Tag Archive | making connections

Returning The Favor


Click here to see the episode about Carol Stark!

Today while on Facebook, I came across a post from Mike Rowe in my newsfeed for his new show called Returning the Favor.  I sat mesmerized and enthralled in this new show and in the concept of highlighting those who make connections, help others and do it all with love and understanding.

Click on Carol’s name above and take a look for yourself.  You are sure to be inspired!  We all have the ability to change lives and to help others.  When we shine our heartlights, we connect with love.  Take heart, there are lots of us out there like Carol!  Follow along with Mike’s new show!  I know I am going to be doing it!  What a feel good way to enjoy a tv show!

Shine On!


Making Friends Through Blogging


I like my friends like I like my M&M candies.  (My old English teacher would have hated that sentence because for a full year he wouldn’t let us use the work like!)  Sorry, but I couldn’t help getting off task for a moment…ahem…let me begin again.

I don’t care about your candy coated color, I just care that you are sweet inside.  Oh boy, does that sound goofy when I reread it!  But it’s true.  Honestly.  That’s why I love blogging.  We meet people from all over the world and what’s the tie that binds us?  Blogging.  Being kind to others.  Taking the time to read someone else’s work / life / poetry / photography / philosophy /short stories, etc.  Blogging unites us in ways that we may not have had the chance to bond.  I’ve met hundreds of bloggers and many hold a treasured place in my heart, as real as my own soul family, even though we’ve never met in person.  With technology these days, this is not a remote possibility anymore.  It’s factual.  It’s friendship without borders.  It’s friendship through blogging and making global connections.

We share our lives through blogging and through those connections, we become friends.  Well, maybe better said virtual friends, but friends all the same.  It’s funny how some of us now talk on the phone, text and email as well as comment on each other’s blogs.  It’s a community of sorts with blogging friendships.  We’ve shared triumphs, failures and lessons learned.  We’ve shared advice, companionship and understanding.  We’ve shared good times and bad times and even been there for each other when we’re grieving through life’s hurts.  We’ve shared heartfelt hugs, prayers and love.  We’ve shared inspirational tidbits, learned new things and have grown our minds, hearts and souls by opening ourselves to others’ points of view.  How awesome is blogging when we use it universally for positivity and for connecting with others!

Your blogs entice me to learn.  You inspire me to be a better person.  Your photography makes me smile.  Your poetry makes me feel deeply.  Your camaraderie promotes peace and connections.  Your heartlights shine brilliantly and I am truly grateful!

I just want to thank you all for being exactly who you are!

The perfect M&Ms who sweeten my days!

Shine On!


Sundowning and Alzheimer’s Disease


Confusion, extreme confusion, often comes during late afternoon or at night for those with Alzheimer’s and so that’s why it’s called sundowning.  Lately, we’ve seen it come and go at all times of day, with no predictable time frame.

Watching a loved one fret and worry is exhausting for the loved one with Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia and for those of us who care for them.  As the mind whirls into a vortex of unpredictability, thoughts firing at random, words tumbling out nonsensically, a helplessness sinks in and an urgency to help in any way possible to allow for peace and tranquility.

When sleep can be encouraged, it seems to dilute the chaos in their minds, allowing our loved one a little peace.  Changing the subject to one of love and beauty helps as well, but sometimes that button cannot be unpushed, the channel cannot be changed and we all whirl in the frenzy for a bit.

Have you ever experienced this as a caregiver of a loved one?

It’s not easy to remain untouched by the emotionality of the situation, let alone what is unknowingly coming out of their mouth.  Thoughts flicker, reality surges and fades and my heart breaks wide open with sadness for I cannot even begin to fathom how hard this is for her, let alone for me.

This disease is just so hard and old age, as the adage goes, ‘ain’t for sissies.’

Shine On!





The Layers of Now


The Layers of Now

Being present is what I yearn to be, although like many others, I teeter-totter in the realm of past rememberings or anticipating future fears of what’s to come.  It’s a fine line between the past, the present and the future.  One sharp word can trigger a memory and I’m conjuring up past wounds, beliefs and heartbreak.  One kind word and I’m breathing deeply in the present moment, finding my center of peace.  One anxious word and I’m fearing the uncharted territory of the future.

So where does one go?

Into The Layers of Now!

The Layers of Now is how I’ve found peace within me during chaotic times of trouble which seem to gather around me lately like thunderclouds sweeping in during a summer storm.  I don’t know if I can explain what I’m doing so that it will make sense to you, but I will try.

Simply put, I consciously try with all of my might,

to layer my present moment of presence.

If I need to cha cha into the past, I take a few steps back, rock forward to the present moment and repeat as necessary until the dance becomes obscured by the smile on my face as the music trills in my head, because I have changed my tune.  I drop what wounds I held onto as they don’t serve me anymore.  I allow the knowledge that we are all here together, doing the best we can to remind me that I am not without mistakes either.  I forgive the past, remember what I have endured and face the present with peace in my heart.

If I need to face the future, I step up, then rock back to the present and repeat as necessary.  Never actually staying in the future for it is certainly uncertain at this point, but also, never losing sight of the solidity of the present moment.  Thus I can grow my presents of presence.

Then, when I need to feel present in all the glory or chaos that is this very moment, I step to the side, into observer mode, facing my fears, my angst, euphoria and sadness with the magnitude of a maestro layering the chorus of past/present/future into a hit song that encompasses it all!  I stand by, not engaging, but simply looking with gratitude for all the facets of my life, no matter where they may be, past, present, future, happy, sad, uncertain and I just envelope them in my heart as the layers of now and rejoice, for I am here to experience and connect each and every emotion and feeling.

I am here,

to witness my life as it is right now with gratitude.


I am here,

to remember how far I have come from my past with gratitude.


I am here,

to open my heart, mind and soul,

to welcome with arms outstretched,

the unseen experiences that may come my way on my future path.

All at the same time.

Connecting…The Layers of Now.

Shine On!






Helping Hands


Tell us about the most surprising helping hand you’ve ever received!

I will honestly tell you that I’ve been blessed with many helping hands in my life ~ and truthfully, many were surprising to me.  Some were surprising because of what the person actually did and some were surprising because of the person who did it.  Does that make sense to you?

But I think for today’s Daily Prompt, I have to unanimously say that the most surprising helping hands belong to all of the amazing bloggers I’ve met thus far!  My hands are clapping in applause ~ even a standing ovation of appreciation for all of the help you’ve given to me.  Thank you!

Your kind, comforting words when I’ve been sad, your encouragement when I’ve been down, your applause when things are good and your helpful hints along with your kind comments have filled up my heart and soul ~ I’ve adored the connections we’ve made ~ holding hands post by post!  What a blessing these links have been!

I’ve been inspired by you.  I’ve cried when you’ve been sad.  I’ve giggled aloud when you’ve written funny posts.   I’ve been uplifted by your encouraging words.  I’ve been awed by your stunning photos.  I’ve applauded your triumphs.  I’ve endured your pains.  I’ve felt a kindred spirit with you through this journey of life by blogging and I’ve connected with you, blog to blog, person to person, spirit to spirit and even soul to soul.

What a blessing this experience has been!  Thank you for the spirit of community you’ve fostered and the helping hands who’ve connected to form a bond of friendship.  I was most surprised by this acceptance and have lovingly enjoyed every moment!

So cheers to all of you ~ my helping hands!  I hope you feel my hands reach out in kindness to you as well!

Shine On!


Daily Prompt: Helping Hand

Tell us about the most surprising helping hand you’ve ever received.

Photographers, show us HANDS.


What’s your glass look like?


Look at the glass above, what do you see?  Do you see a glass 1/2 empty or a glass 1/2 full?  I’ve heard that how you see your glass is a metaphor for how you look at your life!  Have you heard that too?

Now I’m normally a glass 1/2 full gal which you might have already guessed.  I innately try to find the good in every person, every situation and every day.  But, I’m human and in being in touch with my human-ness, there are bound to be days when that glass looks a bit emptier to me.  Today just happens to be one of them.

So what I thought was going to be an uplifting post, is turning out a bit differently than previously anticipated.   But one thing I’ve learned is to go with the flow, so here I flow…

I think that in being real, I have to tell you that I”m feeling a bit down in the dumps today.  Being sick with what I believe is strep throat and bronchitis (diagnosing myself a week after the rest of the family), I feel exhausted.  My glass isn’t overflowing, nor is it 1/2 full, it’s down to the last drop.  And you know what, it’s ok with me.

Why you may ask?  How can it be ok to have a glass 1/2 empty or even viewed as empty?  What happened to that 1/2 full gal?  Where did she go?  What’s going on with her?

Well, plenty my friends.  She’s realized that she’s not superhuman and that even Wonder Woman needs to take a break and take care of herself.  Whew, for me, that’s a hard lesson to learn because I juggle more balls in the air than a Ringling Brothers clown ~ and I’ve laid those balls down gently in order to pamper me and heal myself today.  I am learning the hard way that I can’t stretch myself like Stretch Armstrong (do you remember that boy doll?) and still continue to carry on my merry way.  I can’t be everything to everyone, nor is it even a possibility to be everything to one person.

I’ve given up, laid down my juggling balls.  I can’t be responsible for others all the time over myself ~ even though I want to be helpful to everyone.  I can’t put others’ needs ahead of my own by just thinking that I can march through with the determination that I use when my energy fails me.

As I’ve written before, it’s my job to make me happy ~ and it’s your job to make you happy.  I can help, but it’s not my responsibility ~  for each of us has our own life to live.  It matters not if the relationship is romantic, or if it’s with your parent, your child, a friend, a family member or whomever.  It’s simply, Love vs. Happiness.

I still have my glass 1/2 full attitude, but today’s glass is ok to just be what it is ~

1/2 empty and 1/2 full.

And that’s alright with me!

Shine On!


Daily Prompt: The Glass

Is the glass half-full, or half-empty?


Turn A Life Around


Too often we underestimate the power of a touch,

a smile, a kind word, a listening ear,

an honest compliment,

or the smallest act of caring,

all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

To me, it answers today’s Daily Prompt’s question:

Describe a little thing — one of the things you love that defines your world but is often overlooked.

My answer:  Connecting with others everyday.

What about you?

Shine On!