Picture taken by my friend Cyndi Leos....thank you Cyndi.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Belong to Yourself...

repinned on Pinterest

knowing and owning
connecting within to grow
belong to yourself


Friday, January 27, 2012

Wisdom From the Wise...

"We are what we repeatedly do.
Excellence, therefore,
is not an act but a habit."


"There is more to life than
increasing its speed."

Mahatma Ghandi

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Magpie #101:

Photo prompt by Tess Kincaid
Challenge hostessed by Magpie Tales

strapped submission
oh naked fetal female
perch upon my whim


God Bless the Divers, Rescue Crew and Salvage Co....

New photographs were posted online of the Costa Concordia on January 13, 2012 as well as a list of the confirmed dead and still missing.  I can't help but fear some of the missing could be pinned underneath the side of the ship submerged in the water...The pictures show the ship listing over, very close to shore, with the few lifeboats available full of fleeing survivors...  (See the link below to view the pictures and read the article...)

A 35 Italian hairdresser, Giovanni Di Mauro, was reported being the last to leave the ship after staying on board for over seven hours helping passengers evacuate the ship. Quite a contrast to the "Captain" who says he fell off the ship and landed in a lifeboat.  What a crock!

Sixteen bodies have been confirmed dead.  Three other bodies have been recovered but not identified.  

Still missing are the American couple, Barbara and Gerald Heil of Minnesota, 5 year old Dayana Ariotti and her father, William Ariotti of Italy. Also, Elisabeth Bauer of Germany, Michael Biemand of France, Christina Mathi Ganz of Germany, Norbert Josef Ganz of Germany, Girolamo Giuseppe of Italy- crew member, Gabriele Grube of Germany, Mylene Litzler of France, Margarethe Neth of Germany, Russel Rebello of India - crew member, Inge Schall of Germany, Erica Soriamolina of Peru - crew member, Siglinde Stumpf of Germany, Brunhild Werp of Germany, Margrit Schroeter of Germany and Maria Grazia Trecarichi of Italy.

I pray for all these families, but Susy, the mother of the missing five year old Dayana and former wife to Dayana's father, really hurts my heart.  As a mother of two daughters, remembering when they were so small, feeling so protective, I just ache for her and continue to keep her and her family, as well as all the others in my prayers.  Mr. Ariotti's girlfriend survived but was separated from Dayana and William in the crush of panic as everyone rushed toward the life boats.  Normally, it is the women and children who would be placed in the safety of the  life boats first.

God Bless all the divers, the rescue crew for risking their lives to find these poor souls whose lives were cut short due to this terrible tragedy.  I just cannot imagine the emotional pain and anguish the awaiting family and friends are going through, waiting for news of their loved ones...

God Bless SMIT the Dutch salvage company doing their best to remove all the fuel on board to prevent the contamination to the pristine water sanctuary there in Giglio, Italy. 

It has been reported that some wealthy Russian passengers stuffed money into the hands and pockets of the crew manning the life boats on the fated Costa Concordia cruise ship now half submerged off the coast of Tuscany in Italy...  Although the cruise had only been underway 2 and a half hours, the emergency escape plan was not scheduled until the next day.  Possibly scheduling it sooner could have prevented the panic and the "every man for himself" attitude which prevailed according to most of the reports from survivors.
See link below to read the entire article from MailOnline News...

Friday, January 20, 2012

I Am The Shark...

from google images

I am the shark.
The deep dark waters of the night,
Ripple away the earth.
The weed of the sea,
Plants its black roots in the remains.
Sun casts my sight,
To find the way of sleep.
Wooden ships my fear,
Red puddles flow for me.
Squirming flesh crawls 'til surface,
Haunting screams my eternity.
Hunger my searching nightmare.
Rock is my home.
Pearls my prey.
Shells are the shoulders of my past.
The pound of the waves hides a treasure,
Opened only to the dive of time.
My kind weaves the wind that pulls the sail,
And latches the quiet of each man's rug.

~epl and dkb~

Covina, CA 1963

This poem was written by my girlfriend El and myself, one afternoon over hot tea and chocolate chip cookies after a walk in the rain...I was fascinated with sharks at the time, reading everything I could get my hands on, so it was often a topic of my conversations...  We began the poem walking in the rain, alternating lines back and forth...then rushing to her house to write it all down... We need to collaborate more my friend...and I miss our walks and talks.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Magpie #100: Procrastination...

Jason deCaires Taylor's La Evolution Silenciosa 
(The Silent Evolution) one of 400 life sized figures
depth 9m Isles Mujeres, Mexico

photo presented by Tess Kincaid
challenge and hosted by Magpie Tales 

eyes closed in self denial
mouth open with unconscious thought
head beneath the surface
avoidance of action 
turned to stone
sunk to the depths
of procrastination...
misery loves company
only you
can save yourself.


Wednesday, January 18, 2012

A Moment of Ego Brings Death and Disaster...

I just cannot stop thinking of the families of the 11 dead and the 25 still missing passengers and crew unaccounted for from the recent Cruise ship disaster Friday, January 13, 2012.  Apparently, the Captain Francesco Schettino, decided to do the equivalent of a navigational "fly by" without permission.  I've read he did it for a head waiter on the ship who was from Giglio, the Tuscan island where the ship hit a reef 150 meters (480 feet) from shore.

How can a Captain of a cruise ship carrying 4200 lives, even consider a moment of ego risking all those lives he is sworn to protect? We are asked to trust Pilots of planes, Captains of ships, Bus drivers who transport our children on school buses, Conductors on trains, Firemen, and Police Officers.  This man was released today on house arrest!  I cannot believe it!!!!  He should be kept in jail.  He may have saved thousands by steering the ship closer to shore, but he is solely responsible for the deaths of 11 people.

Captain Francesco Schettino
of the ship Costa Concordia

Timeline and maneuvers of the Captain

At 9:35pm, two and a half hours after leaving port to begin the cruise, the Captain turned off the alarm, which automatically sounds when the ship goes off his programmed course, by manually steering it without permission to move the ship closer to shore.  Once he realized he had damaged the ship, he maneuvered the ship to get closer to shore, but why he did not order the life boards to be lowered immediately, is definitely a question to be answered.  Many of those missing may have been saved...

View of the ship listing after hitting the reef 

I cannot believe how close the ship is to shore!  Can you imagine seeing this sight from shore or a passenger seeing it from the ship? I would panicked beyond all reason if I knew I had to jump into the water at night!

Part of the reef embedded in the ship's hull, tearing an 160 ft gash, flooding the ship. That hole is the size of over two lengths of a professional tennis court (78' long)...

Rescuers boarding the capsized ship to search for survivors

Aerial view of the capsized ship 

One of my biggest fears is to drown.  Being out in deep water terrifies me. I cannot imagine the horror and panic those passengers felt, not to mention the families of those missing passengers and crew!  I read this morning, a Hungarian mother flew into Italy to identify her 38 year old son who was a musician on board the ship.  Another young German woman notified authorities she was back home in Germany.  She must have got herself to shore and found her way ASAP back to Germany.

11 Germans, 6 Italians, 4 French, 2 Americans, 1 Indian and 1 Peruvian are still missing.

Supposedly, the divers have searched the entire ship, but further searching has been suspended due to the ship moving slightly and an impending storm due Thursday.  The owners have still not decided who will first remove the 500,000 gallons of fuel still on board the ship, or who will patch and re-float the ship or cut it up and salvage the pieces hauled off on barges. The ship is 950 feet long and 115 feet wide with 45,000 tons of steel.  One of the salvage companies being considered is the Dutch salvage company, SMIT, which has handled many maritime disasters successfully.

I've read the waters off Giglio are pristine which are also a sanitary for various fish, dolphins, porpoises and whales.  Hopefully, whichever salvage company is selected, it can safely remove all that oil.  I pray the storm due tomorrow will not add to this tragedy and contaminate the clear, blue waters.

I keep thinking maybe some of the missing are trapped underneath the submerged side of the ship.  I read how passengers had to swim as fast as they could because they feared the ship would fall on them.  My heart aches for those poor souls who had just begun, what was to be this fantastic cruise, only to have it end in disaster before their first night on board!  Many described it to be similar to the movie Titanic.

My husband talked me into a Mexican Riviera Cruise back in 2006.  It was my first cruise ever. We chose to sail on Norwegian Cruise Lines.  We had a suite on the mid top of the ship. We were treated like royalty, the food and accommodations were excellent.  I did enjoy it, more so after we docked safely and disembarked the ship.  I always felt "on guard" and could not really relax... I had to take Xanax to relieve my anxiety.  The first night out I really had to talk to myself to calm myself down...

I dislike flying over water as well.  People tell me there are fewer accidents with planes and ships and I am more at risk driving in my car.  Maybe so, but your odds of surviving a car accident are certainly higher than on an airplane or cruise ship!

Yesterday, I watched a program on the History channel about the 5 deadliest creatures no one wants to tangle with in the ocean.  Prior to seeing this program, my main fear were sharks...This Mediterranean cruise is the exact cruise my husband wants us to take next year with his cousins.... I had reservations before I saw this, now, it justifies why I prefer not to cruise...Maybe the odds are slight, but if the odds are not in my favor, I do not want to be on a ship or a plane when it happens.

My prayers go out to all the families and friends of the still missing passengers and crew.  I pray for a miracle they will be found safe.

Photo of the global satellite view of the Costa Concordia released today

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Survived My First Zumba Class...

OK, I survived my first Zumba class...but I can tell I am  going to be sore...I already am...

We did a warm up, which made me heat up...then it was a little bit of Salsa, a little bit of Tango, a little bit of Box Step, a little bit of Hip Hop moves, a little bit of free style,  a little bit of Bali....and then a lot of repeat.

We took a break every ten minutes or so for a drink of water...and I was gulping the water.  Next time I gotta remember a towel!

I was the newest of the class, and there were two other ladies who just started last week.  We three stood in the back as not to get in any one's way and trip them...

I hated looking in the wall to wall mirror in front of "flying squirrel wings" beneath my upper arms, my smiling belly button peeking out beneath my shirt when we lifted our arms up, my extra chins bouncing and rosy cheeks...that was the hardest part...looking at what I have done to myself over the past several years...

I used to country line dance, but this is totally different...and good thing it has been so long because the instructor, Linda told us we would end up moving wrong.

She told us to make sure and keep our core and upper body straight, knees bent and so when we tap our feet, it will not be hard on our feet, ankles and knees. No bouncing steps allowed.

I loved the Salsa (even if I looked very uncoordinated), the Tango and the Bali dancing the best...

Just as I would start to feel like I "got" the move and steps, she would change it up again and go to a different genre.

I don't mind looking like I don't know what I am doing, because I don't!  But I kept thinking to myself, if I keep this up, I will be really good and I will LOOK GOOD!

At the beginning of the class, Linda glanced at the windows (we were in a room off the gym) she commented, "We should sell tickets to those guys"....  I deliberately DID NOT LOOK TO SEE WHO WAS WATCHING US!

We were making some pretty provocative moves, and wiggling our stuff, so I can see where the men would take the opportunity to gawk...

I could tell the women who have been coming awhile...they are very trim and slim and knew the steps...
One thing I did really well was shaking my booty and shoulders....I got a lot to shake!

I had fun...but I was pooped.  I came home, changed my work out clothes to my sweats, ate some lunch and passed out in my chair watching The Five Most Deadliest Creatures Under the Sea No Human Being Would Ever Want To Tangle With... (1. The Box Jellyfish, 2.  Salt Water Alligator, 3. Great White Shark, 4.  Humboldt Squid, and 5.  The Killer Whale.)  I slept for two hours.

Our community magazine said Zumba was twice a week...but after class, I found out the Thursday class was taught by someone else and it was canceled this week.  I am kind of glad Zumba is once a will give me the opportunity to get adjusted to it and not too sore.  The other two new gals, invited me to the free Aerobics class Tuesday nights from 6pm to 7pm.  I thanked them, but told them I was going to resist my normal method of "jumping in with two feet with too much gusto" and then burn myself out.

The Zumba class is $2.50 a class.  I can buy a card for $20 which will save me a couple of classes...but I wanted to try it out first...

I am really out of shape, so this is the beginning...but I LOVE DANCING, so I think I am going to like this class...

Wish Me Luck...

Today is my first Zumba class...wish me luck...

Saturday, January 14, 2012

An Evening of Enlightenment...

Tonight my husband and I went to an informal gathering of writers, hosted by my friend and fellow blogger, Linda and her husband, Mike.  You can check out their blogs by clicking on the link of their names...

Linda and most of the guests attend the Henderson Writer's Group.  Linda invited me and I went with her a couple of times. Linda is a mover and a shaker, a talented writer, humorist, stand up comedian and soon to be Life coach... She has been busy finishing up her job so she can quit and move on to her next venture, traveling and getting married during the holidays, so she has not attended lately either.  She and Mike felt it would be a great way for everyone to reconnect and see what everyone has been up to...

It was fun seeing some familiar faces and meeting new ones.  I was so intrigued and impressed listening to all their accomplishments and projects as we went around the room introducing ourselves...

I met Linda and another blogger/friend, Lisa, who was one of the first bloggers I met when I started my first blog, Mystical Journeys.  Linda, Lisa and I used to meet for lunches and talk... which were always serendipitous and inspirational for me. When my husband and I were punching in the code at the front gate, Lisa drove up behind us... The last time we were all together was April of last year at the Las Vegas Writer's Conference. It was so good to get together with them again...

I am so glad I followed through and went...  Lately, it seems I make excuses too easily...which is why I am still finishing up projects from 2011, dragging them into 2012.  I think my retirement has spawned a Scarlet O'Hara-type-attitude..."I'll worry about that tomorrow..."


After getting home, sitting, reflecting at my laptop, I am left with two important impressions:

#1 Without really realizing it, I have made some excellent contacts and leads here in Henderson, Nevada, which could quite possibly help me advance toward pursuits in writing...

#2  I can achieve my goals and dreams if I just DO IT and NEVER GIVE UP.

Two of my greatest hindrances are my tendency to allow myself to be easily distracted  and over analyzing why I allow myself to be distracted.

I = Identify what I need, want, or plan to do.

D= Decide to follow it through to completion, no matter what...

E= Express my desire to stay on task with no excuses.

A= Action, Action, ACTION!

What an enlightening  IDEA...

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Time and Space...

"Life itself can't give you joy,
Unless you really will it.
Life just gives you time and space...
It's up to you to fill it."


Saturday, January 7, 2012

Magpie 98: Reflective Meditation...

River, Marina Moevs, 2005

Creative challenge by
Hosted by Tess Kincaid

sitting cross-legged
on over cropping of rocks
looking deep
into the reflection
this new year...