a year without fear…

Dilbert (character)

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…written by the creator of the cartoon character Dilbert…Scott Adams…and reprinted in its entirety below.

WHEN I WAS 15, a woodchuck that lived in a rock-strewn field in upstate New York taught me a valuable lesson about risk assessment. He was like an accidental Yoda, and I’ve thought about him often over the past year–which I’ve dubbed My Year of Living Dangerously.
     The woodchuck taught me to approach life cautiously–perhaps too cautiously. As I coasted into the second half of my life, I decided that it was time to unlearn the woodchuck’s lesson and loosen up, take some risks, face my fears and enjoy the fullness of life. Perhaps you have a woodchuck of your own that you need to shake off. Maybe 2012 will be your year.
     Here’s what happened: One summer, long ago, I was barreling through a field at about 25 miles an hour on my ancient Bridgestone motorcycle when the front tire decided to visit the foyer of a woodchuck’s underground lair. I’m not sure if anyone else in the world noticed, but while I was airborne, time slowed down for a few seconds.
     In the first stage of my flight, while I was still facing toward the sweet, sweet Earth, I noticed that there were many large rocks in the direction that gravity preferred. As my flight continued, I reminded myself that I’m not an adventurer. Some people are born to take one physical risk after another. They thrive on the adrenaline rush. I’m not one of those people. When my body feels adrenaline, it means that I just did something extraordinarily stupid. This was one of those times.
     About three-quarters into my aerial rotation, I accepted Jesus Christ as my lord and personal savior, just to improve my odds. And I made a promise to myself that, if I lived, I would follow in the footsteps of my ancestors and lead a timid life, far from danger’s reach. As far as I know, there has never been a hero in my bloodline–not one soldier, police officer or fireman. I don’t know what that implies about my genes, but I’ve never lost a game of hide-and-seek where I was the hider.
     By pure luck, or maybe because of my just-in-time religious conversion, I landed flat on my back in a rock-free patch of dirt. I was wearing a helmet and had no lasting injuries. But for about a week I could taste my brain. It had a cashew flavor.
     From that day on, I kept my promise to myself and avoided all unnecessary physical risks. My strategy got easier when I became a syndicated cartoonist; I told anyone who would listen that I couldn’t risk injuring my drawing hand.
     My danger-avoidance lifestyle worked, and I enjoyed a long string of injury-free years. But I always had a nagging feeling that I was missing out. How can you know if the chance you didn’t take was the one that would have enriched your life versus, for example, something that would have ended up with you chewing your own arm off to escape? Enrichment and arm-gnawing look roughly the same when viewed from the start.
     My low-risk strategy got more complicated when I met Shelly, the woman I would marry. Shelly comes from a family of adventurers. In the final months of World War II, when her grandfather was 19 and the oldest surviving officer in his unit, he got the order to liberate a POW camp. So he did what anyone would do in that situation: He crashed a Nazi staff car into the front gate at high-speed while his men laid down suppressing fire. I asked him if he was scared. He said, “Nah. Wasn’t my time.”
     The whole family is like that. They lack the fear gene, and they like doing new things no matter how good the old things are. Compounding this situation, they mate with people who are just as fearless. If you eavesdropped on a typical holiday gathering, you might hear the following snippets of conversation:
     “The Taliban were all over that area, but our helicopter only got shot up once.”
     “It didn’t hurt too much until the doctor scraped off the top layer of my skin to get the pebbles out.”
     “The second round hit me as I dove into the truck. I guess we shouldn’t have gone to that bar.”
     I noticed that all of Shelly’s relatives seem to be living life to the fullest. Did my brush with a woodchuck-related death in my formative years make me too cautious to enjoy life?
     Experts say that people need to try new challenges to keep their minds sharp. That’s especially important in my case because I plan on living to 140, and I don’t want to spend my last 60 years trying to find the TV remote.
     As 2011 approached, I wondered what would happen if, for the next 12 months, I said yes to any opportunity that was new or dangerous or embarrassing or unwise. I decided to find out.

If this whets your appetite for more…

…settle in for…part 2…

………hugmamma.  😉 

the war…within

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After exercise class one day I had the pleasure of visiting the home of one of my friends and fellow exercisers, Laura. She’d recently done extensive remodeling which I’d wanted to see. It would help me decide whether or not to use her contractor. What I saw of his handiwork proved to be favorable…if we can afford his price, that is. We’ll see. More importantly for me, however, was the conversation Laura and I had as I was about to leave.

Laura’s a writer. Though I’ve not read anything she’s written, I’d imagine her to be an author of depth and compassion. When she speaks of her travels and experiences everyone is apt to listen. She may be soft-spoken but her words are those of one who invests in living what she believes.

One thing struck me as personally significant in what Laura said that day. She spoke of 2 inner voices residing within us…that of the ego…and that of the soul. The first is loud, clamoring to be heard…and succeeding most of the time. The second is quiet, struggling for its voice amid the din caused by the ego. I would call it gut instinct.

Ego (Beyoncé Knowles song)

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The ego is in constant search of stroking…of approval. Its appetite is insatiable. Enough is never enough. “Just one more” it asks…”Just tell me you like me…love me…one more time.”

All About Soul

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The soul, or gut instinct, tries to intervene on behalf of our own self-preservation…gently reminding that it is we who control our own destiny…not others. But we are never prodded, or goaded, or shoved into acquiescence. If we could only be still for a moment or two, we might hear our softer voice reminding us that we are valuable…we needn’t abandon ourselves in aspiring to be what we think others want.

If only we could be our own best friends…and not our own worst enemies. Ego is good if given boundaries. As my daughter laughingly tells me when I hug her without letup, “Bubble! Bubble!” The ego should be kept in a bubble…with just enough space for it to roam and be appreciated. Meanwhile the soul should be given free reign to exercise its muscle, and strengthen its influence.

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The ego and the soul need balance, the former carrying less weight than the latter in my estimation. Harnessing the ego seems to me more difficult than giving free reign to the soul. I compare the ego to Gollum, the creature in “The Hobbit” who covets the precious ring belonging to Bilbo, the book’s hero. The ego is not bad unless it obsesses, leaving the soul with the difficult task of returning us to our core…to who we are…and should remain. 

So I’ve resolved, along with losing a few pounds, to listen hard as my soul tries to speak up for me…and keep my ego in check as it strains for the approval of others. Both are inevitable and essential. How they play out their roles is managed by the director…

…me…and you………hugmamma.  😉 

weekly photo challenge: winter

Have been remiss in contributing to this challenge of late. Was so glad to finally see today’s theme. Kept looking for it the last 24 hours. So now that it’s here my innards are churning with excitement. As soon as I saw the submission offered by WordPress…images bounced around inside my cranium like ping pong balls. Get the picture? Well, let’s hope you “get” where I’m at with my winter musings…

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Time to enjoy our brood of furry pets…in the comfy, cozy spaces…of the great indoors.

…aaahhh…winter…nothing like it…

………hugmamma.  😉

david and goliath…best buds?


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Had some interesting piece of news from my husband just minutes ago. He noticed that my recent posts didn’t contain any ads. Not sure what to make of it. Am “knocking on wood.” Don’t want to get ahead of myself…jumping up and down…shouting from atop Jericho‘s Walls of having negotiated with Goliath. After all I’m only a peanut in a jarful of Planters…probably sitting on the very bottom, dying to get out from under.

So did someone from WordPress take pity on this senior citizen, deciding to give me a break. If so, it’s like I hit the lottery or something. I never win anything…tangible, that is. I’ve got closets full of spiritual stuff…compassion, hope, empathy, gratitude, kindness. I could use the other kind of stuff once-in-awhile, like the time Comcast answered my prayer for internet connection via a comment on my blog post. Mark, Comcast’s customer service rep, was my Clarence, James Stewart’s guardian angel inIt’s A Wonderful Life.”

Travers in his most memorable role, as Clarenc...

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I know I risk having the plug pulled on what I perceive to be a little bit of good fortune…no commercial ads inserted into my posts. But I must profess to being giddy over the prospect. So even if Lady Luck should take her leave…please allow me to wallow in the moment.

…it may never come this way again…

………hugmamma.  😉

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advertising…and wordpress

Contacted WordPress support about unsolicited advertising on “hugmamma’s mind, body, and soul.” Asked that it be removed. Following is the answer I received.

WordPress.com has been running advertising on our free hosted blogs since 2006. Many bloggers do not know this because despite the fact they ticked the box required to get a free blog, they did not read the ToS. Many also do not read features page, or advertising entry in the support documents after registering their username and blog(s). Also note that as the ads do not display to us when we are logged in, and as many use browsers with ad blockers when logged out, they may not realize they are there at all. The only way to get rid of all advertising on our free hosted WordPress.com blogs is to purchase an annually renewable No-Ads upgrade.

If you feel an ad is inappropriate please take a screenshot of it and send it to Staff by emailing support@wordpress.com or upload it into your Media Library and contact Staff and let them know it’s there for them to view.

 In response, I said…

Thanks lots for the clarification. You’re right that I did not pay heed to the “fine print.” Entirely my error. I seem to remember, as does my husband, that ads use to run in the sidebar. The fact that they now appear as part of my post is somewhat off-putting. My husband has opened up an ad thinking it was a continuation of what I’d written. Can anything be done to separate ads out of the body of the post?

I chose WordPress because of its offer to blog for free. I’d like to hold onto that freedom, such as it is. I already pay to own my domain name. Another $30 would seem to run contrary to why I chose your site.

hugs for your timely response…hugmamma.

A final response…and I mean final…came almost immediately.

No, in fact ads used to run everywhere, including sometimes between the title and the body of an article. There are generally speaking fewer ads than there were before.

Short of buying the No Ads upgrade or applying for this WordAds program, which also reduces the number of ads further from what it is now, there’s nothing you can do.

And so…the matter is resolved. David and Goliath have come to terms…the giant laying down the law of the land. Truth be told…the conversation was very civil…and clarification of the matter is all this David needed. I can still play in the land of the giants…as long as I abide by their rules. More importantly…
…i continue to do it for free…kind of…
………hugmamma.  😉

daily post challenge #345: am i good to people i don’t know?

One of the Golden Rules which, for me, has always remained sacrosanct is “Treat others as you would want them to treat you.” Harking back to my mom, as I am always wont to do it seems, calls forth images of others helping her.

As a young child I witnessed my mom begging others for…more time to pay her car note, even while they continued to perform services and repairs…mercy for errant brothers who had committed petty theft…medical services for which she had no money to pay.

Orphans by Thomas Kennington

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I was sensitive to the gratitude and humility with which my mom accepted…second-hand clothing refused by the orphans at the orphanage where she worked…leftover food from the nuns who employed her…random offerings from friends and neighbors.

At my mother’s knee, I learned that I am no better than anyone else. And so in my daily dealings with…waiters, drycleaning assistants, store clerks, bank tellers, receptionists, grocery cashiers, box office attendants, vet assistants…I offer smiles, compliments, empathy, and gratitude, always gratitude.

If I can lift someone’s spirits, calm their nerves, even make their day with a heartfelt compliment…such as “You’re so beautiful!”…then why hesitate to do so? I am beyond embarrassment, it seems, when it means I can make someone feel better…whether she or he needs the boost or not. And hugs…no one escapes a huge hug.

Enveloping someone within my warm embrace is another of my own mom’s legacies to me. There is no more profound offering of one’s self than to press another to one’s own heart, letting them know that we are kindred spirits beneath the outer trappings of…age, gender, ethnicity, social class, sexual preference, and religious and political affiliation. It is true that…goodness and kindness…beget…goodness and kindness. But I never set out to beget…anything.

Hugging, and all it entails, is as natural to me…as breathing in…and breathing out. And I owe my lessons in the art of…to all those who gave of themselves to my mom…and what she gave…in return.

hugging you………hugmamma.  🙂 

how can i miss you…if you won’t go away…

One of the humorous sayings gracing a bottle cap in my new header. Funny…yes. But right now…bittersweet. For as I type…my daughter is making her way back east. Yes, I shed a few tears. Not alligator ones…never those. Only heartfelt…wrung from the depths of a mother’s soul.

We were like friends, the two of us. Laughing, teasing, following one another around…the house, the shops…always sharing thoughts, insight, reflections, advice. Yes, advice. My 25 year-old gave me great advice…on more than one occasion. And I gratefully accepted it…more than once.

How did she grow to be so wise? A young woman nearly 40 years my junior, counseling me on cutting myself some slack. That my perception of situations is as valid as anyone’s. Giving me the okay to put myself first, contrary to all the Catholic nuns from Boston instilled in me for 13 years, from kindergarten through high school. I guess my daughter’s public school education trumped mine. Or maybe not.

My Christian values, and my husband’s…especially his, considering he’d been studying to be a priest before we met…have contributed immeasureably to our daughter’s upbringing. No I didn’t lure him away; he quit of his own accord. Thank God…for letting me have him instead…my husband, my best friend.

Family values and personal experiences have substantively impacted my daughter’s maturation. She gives of herself unconditionally, but is learning to fight for her own soul’s preservation. No longer is she succumbing to the demands of others…or of situations over which she has no control. With guidance from many caring mentors, role models, peers and friends, my daughter has evolved…her spirit intact.

I’ll miss her physical presence, for my daughter always did for me before I had to ask…pour my cup of tea…walk and feed Mocha…prop a pillow behind my lumbar for support…offer a hug, several in fact…making decisions which could befuddle…covering my head with the hood of my jacket…holding my elbow, my hand as we crossed the street…

So many gifts…too many to count.
From daughter to mother.
Offered in love…
Without reserve…without conditions…without hesitation.
My cup is never half-empty…
Only always half-full.
When God calls me home…
My life will have wanted for nothing…
Except maybe a few more precious moments…
With what He gifted me…
The loves of my life…
…my beloved husband…and most cherished daughter.

…i truly couldn’t want for more…



My husband just informed me that there’s commercial advertising attached to my posts. I wasn’t aware of this fact, so I’ll be looking into the matter with WordPress support staff. I’ve not noticed it when visiting other blogs. I’ve just checked the technical aspects of my blog set-up and didn’t see where I inadvertently okayed such a change.

Is anyone experiencing such unsolicited advertising on your blogs? Would appreciate knowing if you are, and if anything can be done to remove them? Didn’t want my readers to think I was personally trying to sell you something…especially if I don’t like the product myself.


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…strange occurrences…when wordpress starts to tinkering…

………hugmamma.  😉

christmas day…”it was greeeaaat!!!”

…was my daughter’s enthusiastic remark to time spent serving food to the needy at the community center on Christmas. My husband and I couldn’t have agreed more. Spending a portion of our Christmas Day bringing joy to others in a tangible way felt good…really good. I don’t think it’s possible to measure the blessings our family felt in giving to those who have so little, when we have so much by comparison. Having individuals approach us with thanks for what we’d done, was truly the best gift of the day. I highly recommend such gifting. To give what we can of ourselves…be it materially or spiritually.

While it was my idea to answer the call to volunteer, my husband and daughter joined in wholeheartedly. They agreed we could delay our own Christmas celebration until after we’d brought a little merriment to others, among them…the homeless…seniors on a fixed income…unemployed unable to afford regular meals…young families finding it difficult to support families…individuals living alone who crave companionship. No one is turned away from partaking of our community meal.

An early riser my husband got things rolling with a recipe for sticky buns. After washing the sleep from my eyes I helped slice the rolled dough with its tasty cinnamon mixture tucked inside. My husband carefully placed the slices in a couple of pans prepared with a syrupy glaze and chopped walnuts. I then whipped up a couple of pans of an ambrosia salad using mandarin oranges, pineapple chunks, flaked coconut, mini-marshmallows and sour cream. Quite yummy, if I must say so myself. We finished off by working together on a couple of pans of a spinach souffle. In addition, we contributed two pans heaped full of juicy, flavorful spiral ham.

My daughter awoke last since she’d been up wrapping presents for my husband and me into the wee hours of the morning. We wanted her to be her smiling best when helping to dish up the homemade goodies brought by all the volunteers. It’s amazing how, when given the opportunity, we can reach past barriers, real and imagined, to offer companionship…if only for a few hours. We all benefitted, I’m sure, by socially interacting with those we might not otherwise ever approach.

I’ve great admiration for the more dedicated volunteers. They share an easy camaraderie with the regular diners. Newcomers surveying the group wouldn’t easily discern the volunteers from the needy. All sit down together to share the meal. Conversation flows. Laughter and smiles abound. Today my family and I took our turn at sitting and visiting a spell. Usually we remain posted behind the table of food, happily dispensing spoonfuls to the hungry.

One gentleman diner shared a bit of prideful news with me as we sat across from one another.

“Do you like to read nonfiction?” he asked.

“Yes.” I replied.

Removing a book from the huge pocket that fronted his hoodie, he handed it to me with instructions that I turn to page 50. There, he explained, I would find an interview between himself and the author. Reading the passage I soon learned that my fellow diner identified himself with the being who personified inner, radiant light…as described by the writer. I smiled, handing the book back to its owner.

No, I didn’t think I was sitting down to sup with a loony case. If I’d wanted, I’m sure the gentleman would’ve been an engaging conversationalist. It is I who lacks the expansive imagination to visit other worlds. I would love to write fantasy…but alas, I don’t. But I would love to…maybe one day…for a story’s been brewing in my non-fiction brain…for some time.

Musicians from my church came by to entertain with Christmas carols. All joined in the singing…eyes twinkling as the spirit of the holiday sprinkled its magic upon our heads…and in our hearts. God‘s presence was palpable.

We who volunteered a little of our time and energy…received so much in return…from the downtrodden in our community. Through their intercession, we were filled with the Almighty’s mercy…and the grace of the Blessed Virgin.

No, I’m not a religious zealot…

…but I am a believer…in compassion…and hope…for each other…as well as ourselves…


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a christmas prayer…of thanksgiving

The following poem appeared in our local newspaper, written by someone who frequents the community soup kitchen where my husband and I volunteer on occasion. The writer very vividly describes what takes place during the several hours that diners come to partake of a home-cooked meal. They always express their gratitude before taking their leave. But it was special that one of them could share his feelings in words thoughtfully composed.

By Albert Perron

The kitchen, by the fire hall,
Feeds the poor, feeds them all,
The price is right, yes it’s free,
Sometimes I dine, just to see,
What food delight, will show today,
You must eat fast, then go away,
The regular crowd, is always there,
Each glued to, their special chair.
If church groups fail, to show on time,
To this crowd, well, that’s a crime.
When they chow, they eat with glee,
I do too, why not, it’s free,
It says to thank, those who give,
They feed your face, so you can live,
So to the church folk, who drop by,
Thanks! Without your food, we’d die.

…to give…is to receive…is to give…is to receive…and that should be the way of the world…


tis the season…to give

I’m certain moms everywhere will agree that this is the season when we’re called upon to give, give and give some more. How we manage to get through the holidays when additional tasks are piled onto our already overflowing platters is beyond comprehension. But we do.

Public Photograph of Stewart Udall walking wit...

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Shop for and wrap gifts, for family and friends. Write greeting cards and letters sharing news of interest. Shop for, prepare and host festive meals. Acknowledge all those who are of service throughout the year with special tokens of appreciation. Plan and prepare for holiday trips to visit relatives, or to have them come and visit. Remember the less fortunate with hand-selected presents or volunteering one’s time and energy. As the poet Robert Frost wrote “But I have promises to keep…and miles to go before I sleep…and miles to go before I sleep.”

It took me nearly 2 weeks to decorate my house to the nines, being mindful not to exacerbate my back pain. Knowing of my daughter’s love for family traditions makes the effort more than worthwhile. Then I arranged for our menagerie of pets to be cared for while we made a long weekend visit to see my daughter perform in her ballet company’s Nutcracker. And, of course, I offered to finish the Christmas decorating she’d begun in her apartment.

I couldn’t resist cooking a huge pot of chili, most of which I froze for meals my daughter could easily defrost and heat later. I did the same with  salisbury steak…hamburger patties with mushroom and onion seasoned gravy…a favorite of our family’s. I laundered her bed linens so that after spending the holidays with us, she’d return home to a freshly made bed in the New Year.

Old Mother Hubbard and Her Dog

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My husband and I grocery shopped, stocking the refrigerator and cupboards with favorite foods. No more “old Mother Hubbard,” when “hugmamma’s” around. And while our daughter spent her days at the theatre preparing for performances, we scrubbed and vacuumed and cleaned so that she wouldn’t feel the need to tidy up before heading out of town for some much needed R and R.

And now that she’s home with us, my husband and I dote upon our daughter, cherishing the limited time we have together as a family under the same roof once again. We tease each other good naturedly, laughing at “inside” jokes.

Cover of

Cover of Holiday Inn (Special Edition)

Late into the night my daughter and I watch black-and-white videos like Bing Crosby’sHoliday Inn and Barbara Stanwyck‘s “Christmas in Connecticut.” Other times I groan as she and her dad watch “Polar Express,” a favorite that he plays every evening…dozing off and on throughout. I’ve probably seen more of it than my husband…not necessarily a good thing.

While dad’s up to his eyeballs in paperwork at the office, my daughter and I scurry about like Cinderella‘s mice…driving to appointments…last minute shopping…visiting with acquaintances for a few minutes…catching quick bites, whenever and wherever we can.

In the evenings, we all collapse into our favorite chairs…and veg…like lumps of coal. Not a bad thing in this case. Time to catch our breaths before starting all over again tomorrow…more appointments…more waiting…more driving. But this mom wouldn’t have it any other way. Time with my daughter is a gift which I never take for granted.

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And we’ve decided to add one more thing to our holiday “to do” list…to spend Christmas Day preparing dishes to serve to those less fortunate in our community. We’ll join other volunteers in trying to bring a little happiness to some who might otherwise find it very difficult to come by.

I find the best part of Christmas is…in the giving. I know I come by that trait from my mom. Growing up I remember when she painstakingly crafted wreaths as gifts from wire hangers, newspapers and fronds of evergreen gathered in our annual outing to the countryside in search of the perfect Christmas tree.

English: Eucalyptus globulus (view towards Kul...

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Yes…there were groves of evergreen scattered here and there in the more elevated temperatures in Kula on the island of Maui. The trees were usually on private property where my mom would venture to knock on the door of the owner’s house, and ask if we might cut down one of their trees. I can’t ever remember being turned away. Perhaps the sight of a single mom, an island native, with several children in tow tugged at the heartstrings of those who heard her humble request. 

English: Christmas Trees. Christmas tree farm ...

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Thinking back upon such times, images flood my mind of being invited inside to partake of cookies and milk and warm conversation. My mom, at her best, genuine conviviality overflowing onto those in her presence. Who could resist granting her wish for a Christmas tree for her family…and refusing the $5 she offered wholeheartedly?

So in turn, my mom would find joy in giving to others…what she herself made. I would always help deliver the products of our own labor…for we too learned to make what we couldn’t buy. At the time it always seemed far more exciting to receive the store bought items given to us in return..candies, small toys, board games. 

Although handcrafting presents has long since fallen by the way side, giving to others brings me great pleasure and is something that I’ve continued in the tradition of my mom. Seeing someone’s eyes light up with wonder at receiving a tangible expression of my care and concern for him, or her, is a gift to me…that lasts a lifetime. And so… 

…i wish you happiness…in the gifts of small, precious moments…throughout the holidays…and all the days…of your wonderful life…

………hugmamma.  🙂

quality of life…lil’ ole’ lady from pasadena


I think all seniors will agree that as we age we become increasingly aware that the thing we most value, next to loved ones… is quality of life. Without it we’re sitting on the sidelines watching others, and life, pass us by. What gourmet chef wants to be served, rather than preparing the gastronomical feast herself? What athlete wants to be sitting in the bleachers, rather than feeling the rush of adrenalin as he crosses the finish line? What writer wants to read, when she can put pen to paper or fingers to keyboard?

I’ve come to realize how valuable it is for me to participate in all that daily living offers, rather than just to observe. How I would envy those who could leap from bed, energized to get moving…washing the sleep from their eyes…donning their duds…scooping yogurt mixed with blueberries into their mouths…crouching down to snuggle a precious grandchild or a beloved pet…bounding out the door for a brisk walk amid falling leaves…waving and smiling at neighbors or strangers. Fortunately I can still do all these things, despite setbacks now and again.

Through the years, I’ve watched, listened and learned from my ballerina daughter. She has taught me much about the mechanics of my body and what I need to do to keep it humming along. There are things I can do like eating more healthily (a struggle), exercising (also a struggle), and putting myself in the hands of experts when necessary (a pleasure).

Having recently suffered severe back pain, the onset of which began over a month ago, I am now almost fully recovered. No pain…nada. Thanks to my chiropractor and her trusty adjustor, I can walk, sit, bend, and climb without wincing. And having just seen the physical therapist yesterday, I can already feel the results of the back-strengthening exercises she recommended.

Ford Mustang Convertible

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I feel like a broken-down Volkswagon Beetle that went in for an overhaul and drove out…a vintage Ford Mustang! Vroom, vroom, vroom!!!…

…i’m the little old lady from pasadena…go granny, go granny, go granny, go………hugmamma.  😉

self-nurturing…positive reinforcement


Something I’ve been practicing all my life, as I’m sure most of us do, either sporadically or consistently. I guess it depends on the need…and one’s personal baggage.

12 26 09 Bearman Cartoon Moms Christmas Gift My mom was a single parent who had her hands full with 9 children, so I think she’d run out of steam by the time I accidentally happened along a year before my father died. While she did the best she could looking after the family’s wants, at 30, my mom had barely seen her own needs met.

Get Away From My Mom

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Because I was the last sibling under my mom’s care after the others left home, she and I seemed to have a “love ’em or leave ’em” relationship. We loved one another, out of necessity, but we both probably wished we could up and go…somewhere else…separately. But we were stuck like glue, and we made the best of it.

And so I learned to self-nurture. Or at least I tried. Growing up with low self-esteem, however confident I seemed outwardly, made it very difficult to care for myself emotionally. Without parents to show the way, children tend to wander like nomads in the desert. But the one legacy left me by my mom was the will to survive.

Survive I have. Fortunately I also became an expert at self-nurturing, however late in life. With the help of two very important people, my husband and my daughter, as well as others, I “turned the corner,” and gradually began to learn to love myself…


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…warts…beauty spots…and all…

………hugmamma.  😉

on the fence about…facebook

English: A candidate icon for Portal:Computer ...

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While I am on Facebook, primarily to keep abreast of my daughter’s dance happenings and also to share my blog posts with family and friends, I tend to keep the site at arm’s length. I’ve never been completely convinced of its security assurances. And now that its creator, Mark Zuckerberg, has had his privacy invaded I’m even more skeptical of their claims.

I’m sure the hundreds of millions who are on Facebook will turn a deaf ear and a blind eye, because they’re certain their privacy will never be breached. It’s like the accident that always happens to somebody else, or the crime that occurs somewhere else…and never to us…or in our community.

I believe that “forewarned is forearmed,” so I’ve reprinted the Wall Street Journal’s article…

Facebook Flaw Exposes Its CEO
by John Letzing

     A security vulnerability in Facebook Inc.’s social-networking site exposed by some users sent the company scrambling for a fix after Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg’s private photos were published online.
     In a Nov. 27 post on the Web forum Bodybuilding.com, an anonymous writer listed step-by-step instructions on how to access photos uploaded by other Facebook members, even if the images had been marked as private.
     The process involved a Facebook feature that lets users identify pornographic or inappropriate images on the site. The forum post showed that by flagging another user’s profile, one Facebook member was able to gain access to the other’s private images. A blogger on Tuesday reported on the security flaw, and used it to publish a photo from Mr. Zuckerberg’s private collection. Others then used the flaw to publish further photos from Mr. Zuckerberg’s private collection, including images of the Facebook CEO preparing food in a kitchen and distributing candy to Halloween trick-or-treaters.
     It wasn’t immediately clear how long the Facebook security flaw was available on the Web, or how many of the site’s more than 800 million users were affected. But the company attributed the problem to a recent revision of its software.
     In a statement, a Facebook spokesman said the flaw “was the result of one of our recent code pushes and was live for a limited period of time. Upon discovering the bug, we immediately disabled the system, and will only return functionality once we can confirm the bug has been fixed.”
     The anonymous poster responded in an email to a request for comment by saying he discovered the flaw accidentally. “This is simply terrible programming on Facebook’s part,” said the poster, who gave his name only as John P., lists his hometown as Syracuse, N.Y., and says he is “an IT professional.”
     Facebook has faced a series of questions about its security and privacy features since it was founded in 2004. The site has rapidly gained popularity, and Facebook is expected to stage an initial public offering of shares next year that could value the company at over $100 billion.
     Last month, Facebook announced it had reached a settlement with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, after the regulator found the company had misled users about the use of their personal information.

Facebook…friend or foe? And are we just as guilty as Zuckerberg…if we entrust him with all we hold sacred?…
as he smirks all the way to the bank…to deposit his billions…

………hugmamma.  😉 

English: Mark Zuckerberg, Founder & CEO of Fac...

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