Thursday, November 19, 2015


wind blows snows follow
wan November furlough
winter foreshadow

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Remember Them

Children's voices 
raised in song.
No words uttered
to interrupt the psalm.

Poppies placed
row upon row.
Honour, respect;
all remembered by those.

The men and women
who gave their lives,
a fight for freedom
with battle cries.

My children's voices
I proudly hear,
today remember
and hold your memories dear.

We thank you all
who have served in courage
without sacrifices bold
our world discouraged.

our children 
solemn sing
to you a gift
their offering.

Thank you
We Remember

Friday, October 9, 2015

Ghost Boy

Ghost Boy by Martin Pistorius, ©2013, Thomas Nelson Publishers

Every parent's worst fear is to have their child fall ill. When you cannot diagnose the illness, it is that much more frustrating. When that illness leaves your child without the ability to walk, freely move their limbs, or even talk, it reaches nightmare proportions. That was the reality for Martin Pistorius' parents.

Martin had a normal childhood. He liked legos, loved riding his bike and was a quiet, but conscientious boy. At the age of 12 though, he fell mysteriously ill. Doctors ran test upon test, but came up with no conclusive diagnosis for a little boy who was rapidly fading away from his family and life. They advised his parents to prepare for the worst and to move him into a medical center, so they would not have to be burdened with his care. With that, they washed their hands of him, telling his distraught parents there was nothing more they could do.

Miraculously, Martin woke up. Unfortunately for him, no one recognized that he was conscious behind the shell of a body that drooled, spasmodically moved and remained silent. Slowly, Martin became aware of his world again, but without the ability to communicate, wished that he hadn't. He still couldn't speak, had no control over his limbs, and even less control over what the people around him did to him. And some of the things done to him were atrocious.

Ghost Boy recounts the true story of Martin Pistorius' reawakening and the struggle he went through to regain his life. He chronicles the abuse he suffered, the pain at his lack of communication, and the frustration he struggled with at feeling removed from the world. When one caring woman recognizes there is more to Martin than a vacant body and mind, his life is transformed, but the struggle to find the words to fit in are harder than he could ever imagine. For it is communication which opens the door to enter the world which he craved for so long. Having been denied the words and the power to even think of himself as a man, walking through that door is a learning curve. Faith and determination are the crutches that get him there and beyond.

Can you imagine living in a world where people look through you, make all your decisions for you, and regulate every moment of your day? That was Martin's world. And it should make quite the topic of conversation for the ladies in my book club when we meet later this week. Ghost Boy is a quick read, but intensively powerful. And it will make you appreciate your life just a little bit more.

Thursday, October 8, 2015


Autumn's tender rays
whisper of summer's last days
fleeting memory

Monday, September 21, 2015

Rich Habits, Rich Life

Rich Habits, Rich Life: The Power of "Me We Do Be" Habits Rituals and Routines, by Randall Bell, PhD, © 2016, Owners Manual Press

Randall Bell has travelled the world and seen many things, good and bad. He has a PhD in Human Organizational Systems and an MBA from UCLA, not to mention 25 years worth of experience consulting on tragedies around the world, like the 9/11 World Trade Center disaster, the Bikini Atoll nuclear testing, the Heaven's Gate mass suicides and the OJ Simpson case. He is also an avid volunteer with youth groups and homeless people, not to mention a married father of four. All of these experiences add up to a life that could leave a man jaded about people and the world. That is not the case with Bell though.

In Rich Habits, Rich Life, Bell sets out the four cornerstones of positive thoughts and actions which make for a rich life. He labels them; Me, We, Do Be—but they more than just simple words. These cornerstones underpin a way of thinking which can help to transform a life and bring a greater sense of joy to it.

Me: something to believe - personal habits
We: something to love - relationship building
Do: something to do - improve productivity
Be: someone to become - work towards the future

Throughout Bell's book he offers examples of how people he has come across have made choices in their lives. These personal choices have often lead to positive thinking and action, and in turn, a better place for the individual in the world, frequently despite huge hardships. Many sidebars site statistics highlighting rich habits and how they benefit a life. For example, Rich Habit #14 is Be Kind and bar graphs back up his words "Those who tend to smile and speak positively are 43.5% more likely to be happy. If that doesn't cut it, they are also up to 46% more likely to be millionaires." Seems like an easy thing to do to move your life in a more positive direction, doesn't it?

At the end of each cornerstone chapter he gives concrete examples of things you can do to improve your own Me We Do Be habits to connect you to a higher power. Many of them are easy steps, like "When a negative thought comes, think of something positive" for a Me habit, "Sit down to a family dinner _ times per week" for a We habit, "Make the bed every morning" for a Do habit, and "Spend _ minutes planning out your day" for a Be habit. None of the tasks are especially onerous, but Bell suggests that taking the time to add positive thoughts and actions can make all the difference to giving you a richer and more fulfilling life.

Heck, I already eat dinner with my children every night, get a physical every year, and am working on writing a book. That means I might be on my way to a decent life already. Of course, there are a few areas that could still use some work and Bell has some persuasive arguments to that end. I might have to keep this book handy to keep my inspiration up when spirits flag.

Thank you to Ascot Media for sending me a copy of Bell's forthcoming book to review.


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