“mahalo”…to my followers…

Hawaiian for…Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

It always amazes me when another “follower” hops aboard hugmamma’s mind, body, and soul. 

No kidding! 

There are millions of awesome writers and photographers on WordPress. Capturing even a fraction of them with a post or two is mind-boggling. To have them sign up for more than that is beyond comprehension. Truly…beyond hugmamma’s comprehension.

I’m not sure how others with as many as a thousands followers…or more…even begin to repay all the visitors to their blogs. That alone could be a full-time job. When do they have time to live? 

I tip my hat in homage to those who can keep one hand permanently affixed to their keyboard, while fulfilling all their other obligations with the other hand. I’m not one of them. Never will be.

Taking time out every now and then to thank those who consider my writing worth reading is what I can manage without totally upsetting mine and my family’s pineapple cart. That and including as many as WordPress will allow in my community of photos in the left-hand margin of hugmamma’s mind, body, and soul. BTW…if you click on a photo, you’ll be magically transported to that blog site…for more personal stories.

One other thing I try to do faithfully is repay visits to those who click “like” on my posts and/or leave comments. I figure if they take the time…so should I. It may take me a while, but I try very hard to keep this promise to myself. Even as family and pets call my name…”Mama! Mama!”

In further appreciation, I’ll remember all of you in a collective prayer. 

…for you…hope, joy, and peace…always!croppedphoto



mahalo…from my heart

With 2014 well under way, I’ve been remiss in failing to thank all who have made this journey with me. As mentioned in my recent post nurturing thursdays: choices…changes…part 2, I hope to continue writing and blogging for a long, long time. 

As one of hundreds of thousands…more probably millions…of baby boomers “coming of age,” I don’t take my life on earth for granted. Not for one minute.

So before I breathe my next grateful breath for being alive, I’d like to hug each and every one of you for following me…for “liking” me…for leaving thoughtful comments.

Writers care that they are read…and I am no exception.

…from my heart…to yours…with love and gratitude…

………hugmamma.March 2011 00135

lighting up the world…one candle at a time

My fellow blogger and dear friend, Kate, has taken an iconic image and held it up as a beacon in an ever-increasingly negative world. She has imagined a vast darkness lit by flickering candles. And I have been fortunate to receive such light…and pass it along so others might also…pass it along. So I’m humbled to hold in the palm of my hands…the Candle Lighter Award. 


I pray that we can keep the light burning…as I light other candles…with mine, asking that the same be done again and again and again. Let us never stop in our quest to light up every dark corner with hope and compassion. For “no man is an island” and every man and woman is my brother and sister. We should reach out to all…as one family under God…one people of this earth.

English: Romantic

Image via Wikipedia

And so I share Kate’s candlelight with all who read “hugmamma’s mind, body, and soul,” and ask that they kindly share their flickering flame with others of their choosing. As Christ has said “all are called, but few are chosen.” In this case…all who are called…are chosen…for the Candle Lighter Award.

Marcia Clarke… http://mecwrites25.wordpress.com
Keith Kamisugi… http://keithpr.com
Northwestgimp… http://northwestgimp.wordpress.com
Steph… http://coolbluedudette.wordpress.com
Isabelle… http://myenglishthought.wordpress.com
C M Smith… http://randomthoughtsfrommidlife.wordpress.com
Jackie Paulson (Author)… http://thewritershelp.org
sagechronicles… http://sagechronicles.wordpress.com
Haley Whitehall… http://haleywhitehall.wordpress.com
Marion Driessen… http://figmentsofadutchess.com
Redneckprincess… http://theredneckprincess.net
dogear6… http://livingtheseasons.com
littlenavyfish… http://givemestories.wordpress.com
frizztext… http://flickrcomments.wordpress.com
nuvofelt… http://chittlechattle.wordpress.com
carvingoutavoice… http://carvingoutavoice.wordpress.com
estherlou… http://estherlou.wordpress.com
TBM… http://50yearproject.wordpress.com
truthwithdoris… http://truthwithdoris.wordpress.com
Pocket Perspectives… http://pocketperspectives.wordpress.com
Robin… http://bogsofohio.wordpress.com
thirdhandart… http://thirdhandart.wordpress.com
lindseylooo… http://thegreatcomplainer.wordpress.com
sweetdaysundertheoaks… http://sweetdaysundertheoaks.wordpress.com
juliajustgotcreative… http://juliajustgotcreative.wordpress.com
murphysrun… http://murphysrun.wordpress.com
roshall… http://roshallsthoughts2.wordpress.com
jessiepeace… http://suchacalamity.wordpress.com
River Under Water… http://riverunderwater.wordpress.com
Little Things of Life… http://littlethingsoflife.wordpress.com
thelaughingmom… http://thelaughingmom.wordpress.com
P.S. StayCurious… http://psstaycurious.wordpress.com
Gaurav Tiwari… http://gauravtiwari.org
40again… http://40again.wordpress.com
autumnissues… http://autumnissues.wordpress.com
sterlingsop… http://sterlingsop.wordpress.com
jeanne… http://nolagirlatheart.wordpress.com
pause… http://rodpossefamily.wordpress.com
Sunshine (also Simply Charming)… http://seraphim6.wordpress.com
Booksphotographsandartwork… http://booksphotographsandartwork.wordpress.com
2e0mca… http://2e0mca.wordpress.com
kittyhere… http://kittyhere.wordpress.com
MaggieLR… http://maggiephotography.wordpress.com
gethappy… http://happinessnest.wordpress.com
soulblindministry… http://soulblindministry.wordpress.com
talin 401… http://talinorfali.wordpress.com
JustBe Foundation… http://justbefoundation.wordpress.com
Deidra Alexander… http://deidraalexander.wordpress.com
Storm Rider… http://theconfusedgraduate.wordpress.com
khushjenny… http://jennyjain.wordpress.com
Ma Novie Godmalin… http://misexperienciaspersonales.wordpress.com
ilOOk streetstyle… http://ilookstreetstyle.wordpress.com
mixtapemode… http://mixtapemode.wordpress.com
earthriderdotcom… http://earthriderdotcom.wordpress.com
Roberta… http://inotherwordsandpictures.wordpress.com
I Choose Happy Now… http://ichoosehappynow.wordpress.com

…and all who follow “hugmamma’s mind, body, and soul” by email or as “comment” followers. 

I take this opportunity to not only pass along The Candle Lighter Award, but to also thank these readers. They have surely lit a fire under my feet to continue writing. And I especially thank Kate Kresse at http://believeanyway.wordpress.com for including me among the recipients of the award. A full explanation of it can be found at http://believeanyway.wordpress.com/2011/12/18/creation-of-new-blog-award-the-candle-lighter-award/ 


Image by Road Fun via Flickr

I’d like to take a moment to acknowledge other awards given me by generous blogger-friends in the past. That I didn’t take possession of them immediately was not out of ingratitude, but out of the inability to tackle the technical know-how. It takes me a while to gather my wits about me, before undertaking the task. And as you can see, I like to avail myself of the time and thought that goes into such an acceptance. It means too much for me to merely copy and paste…although it makes more sense, given time restraints.

So here and now…I’d like to thank those of you who have deigned to bless me with recognition in the past. That you read my posts and leave comments, is more than I could have imagined when I began blogging in July of 2009.

And well into my third year I have all of you to thank for motivating me to write 754 posts, garnering 39,507 hits and 140 followers.

Creation Candle Light

Image via Wikipedia

…mahalo nui loa (heartfelt appreciation)…and let’s continue to spread the light…

………hawaiian hugmamma.  🙂

for letting me “overflow,” huge thanks

It’s been awhile since I’ve reached out to thank faithful readers of hugmamma’s mind, body and soul. Views have surpassed any number I would have imagined possible for me, a 61-year old wannabee writer wanting to give voice to my thoughts, feelings, and opinions. Any blogger will tell you, as any author of books would, that readers are an important part of the equation. I take that back, they’re actually an essential element for any blogger or writer’s success. At least that’s my opinion. Others may feel they do just fine in isolation.

In July I’ll have been blogging a year. If I felt my readers were done with listening to what I say, I might decide to take it down a notch and pursue other avenues for my passion. My WordPress experience has been the best by far, having started on Blogger.com with  no comments to the 35 posts I wrote, after which I was on Oprah.com where I felt well received, and where joining community discussions was easily accomplished. But with her transition to OWN TV, Oprah‘s blog became more like a stepchild. Hence my transition to WordPress.com.

I want to thank all those who have subscribed to my blog, whether by email or rss feed or any other avenue with which I’m technologically unfamiliar. Following are those who I know for sure who subscribe.

The WordPress bloggers include:

Marion Driessen  
Beneath The Tin Foil Hat  
Jackie Paulson Author  
My English Thoughts  
Keith Kamisugi  

I congratulate all of these bloggers who are also following their own voices. Family and friends have also subscribed, but where I once knew who you all were, I no longer seem able to identify you as that capacity seems to have been removed from my blog. But you know who you are, and I thank you all for supporting me all this time…from the bottom of my hearts. The same applies to all, and there are many, who have subscribed by rss feed who are not within the WordPress community. I thank you as well, for wanting to stay connected.

I hope I’ve kept you entertained while I’ve satisfied my need to unload all these words which would otherwise have exploded like magma from a volcano.

mahalo for letting me overflow into your lives…and let’s see where life takes us…hugmamma.

counting my blessings

On my recent flight home, I overheard a fellow passenger remark “It’s good to get away, but it’s always good to come home…sleep in my own bed.” Amen! Again I say, Amen! So this seems as good a time as any to reflect upon that for which I’m very thankful, beginning with…

  • The memory foam mattress that snuggles up against all the contours of my body, as though I was sleeping on a cloud. Now if only I could lay my brain beside me, so it too could get a good night’s rest. Maybe then I’d slumber peacefully, rather than thinking what next to write.
  • My husband’s affection pulling me into a huge bear hug. Just where I belong, until death do us part…not even then.
  • Crouching down beside Mocha, the doggie “love of my life,” to whisper “sweet nothings” in her ear. 
  • Lovingly stroking the length of Sitka, Juneau and Sunkist, as they stretch up to share their hearts with me.
  • Laying my weary head on my daughter’s shoulder, as she embraces me into the bosom of her “old soul.”
  • Letting my home, still decorated for Christmas, nourish my soul with childhood delights.
  • Reading emails from friends and family, sharing memories, newfound discoveries, and always love and concern.
  • Writing and blogging, journaling my thoughts and feelings, wary of the day when I might not, but thankful for the precious moments of the present.
  • Knowing that I’ve a network of online readers with whom to share my journey is mind-boggling, but a blessing I wholeheartedly welcome.
  • My health, such as it is, keeps me ever mindful that quality of life is fragile, and shouldn’t be compromised by poor choices.
  • The Maui of my childhood, where innocence and naivete abounded, ingrained forever in my moral fiber.
  • My Aloha spirit, my compassion for others, a legacy from my mom and those who came before.
  • The 2 angels who have gently guarded my well-being these last decades of my life, continuing to do so, my husband of 40 years and my daughter of 24.
  • And God above all, who gifted me with life, ensuring my best, knowing He is always with me…ALWAYS.


counted your blessings lately?…hugmamma.

i’ve got a deadline to meet

Regular readers to my blog know that I set myself a task about a month or so ago. By day’s end, today, I will have published 365 posts. That would mean I would’ve written a year’s worth of posts in 7 months. The other part of the challenge was that you, dear reader, help me reach 10,000 viewings at the same time. Needless to say you’ve far surpassed that goal with hits to date at 11, 879! Who knows you might even make it to 12,000, since you’re just shy of the mark by 121 views. 

Whatever the number at midnight tonight, I’m already eternally grateful for your faith in me as a writer. If you were my boss in corporate America, you would have already given me a promotion beyond my wildest imaginings. And so I thank you, with great humility, for letting me into your lives through the written word.

So brace yourselves, especially those who’ve subscribed by email, for  an onslaught…of more words. Tomorrow you’ll get a well-deserved break, I promise…I think.

blest to be writing…for you…hugmamma.

giving thanks to our vets

It’s a good thing we’re annually reminded to pay homage to those who serve our country. It’s like Mother’s Day, and Father’s Day. If we were left to our own preoccupied lives, we would probably procrastinate, or forget completely. Of course we don’t mean to disrespect soldiers, moms or dads, it’s just that life happens, or so we say.

I’m a mom; I like all the accolades that come my way on one pre-designated day. I’m sure I’m not the only one. And hey, I can take the day off if I like. But that never happens, unless I’m sick in bed. Otherwise, I’m FIXING the bed, feeding and walking pets, preparing a meal or two, with the accompanying prep work and cleanup. Then there’s the never-ending-picking-up-after.

Nonetheless, I get to be remembered for all that I do, on ONE particular day. I think that makes the remaining 364 days bearable, almost. After 40 years of marriage, I have to give it some thought. The secret is, I’ve learned to “cut corners,” lots of them. But I digress.

So while the 22 million veterans in our country would love to be thought of more often than once a year, I’m certain they’re happy to take a “collective bow” on Veteran’s Day. Several stories came to my attention, which told of individuals, or communities, who found ways to thank vets. They reminded me of the time I flew to visit my daughter.

On the flight were several soldiers. One in particular caught my attention. He was without a leg, and he was traveling with his wife. They looked to be my daughter’s age, early 20’s. Not knowing their story, I could only imagine what lay ahead of them. I don’t think they were ever far from my thoughts, throughout the entire flight. 

How do you thank these stoic men and women? They never look directly into your eyes, keeping to themselves as they are surely in the habit of doing, unless with their comrades in arms. More than humble, soldiers seem to be “invisible,” unless performing their duty. If they speak, their words are barely audible. They rarely seem to smile. Their minds appear to be elsewhere. But where? Are they imagining themselves at home with loved ones, or in a remote area of Afghanistan, bullets flying all around them? How do you pierce that impenetrable veneer to offer thanks? I tried.

As the couple ambled along in front of me, enroute to baggage claim, I rummaged through my wallet. Pulling out $60, I ran ahead to catch up with the young soldier and his wife. Stopping, they turned toward me, their faces, question marks. Smiling, I expressed my gratitude for his service, while my hand reached out offering the money, inviting them to have a meal at my expense. Without hesitation, he, and his wife, in their soft-spoken, Southern drawls, refused my gift. I think he mumbled something like, “It’s my job, ma’am.” The memory of that moment, even now, fills my eyes with tears. Although the young soldier looked vulnerable in his wheelchair,  his resolute manner spoke volumes about his pride in his uniform, and in his duty to his country, my country, our country. They thanked me, and quietly moved along, to pick up the pieces of their lives.

I received an email telling of a similar circumstance, where a passenger was on a flight with a group of soldiers. As the flight attendant walked through coach class taking meal orders, the man overheard one soldier ask another if he was buying the sandwich offered. Both decided, while they were hungry, they couldn’t afford the expense. Looking around at the others in the group, the passenger noticed none of the other soldiers were buying meals. The man went in search of the flight attendant, offering her $50 for the soldiers’ meals. She thanked him profusely. Other travelers who noticed what the man had done, offered him cash as their contribution. When the flight landed he gave the $75 he’d received, to the soldiers, to buy more sandwiches as they awaited their connection.

On the evening news was a story of vets helping vets in Milwaukee. “Guitars for Vets” teaches guitar lessons for free. Upon completion of 6 lessons, a student receives a donated guitar, or can purchase one at a discounted price. Eight hundred guitars have been distributed thus far. Begun by a vet, turned teacher, the program has literally been the “sound of healing,” for its participants. “A new band of brothers,” these former soldiers are finding therapeutic help in their interactions with one another.

On the local news, the incredulous story was told of a soldier who returned from service in Afghanistan, to find that his home had burned to the ground, his relatives having died in the fire. Amazing support from his community brought forth volunteers who rebuilt the home, with $40,000 donated in materials and labor.

Also on the news, two young boys were shown speaking to their military father via “Skype.” They were totally surprised when he appeared behind them, in the classroom. Crawling all over their dad, as he crouched down to embrace them in a bear hug, it was apparent that the youngsters had made as enormous a sacrifice as their soldier dad.

Vets, and their families, teach us to sacrifice, gracefully, in service to others. And so I’d like to take this opportunity to honor my own relatives, a brother who served in the Korean War, and another who fought in Vietnam, a nephew who served several tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan, and who now teaches at West Point, and another nephew who serves in the navy on the aircraft carrier, The USS Abraham Lincoln.

for all who serve unselfishly, and their loved ones, huge hugs…hugmamma.

another milestone, “mahalo” (thanks)

Not even 2 months since I began blogging on July 17, views are already at 2014. I owe a sizeable thanks to readers who visited from “stumbleupon.” Feeding my posts to that site garnered more than 300 views in 2 days. That certainly caught me by surprise. Visits have returned to normal, now that the “lookers” have left for “greener pastures.” And so while I appreciate their contribution to the spike in my blog, I’m forever grateful for my constant readers, which now include some “stumbleupon” regulars.

Once I return to my own computer, I plan to once again embellish my posts with favorite photos, and perhaps some other tidbits to spice things up a smidge. But for those of you who have religiously followed me, you know that the heart of my blog will always be my passion for writing. Gimmicks are good, but they’ll never be a mainstay for me. Rather than look for greener pastures, I prefer growing and grooming my own lawn.

A celebratory thanks to you who have remained on the receiving end of my blog. Without you my journey wouldn’t be as much fun. So I raise my sour apple martini in toasting your good taste. ha,ha. Actually, I sip to your continued good health, prosperity, compassion, positive energy and to always living life large…in the moment.  

hugs for readers, friends…hugmamma.