was Joel Osteen’s response to this pretend headline: “I’m really not angry; I don’t feel like a victim. I feel too blessed; life is too short to let things like this get you down.” Now that’s a perfectly simple response – one that we might want to memorize, and say with gusto, whenever we feel like a victim. Because we, in the modern world, tend to get offended rather easily.

When all was said and done, it was reported that the spammer said: “Joel doesn’t talk enough about the environment and poverty. He’s just too positive and smiley.” You gotta laugh; what else is there to do? Though the question that comes to mind for the spammer is: Why did you spend so much time doing what you did when there’s a call for ALL OF US to do our share, in whatever way works for us, to fix what’s been called, “our broken down” world.

Upon hearing the words: “he’s just too positive and smiley,” I thought, and what a different world it would be if we were all “just too positive and smiley.” Maybe we could all give it a try just to see what would happen.

When I had a TV, I enjoyed seeing Joel Osteen’s contagious smile and listening to him, because he has a talent for getting his message across with stories and laughter. What’s not to like?

I suppose the spammer thinks Joel Osteen came into this world just as he is. Think again, he’s had an interesting development, and chances are he continues to expand on it. Oh, yes.
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“Why are you unhappy? Because 99.9% of everything you think, and of everything you do, is for yourself, and there isn’t one.” Wei Wu Wei

“Joy is not in things. It is in you. – Richard Wagner

“As human beings, our greatness lies not so much in being able to remake the world . . . as in being able to remake ourselves.” – Mohandas K. Gandhi

“We choose our joys and sorrows before we experience them.” – Kahlil Gibran

park slope, brooklyn

I have a simple question. First, the reason for the simple question. Last week in Park Slope, Brooklyn it was impossible to not notice mothers, fathers, and caregivers strolling babies. That’s fine; Park Slope is an almost ideal place for families. And, at the same time, a wonderful place for people of all ages on their own, or not.

It’s an etiquette fact that pedestrians stay on their right side. Understandably, in Manhattan it’s almost impossible to keep to that etiquette rule as it gets tricky because of the sheer number of people. When Manhattan is at its busiest it’s often necessary to play a little game of side-stepping.

Park Slope, however, should be very different. People are wanting a more laid back lifestyle from their next door neighbor, Manhattan. Park Slope suggests a stress free environment, and pure creativity in the form of small clothing shops (many by Brooklyn designers), consignment stores, exciting new small restaurants, take-away speciality food places, pottery, furniture, and painting workshops, wonderful small gift shops, the Brooklyn Museum, co-op gardens, the Botanical Garden, an easy ride to ever-evolving Coney Island, and green and gorgeous-looking Prospect Park for everyone’s pleasure, and that’s a partial list of goodies.

Now the simple questions: Why do people strolling carriages in Park Slope think it’s all right to push two (or three) side-by-side so that no one can pass from the back, or from the opposite direction? And why should a pedestrian who’s walking toward someone who’s pushing a carriage as if in a race, be required to quickly step to the side to let the serious pusher pass? Strolling with baby in a Park Slope setting should be, could be, nice.

They’re simple questions, maybe so simple that it’s not worth the time. But wait, there are a few important matters to consider: respect for other people, awareness of one’s surroundings, and teaching a toddler how to behave in public. Let the people pass; do it graciously, and don’t stress, enjoy the time with the little one.
The following website with its interesting name has a lot to offer: www.fuckedinparkslope.com

Now to change the subject . . . have an extraordinary day everyone!

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“To know how to live is my trade and my art.” – Michel De Montaigne

“The moment your attention turns to the now you feel a presence, a stillness, a peace.” -Eckhart Tolle

“I live for every present moment and don’t think about the future.” -Henry Schliemann (from the book The Greek Treasure by Irving Stone)

“May I always be in the right place at the right time to do as much good as possible.” -Raymon Grace

a black bra

This is a very simple story, and, since it’s Martin Luther King Day, I want to tell it. It was in the 1970’s that two baby girls were born, and at a certain age they became very good friends. One of them was black; the other was white. In high school, among other things, they stayed true to what many teenage girls do, -try to figure out what was what in the fashion world. White shirts were popular, and detailing one’s bra wasn’t, at least not in the every day world. The girls discussed this, and one day one of them said she had the answer, she’d bought a black bra, it’s perfect, and, she said, you have to buy one too. And so it seemed that what went underneath a white shirt was solved. Away they went to purchase a black bra for the one who didn’t have one. In the fitting room, however, it became obvious that what worked for one wasn’t going to work for the other, and, of course, they did what many fourteen year old girls do; they giggled. Imagine a world in which no one notices, or cares about, another’s skin color, and just understands that the Creator created with variety in mind. When we look around it’s apparent that there’s no boredom in the Creator’s work – only boredom in our way of thinking. www.mlkday.gov I said it was a simple story.

every so often and once in awhile

Every so often and once in awhile are two delightfully mysterious and playful expressions. Mysterious because they say very little, and playful because they hint of wanting to casually hold back in being too specific. It’s a rather useful ploy when one’s not ready to answer, or when an iffy answer suffices. I wonder how these string of words manage to get accepted at face value, suggesting a listener actually knows what’s meant when a question is answered with one, or the other of these two idioms. It’s amusing when you think about it. For instance, someone asks: “Do you cook for your family?” and you reply, “Every so often.” What exactly does that mean – once a year, every other month, only on weekends? The questioner is still in the dark with no real answer forthcoming (because you’re on to a different subject), and the fact that take-out is on the agenda most days is yours to divulge, or not. The one who first strung these words together was: 1) very clever, 2) in a tight spot, 3) didn’t like to commit, or 4) a fast thinker. They allow for easy answering of some ticklish questions. Clever, indeed.

a decision

A French politician, Justice Minister Rachida Dati, returned to work days after the birth of her baby. Some people are up in arms about her decision. What’s with all the comparisons? The answer I bet is more complex than we think, and it’s probably personal for those with opinions about this. So I’m guessing it has nothing to do with Rachida Dati, or her baby. Seriously her decision was hers to make. We’re all wired differently. This decision might be a piece of cake for her, for another, impossible. It’s not good; it’s not bad – it’s just the way things are. Minding our own business when things don’t concern us, would allow for a more harmonious world.


There are lots of people up and about in the wee hours of a weekend morning though not the people going to or coming from work, but those ready for a whole night of socializing in whatever form that takes. The noises come loud and clear from the streets below and into my apartment. I don’t hear the noises though (well, I do and I don’t). A part of me is aware of them, and another part doesn’t acknowledge them. Maybe that’s from years of living in New York City, or just my way of processing things. The part that is aware hears screams, shouts, uproarious laughter, loud honks – weekend noises – of people who’ve come to Phila for night life, or perhaps people living in Phila trying to shake off their work week. The strong noises continue til sleep comes for me, the night owl, – not the outside night owls. After departing restaurants, bars, theatres, jazz spots, etc. weekend revelers seem to stop anywhere along the way to gather and have another drink to just prolong the evening. Some are single and can sleep the next day; Others with children, well, loss of sleep is the tradeoff for a night of ease and enjoyment. To the part of me that doesn’t acknowledge and is not sensitive to city noises, I say, halleluia. Otherwise, I’d need an assortment of ear plugs and a good sense of humor. Actually, I hope I have the last, and, if I do, I want it forever.

Now those country noises are an altogether different matter. I hear all of them that are soft and of nature, and I hear the silence, too. And they’re all acknowledged. Oh, yes.

on not noticing

Have you been left holding a door while a bunch of people you don’t know pass through without a nod, a smile, a thank you? They see you as their seemingly invisible doorman. Sometimes life leaves you holding the door. Now some people can do this graciously accepting their new position for the moment, others hold the door grudgingly unable to let go because they know it will slam into someone and they don’t want that to happen, others don’t care, if releasing the door from their hold means it will slam into someone, so be it. It’s all so hilarious. It’s a lesson in allowing.

People who write magazine articles often write about how busy and stressed out people are. But the busy and stressed out part of this is that it’s a busyness that’s mostly going nowhere because it’s a busyness caused by not being able to slow down or not being able to be alone.

It’s the same thing with people who drive while using a cell phone. If you ever walk in a city you have to be aware, or else. People who drive while using a cell phone have a look that says driving is secondary to talking on the phone. They don’t notice the things they should be noticing while driving. A little dangerous this is. They must have a angel on their shoulder or they wouldn’t make it home.

What am I getting at? Well, yesterday I saw a handsome, young, well-dressed man smiling as people passed by him as he held a door for a group he wasn’t attached to. They all paraded by, never noticing him, no one thanked him for not slamming the door in their faces. He didn’t care. That attitude was a neat thing to see. And the busy, busy ones? Well, maybe one day they’ll not be too busy to say thank you, or to actually hold the door for themselves and others.

“I have learnt silence from the talkative, toleration from the intolerant, and kindness from the unkind; yet strange, I am ungrateful to these teachers.” – Kahlil Gibran

My First Post on this thing called a Blog

What is the meaning of blog anyways… ok this is my first post and I feel like I need to write something life altering.  We have just finished a wonderful Thanksgiving in NC. I definitely ate way too much — need to look for redemption. I am hoping burn off the extra calories at my spin classes this week.

I think I definitely have an obsessive personality. I tend to get very addictive. I have definitely developed an addiction to spinning classes at O2 Fitness.  That is a smaller gym in Raleigh, NC www.o2fitnessclubs.com  I think what makes the classes fun are the other people in the class with you and the instructor. I definitely have my favorite teachers – Chrissy & Brandon are awesome. I love Casey’s music and Hadara is great too on Tues.  Ok, back to my obsessive (addictive) personality.  I even went as far as to buy special cycling shoes that actually lock you on to the bike.  When I went to the Biking store www.trekraleigh.com the sales guy asked me what type of bike I had and I said that I didn’t.  So I am the nutty customer that buys shoes for a bike that doesn’t go anywhere. I am sure since I started classes this past January, I have probably biked at least 1000 miles or more. I mean when I go out of town I miss class and get stressed if I have to miss class. With that being said I am not going this evening since it is the last night my mother in law is going to be in town and we are spending time together.  I am thinking I will feel guilty but I am thinking that it will be ok…. At least my spinning addiction has gotten me back into shape since the baby. That process is in a whole other blog post.

At least to my benefit this addictive behavior does not include drinking or drugs or smoking. Ironic it tends to be good things for me.

This past weekend I discovered you can play Boggle online with other people…. totally addictive. You definitely must try… if you think you are a good Boggler, think again, once you go to the site www.weboggle.shackworks.com you will see how crazy good these people are. You can also sign in with interesting usernames. Some people are political with their names and others are just down right funny… one that I remember to be funny was “Dumpling Running Man”.  I challenge you to try the site out. Beware though… I was stuck playing until 3 am Thanksgiving day evening because I was on a mission to be #1… still not there yet. I feel this draw to play when I get near a computer… It is amazing that I am actually on a computer and doing something else.

Ok so there are two examples of my crazy addictive behavior. I am curious if anyone else shares my afflictions. – Alicia

a soft goodbye

It’s never too late to acquire a new slant on something. Recently at a gathering my sister Anna was ready to leave and didn’t want to interrupt the host who was involved in what looked like a comfortable conversation with a good friend. I said I felt the same way. And she slipped away without a goodbye. Of course sometimes a host appears to need rescuing from a talkative guest, and an interruption would be wholeheartedly welcomed. This wasn’t the case.

Then today that conversation suddenly came to mind as I was mindlessly cleaning a rug in the apartment where I’m staying. And I thought to myself, It’s okay to leave with a soft goodbye fluttering on your lips, and sent in the direction of your host. And to bend rules if we feel the need is okay too. Yes, that’s what I told myself. The next time I’m puzzled about whether it’s all right to do or not to do this or that, I’ll listen quietly to what my heart says, and move forward with that answer.

And that’s all I have to say about that.

No need for complications. Right?