November 30, 2004

COLD!!!

It was 36 degrees here Monday!
That is COLD for Southern California!
I still consider it Monday,
because I haven't yet gone to bed.

It is suppose to warm up tomorrow to 39 degrees.
EEK!!!
Tomorrow, I have to go out.
I don't have clothes or shoes for this kind of weather.

It's almost 2:00 AM.
And, it is cold now.
I can hear the wind howling.
........

Good news though.
When I bought the new blanket for our bed on Saturday,
I also bought some flannel sheets.
Never had them before,
but lately I've been VERY cold at night.

Even with 3 blankets and a spread.
And me with socks on.

Well, our blankets were very thin.
I put the new bedding on the bed this morning.
I'll let you know how they work.
..........

SOMETHING IS BITING ME.

On my hand.
On my neck and on my back.
Feels like mosquitoes.
Hate insect bites.
I don't react like normal people.
I am allergic to mosquito bites.
Flea bites too.
Darn!

Thank Goodness for the miracle a friend gave me in Hawaii this August when mosquitoes attacked. I cower in fear when I see a mosquito.

Talk about a princess. That's me.
.............................

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November 28, 2004

FOUND IN THE LA TIMES

Some things caught my eye in yesterday's newspaper.
On the front page there is a small section that highlights other articles with a teaser headline...

INSIDE:
Headline: A Jewel of a Crown (B1)
"The 2005 rose Queen will wear diamonds instead of rhinestones."
Bringing Serious Bling to Colorado Boulevard
*********

Looking now at Section B, Page 1, I see that "Jeweler Mikimoto, which claims the Japanese royal family on its crown resume, took on the challenge of designing a crown that will be seen across the globe by more than 350 million people. It may be only 15 seconds of TV fame. But it's enough of a publicity pop for Mikimoto to spend $370,000 on the crown and six matching tiaras for the princesses."
*********

Continuing on to Section B, page B3, a new headline grabs my attention.
"Outsourcing" of Homeless Stirs Intercity Debate

"A dispute erupts after Santa Clarita hires a group to shuttle people to L.A. instead of opening a winter shelter."

Santa Clarita is one of the little cities in LA County that has grown as a result of a desire to escape the problems we face here. Once more affordable, now building in real estate value.
*********

Remembering something I read a few days ago on November 24th�.

King/Drew's Trauma Unit Ordered Shut

"Despite impassioned protests, Los Angeles County Supervisors voted Tuesday to close the trauma center at Martin Luther King Jr./Drew Medical Center, saying the unit had to be sacrificed as part of a larger strategy to save the troubled hospital."
...........................

The La County Supervisors.... Now that is another story.

Meanwhile, we are doing well with our holiday shopping season. It is getting off to a good start:

"Tidings of Comfort and Joy for Retailers"
.........
Is it any wonder that it is increasingly hard to read the newspaper?
This practice may actually make us consider the strangeness of our values. No wonder I have been avoiding it!

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November 27, 2004

TWO DAYS AFTER THANKSGIVING 2004

Yesterday

Mike and the girls were here all day yesterday and didn't leave until about 7:00 PM. Pete had asked Mike to come over to help him work on a raised garden that he is building where we used to have the shed. Mike brought the girls with him.

This is always fine with me because the girls and I always have fun together, no matter what we are doing. The sisters are good company for one another, and somehow their company never fails to make me happy.

Mike brought with them, a large cardboard box filled with packing popcorn. And, with my permission, the girls found a multitude of activities to do with it. Pretty soon, the white stuff pretty much covered the family room floor and started creeping into the kitchen. This activity seemed harmless enough to me, and I wasn't worried much about the cleanup.

It was fun to listen to their squeals of laughter, as the inventive children found so many ways to entertain themselves. Finally, when the girls exhausted their interest in this game, they prepared to get out some other toys which I keep in a cabinet in our attached garage.

I said; "First, let's clean up the popcorn before we start another mess." And, handed one of the girls a very small dust pan to scoop up the debris. I keep this with a little brush in the kitchen to sweep up crumbs and such from the counter. "Let me have it' said one child. 'No, let me have it." said the other. I handed it to the closest girl and set the timer for one minute, telling the other that when the dinger rings, it will be her turn.

This little technique worked like magic and soon the popcorn was back in the box. The timer went off several times during the process. But the girls were having fun and seemed to think it was a prize to hold the dustpan as they busily worked. The vacuum cleaner was brought out to sweep up the rest; however there are still bits of white all around the area which will require a more adult eye.

During the day, Pete and Mike worked steadily on the construction. Sounds of a saw were often heard from the garage. The only time we actually saw the men was if we looked out the window, or when they came in to get a bite to eat.

Meanwhile, I was spending the day putting the kitchen, dining and living room back in order from the holiday. Stopping on occasion, to answer questions; engage in a little "Let's Pretend' or to provide food and snacks for hungry munchkins.

Zoe has become a wonderful Mother's helper and always seems to want to help with the cleaning and cooking. She cleaned the three silver plate serving forks which had gotten discolored by the turkey, saving me the job. She wanted to help me spot the rug, but that had to be left for later.

When all the crystal, china and silver were ready to be put back into the cabinets, I brought the children into the dining room. Since so much of this stuff holds many memories for me, I wanted to let the girls know where it came from. I started with my Mom's old crystal goblets, went on to my wedding china, and some of the serving dishes that had been passed on from my grandmother, Fanny and Pete's mother, Lena. The girls 'Oohed" and 'Awed" over every piece, exclaiming "How pretty!"about one thing or another.

This made me smile, as the boys never cared about this kind of stuff. And the thought of someone wanting and using my belongings one day, makes me feel happy. Even though my ideal is to live simply, my attachment to the mementos of my past continues to this day.

Finally the guys were done for the day, and they came in for reheated Thanksgiving leftovers. Mike checked my computer to do a quick fix. While he was doing this, I packed up as much food as Mike said he would take.

(On Thanksgiving night, Michele decided not to make a plate to go home or pack up much of their belongings since Mike was planning on coming back the next day. And there was a lot of stuff. After all, they were responsible for a lot of the meal.)

The job packing up the food took some doing as Zoe and Mira wanted make their selections as well. And, occasional calls had to be made to Michele to make sure that she got her favorites. Good thing too, as she wanted some of the candied yams, cranberry relish and some leftover blueberry pie. By the time that Mike and the girls took their leave, several bags were lined up by the door to go with them.

This included food, the children's artwork and toys, Michele's pie basket, her purse, Mike's electric carving knife, the casserole dish and turkey pan that brought his smoked brisket and turkey, and last, but not least, the famous box filled with white "popcorn".

......

Today

Today I left the house to go shopping for two gifts and a few things for us. A December birthday, a December wedding, a squeegee for our shower and new warm blanket for our bed. Luckily, there was no need to enter a mall.

When I got home, Pete told me that our gardener had stopped by just after I'd left. This hardworking man had lost the check we had given him on Wednesday and was hoping we would write another. Pete told him that I had the checkbook, and knew that I had some food I wanted to share with this good man's family. I still had half a roasted turkey and stuffing. We don't eat as much as we used to, and our group was considerably smaller this year. So much food. It would have been a shame to let it go to waste.

A call was made, and the gardener was soon back to pick up a rewritten check, extra turkey, stuffing and cranberry sauce. I had turkey again tonight, but Pete would have no more. Instead he ate frankfurters.

The dishes, silver and crystal are all back in their places. The buffet has been cleaned out and I have found some takers for some trays and serving dishes, I no longer need. The Thanksgiving decorations are down or have been morphed into Christmas.

Still, fine pieces of white packing popcorn are decorating the small nooks crannies between sofa legs and other furniture. Left for another day's cleaning. But more precious than all the abundance that has been accumulated over 64 years of living and more than 41 years of marriage.

When I think of all of the people all over the world who have so little, it is somewhat overwhelming. How is it that some of us have so much and others are starving? Again, I think as the season of giving approaches, we must begin again to see what each of us can do to correct this imbalance.

How much we could do together if we just concentrated on the problems that face us and, were more satisfied with what we had. If only we remembered that we are all truly one family, and not separate from one another.

One time I spoke to my brother about my regret about our greed. He said something I have not forgotten. David said; "Greed is what fuels our economy." When I remember these words, I am always reminded about something I had been told long ago. "We can not give power to appearances." Nor can we say there are absolutes. Good and Bad are just judgments.

I think our job is to strive for balance. To just try our best to love in every way we can. To forgive ourselves and others when we do not. And, to remember that we are all connected, one to another, though time and through space, in thought, word and deed. One.



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November 26, 2004

FOUND WHILE CLEANING UP FROM THE BIG DAY

"So once in every year we throng upon a day apart, to praise the Lord with feast and song in thankfulness of heart."

--Arthur Guiterman
...................

This is what I found
after everyone left on Thanksgiving Night:

How lucky am I!

ONE ... In The Kitchen
LOTS of leftover food, even after everyone
took what they wanted for tomorrow.
Nothing will go to waste.
In fact, I am hungry again right now.

TWO ... In The Guest Room
The guest bed was still tranformed into the Mayflower.
Mira had shown me her creation earlier in the evening.
I pointed out Mira's work to her mother.

Before they left, Michele cleaned up the toys
and put everything back in place,
except the bed which was now a ship. :-)

Kind of fun to find!

THREE ... On The Kitchen Counter
A bride made out of a wine cork,
beer bottle top, tissue or t-paper,
tooth picks and a black pen.
Pretty ingenious!

The 'veil' was secured to the wine cork by the bottle cap.
A face was drawn on the cork with a sharpie marker.
A tooth pick was pushed into the bottom of the cork.

The 'bride' is now stuck in a small vase,
and adorns my kitchen window seal.
:-)

I don't know who is responsible
for this piece of art,
but it might explain the following:

FOUR ... In Two Rooms
Small pieces of tissue or t-paper on the floor
of the guest room and our bedroom.
I suspect the work of one of our little artists.

FIVE ... In The Dining Room
A few food spots on the dining room rug.
This was to be expected.
We can clean it tomorrow. :-)

SIX ... Somewhere
Someone's cute little camera.
I hope they took pictures of my table.
I think I outdid myself this year.
............................

Can't wait till I see what will be found tomorrow.
Well, That's it for Thanksgiving Day 2004.

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November 24, 2004

BEING THANKFUL

In ordinary life we hardly realize that we receive a great deal more than we give, and that it is only with gratitude that life becomes rich.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer

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November 22, 2004

I'M LOTS OF FUN

I can entertain myself all day and all night.
That's good.

But's it's long past time for bed.
Morning still comes at dawn.
And, it would be nice if I got up before noon.
:-)

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PAY ATTENTION AND LOOK

"What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us."

Ralph Waldo Emerson

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THINGS I AM LEARNING ABOUT ANGER

We have been given this emotion for a reason.
We can use it to be the destroyer or the creator.
We have unlimited potential.
Like Kali.

ANOTHER GOOD QUOTE ABOUT ANGER
Be careful. You might hurt yourself.

"Holding anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned."

- Buddha

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WHY WE SHOULD KEEP LOOKING

"Compassion is not a relationship between the healer and the wounded. Its a relationship between equals. Only when we know our own darkness well can we be present with the darkness of others. Compassion becomes real when we recognize our shared humanity."

Pema Chodron

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LOOKING IN THE DARK CORNERS

"Confess your hidden faults.
Approach what you find repulsive.
Help those you think you cannot help.
Anything you are attached to, let it go.
Go to places that scare you."

Author Pema Chodron, from Places that Scare You

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CLEANING UP

I am cleaning up my desktop so it won't look so cluttered. I wrote the following earlier this year when Pete was in Sri Lanka or Ghana.

I liked what I wrote, so I am posting it now.
even though it is now November.
Our ant problem is currently not a big problem,
but still we find scouts in the oddest places.
And, Thankgiving is just a few days away.
I'm on the alert.
..........................

Written sometime last summer:
Sorry if I posted it before.

Ant Invasion

They're back! I keep finding scout ants in the oddest places. As soon as one is spotted, I help it on to its next incarnation, but they keep coming. I can never discover from where they come.

This afternoon, I noticed a black spot on the family room window ceil. Earlier in the week, I had cleaned that window, so wondered how it got dirty. With rag in hand, I went to wipe it off. Then I noticed the spot was moving! Looking closer, I discovered the spot (about the size of a nickel) was actually a pile of ants. Ugh.

They seemed to be feasting on some kind of insect. So, now armed with a small spray bottle of Basic H and some paper towels, I launched my attack.

Afterward I tried to trace from whence they came. No luck. There was no trail. I looked outside to see if I could discover a source. Again No luck! They must be in the walls.

I have formulated a theory. When we bagged out house, the gas killed off the termites
The ants now have a food source that will last for years.
....................

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November 14, 2004

A RETURN TO LOVE

It is so much fun crawling around the web.
Tonight after attending a "Lick our Wounds" Party, i sat down to visit some of my old regular haunts. To my delight, I was able to start to catch up on some of my favorite blogs.

I got only as far as Heidi's and her friend Ariel's post on intimidation, when I linked to a comment which let me to this wonderful site.

I think I linked here before. And maybe just copied the quote. I wonder if I and attibuted it wrongly. Good to review.

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us.
We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous?
Actually, who are you not to be?
You are a child of God.
Your playing small doesn't serve the world.
There's nothing enlightened about shrinking so
that other people won't feel insecure around you.
We are all meant to shine, as children do.
We are born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.
It's not just in some of us, it's in everyone.
And as we let our own light shine,
we unconsciously give other
people permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our own fear,
our presence automatically liberates others."

(Quote authored and published by Marianne Williamson)

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November 13, 2004

IT'S A WONDERFUL WORLD.

Oh, the wonderful Spam Comments I get!
Someone wants to give me money.
Another wants to cure my hair loss.
Of course, there have been those who think I might be interested in enlarging a piece of my anatomy that is clearly missing. And, even more unsavory things that embarrass a woman of my generation.

But once in a while, something really neat happens.
Through the efforts of a Google-Bomber, I met a new friend and learned something else. Two days ago, I had no idea what this word even meant. Today, this gracious soul took the time to answer my questions. I sent her an e-mail of thanks, and forgive me, I asked for more.

If she doesn't answer, I would understand. After all, I am only one of the many people who have contacted Elizabeth as a result of our attempts to satisfy our curiosity. So far it hasn't killed this cat!

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Google Bombing???

You know what I said recently about never knowing what you might find around the next corner?

I kept wondering about a random comment, that I didn't understand, made by somebody I didn't know. So I went exploring and I linked to the weblog and, I found this:

While wandering around this new territory, I found this insightful comment about the art of the apology.

But, I am still wondering what her comment meant. And, why she said what she said. This led me to try to figure out what exactly she was talking about when she mentioned Google Bombing.

While exploring further, I learned that this blogger got the same comment as me and checked it out too.

So, I followed the above blogger's prompts to the crossroads and turned down the path to the left to find this.

Of course, some of you sophisticated people understand all of this already, but there are a few of us who remain clueless about how things work. And some of us wonder....

Thank you for the entertainment. Gave me a rest from my heavy thoughts.

But, still I don't know how her comment got there, or if she even meant to write.

Someday, some kind soul will explain it to me. At least I hope so. Then I won't wonder about this anymore.

................................................

Well, now I'm back to tending the fire and making sure no sparks ignite any innocent victim who might be standing too close. Aarg.

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November 12, 2004

WAY COOL

Last night a sent a letter to Dennis Kucinich asking for a link to a video postcard I'd seen that contained a message to his supporters after the election was decided.

I wanted to set up a link here and pass it on to my personal friends.
I think his words are important to hear.

I sent off an email asking for help to an unknown place.
A real person who works with this wonderful man sent me a personal reply.
No form letter! Addressing exactly the things I had said.

I'm elated! The internet is GREAT.

I hope you will be patient and listen to what Dennis has to say.
Look Here:

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OK! LISTEN TO MOM!

The world is filled with beautiful souls.
The Great God exists.
You can believe it.
Just open your heart and look around.

I know.
Whenever I am at my lowest, someone appears.
Out of the Blue.
Like today, when two came my way.


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I GET COMMENTS

I get a lot of comment spam.
But, I am not always sure
if what appears is really Spam,
or just someone trying to saying hello.

So once in a while, I try to google it, & see where linking to the web address takes me. You never know.

I have no idea how the programs work which lets a Spamer seed the net with whatever he is trying to sell.

So much of this intrigues me.
I never know what treasures I'll find while exploring....
I am always expecting little miracles.
There is always a chance to meet a new friend.

The following message came in the other day:

- .
.
(Product Name and Web Address deleted!)

I thought maybe this looked like Russian,
but I wasn't really sure.

Using the magic of Babel Fish, I checked it out.
Bingo!
Here is what these words meant:

We establish domestic cinemas. (name deleted) - you ring to us. Telephone on the site. (Web Address deleted because I'm betting this is Spam)

I found out this was about some video conferencing or acoustical product. But who sent it, I'll never know.

I have sent this to my blacklist.
Sorry if you were really only trying to find a friend.

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November 9, 2004

WANDERING ALL OVER THE PLACE

I'm still hearing her voice.

Ever since I wrote the last piece about my mother, the music and words of the old song keep repeating in my memory. This is one of the songs my mother used to sing. I always loved it. Wish I could play and sing the music for you now.

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PASSED AROUND THE WEB.

"Beware the leader who bangs the drums of war in order to whip the citizenry into a patriotic fervor, for patriotism is indeed a double-edged sword.
It both emboldens the blood, just as it narrows the mind...And when the drums of war have reached a fever pitch and the blood boils with hate and the mind has closed, the leader will have no need in seizing the rights of the citizenry.
Rather, the citizenry, infused with fear and blinded with patriotism, will offer up all of their rights unto the leader, and gladly so. How do I know?
For this is what I have done. And I am Caesar."

It looks like this can not be attributed to Julius Caesar or William Shakespeare. Some are saying that Barbara Streisand made it up. Through my studies long ago, I know that there were many Roman Emperors who took the name of Caesar. And much they said were recorded by historians at that time.

At this point, I don't know where these words came from, but they are pointing to a very real danger. Pay attention!

My feeble search has not been completed. So maybe someone out there can actually pinpoint the real author of the quote.

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FURY of LA

These days, I've been feverously writing whole tomes on large Post-it note Pads. My hand moves incessantly as I furiously scribble, while sitting in a room filled with silence. There is a lifetime of words coming out of my own head. I need, nor desire, any other noise. I have used up multiple pads, and worn out several pens. I seems like a lifetime of words are now coming out of me. And, as you all know, I've always had a lot to say.

As I sort though the great emotion, this practice is my only relief. In my fury and grief, I am taking a look at every issue in my life, and I am hopping mad. The last couple of days I am trying to record it here. This means transcribing my pennings to type. So that eventually this can be reproduced in a form that another can understand.

This is my form of screaming into a pillow or knocking my head on the wall. All this explosive energy has to go somewhere. And it comforts me to hear my self talk. The word is powerful. And I feel its power within myself. Someone may look and value my piece of written history. Or maybe not.

Though it would be nice to think my children, or theirs, might one day want to see this, I am really writing to myself for my self. And though I believe in the lessons of impermanence, I share in the longing of leaving something of me behind in the same way as any Pharoah or artist of the past.

As I copy what I have written on my famous pads to the computer, sometimes I have to stop, as I take the time to vomit up more words. So, for the last couple of days I am doing my best to keep up with my ramblings.

The post of November 8th, I REMEMBER NOW, was taken from the middle of the writings from the day before. But one day all will be posted as a Chronicle of a Day.

Be-warned! That is only one day's ramblings. More to come.

This morning, I checked my incoming e-mail on just one address. The first thing that popped up was something from my friend, Dieter, who lives so far away. And, who gave me a name which made me smile. The Fury of LA.

I am co-opting the name.
I liked what he wrote and thank him for his encouraging notes.

I hope he is OK with me copying here his words. Thanks Dieter. For your encouraging words. You made me laugh.

Here is what he said: :-)
.......................................
Subject: Fury of LA

Well, enjoy your fire while it lasts ... and enjoy the kindness as well.

;-)

We had the first snow today ...


Dieter
......................

You made my day, Dieter. Thank You.

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November 8, 2004

I REMEMBER NOW

I remember now. My mother wanted me to know her. I closed my eyes, absorbed in myself. As I grew to adulthood, she wanted me to be her friend. I did not accept her outstretched hand. I did not see the gift she was handing to me.

My vision was clouded by my ignorance, and the veils I'd hung to filter out the light.

Near the end of her time here, our love broke through most of the barriers which we had constructed to keep us apart. And I could see her beauty. Our souls touched and flowed into each other for a few precious moments.

I grieved when she moved on. I longed for more time. I missed her.

She sent me messages that she was still alive. She came to me in dreams. I heard her voice. I misunderstood what this meant. She'd never left.

My mother remained in my heart. Firmly planted. It took me years to come to know this. That she saw me. That she was still with me. Walking in front of me, holding a candle to light my way. Shielding me. Guiding me. Encouraging my growth.

There is no life. There is no death. Only change and evolution.

We are only converted. We are reclaimed by the Maker who never lost us. We are never alone. Never separated. We are one.

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November 7, 2004

WARNING

Beware.
The dragon in Mom is spitting fire.
And she is tired.
This is a bad combination.
KEEP CLEAR!

Send Love.

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November 3, 2004

TODAY, MOM IS NOT DEPRESSED!

THE DAY AFTER...

"Today is the first day of the rest of the mess."
-Rescued from Spam comment:

The fact is I have long since recovered from a place of fear, anger or sadness. These emotions have been replaced by Determination! I am determined to move forward. Using my voice and my energies to work toward change. I may take a break to just breathe and recover for a while.

However, now at my age,
I am finally beginning to recognize my true potential.
I refuse to sit still and allow the hatred
to become a staple of our consciousness.

I will pray for those who opposed us.
I will send my energy to whoever is in need of strength.
Because in reality, I truly believe that we are One.
That what happens to the least of us,
affects us all.
We cannot be separated,
even though we may believe that we are separate.

I may have lost some friendships
due to our differing opinions.
However, even these people
will always remain in my heart.

There are times during the last few days
when I became over-loaded,
over-extended and overwhelmed.

But in those moments, some giants stepped forward
to lend me their strength.

There were times in which I completely lost it
and must have appeared unstable.
But always, there was Someone
who helped me come home.

At these times, some great souls stepped in
and were just there.
....For me to lean on,
until I again recovered my strength.

Today, I am ready to face what ever life hands us.
I am stronger, I am wiser. I am who I am.
And that is really something.

I don't care if there are people who don't like me.
I don't care if anyone thinks I am a tool of the devil.
I don't care if some guys think I am too pushy.

I think I made a difference,
not just in the vote count here.
But, in every aspect that is really important.
I have learned. I have grown. I've been changed.

I have felt the love and touch of Angels.
Beautiful souls, living ordinary lives,
who are in touch with the Divine.

I am grateful.

And, I am sorry if these words
may be interpreted by some,
as anything they are not.

I don't care if you think
this is just a big ego that's bragging,
or a deluded, unbalanced old woman.
You might not like my personality
or my sense of values.

But, in this moment,
I am at peace.

I know that I must not give power to appearances.
I know that The Great God is with me.
I know that in reality, We Are One.

It is time now to stem the hatred.
This is the time for strength and resolve.
To continue the work.

We can expect that on this journey,
we will face disappointment, resistance,
and unpleasant feedback.
We may expect that we will find moments of despair.
We will falter and fall down.

But the human spirit can not be conquered.
Because in reality, we are all spiritual beings.
Made of the same stuff.
We can become spiritual warriors.

There is only One Power!
There could be no other power that could rival
the eternal, immortal, all-powerful force of God.

There is no duality.
Just One!

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