There is a story; A middle-aged woman is preparing a festive meal and she cuts the meat in a certain odd way and puts it in the pan to be cooked. Why does she cut it in this peculiar manner? Vintage Kitchen Because that is how her mother always did it. One day she asks her elderly mother why. Her mother says; I had to cut it to fit in the pan I was using.

I was cleaning my candlestick holders and wondered as I scraped off accumulated layers of wax, what was causing the build-up. I always line the inside with foil, just as my mother did. Then I remembered the story above. So I pried out wax and foil, cleaned the outside and the bottom of each one. When I light candles this coming Sabbath I’ll be using my now pristine glass candle holders. Hopefully there will not be unsightly wax drips all over the place.

And this double lesson gave me time to think about;  when we do without forethought, or when we don’t stop to question why, or when we’re too busy to come up with alternatives to “the way it’s always been done.” This reminds me of many years ago and the “new math.” Child ReadingThere was a meeting at  school to explain the new curriculum to parents and get us to approve or at least go along with the new methods. And older gentleman stood up and said he was opposed to the change because the older custom had been good enough for his father, good enough for him, and would be good enough for his child[ren].

This morning reading a favorite blog and one particular post inside. The heading jumped off the page [okay, computer screen] at me. “Bringing Travel Lessons Home.”  I’ll admit I love adventure and the less planned it is, well, the more scary and possibly more fun. Oh no, I’m not trying to test myself and any limits imposed by people or circumstances outside myself. I happen to like learning and doing and trying. If successful; yeah! If not, well unless there was grave harm, it was still a bit of learning.

I feel very fortunate that I have always wanted to learn who I am, what I stand for, Pinnedwhat I need in life. And as I get older; what I don’t need [extra aggravation from bad service, spammers, people who judge, ignorance, intolerance…]. So back to Bringing Travel Lessons Home. We can decide to learn about ourselves; our motivations, our needs and wants, what makes us happy, sad, irritable, jealous, etc. And we can decide how to earn our way, live our lives, give back [or not]. It’s all within our reach, our grasp. That’s if we want to have a “well-lived” life.


Top 2 illustrations; copyright-free from Google images. Last is handmade card-in-the-making [before being sewn]. Quote by Ella Fitzgerald;  “Just don’t give up trying to do what you really want to do. Where there is love and inspiration, I don’t think you can go wrong.” Please don’t copy my creative work.


An NPR article this morning with 3 questions; What are your fears? How will you overcome your fears? What will “the unique you” bring to…[family, circle of friends, Peace2classroom, work, world] ? Last night I was thinking about one of my 5 children and that person’s traits; strengths and difficulties, depth of compassion and caring, family ties. I believe this child has fears, has overcome some that I know about, and brings “depth of compassion and caring” to relationships with others. It is this that I most appreciate. Perhaps this grown child and I can talk in the near future and I can express this and listen to the responses.

No political talk here, I’m more interested in what, why, and when people do what they do. The woman who took or was illegally given a baby she’d not birthed, then proceeded to raise for 20 years has now been sentenced to prison for 10 yGiftBookBeLoved2ears. The babe, now grown, expressed strong desire to stay with this “foster” mother. How does love speak? Do we let it speak? Do we value love above all? Sad to say the answers to these questions are as difficult as those in the 1st paragraph, I believe.

“Someday this moment is going to count as the good old days.” This quote by William Irvine from an Atlantic article May 2015; What good is thinking about death? So the question is; “What harm is it, just when you are kissing your little child, to say: Tomorrow you will die?” This takes us back to the question; What do you fear? For me the next question is; Why do people do what they do? This is also in the article. To be aware of the finite quality of all life can lead one to treat all life as precious. I’ve used the quote below which is funny, but resonates for many;

Seize the moment. Remember all those women on the ‘Titanic’ who waved off the dessert cart.    -Erma Bombeck

When I’d been diagnosed with cancer and spoke with a friend who had also had a cancer diagnosis I asked her; How do we maintain the attitude we have now because our Dog Lake Montana 2010lives have been threatened? The desire to live each day as a gift, a blessing, an awareness of the possibility for everything to abruptly end when we’re not ready for it to be over? My very wise friend said we must force ourselves to remember the question: What is most important to us this very moment of our lives? That will help to bring us back to the fear of death and the need to live as vibrantly and with as much awareness as possible.

There are days when you don’t have
a song in your heart. Sing anyway.
-Emory Austin

*Middle picture of original Esther’s Girls: Handmade Journals and Cards artwork. Do not copy. Bottom photo; Dog Lake, Flathead Indian Reservation, Western Montana