Jesus on Telling the Truth

“Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

~ Jesus (John 8:32)

family 007

my brother keeping the peace one kitchen at a time

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the difference between healthy and unhealthy secret keeping.

The horrific events of the past week in our nation should have us all taking a close look at what the difference is between “fake news” and “real news.”

These are dangerous and baffling times in my great nation.

I have decided to try and avoid reading or watching news all week long and hope for the best that on Sunday mornings before I go to church I will be able to stomach catching up a bit.

My favorite memory of my relationship with my brother’s daughter was when she was very little – maybe six or seven. She was and is quite a sweet thing. She had painted me a little wooden jewelry box with glow in the dark paint and was very proud. She and my mother and I are all very into boxes and containers to store and sometimes lock up our journals, or sketches, or artwork. So, at some point around the time that she gave me this gift we were hanging out in my parent’s front parlor room and she said very quietly:

“Can I tell  you why I love you and Grandma the most?

You are the best at keeping all my secrets.”

I’ve never been a little boy, and though I’ve raised three and married one, I’m still not sure how secret telling works between guys.

I do know how it works most frequently between girls and women.

It’s different.

I’m very thankful that Aunt memory. It has been at the front of my mind during this past week.

That kind of trust which my dear niece seems to still have in me is, and will always be a precious and humbling gift.

I’ve been needing a lot of music to get me through a tough week. It’s going to be a challenging back to school couple of months.

The YouTube video that I’m most attached to at the moment is Hozier singing VanMorrison’s “Sweet Thing.” What a talented young lad.

Peace – especially with back to school excitement and worries that may be happening in other houses than mine.




9 Ways to Avoid Emotional Eating Over the Holidays — Therese Borchard

I call the two months between Halloween and New Years the “eating season.” No matter where you turn, there’s a bowl of your favorite candy on someone’s desk, decadent holiday treats at your doorstep, and invitations to parties. The holidays are packed with stress, and we all know the easiest, safest, most affordable place to…

via 9 Ways to Avoid Emotional Eating Over the Holidays — Therese Borchard

Another Day

“My love is stronger than the winter you were frightened of…” ~Lucy Wainwright Roche



I hope that this summer offers time to write more about this – this thing of an enjoyable challenging winter. One that ended with finally getting a hearing device and yesterday, James Taylor and I singing in perfect harmony for the first time in what may have been years.

I would have been okay if I’d never hit those notes again.

More than okay.

That’s how happy with my full life and all of it’s changes.




Joan Chittister: “The Place in Which I Stand.”

walk paul

To be enlightened is to know that heaven is not “coming.”

Heaven is here.

We have simply not been able to realize that yet because, like King Arthur and his search for the Holy Grail, we look in all the wrong places, worship all the wrong idols,

get fixated on all the wrong notions of God.

We are always on our way to somewhere else when this place,

the place in which I stand,

wherever it is,

is the place of my procession into God,

the site of my union with the Life that gives Life.

~Joan Chittister, from “Illuminated Life”

My friend Ned put that in a Facebook message yesterday – and it’s awesome.

I don’t know about you but I started out this Lent with all kinds of plans – the kind that involved trying to figure out what I feel guilty about and a plan of action about how to make those wrongs right.

One of our local pastors gave a most dynamite Ash Wednesday sermon, complete with asking us to listen closely to “The Man in Mirror” by Michael Jackson and to come up with some Lenten activities that involve doing something that brings about social justice.

Well….I haven’t done that.

I’ve done a lot of reading. And a whole lot of thinking – particularly about audism (oppression from the hearing world toward the deaf world).

But….nope. The heavy hitting Lenten reads that I signed up for are still in my email inbox – but are dutifully flagged for another time.

My idea to give up TV and listen to music – not really a sacrifice – it was a trend that was already happening. Because of my hearing loss TV is more frustrating than enjoyable most times and I tend to use the head phones and binge watch during school breaks.


And, I also started out the semester with an assignment in my Linguistics class which was to come up with three MEASURABLE and DOABLE goals. My instructor for that class is fantastically patient – which is good, because the first few things I sent for this assignment were….a little bit over the top shall we say.

After a few weeks she mentioned to the group of us that “some of you might want to consider being a bit less hard on yourselves and adjusting your goals and measurements to the reality of your daily lives.”

So – I asked one of my classmates – the one who is typically quiet, and will be brutally honest if you ask her to be. I wanted brutally honest.

“I need you to red pen this thing” I said to her during break.

She took one look at the goal assignment on the computer screen and, to my delight, burst out in laughter and expletives.

I’m proud to say that the red penned goal list is working quite well. I hit most of the goals but not always, and they include practical things like remembering to do laundry and playing with markers on a regular basis. I’m too embarrassed to admit how complicated and impossible my first list was.

Why do we do this to ourselves?

Why do we think that the good stuff is yet to come?

Why do we ask “Where does the time go?” What does that question even mean?

When will we appreciate what we have, right here, right now?

So …thus far…Lent 2016 has been about friendship – and becoming utterly dependent on friends in addition to family. Not just relearning how to make new friends…I figured that out last year.

But, telling the truth to friends, and…I hate this…


asking for help.

Here’s the view from my window yesterday morning:



And, this was the sunset in the neighborhood park last weekend:

park sunset


What more could I possibly ask for….

“…the place in which I stand,

wherever it is,

is the place of my procession into God,

the site of my union with the Life that gives Life.”

Thoughts on making a “Nice Please Face”


“A good thing to think about is

what kind of face to make when you say please.”

~ Ruth Krauss,

Open House for Butterflies


So – in a jiff I need to start to catch up  on homework and prepare to deliver our son to a nice snowy hill somewhere, but…

I sort of want to put into a few words why still, in view of this strange generation that my youngest son is in: I really cringe at the phrase,”kids these days are just Bratz!”

It’s what we say – always have and always will. I get that.

But on a deeper level, let’s look at this thing of :”kids these days are selfish brats.”  Maybe, but are they also selfless leaders, or is it some of both?

I say both.

My friend has a daughter that has for, three years now I think, has proudly shaved her head to support the St. Baldrick foundation (a cancer fundraiser).

Give my son a few minutes to spout his thoughts and he will in no uncertain terms tell you about his feelings on why he supports Bernie Sanders. He can back it up with historical facts that tie back to the underground railroad and will make logical ties to the benefits of rap music and storytelling.

And these two young people are only 14 years old.

I posted a quote from a really good article about narcissism a minute ago which includes a link. (Hit the button up above that says “earlier post” if you’d like.)

On one hand, to be honest – I’m less sure every day that when I get my interpreting certificate and/or license – I’m not sure that I want to go back into school work. Is it because the challenges are many these days and I’m not up for it? Sort of – not sure I’m interested in the stress of what childhood and education has become these days. More so, it’s just so loud – literally. Loud speakers, amplified voices, super sonic toilets – it all hurts my ears and grates my nerves.

But – that’s just me.


I miss being on the floor reading Maurice Sendak books to my boys and blowing up wooden train tracks with megazords.


If you find any good articles about raising teens during this super selfish time of history in the 1st world – please pass them on!