December 17, 2014


Getting to a Place That’s Really Swell ~ Pema Chödrön

Rain Sunset-©CountryWomanPaints

Rain in the Sunset

We have not yet slid off the mountain… That is to say we might. I’ve just heard there is more rain plowing our way tonight. What that seems to actually mean is more rain may come at any time and last ALL night!

But it is glorious to see the dusty dry brown hillsides become greener than I’ve ever seen. Already wildflowers are peeking forth as it’s been on the warm side almost the entire time.

It looks to be a lovely spring to come.


Winter Sunrise

Recently I read a quote from wise Pema Chödrön that spoke deeply to me.
Suffering is not something to avoid but to embrace as simply part of life itself.
Without judgement, admittedly difficult, we see more clearly…

When things fall apart and we’re on the verge of we know not what, the test for each of us is to stay on that brink and not concretize. The spiritual journey is not about heaven and finally getting to a place that’s really swell. In fact, that way of looking at things is what keeps us miserable. Thinking that we can find some lasting pleasure and avoid pain is what in Buddhism is called samsara, a hopeless cycle that goes round and round endlessly and causes us to suffer greatly.

The very first noble truth of the Buddha points out that suffering is inevitable for human beings as long as we believe that things last—that they don’t disintegrate, that they can be counted on to satisfy our hunger for security. From this point of view, the only time we ever know what’s really going on is when the rug’s been pulled out and we can’t find anywhere to land. We use these situations either to wake ourselves up or to put ourselves to sleep. Right now—in the very instant of groundlessness—is the seed of taking care of those who need our care and of discovering our goodness.


December 9, 2014


Random Acts of Culture

red truck garden

Christmas truck

This Random Act of Culture brought tears to my eyes. I tend to be a tad weepy during the holidays. I’m not sure exactly why except for one thing. I don’t like the commercialism that is this time of the year. The money spent on Christmas trees alone is astounding without the immense amount gone to ornaments for quite temporary additions to our living rooms. And now many have to have more than ONE tree! Sigh…. We could feed a large country’s homeless, ALL of them, on the billions spent on those few short days.

Paris shopping center

Paris shopping center

Anyway… enough of that. I “found” this Random Act on my dear friend Susan’s blog, PhantsyThat. Please visit her sometime, you will not be disappointed! A wonderful artist, amazing writer, caring and informed of the plights we face on this planet and most important to me, a compassionate, kind friend of many years.

Nov 1, 2010~~ 
On Saturday, October 30, 2010, the Opera Company of Philadelphia brought together over 650 choristers from 28 participating organizations to perform one of the Knight Foundation’s “Random Acts of Culture” at Macy’s in Center City Philadelphia.

Accompanied by the Wanamaker Organ – the world’s largest pipe organ – the OCP Chorus and throngs of singers from the community infiltrated the store as shoppers, and burst into a pop-up rendition of the Hallelujah Chorus from Handel’s “Messiah” at 12 noon, to the delight of surprised shoppers.

This event is one of 1,000 “Random Acts of Culture” to be funded by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation over the next three years. The initiative transports the classical arts out of the concert halls and opera houses and into our communities to enrich our everyday lives. To learn more about this program and view more events, visit

For clues about upcoming Random Acts of Culture, find us on Facebook — or Twitter — and here: 


November 29, 2014



Tomorrow we hope rain blows in. However the signs a storm is offshore aren’t. No wind blowing and too cold for rain.
Fog, yes, rain, no.


These two photos are self-explanatory, one taken 6 years ago and one taken this year, both of them in the same field during the same time of year.

I think we are in for another dry year because by now, we should have had at least a couple of decent rain storms. The photos I posted here are the only rain we’ve had and that lasted about 49 minutes!

fall deer trail-'08

Deer trail 2008

drought cows

Cows without grass


November 15, 2014


Thich Nhat Hanh Hospitalized

Thich Nhat Hanh Hospitalized for Severe Brain Hemorrhage

 Thich Nhat Hanh

Thich Nhat Hanh

One of my favorite teachers, a wise and gentle monk. Many times his words have appeared here with my offerings. Somehow they are always exactly what I would say were I able to find the words within…

“To be beautiful means to be yourself.
You don’t need to be accepted by others.
You need to accept yourself.”

Thich Nhat Hanh

I ask you to remember him in your meditations, your prayers, and visualize him healing in body and spirit.

Waking up this morning, I smile.
Twenty-four brand new hours are before me. I vow to live fully in each moment and to look at all beings with eyes of compassion.
Thich Nhat Hanh

Namaste, my friends…

The seed of suffering in you may be strong, but don’t wait until you have no more suffering before allowing yourself to be happy.

Thich Nhat Hanh

Photo from:
Plum Village Meditation Center

Plum Village-Autumn-Leaf

“In April, we cannot see sunflowers in France, so we might say the sunflowers do not exist. But the local farmers have already planted thousands of seeds, and when they look at the bare hills, they may be able to see the sunflowers already. The sunflowers are there. They lack only the conditions of sun, heat, rain and July. Just because we cannot see them does not mean that they do not exist.”
Thich Nhat Hanh


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