Sunday, December 30, 2012

Time for Change

Getting ready for the New Year most people clean up things a bit.  I have a routine at the end of each year, which includes taking stock of personal papers, boxing up old billing documents, tax papers, and other essential items.  Then, I start things anew with a fresh filing system for the year ahead. 

My blog page will change a few times before I settle on a new template, design, and color.  Do not be surprised to see the blog changing over the next few days.  It takes me a while to decide what I really want.  I hope to be finished by Tuesday, January 1, 2013.  

Have you given much thought to the New Year?  Now is the time to contemplate.  Grab a cup or glass of your favorite beverage and curl up in a warm spot with a view or get outside weather permitting; and breathe deep, relax and let the creative juices flow.

I hope this will be a year for all those who want to move on from the last decade to get ready and push through into a new era.  Dump the garbage, sweep out the trash, and paint your walls a new color.  Buy new furniture or refurbish what you want to keep.  Do not throw out the good with the bad, but edit and evaluate what you keep.  

Moving forward does require an action plan.  Therefore, dream, write, and act.  Seek wisdom, discuss details, and take the necessary action to secure passage.  New vistas abound over the ridgeview.  Never settle for someone else's point of view, their perspective could be way off, especially if they have mi optic vision and need glasses to see clearly themselves.  
Have a vision, seek wisdom, plan, and act.
  Have a Happy New Year 2013!   

Monday, December 24, 2012

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Sunday Reflection: Celebrate!

Today, 
celebrate what Christ has done, 
knowing He will complete His promise and come again to gather His people;
 The Church,
to Himself.

In 
faith,
hope,
and
love,
we wait
with joy
His coming again.

Photo

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Sunday Reflection: LOVE

LOVE...
is patient, 
is kind,
does not envy,
 does not boast,
 is not proud,
 does not dishonor others,
 is not self-seeking,
 is not easily angered,
 keeps no record of wrongs,
 does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth,
 always protects, 
always trusts,
 always hopes,
 always perseveres. 
1 Corinthians 13:4-7

References or links to help in expressing love to others see the following:  

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Sunday Reflection: HOPE

HOPE confident expectation of good.

What is it or whom do you hope for?  Next time you find yourself hoping for something or someone you may want to meditate on this verse from...
1 Thessalonians 2:18-20

18 For we wanted to come to you—certainly I, Paul, did, again and again—but Satan blocked our way. 19 For what is our hopeour joy, or the crown in which we will glory in the presence of our Lord Jesus when he comes? Is it not you? 20 Indeed, you are our glory and joy. 

Do you know who Christ had hope in?  Do you know the joy that was set before Him?

*********************************************

Confidence in the one who keeps His promises, a trust in that what one says He does.  

1 Peter 1:2-4
2 who have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to be obedient to Jesus Christ and sprinkled with his blood:  Grace and peace be yours in abundance.

Praise to God for a Living Hope
 3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead4 and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil, or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you...

*********************************************************************

Do you have an expectation of good?  Do you hope for good things or good people 

1 Peter 1:20-22 (New International Version)
20 He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake. 21 Through him you believe in God, who raised him from the dead and glorified him, and so your faith and hope are in God.
 22 Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for each other, love one another deeply, from the heart.[aFootnotes:  a. 1 Peter 1:22 some early manuscripts from a pure heart.

*******************************************************************************************

Again, in what or whom do you HOPE?

Faith in Action

Hebrews 11:1-3
 1 Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. 2 This is what the ancients were commended for.
 3 By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.

Hope in Christ's Coming Again

Hebrews 10:22-25
22 let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. 23 Let us hold unswerving to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds25 not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching. 

HOPE 
confident expectation
 of good.

Christ is coming again!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Dave Brubeck Dies, Another True Artist Gone


Dave Brubeck Dies at 91

He Helped Put Jazz Back in Vogue 



TAKE FIVE
The Classic Jazz Song Of All Time!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Sunday Reflection: FAITH

Beginning today, December, 2, 2012, is the start of the Advent season for the modern day Christian church. Therefore, I find it necessary to list a few definitions to start with before I offer up questions to ponder or reflect on. The questions are personal and will require more thought then you think at first. The answers are deeper then you realize and require something of yourself.

Advent:
1. a coming into place, view, or being; arrival: the advent of the holiday season.
2. ( usually initial capital letter  ) the coming of Christ into the world.
3. ( initial capital letter  ) the period beginning four Sundays before Christmas,
    observed in commemoration of the coming of Christ into the world.
4. ( usually initial capital letter  ) Second Coming.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Who is Jesus ChristWhat does the Bible say about Jesus’ deity as God's Son?

Does the Bible, which is the earliest and most historically reliable source, actually say Jesus is God? What does it tell us about Jesus and His identity?

Let’s take a brief look at a few of the many passages that clearly and consistently answer that question, straight from the pages of Scripture. We’ll begin by going back an additional 700 years before the life of Christ, to the Old Testament book of Isaiah, the old testament of the Hebrew People.


Jesus is God – Prophecies

  • Divine Messiah predicted in the Old Testament
    Isaiah 7:14: “Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Emmanuel.”1

    “ Emmanuel” literally means: “God with us.” See also Matthew 1:23; Jesus was “God with us.”
  • This Messiah would be born a human son, but have a higher nature
    Isaiah 9:6: “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”

    This was a radical statement coming from a monotheistic Jewish prophet -- especially calling a human being “Mighty God”; but one that God fulfilled centuries later in Christ.
  • A couple hundred years later, but still more than half a millennium before Jesus walked the earth, more was predicted about the Messiah’s divine nature
    Daniel 7:13-14: “There before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven . . . He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all peoples, nations and men of every language worshiped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed.”

    “Son of Man” was the primary title Jesus used for Himself -- and this passage shows that this was a clear and strong claim of deity. And in Mark, the earliest of the four Gospels, He also included the unmistakable phrase, “coming on the clouds of heaven” and applied it to Himself (Mark 14:62). His listeners got the point, refused to believe it, and added it to their reasons to try to kill Him.
Jesus is God – His Earthly Ministry
  • The baby Jesus worshiped by the Magi
    Matthew 2:11: “On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him.”

    Along with being led to the site where Jesus was born, these Magi were apparently informed by God about Jesus’ divine identity, and so they responded appropriately by worshiping Him.
  • Jesus accepted worship from His disciples
    Matthew 14:32-33: “And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, ‘Truly you are the Son of God.’”

    In a Jewish culture, only the one true God can be worshiped; their actions show that they acknowledged Jesus as being divine. And Jesus didn't correct them or say, “Don’t you realize that I’m just a mortal prophet? Stop worshiping me!” Rather, He accepted their worship, knowing He really was God in human flesh.
  • Jesus’ claim about Himself
    John 8:58-59: "‘I tell you the truth,’ Jesus answered, ‘before Abraham was born, I am!’ At this, they picked up stones to stone him, but Jesus hid himself, slipping away from the temple grounds.”

    This is a powerful double claim from Jesus: first, that He pre-existed His human birth and was actually alive and present (as God) before Abraham; second, that His title was “I am” -- which was the same title used for Jehovah God in Exodus 3:14. His listeners again got the point, and picked up stones to execute Him!
  • Another of Jesus’ claims of deity
    John 10:30-33: “‘I and the Father are one.’ Again the Jews picked up stones to stone him, but Jesus said to them, ‘I have shown you many great miracles from the Father. For which of these do you stone me?’ ‘We are not stoning you for any of these,’ replied the Jews, ‘but for blasphemy, because you, a mere man, claim to be God.’”

    It couldn't be clearer than it is here: Jesus’ highly educated listeners understood His claim of deity. They only had two possible responses: to humble themselves and bow before Him as the Magi and the disciples had done earlier, or reject His claim and judge Him as a blasphemer. Unfortunately they chose the latter option. But notice that Jesus doesn’t argue with their accusation, because it was accurate. He really was claiming to be God!
  • Thomas’ response to the resurrected Jesus
    John 20:27-29: “Then He said to Thomas, ‘Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.’ Thomas said to him, ‘My Lord and my God!’ Then Jesus told him, ‘Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.’"

    This disciple realized, because of Jesus’ resurrection, who Jesus really was -- and humbly worshiped Him and declared His true identity: “My Lord and my God!” Jesus not only accepts this declaration, but blesses all of the disciples -- and all of us today -- who come to the same realization and place of humble worship.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Faith
1. confidence or trust in a person or thing: faith in another's ability.  
2. belief that is not based on proof: He had faith that the hypothesis would be
    substantiated by fact.  
3. belief in God or in the doctrines or teachings of religion: the firm faith of the
    Pilgrims.  
4. belief in anything, as a code of ethics, standards of merit, etc.: to be of the same
    faith with someone concerning honesty.  
5. a system of religious belief: the Christian faith; the Jewish faith.  
6. the obligation of loyalty or fidelity to a person, promise, engagement, etc.: 
    Failure to appear would be breaking faith.  
7. the observance of this obligation; fidelity to one's promise, oath, allegiance, 
    etc.: He was the only one who proved his faith during our recent troubles.  
8. Christian Theology . the trust in God and in His promises as made through
    Christ and the Scriptures by which humans are justified or saved.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Hopefully, you now have some basic understanding of Advent as the period beginning four Sundays before Christmas; observed in commemoration of the coming of Christ into the world a second time.  And who Jesus Christ is, God's son who died that you may live an abundant life, reconciled to God.   Faith a confidence or trust in a person or thing, a trust in God and in His promises as made through Christ and the Scriptures by which humans are justified or saved, an obligation of loyalty or fidelity to a person, promise, or engagement.

What does all this mean?

Do you believe in or have faith in Jesus Christ personally?  Do you have a “good” understanding of who He is and the “good news” he taught and preached and lived?  Have you truly heard the gospel of grace?

Make it personal and ask what can I do during the next four weeks of Advent to grow in faith?  Read the daily readings and think about what they are saying. (I will have links at the end of this reflection that will aid one in ones studies.)  Listen to sermons about Jesus.  Serve others with abandon to ones-self. 

When you have an in-depth knowledge of who Jesus Christ is and faith in who He is Advent takes on more meaning, a new beginning like you have never known.  I hope that this Advent will be a season of growing in ones personal faith, a knowing of the depth of God’s love for you personally.

Advent Prayer:
May you be enveloped in the love of God this Advent understanding the depth of Christ’s personal commitment to you.   May you in return have faith in what He has promised, the covenant of redemption, of reconciliation with God.  May you live the abundant life Christ promised. 

Romans 5:17 (NIV) 
For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ.

Romans 5:17 (Message)
Yet the rescuing gift is not exactly parallel to the death-dealing sin. If one man's sin put crowds of people at the dead-end abyss of separation from God, just think what God's gift poured through one man, Jesus Christ, will do! There's no comparison between that death-dealing sin and this generous, life-giving gift. The verdict on that one sin was the death sentence; the verdict on the many sins that followed was this wonderful life sentence. If death got the upper hand through one man's wrongdoing, can you imagine the breathtaking recovery life makes, sovereign life, in those who grasp with both hands this wildly extravagant life-gift, this grand setting-everything-right, that the one man Jesus Christ provides?


Friday, November 30, 2012

T'is The Last Day of NaNoWriMo for 2012

T'is the last day of NaNoWriMo.  I froze about the second week.  I did not have writer's block because I was writing, just not working on my novel.  I had the start of the story several years ago for a flash fiction contest and thought it would be a good beginning to a novel.  But, it has not materialized at this point.  I will prepare better for next year.  I have not given up on the story and may still develop it one day, just not anytime soon.

Congratulations to all the NaNoWriMo participants who made their goals!!!

"The wonderful thing about writing is...WRITING!"
PJFARR
2012 

Monday, November 26, 2012

PREPARING FOR ADVENT 2012

During this Advent Season I will not be posting on a daily basis; instead, I will post a Sunday Reflection on Sundays.   I hope it will be something that will help everyone to prepare for Christ's second coming, including myself.   He will come again; we just do not know the hour.  We are; however, asked to spread the Gospel, prepare for His return, and speed its coming.  The focus this year will be FAITH, HOPE, and LOVE.  I hope you will join me on this journey towards a more personal intimate walk with Christ.

Two things I have found in the past that help me to focus is making and using an Advent Wreath and denoting in someway a count down activity for each day until Christmas.  You can count down using a prepared calendar or make your own using envelopes on a string...see the picture below for inspiration.


You may want to gather your wreath, envelopes or calendar supplies this week because Advent starts this Sunday, December 2, 2012.

Hope you will join me on the journey in walking closer with Christ this Advent.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

The First Snow Fall of the Season


The first snowfall of the season dusted the area like powdered sugar on a chocolate tart. 

The first snow fall is magical to me.  I love it!  I usually make snow angels, dance in the light powder, and eat the delicate snowflakes that I catch on my tongue.  I have a knee injury this year and so I must forgo a couple of the festivities.  Hopefully, I can shuffle to the mailbox a little later and munch on a few flakes that fly by.  But, if you are healthy enough and a kid at heart take a walk on the wild side and play in the snow.  It just may add some years to your life and bring joy to your heart.  

Thursday, November 22, 2012


Happy Thanksgiving!
With deep gratitude we thank God for our family, friends, and blessings.
May the journey home be filled with joy, laughter, and warm memories.
God's blessing be with you and your families as you celebrate this gracious season! 

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

A word for BIG Business

This country was founded on "God" awareness that men are free to worship as they choose.  George Washington set a date aside for this country to give thanks to God, that day is the fourth Thursday of  November, Thanksgiving Day.  All people should be off work that we may enjoy the bounty we have and the blessings that we share with our families and friends honoring "GOD."   Of course we all know that the only god that BIG business honors is MONEY, mammon.  

Having stores open on Thanksgiving Day is an ABOMINATION!!! 

Boycott; do not shop on Thanksgiving or Black Friday this week!
Wait until Saturday, and that will make BIG business think twice about opening up on Thanksgiving Day next year.

The only way they get the message is by NOT shopping!!! 

Take a stand against the tyrants that force change not necessarily for our good or our best interest, remember it is all about MONEY to them.  They do not care about you or your family, or anyone else.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

B.A. Shapiro: The Art Forger

The Art Forger by BA Shapiro
On March 18, 1990, thirteen works of art worth today over $500 million were stolen from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston.  B.A. Shapiro takes us to the middle of this story through Claire Roth, a struggling young artist with her own scandalous past, who is about to discover that there's more to this crime than meets the eye. MORE ABOUT THE BOOK »

Once you begin reading you can not put the book down until the end.  Below is a short video that stirs one's curiosity and interest even beyond the story itself.



The book makes one ask,"Who done it?"

Friday, November 16, 2012

Happiness Is...


I am truly happy at this moment.  I have been dealing with a rather frustrating blog page that was coming in too small and I could not navigate the menus.  Finally, I called for help and within minutes...Wa la! I learned how to expand the page and navigate through the menus!!  Yes, I am an 'end user' and need to get the book on Computers for Dummies.  I know a little, but I need to brush up on things if I am going to continue blogging.   

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Sliver of Moon Light

I shot three different positions, three different exposures, 
and caught this orange sliver of moon light low on the horizon.
Oh, what fun to practice photography at night!

Sliver of Moon Light
PJFARR
2012


Photo

Photo








Wednesday, November 14, 2012

PUFF

I know I am suppose to be writing.  But, I am reading instead.  Go figure.  It is (NaNoWriMo) National Novel Writing Month and the desire to write has gone.  I was writing daily there for several weeks then puff, nothing.  I hope, as easily as, it has ended it starts again.  Someone who has been writing for a while said that reading a lot may help me get back to writing.  Waiting for inspiration.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Secret Joy

I have discovered a secret joy of "the old men." 
Tasty tomatoes from the garden in late November!!!

This year I put in six tomato plants and three cucumber plants in the garden for my mother.  They did well and we ate fine from the garden all summer.  

This fall I tried to keep the tomato plants covered during the early frosts to extend the harvest as long as possible.  For about a month I would cover the plants at night and uncover them during warmer days.  Late in October I gathered the last of the tomatoes and put them in brown paper bags and pulled out the remaining plants.  The growing season ended with a hard freeze.  

Now, we are eating  fresh home grown tomatoes in our sandwiches and salads.  Whoa!  I have seven on the counter and five more in a paper bag with an apple to help the last of them ripen.

If we do not eat them too quickly we may have one or two in December.  But, they taste way too good to last that long.  I ate two just for a snack today and they were delicious!

Joy is a tasty home grown tomato in November!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Making The Commitment To Write


Why is it that when one makes the commitment to write others things start vying for ones time?  I have had a good start and now I have had two days of little writing time.  I hope to get to it before too long here.  I see a good many writers making good progress.  Some word counts are over 5,000.  I look forward to getting to that point one day myself.

"When in doubt, write it out!" 

Monday, November 5, 2012

Life Gets In The Way

I am off to a good start with the NaNoWriMo.  Finding time to write today has been rather slim.  I hope to do some revising tonight.  I find I write better and more in the late evening hours of the day.  

The time change has been affecting me a bit this year.  I hope the adjustment time is only a few days.  Some of my friends and older people I know have been thrown off with the Day Light Savings Time thing. 

Well, to all those who are madly typing...keep at it...this may be your year to get published.  Write on! 

Saturday, November 3, 2012

More Encouraging Words For November


November Is the Write Time
by Mark Nichol 
Writing is one of the loneliest pursuits (or professions), and as I know as well as anyone, enthusiasm for expressing oneself is tempered by the daunting challenge of actually doing it. For those of us for whom having written a novel is a more appealing prospect than, you know, actually writing it, National Novel Writing Month provides a quirky motivating nudge.  To read more of November Is the Write Time click here.

Friday, November 2, 2012

My First Revision

For my first revision I quickly read through the entire story looking for hiccups in the flow of the story.  I made a few changes.  Then I proceeded paragraph by paragraph and looked for odd sayings or words that didn't quite fit the main characters or background.  When I was finished with the first revision I noticed my word count had changed as well.  I went from 976 to 1021 words.  A gain of forty-five words which I thought is a good sign.   The story is developing and so am I.  

In my second revision I will focus on expansion which may take a few days.  I haven't decided if I will post daily or when I am finished with the entire piece.    

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Revising

As a writer we all have a critic inside us that from time to time can literary destroy a piece of work.  I have been reading and trying to work from a different reference point this time.  I am focusing on what can I ADD first to make the story clearer.  Develop depth in my characters; see if the background needs more description, and if my pacing has momentum.  I can always take thing out in the editing phase.

I printed off my story today, double spaced with margins so that I can revise things a bit or a lot...which ever happens I will work at it with abandon.

Remember the wise words of a carpenter...
'Measure twice and cut once!' 

The Jumping Off Point

The game is afoot!  I have entered the arena of National Novel Writing Month.  I am excited, nervous, and determined to follow through with the adventure.  I have joined several groups and I have signed up for a mentor.  

If you write, keep a journal, and have had the thought of becoming a writer; consider joining in the revelry.  It is not too late.  Just click on the links in my previous posts and you to can join in an adventure that just may change your life for the better.

"Nothing ventured, nothing gained.
Venture forth and conquer!"    

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

To Write, Or Not To Write? That Is The Question!

I have been writing more lately, just not online.

Now, do I want to write for a whole month in a disciplined manner?  Am I up for the challenge?  These questions I ponder as I think about the month of November and National Novel Writing Month which starts in less than nine hours or so.  See the countdown clock when you link over.

Writer's Digest also has several contests.  See information below:

Twitter Facebook


Thrill Us. Seduce Us. Scare Us. Dazzle Us.
Do you have a winning genre story of 4,000 words or less? Would you like a shot at national recognition for your romance, horror, sci-fi, thriller, young adult, crime or other genre short story? Imagine what winning or ranking in a highly respected short story competition could do for your resume and publishing career (and maybe even your bank account!). The Popular Fiction Awards is on now, and we’ve extended the deadline for entries.
When you enter your genre short story before the extended deadline of October 31st, you could:
  • Win up to $2,500 in cash-Plus, more cash and prizes are awarded to the top 25 entries
  • Get national exposure for your work-The top 25 entries names will be listed in Writer’s Digest and on WritersDigest.com
  • Win a paid trip to New York City- The Grand Prize winner will be sent to the Writer’s Digest Conference in NYC!
  • Compete and win in all 6 categories-Are you multi-talented? Enter one or several—or all six!—of our categories to increase your odds of winning
 
But hurry—the extended deadline for entries is October 31st, 2012. Put those final editorial touches on your prose and polish up your manuscript of 4,000 words or fewer today.
 
Enter Now!
Upcoming Competitions:

Popular Fiction Competition Deadline: Oct. 31, 2012 Learn More!
Short Short Story Competition Deadline: Nov. 15, 2012 Learn More!
If you write and are trying to get published, entering contests is just another way to get recognized.  The process can be fun and liberating. Think about it and then take action.  Write!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Full Moon In The Early Morning Light


Full moon 
in the early 
morning light 
July 2012. 


Thursday, October 25, 2012

A Delightful Book | Great Romantic Movie


I was at the library the other day perusing through the stacks when I stumbled upon a book with an enticing cover, Italian Lessons, by Peter Pezzelli.   The wonderful watercolor landscape cover enticed me to pick up the book, but the first sentence grabbed my attention and I have not been able to put it down.  Peter Pezzelli’s words paint pictures that make the reader feel, taste, smell, and hear as if they are apart of  the story.  This delicious and delightful book would be a great romantic movie.  We are in need of a good romantic movie!  You simply fall in love with each character, I have.  I am looking forward to reading more of Peter Pezzelli books and hope you find them a wonderful delight to savory with a good glass of wine, cheese on flat bread, and olives.  Buon Appetito!

Italian Lessons

Monday, October 22, 2012

Fairy Mist

Early my eye did catch the whirling dance of the fairy mist on the lake.

A haze, that swirls and twirls in circular patterns that change with the gentlest of a breeze. 

Kissed by the sun; drying in the air, they rise and disappear.

Fairies dance on the lake in the mist in late spring and early fall.

Come early or not at all, for the dance is fleeting and ethereal.


PJ Farr
2012

MUSES


Returning the Muses are jubilant!  They have taken great pleasure in their long holiday.  They laugh and clamor about for attention.  Peals of laughter, giggles, and spontaneous acts of exploration and fun have returned.  An air of lightness has been breathed into the abyss and brought life into a once dying soul.

I do not blame them for taking a long hiatus.  If I were one of my muses I too would have taken a long much needed vacation.   It is difficult to inspire someone in a constant negative space.  A black hole tends to suck the light and life out of the atmosphere.  Are you a black hole? 

I am glad they returned in time to see the fall colors, which I am enjoying as well.  This week has the promise of an ‘Indian Summer’.  What a tonic that will be! 

First fruits of their return and inspiration, a poem:  

 Autumn Air

Breathe deep the cool air of autumn.
Exhale the gloom.
Breathe deep the joy.
Laugh with the full moon.
Breathe deep.
Breathe deep.
Rest in a warm blanket of fall leaves until the last quarter moon.

PJ FARR
2012

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Honorable Senator Arlen Specter Dies

  •  Former U.S. Sen. Arlen Specter, the outspoken Pennsylvania centrist whose switch from Republican to Democrat ended a 30-year career in which he played a pivotal role in several Supreme Court nominations, died Sunday. He was 82.  -Harrisburg, Pa. (AP)

    SHALOM 

  • Thursday, October 11, 2012

    Wednesday, October 10, 2012

    O' Happy Day!



    It is a wonderful day, it is my fifty-second birthday!  I am soooo grateful to be enjoying my special day with family and friends.  Cards, phone calls, emails,and other greetings of love and affection mean so much...THANK YOU! 
    O' Happy Day! 

    Wednesday, October 3, 2012

    PUMPKINS


    Pumpkins aren't just orange anymore! Feast your eyes on these gorgeous gourds!

    Tuesday, September 11, 2012

    Tuesday, August 28, 2012

    Ambiguous Loss

    Pauline Boss, PhD D has written several books on dealing with "Ambiguous Loss."  Who knew that reading a book on Loving Someone Who Has Dementia would help me with the loss of my life and livelihood?  I was reading the book to aid in dealing with aging relatives, primarily my dad and mom when I found guidance to help me move on with the "ambiguous loss" of my own life and livelihood.  

    I have been frozen in grief because of what happened to me seven years ago, although the stalking and terrorism started before and continues to this day.  I am now learning to cope better with the grief of the loss, the stalking and terrorism is a little more complicated.  I still hope and pray that one day those responsible will be caught and held accountable for stalking and terrorizing; in the very least I pray that they would not assume and destroy someone else's life based on rumor and gossip.  They may find themselves dead wrong and then what is one to do?  Apologize?   

    Pauline Boss is a pioneer on the subject of family stress and in the 1970s, she began to notice a type of “frozen grief", she termed as ambiguous loss. There are many resources in the field of grief and family stress, many written by Dr. Boss that is for the helpers, the caregivers.  This book, Loving Someone Who Has Dementia, is for the caregiver.  It's written in easy to understand language and is divided into manageable chapters to facilitate reading and application so that the caregiver can digest and use the information as nourishment for ones soul.  If you are a caregiver of someone who has dementia or has suffered "ambiguous loss" this book will wrap its words around you and give you comfort and support.


    Loving Someone Who Has Dementia: How to Find Hope while Coping with Stress and Grief       

    Friday, August 17, 2012

    Soups On

    I enjoy butternut squash soup.  It is an acquired taste.  I like the velvety smooth roasted squash texture with a hint of cinnamon.  But, not everyone in the family likes butternut squash.

    So the other day I decided to try something a little creative.  I prepared the Campbell's Butternut Squash Soup as instructed and added a can of Superb Sweet Whole Kernel Corn (well drained).  I let it simmer on low for about twenty minutes and right before serving I add a cup of half and half.

    It was a hit!  My dad ate every last drop of the soup and mom asked if I'd make it for her friends.  I call it Peggy Jo's Butternut Squash Sweet Corn Soup.
    Try it you might like it!
          

    Tuesday, August 7, 2012

    Dreams of Joy

    In her beloved New York Times bestsellers Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, Peony in Love, and, most recently, Shanghai Girls, Lisa See has brilliantly illuminated the potent bonds of mother love, romantic love, and love of country. Now, in DREAMS OF JOY, she returns to these timeless themes, continuing the story of sisters Pearl and May from Shanghai Girls, and Pearl’s strong-willed nineteen-year-old daughter, Joy.
    Reeling from newly uncovered family secrets, and anger at her mother and aunt for keeping them from her, Joy runs away to Shanghai in early 1957 to find her birth father—the artist Z.G. Li, with whom both May and Pearl were once in love.
    Dazzled by him, and blinded by idealism and defiance, Joy throws herself into the New Society of Red China, heedless of the dangers in the communist regime and the Great Leap Forward. READ MORE

    Sunday, August 5, 2012

    Alwrite all ready!

    I know, I know, I have not been writing lately.  I knew earlier this spring I was not going to write much this summer, hence, the few blog posts.  I have been rather worn out and have not had the energy to write.

    Lately, I have been hankering to write, but I am trying to keep the poison pen from becoming the only reason I write. Funneling all the negative energy into positive energy takes some mastery over raw emotions and other crap.

    I have been reading a good bit and I have seen a good deal of wonderful things happening in the literary realm.  Checkout Poets and Writers, The Writer, Writer's Digest, and other trade magazines and you will find an abundance of workshops, contests, and new and up coming writers in the field reviews that will inspire you.

    I hope to enter a few writing contests this Fall, if I can find the muses who have disappeared.  Really, I do not blame them at all for the long hiatus.  I need a vacation.  I think many, many, people are in need of a vacation.  Everyone needs to get away from it all every now and then.  So, if you can get away...leave the iphone, tablet, and any other electrical devise at home. Breathe deep and take a walk...along the beach, in the woods, or up the mountain.  

      

    Wednesday, July 18, 2012

    Book Review: The Fallen Angel

    Daniel Silva's's new Gabriel Allon novel, The Fallen Angel, is in bookstores now!
    The following excerpt is just a tease of the adventure you will find yourself wrapped up in, unable to put it down.  Then go back and start with The Kill Artist and read the entire series and discover the depth of the characters Daniel Silva develops.  Enjoy! 


    The Fallen Angel Excerpt

    VATICAN CITY

    It was Niccolò Moretti, caretaker of St. Peter’s Basilica, who made the discovery that started it all. The time was 6:24 a.m., but owing to a wholly innocent error of transcription, the Vatican’s first official statement incorrectly reported it as 6:42. It was one of numerous missteps, large and small, that would lead many to conclude the Holy See had something to hide, which was indeed the case. The Roman Catholic Church, said a noteworthy dissident, was but one scandal away from oblivion. The last thing His Holiness needed now was a dead body in the sacred heart of Christendom.


    A scandal was the last thing Niccolò Moretti had been expecting to find that morning when he arrived at the Vatican one hour earlier than his usual time. Dressed in dark trousers and a knee-length gray coat, he was scarcely visible as he hurried across the darkened piazza toward the steps of the Basilica. Glancing to his right, he saw lights burning in the third-floor windows of the Apostolic Palace. His Holiness Pope Paul VII was already awake. Moretti wondered whether the Holy Father had slept at all. The Vatican was swirling with rumors he was suffering from a crippling bout of insomnia, that he spent most nights writing in his private study or walking alone in the gardens. The caretaker had seen it before. Eventually, they all lost the ability to sleep.

    Moretti heard voices behind him and, turning, saw a pair of Curial priests materialize from the gloom. They were engaged in animated conversation and paid him no heed as they marched toward the Bronze Doors and melted once more into the shadows. The children of Rome called them bagarozzi—black  beetles. Moretti had used the word once as a child and had been scolded by none other than Pope Pius XII. He’d never said it since. When one is chastised by the Vicar of Christ, he thought now, one rarely repeats the same offense.
    He hiked up the steps of the Basilica and slipped into the portico. Five doors led into the nave. All were sealed except for the one at the far left, the Door of Death. In the opening stood Father Jacobo, an emaciated-looking Mexican cleric with strawlike gray hair. He stepped aside so Moretti could enter, then closed the door and lowered the heavy bar. “I’ll come back at seven to let in your men,” the priest said. “Be careful up there, Niccolò. You’re not as young as you used to be.”

    The priest withdrew. Moretti dipped his fingers in holy water and made the sign of the cross before setting out up the center of the vast nave. Where others might have paused to gaze in awe, Moretti forged on with the familiarity of a man entering his own home. As chief of the sampietrini, the official caretakers of the Basilica, he had been coming to St. Peter’s six mornings a week for the past twenty-seven years. It was because of Moretti and his men that the Basilica glowed with heaven’s light while the other great churches of Europe seemed forever shrouded in darkness. Moretti considered himself not only a servant of the papacy but a partner in the enterprise. The popes were entrusted with the care of one billion Roman Catholic souls, but it was Niccolò Moretti who looked after the mighty Basilica that symbolized their earthly power. He knew every square inch of the building, from the peak of Michelangelo’s dome to the depths of the crypt—all forty-four altars, twenty-seven chapels, eight hundred columns, four hundred statues, and three hundred windows. He knew where it was cracked and where it leaked. He knew when it was feeling well and when it was in pain. The Basilica, when it spoke, whispered into the ear of Niccolò Moretti.

    St. Peter’s had a way of shrinking mere mortals, and Moretti, as he made his way toward the Papal Altar in the gray coat of his uniform, looked remarkably like a thimble come to life. He genuflected before the Confessio and then tilted his face skyward. Soaring nearly one hundred feet above him was the baldacchino, four twisting columns of bronze and gold crowned by a majestic canopy. On that morning, it was partially concealed by an aluminum scaffolding. Bernini’s masterpiece, with its ornate figures and sprigs of olive and bay, was a magnet for dust and smoke. Every year, in the week preceding the beginning of Lent, Moretti and his men gave it a thorough cleaning. The Vatican was a place of timeless ritual, and there was ritual, too, in the cleaning of the baldacchino. Laid down by Moretti himself, it stated that once the scaffolding was in place, he was always the first to scale it. The view from the summit was one that only a handful of people had ever seen—and Niccolò Moretti, as chief of the sampietrini, demanded the privilege of beholding it first.

    Moretti climbed to the pinnacle of the front column, then, after attaching his safety line, inched his way on all fours up the slope of the canopy. At the very apex of the baldacchino was a globe supported by four ribs and crowned by a cross. Here was the most sacred spot in the Roman Catholic Church, the vertical axis running from the exact center of the dome straight down into the Tomb of St. Peter. It represented the very idea on which the enterprise rested. You are Peter and upon this rock I will build my church. As the first crepuscular rays of light illuminated the interior of the Basilica, Moretti, faithful servant of the popes, could almost feel the finger of God tapping him on the shoulder.

    As usual, time slipped from his grasp. Later, when questioned by the Vatican police, he would be unable to recall exactly how long he had been atop the baldacchino before he saw the object for the first time. From Moretti’s lofty perspective, it appeared to be a broken-winged bird. He assumed it to be something innocent, a tarpaulin left by another sampietrino or perhaps a scarf dropped by a tourist. They were always leaving their possessions behind, Moretti thought, including things that had no business being in a church.

    Regardless, it had to be investigated, and so Moretti, the spell broken, maneuvered himself cautiously around and made the long descent to the floor. He set out across the transept but within a few paces realized the object was not a discarded scarf or tarpaulin at all. Moving closer, he could see the blood dried on the sacred marble of his Basilica and the eyes staring upward into the dome, sightlessly, like his four hundred statues. “Dear God in heaven,” he whispered as he hurried down the nave. “Please take pity on her poor soul.”

    The public would know little of the events immediately following Niccolò Moretti’s discovery, for they were carried out in the strictest tradition of the Vatican, in complete secrecy and with a hint of Jesuitical low cunning. No one beyond the walls would know, for example, that the first person Moretti sought out was the cardinal rector of the Basilica, an exacting German from Cologne with a well-honed instinct for self-preservation. The cardinal had been around long enough to recognize trouble when he saw it, which explained why he neglected to report the incident to the police, choosing instead to summon the true keeper of the law inside the Vatican.

    Consequently, five minutes later, Niccolò Moretti would bear witness to an extraordinary scene—the private secretary to His Holiness Pope Paul VII picking through the pockets of a dead woman on the floor of the Basilica. The monsignor removed a single item and then set out for the Apostolic Palace. By the time he reached his office, he had settled on a course of action. There would have to be two investigations, he concluded, one for public consumption, the other for his own. And for the private inquiry to be successful, it would have to be carried out by a person of trust and discretion. Not surprisingly, the monsignor chose as his inquisitor a man much like himself. A fallen angel in black. A sinner in the city of saints.