Monthly Archives: January 2009


Sunday Scribblings – Pilgrimage

I am so grateful for the opportunities I’ve had in life. Most Piazza San Marcopeople are lucky if they ever travel to Italy in their lifetime. I’ve been there three times and have savored each experience.

My first trip to Italy was an amazing 14 day adventure in 1995. It was such a gift for so many reasons. The most important reason was that it was my mom’s last trip to Italy.

We arrived in Venice in the afternoon. We were hot and a little tired and Mom wanted to take a shower. Our hotel had an ancient elevator that could not handle more than three or four passengers at a time. It took a long time for our tour group to get settled in their rooms and an even longer time for our luggage to get delivered. So we waited and waited for our luggage and I remember being so angry that mom had taken a shower without being sure that our luggage would arrive in time for her to dress so we could all go out and explore Saint Mark’s Square as soon as possible. I tried not to be angry but, really, I was. Our luggage arrived, Mom dressed and we headed right into dinner. By the time we ventured into the famous piazza, night had fallen.

In retrospect, my first real taste of Piazza San Marco was magical. It is the custom for the restaurants in the piazza to have a bandstand with a small orchestra in the piazza. That night as we entered Saint Mark’s one orchestra was playing the Carmen Suite by Bizet, musical selections from the opera. That moment brought memories of my grandparents, particularly my grandmother, who loved opera and would listen to the Texaco Opera on Saturday afternoons on the radio. My grandmother used to tell us stories of how she would sneak out of the factory where she sewed and run downtown to see an opera. Nanny loved La Boheme and La Traviata and Carmen so I was no stranger to these melodies.

The lights, the music, the presence of my parents and youngest brother – all contributed to the magic. I was moved to tears and wept openly for the memories of another time and place but also for the memories that were being made in that moment.

I have been to Italy and Venice twice since that first visit. Twice more, I have been deeply moved when I enter Piazza San Marco. I hope to return again some day. I know it will be a long time away. I can wait.

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Filed under Italy, Life

Faith Walk

walk_jgp Life just keeps going on around me. I try to grab on and get dragged along for the ride. Then it occurs to me: I should be walking at my own pace.

I don’t need to rush into the craziness. I can take my time. There’s a reason things happen and while I may not understand the reason at the moment, some day it will be clear. Or maybe it won’t ever be clear. And that’s ok too.

I was telling someone today that when I lost my job last November, I knew it was the best thing for me. Look where it led! But at the time, I was a wreck. And why was that? Because of the unknown.

I really didn’t have faith that God had me right where I needed to be. Those first few months were filled with healing and grace. I can acknowledge that now. And there were days when I was living through it that I could acknowledge the healing and grace. I even had days when I was completely at peace.

But how quickly I forget the feeling of serenity and how quickly I forget to acknowledge the gift that is life.

Today’s prompt from Meme Express


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The Nap

I like to blog but often find myself without a topic. Oh, I could probably rant  about something on a daily basis but I prefer to be creative. I happened upon MeMe Express and found daily writing prompts.

The Nap Jan Frans Vernas Artist 1879

The Nap Jan Frans Vernas Artist 1879

I know I should be writing fiction or poetry but I’ll stick to fact and autobiography and life,. I’m hoping this might be what I need to get off of my sorry ass and share my thoughts.

The prompt for today included this 1879 painting called The Nap by Jan Frans Verhas from Belgium. It shows a sweet child with, what I’m guessing, is a basket of cherries. I Googled the painting in hopes of finding some information about Jan and the painting. I found links to art auctions and dealers. I could rant about that but I won’t especially since I’m probably not using the right search terms. In any case it sold at Sotheby’s in 2006 for $216,000 US.

As I examined the painting, I noticed that the little girl had… wait, is that a cherry in her ear? I don’t know, she can’t hear me, there’s a cherry in her ear! Bwa hah!

Seriously, I can just see the drool forming in the corner of her lip, she is THAT deep in sleep. Sometimes I wish I could sleep like that. Peaceful, relaxed, serene, deep. I can’t help but wonder what that nightly dose of Tylenol® PM is doing to my liver.

Do you think that is a little Belgian girl? I do. The doll, shawl and dress are probably handcrafted. I’m sure my art teacher, Jocelyn, would be able to tell me the significance of the tiger skin rug. And doesn’t the wall hanging look like it’s made of organic material?

I’m envious of people who nap. I can’t. I try to nap, but I don’t usually fall asleep. If I happen to fall asleep, I don’t sleep at night – even with that dose of Tylenol® PM. If the Olympics had a napping event, I have family members who could compete and probably medal! Me, not so much.

So on this cold, grey Sunday afternoon, I wish you happy napping!

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Filed under Art, Life

Organic Modern

I just watched an episode of Find Your Style on HGTV. I’ve mentioned my HGTV addiction before.  Well, this episode, a guest room upgrade, was considered Organic Modern in style.

If you think that one style excludes the other, you are wrong my friend. 

HGTV 209 Find Your Style

HGTV 209 Find Your Style

Wouldn’t you love to sleep in this room? It’s the neutral, natural colors that make it organic. The lines are sleek and modern.

This is our guest room:organic  The style is organic shabby chic. I need some pictures, I know but I did the whole room for $300.00 including paint.

For me, this: is as organic as it gets!


There are lots of good reasons to eat organically if you can afford it.  This is what Doc Horvitz says and he makes a lot of sense:
There is a reason for many of the synthetically added vitamins in food today. Not only does the processing strip many of the natural vitamins, but many crops grown today on conventional commercial farms are grown in soil that has been depleted. Synthetic vitamins will never take the place of whole, organic foods rich in natural vitamins, minerals and other nutrients that we are just beginning to understand. Organic produce and products are not just a luxury or novelty. They are a necessity for good health, not just in avoiding chemical pesticides but for the nutrients they provide that conventionally grown counterparts cannot hold a candle to.

Also, products containing many ingredients, such as corn or soy, may be made from genetically modified or transgenic seeds. It is estimated that up to 90% of all soy grown and up to half of all corn is transgenic. These “frankenfoods”, as they are sometimes called, will not be identified as such on ingredient labels. Buying organic is one way to assure you are avoiding transgenic foods. These genetically modified organisms (GMOs) may end up being the biggest environmental disaster, and possibly health disaster, of our lifetime. A human experiment being carried out in gigantic proportions and putting entire populations at risk is like a genie that has been let out of bottle. Only it’s doubtful any wishes will be granted.

Edited 10:56 am Sunday 1/11/09

Another interesting organic fact: My GYN mentioned that women should take calcium supplements with Vitamin D. Both are essential for bone health. But get this – A natural source of Vitamin D is the sun and since we now use sunscreen which prevents skin cancer, we’re not getting enough of it!

Someone point me to the saccharin aisle!


Filed under Life

Holy Email

My friend Chris forwarded this email to me:

One day God was looking down at Earth and saw all of the rascally behavior that was going on. So he called one of His angels and sent the angel to Earth for a time.
When he returned, he told God, ‘Yes, it is bad on Earth; 95% are misbehaving and only 5% are not.
God thought for a moment and said, ‘Maybe I had better send down a second angel to get another opinion.’
So God called another angel and sent him to Earth for a time.
When the angel returned he went to God and said, ‘Yes, it’s true.The Earth is in decline; 95% are misbehaving, but 5% are being good.’
God was not pleased. So He decided to e-mail the 5% that were good, because he wanted to encourage them, and give them a little something to help them keep going.
Do you know what the e-mail said?
Okay, I was just wondering, because I didn’t get one either.

So, it got me thinking…


Filed under Life