Thursday, December 31, 2009


While my son was home we watched "UP" together. I/we cried four times. Skipp and I watched "UP", I/we cried four times. This movie is a "must-see", reminder of all that is precious and important in life - LOVE, loss, commitment, loyalty, forgiveness, friendship, adventure, hope, faith, letting go..........................and on and is the music from the movie to entice you.

Beautiful, huh?

And there is a line in the movie, well, there are tons, but one in particular really struck a chord - the dog - who is loyal beyond expression said to Mr Fredrickson "I hid under your porch because I love you"...... the house was foating UP and the dog, Doug, despite his being told to "go away" stayed because he loved Mr Fredrickson so much, and truth be told, Mr Fredrickson loved him too. :-)
I was so moved by this dynamic that I put a version of it on my outgoing message on our answering machine - I say, -

"I hope that in 2010 you have someone who loves you enough to hide under your porch if your house floats away with you in it"!!!

And this New Year - that is my wish for al of you!! :-) and I hope you will see this movie.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Friends - Snow Storm - and Glee

A lovely evening with good friends, Dale, Ashley (Sophie- which is what Skipp and I re-named her telling her that if we ever had a daughter she would be just like her and we would name her "Sophie"), sharing food and gifts with purpose and meaning, given from the heart, heart to heart.

This is 'my mate Dale, from Australia and in the back ground, 'Tina'.....beautiful, looks like Holly Hunter - Tina. Dale made us all different types of home-made sweet breads in beautiful ceramic Christmas baking pans and wrapped in gold meshing with cranberry bows. Mine is pumpkin which is my favorite. Both Tina and I gave her tea-pots. She loves her tea. :-) Dale is so sassy and wise and so strong and loving. She has four amazing children and two beautiful grandchildren. She is strong willed and intentional and cares deeply about those she loves and that love her. She s my "mate" from down under. :-)

Here is beautiful Tina - doesn't she look like Holly Hunter? Ashley and I both gave her long fancy scarves which she loves. And, she is a shoe collector so we gave her "shoe" decorations. I gave her a beautiful perfume bottle holder in the shape of a stiletto heeled shoe. Cool huh? Tina is 100% Italian and so full of family love, a mother of four beautiful children with a HUGE extended family. Tina is a straight shooter - no B S kinda gal that sees things realistically. She is grounding and strong and I adore her.

And this is my Ashley - (Sophie). Young and beautiful and SO funny. She is high energy and loyalty and love and the most amazing sense of humor and ability to impersonate I have ever seen!! :-) She is wearing the "Ali McGraw" french 'tam' hat I gave her - you can't see the silk flower on the side but it's there. I also gave her ice cubes that light up which she so loved the last time she was here and I completed the glasses set I began three years ago - she has the wine glasses, the champagne flutes and now the water goblets. She is getting married this coming October 1st to wonderful Pete whom Skipp and I re-named "Xander". She is our girl and we adore her.

This is the 'trifle' my mate Dale made for our dessert. I have just one word - "DECADENT" We had a most wonderful evening of friendship, sharing, food, gifts, hope and promise and support of each other as we all move in various directions we are forever bonded in a loving friendship, - a circle of beautiful women, honest and true forever.

Moving along......the 'nor-Easter' here are some pictures.

This is the snow covered pine bush right outside out front door and the woods just beyond. Beautiful, huh? The lights on the bush cannot be seen. If you enlarge the photo you can see the lights. Lovely.

This is our dining room window. See the Snow covered ivy attached to the window? I love the ivy growing wild on the side of the house and on the window too. :-)

And this is our back yard - looking out from our back slider to the woods beyond. SO beautiful.

I see these two events as major - with such meaning and purpose and promise. Our lovely friendship circle of beautiful women coming together to celebrate one another and give thanks and the powerful 'Nor-Easter' that has blanketed our world with white. I feel so truly blessed to have friends and I feel so excited and happy to be able to see and feel a snow storm. - Knowing I have a warm home and hot cocoa and the means to survive. When I think of people who cannot weather a storm, perhaps an emotional storm and or an environmental one - of nature, and people who are lonely, with no one to call friend'. I am humbled and honored to have such gifts as friendship and the ability to weather storms. I am gifted with love around me of family and friends, neighbors and community and of course, here in blog-land with all of you. :-)

Our home is humble and kind - where all our welcome so long as they enter in peace....I make no apologies for our "no violence", life style and none will be tolerated or allowed. I love that I believe in love - and it's power, and that we do all things with love as best we can. This Christmas and always I make that promise again - and so it is written. Amen.

I leave you with a song......

please take the time to click on this URL or type it in to your address bar and experience this song. It is from the show "Glee" and it is the 'deaf-version' of the song "Imagine". It blocks me from copying the actual video so I can not post it here. If you can't access the song from here you can go to 'You Tube Search' and type in 'Glee - Imagine - Deaf Version' and experience it from there. It is SO worth your time and in some way I am sharing this as a gift this Christmas to all of you as the design of this version represents His life - what Jesus lived and died for. LOVE. "Merry CHristmas"

Sunday, December 13, 2009


Hi to all my blog-land friends - here are some Christmas season traditions from my world to yours. (if you click on the pictures and enlarge them as you go along you will see better detail) thanks. :-)

The above picture is of our Manger. I have had this since I was a little girl. In fact, the figurines were my Grandmother's and are about 75 or so years old. Some of the original price labels are on the bases - average price - 15 cents!! The manger itself is made of cardboard and I store it in 'bubble wrap so it will 'hold up'. I have twigs inside the manager so it doesn't lean over too far. Baby Jesus has been glued together many times - he is beautiful still.

And this is our tree - I am not the best photographer - but you get the idea. It is filled with collector ornaments that Skipp has been giving me over two decades. Also, the school decorations the kids made years ago and many other treasures with a story of their own. I/we re-live and honor each memory every year. My Mom loves to be part of the 'memory-decorating'. She has touched and appreciated each one. I feel like she is "in" every ornament and memory.

and here is a close up of some of the collector ornaments. The beaded candy cane my Dad made the month before he died 25 years ago is in front to the left.. There are also little ET's he made as well. I think of Jackie taking a picture of her "Daddy's hands" and I thought of my Dad and how hard he worked and how his big calloused hands made these delicate, lovely ornaments. Amazing. :-)

.....and I had to take a picture of this center ornament with the red trim. This was given to us by my sister's oldest sons lovely wife, Gatey on their first and ONLY Christmas together in 2001. She made them. Clayton died that following November. I bring this ornament to my heart every year when I carefully remove it from it's packaging.

....and this is our dining room table, decorated with candles and baskets and treasures we have had for years. My sister made us the place mats years ago - I love the colors - purple and gold and deep blues and greens......Skipp loves the little snowmen tossing snowballs, and the view, to the snow covered land outside is perfect and so "Wintery". :-) There is also a Menorah and we light the Hanukkah candles to honor Skipp's Jewish heritage - he was adopted and was raised Jewish - Hebrew school and all! Later, we found his biological family and learned he was part Blackfoot Indian -
Our harvest table, that we designed and had made on an Indian reservation, has 'served' many. In times of family gatherings from simple family meals and after school snacks, to holidays, filled with joy, sadness, fear, loneliness, celebration, births, deaths, challenge, sickness, health, music, planning, laughter, tears, hope and faith.......and so it is the heartbeat of our home - where the heart, soul, tummy, mind and spirit are nourished. We always say it is where we "solve the problems of the world - well, of our world at least" :-)

And so our blessed, magical and loving Christmas tradition will bring us together with hope...we will certainly feel the loss of my sister's husband - who died this year as you all know. And of course, Clayton, their son is so missed and so remembered. My Dad - he is in our hearts forever. And we are so blessed to have my precious Mom with us. She exemplifies the spirit and meaning of our Saviours birth, life and death. She is ALL love. And so it will be that on Christmas Eve we will gather at my Mom's, which is attached to my sister's home. A Lovely. warm, cozy and happy Gramma house. We will have traditional Italian foods as we have for as long as I can remember. We will have fishes, like calamari, allege, bacala, smelts, and eel. I make the fried dough every year served with Mariana sauce and/or butter and sugar. Delicious!! A pasta dish pronounced like this - 'bostid'. actually spelled 'pasterrie' and is made with a special thick spaghetti, #6, cooked aldente and then mixed with ricotta cheese and baked. Delicious. There will marinated mushrooms and artichokes, provolone cheese and assorted Italian olives and of course, sweet poppy seed rolls. Delicious. We open gifts and eat and always finish with a game of Yahtzee. My sister's husband played Yahtzee last year - he was so weak and so ill but he played one last time. It is a wonderful magical night filled with so much love, traditional food, simple gifts, laughter, a few tears and hope, above all, hope.
At midnight I will light a candle and sit and think of Jesus - and his birth and life and promise to keep our friendship strong and purposeful and to do all things with love just like he always did. As you all know I don't have a faith community but I have a lot of faith. :-)

Christmas day we open gifts here. Dolan is always home which I love. To honor Skipp's Jewish upbringing we have bagels, with cream cheese and smoked salmon for breakfast, coffee, juice and some type of sweet roll. Delicious. Later, Jen and Jo'el and Jen's new guy Zack, whom we like thank God, :-), and Skipp's brother will come for dinner. We will have another blessed and appreciated gift sharing, and then gather at our harvest table for a delicious meal. This year I am making a turkey with all the trimmings - and pumpkin pie. I love pumpkin pie. I am filled with gratitude and blessings for all I have been given - for the love that surrounds me and fills me - for our peaceful home where so many find solace and hope, music and laughter, for my abilities and independence, for my faith, for the bounty of life I so humbly embrace and for all of you who have inspired me and gifted me in ways that I am honored to have received.

I love this song - and I do wish this for all of you - "A white, merry and bright Christmas...."


Tuesday, December 8, 2009

WWll and the Beer Opener

Hi all
trying the other format. Thanks to PENOLAN over at "Menopausal Stoners" -

- who showed me how to go back to "Compose" mode as opposed to Edit Html' mode - My goodness. I just "linked' her site. I Hope. She gave me the "Circle of Friends Award" AND she is my second blog-friend ever!! I also tell her all the time that she is my "CNN-news anchor" - Her perspective, knowledge, opinion, writing skill and real time reporting is amazing.

Okay. Well, I am moving through the heartache for my daughter and grandchildren. Slowly, but moving. I watched Carrie Underwood's Holiday show and she sang a song to her Mom about the man in her life - and the line over and over in the song was - "he treats your little girl the way a real man should...." (something like that), and that is what I hope for - that the man she chooses will treat her (and her kids) the way a real man should. Not some insecure, angry, unresolved, irresponsible, arrogant, disrespectful, excuse for a man. She told me she will be fine and that she is a strong woman and she added that she is strong because of me. That compliment is bittersweet - it stings and soothes at the same time. Ya know? "ack" (a word I learned from Kevin), a fellow blogger - actually my THIRD blog-friend ever!!) - it means something just doesn't feel right so it fits in this situation quite well. "Thanks Kevin" Kevin is also an amazing writer of current events, politics and reporting the news and his own music videos where he sings and plays guitar. Between Kevin and PENolan I don't need to watch the news. Both these blogs are listed on my 'blog-list'.

.......AND I absolutely should acknowledge my FIRST-ever blog friend - He actually shared with me that he had a blog and invited me to visit. I did and decided to create my own blog. He is "FALLEN ANGEL" over at 'The Great Triad'. Also listed on my blog list although he hasn't posted in a while.

I got a great idea from Jackie over at "Teacher's Pet". I shared a story with her about my Dad and how he was taken prisoner the last seven days of WWll and was held captive in a barn in Germany. And so it is true, my Dad was a prisoner in WWll the last seven days of the war. He never understood why the Germans allowed them beer but they did. My Dad would hang the beer opener on a nail outside the barn loft window. And so the war ended and of course, he and his war buddies were released.
Thirty years late my parents went back to Germany. My Dad always wanted to return and so they did. The barn where he was held prisoner was now a restaurant. My Dad went to the window upstairs where he would hang the beer opener, - he reached out and the opener was still there!!!! My Mom gave it to me to keep a few years back and I display it proudly in a glass case - I have it pictured below.

And I have also taken a picture of the American Flag that was draped over his casket and later folded at the grave-side service and handed to my Mom.
I am so honored that I am able to display his American flag and his WWll beer opener in our home. :-)
This song by David Gates of 'Bread' is a tribute to his Dad who died. I always loved this song and I hope you all enjoy it too.

Love Gail

I may have lost my 'fancy signature template') oops, Cinner - help!!

Saturday, December 5, 2009


So what is this blog for. It's original intent, theme if you will, is to share my truths, "it's", and explore and explain why, our "it's" and our truths are our greatest gifts - especially those one's we have wished were not true. I have stayed true to my intent, theme - I am pleased to say. At the same time I feel this pressing obligation to stay upbeat and positive - which I am those things and yet there are times when "stuff" happens that by my sharing it - I know I will be perceived otherwise. But oh well, I am going to throw caution to the wind and say what's on my mind, in my heart, that which is heavy and SO disturbing as the following news came to me an hour ago from upstate NY.


As you know, my oldest daughter, Kristie is pregnant. My initial and natural reaction was one of concern and anxiety due to her history but I moved quickly to a place of gratitude and hope and celebration for this new life growing. She has had some very difficult relationships with men and the father of this child is of questionable honor, character and desire. Because she lives 500 miles away I am left out of most of the "loops" of her world. And I am sure that when I am invited in, the "view" is skewed. That being said - I don't know what my active place is in this latest horror. He, the boyfriend got into a verbal altercation with my grand daughter, Leanna. My grandson, (Jacob - the special needs miracle child) defended her and he, the ignorant coward abusive sick moron boyfriend punched Jacob and knocked him out. Kristie tried to stop it but to no avail. Jacob is at the hospital, via ambulance, (I called - physically he is okay), the boyfriend was arrested - and will go back to jail - it just became known to me that he was in jail before for robbery. Leanna is crying on the phone with me and so scared and upset and Kristie is on the defensive. And trying to say she had no idea he was like this - which I can assure all of you is a lie. There is a long history of bad relationships so as much as this is no surprise I am still so broken hearted and so afraid for all of them. And my powerlessness is SO obvious that I can hardly stand knowing it.

I wrote about Kristie and Jacob's birth in an earlier post. And despite this situation Kristie is all the determination and strength and tough things I wrote about - and she is this too as she has created such risk before for herself and her children and I agonize over it beyond my ability to express. And equally so I agonize over my powerlessness. I have intervened, advocated, saved, fixed, rescued, loved no matter what so many times - so much so that she, for a time, refused to talk to me. I, being the unwanted voice of reason, challenge and reality. How do I Interact with her without being that voice? How? It has been a while since I faced this dilemma - and that is a good thing, all things considered. Still, I fumble and doubt. I wonder what is best, right, wrong, necessary, not necessary. I think most of all I already know the answer. I am powerless. I am empowered to love, to listen, to answer if asked or offer if solicited.

Meanwhile, Jennifer came and got my list for stocking stuffers. I am going to work on writing Christmas cards until she returns. We are going to have lunch and wrap gifts together - talk about Christmas Eve at my Mom's and Christmas day here for a turkey dinner and gift sharing. She already said she is bringing pumpkin pie. I guess I am not so powerless after all. And it is going to snow - :-)

An old favorite.

Friday, December 4, 2009

The Brook

These are pictures of the brook that runs a long side our property and feeds the ponds out front. After the hard rain the other night the brook is running strong and freely and the sound is wonderful. I could listen to it for hours. And it was SO warm yesterday I could wade in the brook, barefoot and feel the coolness and rocks and "rush" of nature swirling over and around my feet that promises healing, hope, spirit and gratitude. As most of you know - I 'commune' with God and nature through my feet. I know that sounds weird but back when I was eleven and I needed a distraction He whispered in my ear to take off my shoes and walk bare foot - once I did that I could concentrate on what my feet felt rather than what had happened to me. Ever since, when I need to heal, reflect, give thanks, deepen a thought, escape, remember, forget, just "be" I wade in the brook or simply go barefoot, especially outside - I find it to be a total experience and salvation. Yesterday was no exception, in the warmth of the afternoon sun standing with my "other cane", pant legs rolled up mid-calf, boldly in the brook at it's deepest and strongest peak - cold water swirling over and around my feet, rocks, mud and twigs my foundation - I was in heaven! :-)..... I felt warm, safe, comforted and strong. Amen. Plus, the brook has been barely trickling for a long time so this was a long awaited nature's offering in which I delighted. :-)


Thursday, December 3, 2009

Liberata is fine - "Louise"

"Thank you" for all your prayers and well wishes and loving energy, said and sent, for my Mom!!! GOOD NEWS!! She is fine. The doc said, "nothing to worry about" - I loved hearing those words SO much. I am SO relieved and elated I can hardly contain myself - I went outside and looked up and spoke to Him - He knows my heart.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Eyes, the color of blueberries

When Adam first described Alaura's eyes as the color of blueberries I was taken back - delightfully so....and then I looked closely - and it is true - her eyes are the color of blueberries -

I can't quite figure out how to type above or below a picture. Hmmmm - well, these are all of Alaura and her opening her gifts from us. etc. Also, we went to dinner at Skipp's restaurant - and Jen and Jo'el met us there - we had a delicious meal and a really fun time. :-) That is a picture of Skipp with the two grand kids.

It has been a wonderful time for all of us - this chapter is written now - it is a good chapter filled with all good things for her to have, forever. They leave in the morning for Virginia to spend Christmas with Adam's Mom and Step Dad.

And now, some moments for us to reflect and give thanks for this gift of time with Adam and Alaura - the ability to share our home, our love, our life of peace and hope, understanding and fun. :-)

we will spend some time straightening out the house, cleaning up the bathrooms and a quick vacuum - and then have some quiet time with a glass of wine and a nice fire in our wood stove later - a simple meal and a good nights sleep. So very much to feel good about - so very much to believe in -

and please remember prayers for my Mom - as we continue on now with some more tests and medication additions and adjustments. Life has offered us so much this week - every emotion is alive.

Thanksgiving in Brooklyn

Hi to all my amazing blog-friends. So much to be thankful for. Here are some pictures of Thanksgiving in Brooklyn at my son Dolan's place and the carving of the "tur-duck-hen".

It was a wonderful day. And, for years I have been writing "why I am thankful for you" letters to anyone who sits at our Thanksgiving table. This year, Dolan wrote the letters - I was so touched that he honored my tradition and I was moved to tears by their loving and honest content. We all were. I was SO happy to have Jennifer and her boyfriend and Jo'el with us - to be able to celebrate her life and her relationship is amongst my greatest gifts this year.

And Alaura has arrived.....safely, with her Dad on Friday. I will give you just one sneak preview picture of her - it posted first, - I am still learning how to post pictures accurately.

and may I add, the chapters of her story that we are writing while she is here are so fun and loving and full of hope, and promise and celebration. I sigh a big sigh of joy. :-)

Monday, November 23, 2009

Another Chapter to be written :-)

"HAPPY THANKSGIVING" to all of my friends here in blog-land and the village. I have read some amazing posts on gratitude and positive attitude and blessings and hope and love and healing and truth and tradition and compassion.................

I don't have anything profound to add...........only that it is an honor and a blessing of gratitude to share this arena with each and every one of you. I am humbled by your writing skill, sharing, courage, love, gifts and talents, purpose, hopes, promises, passions, goodness, sufferings, determination, inspiration, wisdom, enlightenment, sacrifices, faith, despair, joy, and your kindness and validation of me - I am humbled beyond words.

....and although we don't "see" each other we "feel" and "know" each other quite intimately. And you all have reached out to me and have accepted my reach to you in good times and in bad - we have been there for one another laughing and crying, listening and sharing, understanding and offering............and so I picked this song for all of you this Thanksgiving..... with deep gratitude, respect, desire, and hope for us all......

As of tomorrow, Tuesday, I will be limited to computer access. With great joy we will be putting up our tree tomorrow - in preparation for our granddaughter and Skipp's son arrival on Friday. We are going to have their gifts under the tree and have a pre-Christmas celebration. Skipp is on vacation starting tomorrow and we are going to "catch up" with ourselves. :-) He is off through Saturday. So tomorrow is tree day, and I will get my Mom as she so enjoys being part of the festivities. It will be wonderful. On Wednesday we are making my 'famous stuffing'!! And preparing the buttternut squash and sweet potato dish. On Thanksgiving we are going tomy son's home in Brooklyn. He is hosting dinner this year and is serving "tur-duck-en"!!! My daughter, grandson and her fiance' are also going. I am SO excited. Skipp's son Adam and our grand daughter Alaura arrive on Friday and will be staying with us until Tuesday morning, 12/1. We plan to go to Skipp's restaurant on either the Sunday or Monday so he can show Alaura off to his staff. :-) And I am so aware that this is our chance to write a chapter of "her story".......they live in Maine so she will not spend a lot of time with us over all. This chapter will read with love, and laughter, music, and fun food, books to read, and walks, flannel pajamas, and big quilts, stuffed animals and hot chocolate, holding hands and praying at meals................... good memories. :-)

I will be back on next week some time, Until then, "Thank you" all and "Happy Thanksgiving".....

Friday, November 13, 2009


It was a perfect day - a November wind was blowing beneath gray ominous sky - we walked proudly and with determination - the task before us - to gather enough greens, mountain laurel and pine cones for three potted Christmas season arrangements for three graves of three wonderful men - my Dad, my nephew, my brother-in-law - all resting in peace beneath the now very big tree up on that hill in Resurection Cemetery.

We have been walking though Chatfield Hollow for twenty five years now - ever since my Dad died. As I have shared - he, at age 17 was a member of the Connecticut Corp of Engineers and built all the bridges in Chatfield Hollow. One is pictured above!! Then 7 years ago - my sisters son Clayton died - and he was laid to rest one place away from my Dad. And next to him? His Dad - Kelly - who passed this past January. This year is the first year we had to gather enough greens and pine cones and laurel for three potted arrangements - and we did! :-) The finished arrangements ae pictured above. My sister Nancy has quite a talent for such artistry - as did my Dad - who was a florist by trade and passion although he drove trucks most of his life. Floristry was his gift and my sister has such a gift as well. :-)

Our Mom is pictured as well - walking happily along with her walker - I had my walker/rollator too! I, at one point, became so aware of how my mobility has changed since we first were walking this walk to gather our greens and cones and laurel. I felt tears of reality and we stopped and rested and we all hugged - the loving silence was so inspiring - energizing - we forged on up the grade to "our area" we always go too - pictured above of the deep pine trees with pine needles blanketing the earth. We gathered quietly - each aware of the other - knowing how blessed we are to be together this day - to remember honor - share - breathe - live and carry on. And we did. With walkers and tears, laughs and deep sighs, we carried on.

We went back to my Mom and sister's home and enjoyed a delicious lunch of quiche and salad and ginger ale. And we just spent time talking, remembering, believing, praying, loving, laughing, crying and sharing. The wind blew, the sky stayed gray - the air was sharp and biting - the trees almost naked - the leaves tossed about - and we stood firm - on a solid sacred ground of mothers-daughters-sisters - ever vigilant - ever loving - ever true - for all our days. Amen.