Reflection

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Reflection

Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards. —  Soren Kierkegaard  

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Hiking to the clouds, Longji

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A beautiful place to see:

Plus Ultra

Hair wrapped artfullyin a turban of black cloth, her tough frame is softened by a lilac top and short frilly skirt. As she saunters in and out of the room, I watch the light momentarily catch on her earrings – they are two silver crescents, raw and slightly tarnished, sweeping around a hollow in the shape of the full moon.

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Your Mission Should You Choose To Accept It ………

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Get Well Smart & 99:

Crazy Train To Tinky Town

I have been tagged by the very lovely Jeri over at The Life and Times of JVS and the rules are:

At your perfect dinner party you can invite;
5 guests + yourself, relatives allowed but it’s more interesting if it’s a public figure.
Dead or Alive
Any language.
Fictional characters allowed!

Ideally my dinner party guests would include all of you and copious amounts of cocktails – what an evening that would be and you wouldn’t want to pay that bar bill either! However, as we are spread throughout the world I think it is highly unlikely, so here are my second choices:

Alan Carr – camp comedian who’s a little bit naughty with a wicked sense of humour, not unlike myself!

Adele – Not only does she write and sing kick-ass songs but she made a fortune out of the jerk that dumped her – think there may…

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Study Finds Nations With Most Food May Lack Best Diets

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Poor Eating Habits Defeat Good Nutritionally Available Food:

A diet rich in soy and whey protein, found in ...

A diet rich in soy and whey protein, found in products such as soy milk and low-fat yogurt, has been shown to reduce breast cancer incidence laboratory tests.

Credits: Photo & Quote by Wikipedia

Gaye Crispin's Blog

An abundant food supply doesn’t guarantee that a nation will have the healthiest or safest diet, according to a study of global food security.

The U.S., Denmark, Norway and France are the world’s most “food-secure” countries in terms of availability, cost and nutrition value while Israel, 22nd overall, had the best quality and safety, according to the study released today by the Economist Intelligence Unit.

Germany, while 10th in food security, ranked 21st in quality, measured by nutrient content and balance.

The Democratic Republic of Congo ranked last.

 Read more >>>

 

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The Kafe

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I luv this piece so much,I wrote it in my Grandfather’s voice.

KafeMandela

English: A photo of a cup of coffee. Esperanto...

The freshly brewed coffee was poured into the cup.
A daily ritual’s aroma was mingled with freshly baked bread, dipped into the black sea of sweetened coffee. Bread drenched with this morning’s goodness, made its way to the anticipating lips. A scene that played out every day, of every year.

Coffee beans hand picked, roasted then roughly ground, held its own uniqueness. The beans were sticky with an almost burnt aroma, their darkness always produced the same flavors.

The coolness of the day gave way to the sun’s warmth. In this land, regions were shaped by the weather, to include its landscape as part of the temperate zones. These regions decided, as a natural selection process, what areas were best for growing which crops; as nature so often does.

World map with temperate zones highlighted in red

The richest harvest was best suited for those regions where rain settled on the coffee plant’s leaves, on a timely…

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The Soda Jerk vs The Barista

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Back in the day, when drug stores occupied the neighborhood corners, as staples of the landscape and the need of the community, there was a job vacancy known as the Soda Jerk. Not so much that the neighbor’s kid applying was a jerk, but more like they would need a strong arm to jerk the soda machine, you see! It was the landscape that Edward Hopper painted about, the neighborhood that we came to know as home.

The Corner Drug Store was indeed a diner as well, where you could meet up with friends, or go for a bit of solitude when reading the Sunday paper you just bought, sound familiar?  If so, you probably have caught on to my catchy title.  Really many things could be said, but  the importance of coffee in our society, has replaced the Soda Jerk with The Barista!  When was an egg cream replaced by a capuccino mocha? I don’t know, but it’s worth finding out.  How did our needs change so drastically?  Wasn’t coffee considered something to drink at meetings, business conferences, other serious stuff, and not much fun!  After all, the soda jerk was not only responsible for jerking the soda arm to pour the fountain drink, he (I’ve never seen a woman soda jerk) was to make it look like fun, creating a show in the process.  People went to the counter to get an Italian Soda, but also to see a show!  And if Hopper didn’t do it for you, check out Norman Rockwell‘s rendition in the Saturday Evening Post!

Rockwell even got the dog, and it seems mesmerized too.   Admiration!   The Soda Jerk had admiration,  meaning he probably had to work his way up, to that coveted position of ample clout.  Lets remember that the soda machine itself represented uncharted territories, it was new, and few had seen drinks being made this way before.  Importantly, the soda machine was to embody what our Nation represented; a forward thinking, innovative place, where we could all flourish (and enjoy it)!  There was comfort, in knowing we could be home, and be excited about it because we could expect the best there.

Let’s come all the way to todays Coffee Shops.  Obviously, the Corner Drug store had to separate its services.  New laws, stipulations, and mandatory guidelines required different, and changing roles of the once corner (and counter) hang out.  Our neighborhoods were changing too.  Moms went to work, kids went to day care, Grandma and Grandpa became nudists (they even joined a colony)!  With the movement of society into the “me” individualistic age, the need to socialize at a level of conformity became obselete.  Jane didn’t want to run, and Jack had to climb his own hills (all by himself).  Jill was getting a mani & pedi!

That had to be it, the change in our habits to more individualized focus!  The “I’m ok, You’re ok” mindset had prevailed, created out of a need to grow.

Poor Soda Jerk! Gone just like that! Out of a job! Never to look back seeing the same landscape, in their own heighborhood. Ouch, that hurt!  With time, all things must change, and change they did, sort of!

Today we have a Happy Barista, a throw back to the days of behind the counter services, but autonomously individualisticly pouring great coffee, with a flair.  Once again, can we confine ourselves to our neighborhood cafes, mingling with neighbors, and friends.

The role of The Barista has become one of not “just” service but one that provides knowledge about coffee; becoming a professional in his/her own realm of creativity as well.  With an apron tied around, one can’t help but feel that this is serious business, enjoyment is inevitable when you taste the finely brewed cup (or glass) of perhaps flavor infused cafe!  Enjoying as many varieties as possible, everyday is a new discovery; whether your everyday cup of joe is

organic, blended, cappuccino, espresso, or maybe even tea! There is also a show of sorts, a pretty one.  Oh yes, pretty!  Coffee is pretty, when out of the froth pictures are created!

Nice.

There is the wi-fi service which keep you connected, conferencing, or tweeting (actually you could do all at the same time), while reading the paper you just got emailed.  Good thing is, you can stay as long as you want, maybe things haven’t changed that much!

Images Courtesy of : Bing Images (LarryFresch, Hospitality Connections, Miss Wangy /Underground)

See also

July 4th, NYC Style

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“Hot Time In The City” HAPPY JULY 4TH 2012!!!

A Touch of Yellow in NYC

Fourth of July is one of my favorite holidays.  “Summer in the city…”

It is also the day that I kick back and see the world in a different way.  It’s a day I seriously “people watch” as you will find many wonderful things going on all around you.

Children acting without a care in the world-just relishing the  joy of being a child.  Families laughing, playing games, having picnics together.

It is also a day for hot dog lovers.  Enter Nathan’s International Hot Dog Eating Contest on Coney Island.

Last 4th of July, I braved the beaches and crowds of Coney Island.  Little did I know what lie ahead.  I parked myself on a bench and watched through my camera lens.  Fascinating. But then again, people watching always is….

I then ventured down to the waters edge.  And walked toward the main beach.  As I got closer and…

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Regina Spektor — “What We Saw From the Cheap Seats”

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I feel the energy by reading the first paragrah, Who Wants More Coffee?

mattneric

Blooming Spektor
By Eric Webb

A brief, inarguable list of the best things from or tangentially related to Russia:

x

x

5. Laika

4. Vodka tonics

3. Glasnost

2. Zangief from Street Fighter

1. Regina Spektor

Born in Russia and transplanted to New York as a kid, Miss Spektor is a force of nature. There is no point in denying this. I’ve been hooked since she was just a VH1 Artist You Oughta Know; I played “Fidelity” and “Us” on loop in the ice cream shop I worked at in college; at 18, I listened to “Samson” in the car late at night, engrossed. How do you draw up a comparison to describe her? She’s virtuosic on the piano, her voice glides effortlessly from “sweet pixie” to “sonic equivalent of Ivan Drago” to “onomatopoeia,” and her lyrics contain breathtaking storytelling. In live shows, she often uses a wooden chair as…

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Will audiences show up for ‘Rock of Ages’? – CNN.com

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Ages of Rock?

Nader Nazemi

Will audiences show up for ‘Rock of Ages’? – CNN.com.

Movie Musicals; Hit or Miss ? What does Tom Cruise have to say about Rock of Ages ?

(CNN) — You’re on a bus to Los Angeles and the cute blond girl in the third row breaks out into a rendition of “Sister Christian.” You have two options: You can stare at her awkwardly or pretend you’re Kelly Keagy and lend your vocals to the chorus.

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The Fox And The Flower

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Imagery & Flores

Quotes For Home and Hearth

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While on the subject, check out these Quotes:

DeLeDesserts

A Man’s Home Is His Castle (remember that when it comes time for Le Divorce, pray it shan’t ever be so!)

Home Is Where The Heart Is

Mi Casa, Es Tu Casa (that’s more like it)

Be It Ever So Humble (Mon Dieu!), There’s No Place Like Home

White Dining Room Ideas

Quotes Merci: Not sure whom said what, but we’ve all heard them

Images Merci:

All Pictures Biz

World Designs – How To Decorate Your Dining Room

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Friends of John Guzzey

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Poetry for you, prose for someone else:

Poetry by Mark J. Staub

Souvenirs spill

From the

Unsealed

Yellow envelope

Its brightness

Contrasted against

The black shirt mourning

The feebleness of a friend

The sun spills a square or two of light onto

The fenced gravel road

Cell bars cast by shadows

Cage his friend in steel

A one man prison

As whip-thin branches flaunt buds

Freshly emergent and tall, pushing against the early spring wind

A smile faces downward

Away from this new life to

A friend sitting in his chair

In the mud

Ablaze with the past

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Want To Live Longer? Drink Coffee

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KafeMandela agrees! Organic too!

My Health Blog

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What Foods are Good for Me This Week?

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I Luv Coffee too! Especially Organic!

newsofthetimes

In today’s New York Times, there is one article discussing the benefits of drinking coffee and one article questioning the positive health impacts of high levels of good cholesterol. It was comical to observe that one of the studies made me cheer – yay, more coffee! – and one of the studies made me frown – boo, less guacamole!

I try to stay on top of the latest health research but it seems like there is a different study coming out every week touting the benefits of one food over another. I seem to be more willing to believe the studies that tell me that things that I like are good for me.

For example, when the studies came out saying that red wine and dark chocolate are good for you, I stood up and paid attention. And rushed to the food store!

Health advice seems to change at a rapid pace…

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It Is Finally Here… Facebook Formally Prices Its IPO! (FB)

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Finally!!!!!!!

24/7 Wall St.

Facebook, Inc. (NASDAQ: FB) has priced at $38.00 per share, at the top of the already-raised range of $34.00 to $38.00 per share.  The offering size is 421,233,615 shares of Class A common stock and the latest prospectus amendment noted that if the underwriters exercise the overallotment in full as we are currently expecting then the total share count would come to 484,418,657 shares in the offering.

Keep in mind that Facebook itself is offering 180,000,000 shares of its Class A common stock and the selling stockholders are offering 241,233,615 shares of Class A common stock. The overallotment option is said to be from the company and from holders.

As we have previously noted, here are the top 18 risks we see with chasing the Facebook IPO for investors to consider in the after-market.

As far as the share structure, remember that Class A common share buyers who are getting…

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The Process: Plant to Coffee

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Process of handpicking

depulping & washing

fermenting & drying

Coffee picker on Salvadoran cooperative Ciudad...

Coffee picker on Salvadoran cooperative Ciudad Barrios, certified by the Rainforest Alliance. Credit: Robert Goodier (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

collection at local cooperative

transport to regional cooperative

receiving & inspection

patio drying

Sorting and pulping coffee beans at a fair tra...

Sorting and pulping coffee beans at a fair trade cooperative in Guatemala (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

de-husking & screening

quality controls

tasting, testing prior to export

packaged

Fair Trade USA logo

Avatar FTUSA every purchase matters

Vegan Rabbit’s Response to New York Times “Put Your Ethics Where Your Mouth Is”

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How You Spend Your Money Makes a Difference!

Vegan Rabbit

A contest called Put Your Ethics Where Your Mouth Is by The New York Times, has recently tried to figure out who can write the best argument supporting the idea that meat is ethical.  Panelled by Mark Bittman, Jonathan Safran Foer, Andrew Light, Michael Pollan, and Peter Singer, I was eager to read what their picks would be.

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Canada’s “Dirty Oil” Exports to US to Triple (TRP, KMI, ENB)

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Who Pays for Dirty Oils? One Guess!

24/7 Wall St.

The development of the Canadian oil sands is expected to increase the amount of crude oil produced at the Alberta oil sands from its current level of about 1.6 million barrels/day to as high as 8 million barrels/day by 2020. Current exports to the US amount to about 500,000 barrels a day, and are expected to exceed 1.5 million barrels/day by 2020. A group of environmental groups recently published a report on oil sands development called “Dirty Oil Diplomacy,” taking to task the Canadian government and the oil companies that are developing the Alberta oil sands.

In addition to blasting the current development plans, the report also attacks plans to export the oil by pipeline either to the West Coast, the US Gulf Coast, or the East Coast. In the US, the most well-known of the proposed pipelines is the Keystone XL being proposed by TransCanada Corp. (NYSE: TRP

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1000. heartfelt | thanks for the coffee

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Coffee and Thanks!

coffee | served daily

Well, here we are at 1000 cups of coffee. We made it! This mosaic was created out of the photos I took along the way, all 300 of them (this may be obvious, but click on the photo to enlarge it). Feel free to use it and share it, wherever good coffee is appreciated. Coffee|Served Daily began as a small idea and morphed into an opportunity to connect, caffeinate and create. Clearly I had no idea what I had signed up for, even if it was just in my imagination.

I envisioned a  project that would enable me to stay connected to a few friends who love coffee and photography. I suspected there were five of us. My friends played along, and then 99 other new caffeinated friends joined in. From all over the world: China, Finland, Italy, Monaco, Germany, England, Malta, Vietnam, Azerbaijan, France, Hong Kong, Turkey, Denmark, Portugal…

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“Bad Decisions Make Good Stories”

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our Virtual Coffee Shop http://paper.li/f-1333042092#!photos Montage of photos, friends, & quotes!  Lots of info & news, be sure to subscribe to our daily & RT to your friends!

Related articles

beedo beedo (minion voice)

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Unbuttoned double breasted button! #doable

suititbootit

beedo beedo

Today is a pretty busy day.

dapper

style

suititbootit

I don’t have time to think of a catchy paragraph to write about this outfit so the only thing I will say is….You can wear you double breasted jacket unbutton. BOOM there it is! (some disagree with this but so what!)

jacket – t4l; shirt – modern tailor; pants – macy’s; shoes – suitsupply; tie – fossil

suititbootit

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Happy Valentine’s Day Everyone

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HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY!!!

Shrove Tuesday – getting ready for Lent

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Lent starts with a big party called Fat Tuesday! #MardiGras

Two weeks from everywhere

lent_5576cIt hardly seems possible, but tomorrow is the first day of Lent for 2013.  It seems to have crept up quickly on us this year, but that may only be because Easter is in March this year for the first time since 2008. I haven’t really given much thought so far this year as to what I’m going to do or not do as I observe Lent this year. This may be a good thing, because perhaps there are times when I put too much thinking into the whole thing and never really benefit too much from it all.

Last year I published a post outlining some of the things I wanted to do for Lent. I think I managed most of them, but I’m not sure that at the end of it all there was much change in the way I lived my life. So, this year I’m going…

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Heads UP! Welcome Meteor/Asteroid and Party Crashers

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Meteors & Comets?

Susie Lindau's Wild Ride

meteor 1

The Ultimate Wild Ride!

There is a 150 foot meteor/asteroid racing towards us at alarming speed, no lie, and it is supposed to come within 17,200 miles of Earth on February 15!

What is alarming about this event is not that it could easily knock out satellites nor that it will be a lot closer to us than the moon nor that it could wreak all kinds of havoc with our electronics nor that it could actually smack our planet. No. What is really alarming, is how our experts can’t decide whether to call it a meteoror an asteroid!

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La Hoja Announces Cigar Dinners at Florio’s Ristorante (New York)

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Smoke gets in your eyes, not really this is every cigar afficionado & foodie dream come true!

FineTobaccoNYC

logo_square_for_web (1)

The immensely popular Hoja de Flores announced recently that it will be throwing a number of cigar events at the famed Florio’s Ristorante, which was closed for some time but has now reopened. For those of you who haven’t smoked Hoja de Flores cigars, they are fantastic Dominican puros with exceptional smoothness and fantastic construction – we reviewed them for you here. The cigar events are every 1st and 3rd Tuesday from 7-10pm. All of the event specifics are below:

flyer_1

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Is Your Relationship Being Run by A 5 Year Old?

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Valentines Day?

My Rivendell

Relationships…we live in them, from them and for them.  We fight for them, we hurt because of them and we hardly ever look any closer than that.

Whoa…I just slipped that in there didn’t I?

I know this Valentine’s Day many people will be celebrating with their partner the love they have cultivated with one another.  Others will be lamenting over lost loves, bad relationshipsbroken and the lack of any ‘good’ people left.  They might even beat themselves up and figure there is something ‘wrong’ with them (there ISN”T). 

Listen, you have to know that when you are younger your relationship expectations were learned.  The problem of course is our experiences were rather limited. 

Imagine if the first person you ever crushed on was the one that you ended up basing all future expectations of what a relationship was like on.  Ohh…right…you kind of do.

Wait..it gets better.  It actually goes much MUCH further back.  (How

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Where I’ve Been

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Where I’ve Been

This isn’t some stuffy essay (er…blog) about How I Spent My Christmas Vacation, on the contrary, it will be a very honest account of how many times I went up and down Fifth Ave in NYC, looking at all the Christmas window displays!  Let’s not forget how many times I stared at Rockefeller Plaza, gawking at the ice skaters, amazed at the Christmas Tree. Never mind all the lights on the tree, but all the tourists whose smiles were brighter than the season itself.  Spectacular. The break-dancers amazed, and were extra sweet, hugging me when I joyfully shouted, “Merry Christmas from New York”!

I couldn’t get enough, I was like….well a kid at Christmas!

St Patrick’s Cathedral captured my heart as well, with as many visits as possible, and visiting the famous crèche, albeit, the Baby Jesus was in its cradle Christmas Day (not before).  I visited every Saint, and marveled at all the prayer candles lit by the faithful, and the curious; then there was the Virgin of Guadalupe brimming with so many flowers, that the mere aroma intoxicated the alter with at least a thousand fragrance.  The special chapel devoted to Miraculous Mary, allows no pictures, and is almost silent with reverence when the Rosary is not taking place.  Every one had a special request at this  church, a Cathedral, but my presence was only to say one thing.

Thank You for letting me see another Christmas, and Holiday Season, in the craziest, most dynamic, diversified, beautiful city that I called home for most of my life!  Gratitude.  Total respect.  Organic?  Yes, organic.  The reason I shout out about organic was a trip to the hospital, after finding out that I had renal failure; not one kidney failed, but two (of course NYers have to go all the way)!

No one knows how my disease came about, except that stress is a killer, and at times silently catching up to all our hard work, and efforts.  So, I say to you that seeing NYC at Christmas was as marvelous, as being given a second chance at life, especially to shout out about organics, everything that you eat, drink, and stress out about.

Of course, I was with many helpful friends this past year (what I call my recovery year); people came out of no where, as though guided by my very Angels to speak to me, and teach me about my best approach to health.  If you didn’t know, kidney disease doesn’t just go away, it’s something that hangs around to remind you of your new limitations.  Eventually, if you get the right doses of rest, relax, and more, you will start to feel better; and those whopping episodes of fatigue will in themselves, perhaps become a memory of the past.

My Doctors,  who I owe so many thanks, an incredible team that will always be in my heart (I hope to inspire them about meditating, and the values of  organics),  and who are still part of my well care health regimen.  I learned so much from those guys, and what a humble bunch they are!

Whether I was at Bryant Park, Brooklyn, my old college, having a reunion with my BFF from high school, at every single moment I was at a very special place, called gratitude.

Christmas Joy – Day 22 (Devotional)

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Christmas Joy, Indeed, share it!

Praise 102.7

I’m following a fantastic devotional series called “Christmas Joy” by Mel Lawrenz, The Brook Network. Please join me. Here’s day 22:

Light

For my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the sight of all people, a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to your people Israel. – Luke 2:30-32

The winter solstice on December 21, the darkest day of the year, means for many of us who live halfway between the equator and the North Pole, that we have breakfast when it is still dark outside, and that by supper, the sun has long set. That slide toward the shortest day of the year seems like sinking into a black hole. No wonder people in ancient cultures celebrated the days when the sun began to return. The prophet Malachi spoke of the healing power of light: “The sun of righteousness will…

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Christmas Time Makes It Easier To Love

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Thoughts for Christmas!

Praise 102.7

christmas heart

It’s always interesting to watch my family and friends get along better during the holiday season. I think it maybe the temperature of the weather being cooler so it calms everyone’s nerves or maybe it’s just the idea of it being Christmas.

Whatever it is things sure do change around my house and in the places I go. It seems like everyone pulls out that smile that’s been stashed away all year or a song that just needs to be sung. People may be more at peace and willing to share because the need to love and be love is so evident during the holiday season. I think this is also because many of us refer back to our childhood when it’s around Christmas time. Because we think about our childhood we become more sentimental and more likely to feel the desire to snuggle or to just be held. I…

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