“Self-discipline is an act of cultivation. It requires you to connect today’s actions to tomorrow’s results. There’s a season for sowing a season for reaping. Self-discipline helps you know which is which.”
Gary Ryan Blair
“By constant self-discipline and self-control you can develop greatness of character.”
“In order to carry a positive action we must develop here a positive vision.”
“The distance between dreams and reality is called discipline.”
So if you recall, I have five digits on all four paws, with actual thumbs on my front paws which makes for excellent piano playing abilities! We have composed my original song utilizing a triad chord which I can play easily along with Lori playing the melody. I have yet to crawl inside the piano and choose best to either sit on the bench or underneath as going inside doesn’t interest me at all!
I have been so very blessed with the piano students who arrive for lessons as they first want to visit with me, as I seem to be part of the attraction for the children! Because they are so free-spirited, they understand my contemplative nature and wish to share their love with me! The children teach me so much about creativity and living in the moment as well as their inspiring imagination. With my Zen practices and studying of the Chakra Energy Centers, I see the importance of music in opening-up each colorful Chakra through the note vibration with which each resonates.. There are many deeper levels to what things appear to be on the surface. It fascinates me to continually be learning new pieces to this puzzle of life, for when you begin to connect each unique item, things begin to fit into place (no pun intended)! Yet, there seems to always be an element of surprise in that knowing what the next step is which can conjure up old thought and belief systems which no longer serve you, the Universe or the highest and best for all concerned. That is where that quantum leap of faith comes into play again. By praying for discernment in all things and allowing the highest vibration of love to be your intention, you know that you are being supported in stretching, reaching and growing.
“Some people think that as soon as you plant a tree, it must bear fruit. We must allow it to grow a bit.” Prince Tunku Putra Adbul Rahman
“One does not discover new lands without consenting to lose sight of the shore.”
Today is the day that the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad as the Psalms express throughout their various expressions of keeping Joy in our lives. While living in Long Beach, California several years ago, my mother, Connie had her birthday on April 14th which was Good Friday that year and passed from an aortic complication to her heart on April 16, Easter Sunday. She had just turned 54. Our bond transcends limitations as it is heart – based, yet her physical presence and counsel, laughter and wisdom are sorely missed in my life. Mom was my cheerleader, encouraging me on my artistic path. When my car accident occurred, it was truly a miracle that I survived, let alone still had the use of my arms, legs and hands as well as mental, physical and spiritual healing. A great part of me died when she passed. Yet, through these experiences I have still focused my creativity in an attempt to rekindle the broken, scattered pieces of my life.
Following are some art pieces I have created throughout my life, some donated, some given as gifts, some available for sale, and happily accepting commissioned artwork from photography utilizing various requested mediums with various works included in this posting. Feel free to contact me if interested at: lorid.loriginals@yahoo. com, via the message on the website or look at my profile for more details.
“For Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not yet seen.” Hebrews 11:1
The main posting photograph is an Altar Cloth with applique, sewing and beadwork, with sequin and ribbon created for St. Vincent de Paul Church in Vestal, NY which was our home place of worship. The altar and tabernacle cloth below are displayed for First Holy Communion every year, and ironically left out for Mother’s Day the following Sunday in my mom’s memory. Hundreds of hours were put into the tapestries, a true labor of love.
My Godfather, Frank Hranek, or known as “Kristnetata” in Slovak, passed from leukemia. I created an oil painting of Cayuga Sunrise Memories with his classic Chris Craft mahogany boat . The painting was donated to Lourdes End of Life Hospice in his memory. Another labor of love toward a man who continually gave from his heart.
A year prior to my Mom passing, I painted an acrylic of my parents, but a spiritual interpretation of their heavenly essence on the other side of the veil and gave it to them. I think between the painting and Chert Dog, Dad gradually adjusted to his devastating grief as my Mom was truly an earth angel! I still hear about her great assistance in encouraging and praying with others and her random acts of kindness from people I have never met before. Mom often wore flowers in her hair and radiated pure joy!
Grandma Marge and Grandpa Eddie Stolarcyk had a home in Port Charolette, Florida with the canal behind them, the harbor beyond them and fruit and flowering trees everywhere! When we would visit, we were delegated to pick, pack and transport grapefruit when there were not shipping constraints. These amazingly grapefruits were disfigured on the outside but surprisingly pink, sweet and extremely juicy on the inside – as Grandma would say, Nector from the Gods! When Grandma had to move to assisted living, I painted an acrylic of her home on Bangsburg Drive as it followed her around the entire nursing facility from room to room as she began to transition. It is donated to the nursing home for their assistance in making the last few years of her life as precious as possible. We were blessed with Jose, an employee who became Grandma Marge’s “boyfriend” and who would learn to say to her every day, “Ya ti muc, muc, muc lubiem!” which means in Slovak “I love you very, very, very much!” It is her faith which has instilled in me overcoming all obstacles in the pursuit of my dreams and allowed for “My Father’s Greatest Gift: Life Lessons from a Black English Labrador Retriever.” She was my first editor and known to all as “the word lady” as well as Mrs. Hallmark, who remembered every anniversary, birthday and holiday. She was Perfection Personified in a Pure, Loving and PINK Way!
Grandma Marge was quite a party lady in the day, and I found golden bead trimmed party dress of hers and decided to paint a hummingbird with acrylic on a piece of of the dress material and used the beadwork to frame the quilted piece. This one is for sale. You may contact me at: lorid.loriginals@yahoo. com, via the message on the website or look at my profile for more details. (Commissioned work available upon request).
I enjoy incorporating my painting on material and quilting it into wall hangings. I’ve done it for years. Following are a few more examples of my craft. The Taughannock Waterfall well as the 1957 Pink Packard Pet are for sale. You may contact at: lorid.loriginals@yahoo. com, via the message on the website or look at my profile for more details. (Commissioned work available upon request).
The further examples of my artwork and quilting and not available for sale.
Additional samples from pastel, oil, crayon and pencil to painting a nativity scene follow.
As some of you may know, I also give private piano and art lessons and have also done painting parties. Usually, my piano students also take art lessons! A few photos below. Feel free tocontact me for more information at email@example.com, my website or see my profile for more information.
And of course, the children just adore Jaco Kitty! What a “ham!”
Living By Faith
“We do not lose heart, because our inner being is renewed each day even though our body is being destroyed at the same time. The present burden of our trial is light enough, and earns for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison. We do not fix our gaze on what is seen but on what is unseen. What is seen is transitory; what is unseen last forever.” 2 Corinthians 4:16-18
“You are a child of the Universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here.”
OK, so the joke about this cover photograph has to do with the beginning of sharing the original manuscript with friends and family, with the first draft completed September 2010. My good friend, Debbie Standard, arrived at Arrowhead Parable Christian Center with her first copy of the story in manuscript format and traded it in for the published book! You gotta love it!
My cousin, Michelle Michalek, arrived early for her copy of Chert’s story. The book signing had a tremendous outpouring of my extended family which warmed my heart and soul! So very thankful for their encouragement and support in this labor of love!
So here is the real “synchronicity” about the dress I am wearing. The top beaded neckline of the dress that I made is taken from a party dress of my Grandmother Marge’s. She was my first editor of the manuscript. As a word lady and Scrabble, Upwords and Crossword Wiz, she also had the married name from her first husband of Margaret Mitchell, the author at the time of “Gone With The Wind.” Her use of words has been a strong influence in the building of becoming an author in my life. Thank you, Grandma! Ya Ti Muc Muc Muc Lubiem!!!
As Aunt Kathy Stolarcyk walked in and saw me, she smiled ear to ear and asked me if that was Grandma Marge’s dress, as I told her it was the collar from her dress. The beaded dress is what Grandma Marge wore to Aunt Kathy and Uncle Mike’s wedding! I could feel wedding energy in the dress, and now know where exactly she had worn it!
As some of you have seen from a previous posting, I painted a hummingbird on the yellow dress of my Grandmother Marge’s and utilized all the beadwork from the hemline of that dress to frame the picture. Interestingly enough, my hummingbirds have been coming back around to the feeder this week and I am reminded of my beloved Grandmother Marge whose first anniversary is on the Blessed Mother’s Assumption. Ironically, my Grandmother Susie Marchell also passed on that sacred day as well, with Mom’s anniversary being Easter Sunday, so I have been very blessed with such spiritually strong, powerful and loving women figures in my life!
“The color PINK represents caring, compassion, unconditional love and understanding.”
“The color YELLOW symbolizes friendliness, warmth and honesty; displaying light, hope and encouragement.”
My cousin Michelle Stolarcyk arrived as we shared our stories about Grandpa Stolarcyk and his crazy wild pants that he would wear as well as Chert’s love of Battaglini Bread from my Uncle Joe and Aunt Carol’s bakery, where no dogs are allowed!
Now here is another “synchronicity” story about Becky Tinker, a previous co-worker with my Mom who happened to move across the street from me a few years ago! We have great fun together and always feel my Mom’ Joyous Spirit hovering around us when we go for our walks around the neighborhood! I offered Becky the manuscript, but she wanted to book instead!
Thank you to Craig Hall at Arrowhead Parable Christian Store, to all the people who came to visit and hear about Chert’s story and purchase a book for themselves or family and friends! I hope that Chert’s story warms their hearts and gives them some insight into the short and purposeful lives of angels in furry clothing!
“My Father’s Greatest Gift: Life Lessons from a Black English Labrador Retriever” is available online through Barnes and Noble, Amazon, etc., as well as my website:
“Doghead is pretty easy to learn, you just have to speak from the heart.”
L.D. Marchell “My Father’s Greatest Gift:
Life Lessons from a Black English Labrador Retriever”
As some of you may know, I promised Chert Dog that I would get his story of unconditional love and forgiveness published, but that I would also promote it so that his mission and purpose would spread across the world. Today was “his” first television interview with Kara Conrad, producer and host on WBNG -TV CBS Channel 12 News featured in “Around the Tiers” segment aired Monday – Friday from 12:15- 12:30 pm. As synchronicity would have it, my booth at Otsiningo Park’s “All Paws for a Cause Dog Walk” is how this interview came about! Following is the link to the interview. Enjoy!
“Like” Kara Conrad on Facebook and “Follow” her on Twitter.
Chert was an old soul, and his charisma attracted all the children in the neighborhood including his female girlfriend, Syria, a Sassy White Bichon who just happened to live across the street! Chert had two loves, for his stomach it was PIZZA! And for his heart it was Syria! His favorite time of year was Halloween when everyone would come to visit HIM (or so he thought)! His last year with us, it was a prerequisite from all of the trick-or-treaters that they had to pet the dog first before they got a treat! I will always remember the magic and wonder Chert brought to my heart and am much blessed to have known, loved and to have been loved by such an altruistic angel in furry clothing!
Since I enjoy painting on material with acrylic paint and then quilting it into a wall hanging, I thought it would be a fun project for Nandhana and Sanjana to do! They both have their own style and really did a terrific job! We used a photograph from Taughannock Falls State Park. They admired the wall hanging below that I did and asked if they could make one, too!
Pictured below are the young budding artists at work painting in the basement with the material taped down on a hard board. Once their paintings were completed, I sewed the quilting in and backed them into wall hangings and added some shimmer, sequins and glitter! These will look lovely displayed in their new home!
A short video of the girls in their painting process is linked below!
And of course, we must have visiting time with Jaco Kitty!
These young ladies are very talented and Nandanah plays the violin and takes piano lessons from me as well! Below is a final photo of these two little angels all dressed up! See Grandma Marge’s PINK Orb in the photo above Sanjana? She’s always flying!
Throughout the creative process, I paint pictures, write stories, take photographs and compose music which all interweave into the tapestry of my life. Though viewing the process from the underside with all the loose threads it appears to be quite a mess, the passion within is determined to interweave all the colorful threads to behold a brilliant gift from the Universe!
This copyrighted piano composition is inspired by 1 Corinthians 13 and spans my life journey. When my beloved Mother passed, Dad had this engraved on their stone:
“A hug, a smile, a kiss, fond memories of a lifetime”
(Posted on You Tube as well as on my blog’s Piano, Art and Photography tab, with some of my artwork, photography and family photos to go along with the music).
“Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves.”
“No synonym for God is so perfect as Beauty. Whether as seen carving the lines of the mountains with glaciers, or gathering matter into stars, or planning the movements of water, or gardening – still all is Beauty!”
“Everything is flowing — going somewhere, animals and so-called lifeless rocks as well as water. Thus the snow flows fast or slow in grand beauty-making glaciers and avalanches; the air in majestic floods carrying minerals, plant leaves, seeds, spores, with streams of music and fragrance; water streams carrying rocks… While the stars go streaming through space pulsed on and on forever like blood…in Nature’s warm heart.”
“One is constantly reminded of the infinite lavishness and fertility of Nature — inexhaustible abundance amid what seems enormous waste. And yet when we look into any of her operations that lie within reach of our minds, we learn that no particle of her material is wasted or worn out. It is eternally flowing from use to use, beauty to yet higher beauty; and we soon cease to lament waste and death, and rather rejoice and exult in the imperishable, unspendable wealth of the universe, and faithfully watch and wait the reappearance of everything that melts and fades and dies about us, feeling sure that its next appearance will be better and more beautiful than the last.”
“How little note is taken of the deeds of Nature! What paper publishes her reports? …. Who publishes the sheet-music of the winds, or the written music of water written in river-lines? Who reports and works and ways of the clouds, those wondrous creations coming into being every day like freshly upheaved mountains? And what record is kept of Nature’s colors – – the clothes she wears – of her birds, her beasts – her live-stock?”
“Nature is always lovely, invincible, glad, whatever is done and suffered by her creatures. All scars she heals, whether in rocks or water or sky or hearts.”
“When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe.”
“Amos the Bordeaux Mastiff descendant of Turner and Hooch (aka Beasely).”
As summer is upon us, I have been asked to perform in “The Other Ear,” a band which was formed several years ago with our last gig played at “The Nines,” a college town bar located in Ithaca, NY. The original Composer/Singer/Guitarist, Ben Fambrough, relocated out-of-state and life moved on. The beginning of this project has turned into two gigs which will be held on Friday, July 21, 2017 at 8:00 pm at The Cyber Cafe’ West in Binghamton, NY and Saturday, July 22, 2017 at 8:00 pm at The Ransom Steele Tavern in Apalachin, NY.
The band began as “The Big Ear” with Ben Fambrough, Composer, Guitar, Lead Vocals; Chuck Kozlowski, Drums/Percussion, Back-up Vocals; and Chris Carlsen, Bass and Vocals. As many musicians know, a three-piece band is wonderful but requires additional fill-in music to allow for varied expression within the context of the song (of course unless you are a RUSH fan)!
So then I was asked to play keyboards and hence “The Other Ear” was formed! Being classically trained, this was quite a new experience in music playing, listening and expression – to say the least! As well as a patience-builder for all involved who play ‘by ear.’ My beginning piano playing involved sight reading to the max which includes such repertoire as Beethoven’s Sonata Pathetique’ – certainly not a piece one learns to play ‘by ear’ with as many notes as possible crammed into one measure!
So as I have been somewhat absent from my blogging this past month, it has been due to time spent practicing songs in preparation for the two upcoming gigs this weekend! My thanks to all the other band members for their support with my learning curve from Classical to Rock! Most of the songs are originals written by Ben, with some covers thrown in by Phish (Dirt), Talking Heads (Cities), Medeski, Martin & Wood (Think) and of course, the timeless Beatles (Prudence).
Below are a few links to some of the music. Enjoy!
All six carousels were donated between 1919 – 1934 by *George F. Johnson, founder of the Endicott Johnson Corporation (1857-1948). His gift to the community was that all can enjoy riding the carousels for free! The carousels were manufactured from the Allan Herschell Company, North Tonawanda, NY.
Open from Memorial Day to Labor Day Broome County, NY.
“The Twilight Zone” Walking Distance (TV Episode 1959) by Rod Serling”
Recreation Park Carousel and its housing Pavilion were built in 1925 with 60 “jumper” horses four abreast and two chariots.
This community has the only four abreast Herschell carousels still in existence which are:
C. Fred Johnson Park Carousel
Recreation Park Carousel
Ross Park Carousel
Ross Park Carousel built in 1920 houses 60 “jumper” horses which are four abreast and two chariots. It is currently under renovation.
C. Fred Johnson Park Carousel and the Pavilion were constructed in 1923 which houses 72 figures, all are “jumpers” which are four abreast.
Highland Park Carousel was built in 1925 and originally located at the old En-Joie Park in Endicott, then relocated to its current location. It has 36 “jumper” animals with a pig and a dog situated three abreast!
George W. Johnson Park Carousel was built in 1934 with 36 horses three abreast and two chariots enclosed in the original Pavilion.
West Endicott Park Carousel built in 1929 has 36 animals three abreast, including a dog and a pig along with horses, all are “jumpers” and enclosed in a Pavilion.
There are fewer than 150 antique carousels left in the United States and Canada.
*In gratitude to George F. Johnson and his vision for welfare capitalism. Both sides of my family were immigrants from Czechloslovakia who worked at the Endicott Johnson Shoe Factory. Mr. Johnson provided a pamphlet to all new employees called “An EJ Worker’s First Lesson in the Square Deal.” Some of these benefits included shoes, medical, subsidized housing, playgrounds, parks and FREE CAROUSEL RIDES!
Ah, Doghead here. Hope you enjoyed hearing about what
my mission was while I was here. Just thought I’d like to point
out the synchronicity of all of the events that led to bringing that
much needed peace and serenity to John’s tormented soul. His wife,
Connie, had told him that if she were ever to leave the earth plane,
she would come back as his dog because he gave so much love and
attention to all of the animals in his life. All I can tell you on that
note is that since Love is all there is and we are all One in the Spirit,
it is quite possible that her love channeled through me to mend his
broken heart and bring life more abundantly into his life. So my
mission was accomplished and I want to thank you for giving me the
opportunity to share my experience of the unlimited powers of love
with you. Doghead out.
“You can develop good judgement as you do the muscles of your body – by judicious, daily exercise.”
My favorite reference book is Roget’s Thesaurus for the various meanings behind the proper usage of words. Under the word judgement are five separate meanings!
Through our lives lessons we learn to access intellectually the power of sound judgement in arriving to conclusions in decision-making in our lives.
The use of discernment in terms of discriminating what serves the highest and best for all concerned is utilizing another aspect of sound judgement in our lives. This can also be used towards spiritual discernment.
Our freedom and power of choice comes into play when we are calling upon utilizing out tool set in making decisions based on judgement.
Criticizing and lower vibrational fear based thinking is involved in condemning others acts, beliefs and behaviors without compassion when judgement is used in this context.
And then there is the legal system associated with controlling and manipulating others in sentencing them due to the judgement ascertained upon their actions.
“I love when things are transparent, free and clear of all inhibition and judgement.”
It became apparent to me this morning that the summons I recently received to serve on jury duty placed me in an awkward state of mind. Who am I to pass judgement on someone else? Have I lived their life, was I raised in their environment, have I experienced the social, moral, mental, spiritual and emotional influences that they have had and walked a mile in their shoes? And even then, who am I to judge? The log in my eye requires much more attention than the speck in my brother or sister’s eye.
“Let the refining and improving of your own life keep you so busy that you have little time to criticize others.”
H. Jackson Brown, Jr.
It also became apparent to me when someone commented on something inadvertently directed towards me, it made me dig deeper in questioning myself to find the meaning to the feelings which were conjured up within me.
We all know that we are not to take things personally, yet there was a hidden message in what was said that made me “chew” on the concepts as I kept asking for a deeper understanding as to be clear about the message this messenger brought to me.
“Judge not lest you be judged. For with the judgement you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?”
Worthiness and self-love are core issues of the heart which are oftentimes disregarded in our early growth and learning process which eventually catches up to us.
“What is not fully exposed earlier in life is revealed and made up for in development.”
So the truth of the emotionally charged comment revealed an insightful level of understanding for me that was two-fold. First and foremost, when someone is unfairly judged, they unconsciously direct that towards others. Secondly, by it “affecting” me, it shows that I still have more inner self-healing to work on in that area of my life. It’s always about the refining and improving of yourself on this personal path of enlightenment, as all messages are a present to open and reveal the gift of inner growth.
So I am forever grateful for this message, for it has revealed a much deeper appreciation of conscious awareness towards others as well as teaching me what is most important in taking care of myself. It all comes down to compassion, unconditional love and forgiveness.
“Circumstances and situations do color life but you have been given the mind to choose what the color shall be.”
John Homer Miller
The conclusion to my summons? It is clear that I will most probably not be selected for jury duty as it is not for me to judge – it is, however, essential to be compassionate towards all as our life is a journey of the heart.
“Suddenly an angel appeared among them, and the landscape shone bright with the glory of the Lord.”
“I bring you the most joyful news ever announced! The Savior – yes, the Messiah, the Lord – has been born tonight in Bethlehem!”
Luke 2: 10
“The Candy Cane”
The hard candy is shaped like a “J” to represent that Jesus is our rock of all ages. The candy was made white to stand for the pureness of Jesus. The red represents the blood that Jesus shed to save us from our sins.
With all this snow outside, I thought I would share my first Christmas photo shoot with you! Thank goodness the sun was outside because the snow is very cold! Unlike my older brother, Chert, I DO NOT love sitting in the snow! He, however, would just sit in it for hours, as I was told! I wish that I had met him, but that defeats the whole reason I am here, doesn’t it? Because I am Chert’s Gift to the family he left behind when he went home to be with his Master. The children in the neighborhoood Chert grew up in used to call his Master “Mr. John” which made him smile and fill his heart with joy. Children have a way of doing that, as I so love when the piano and art students come to visit!
So, my first Christmas was fascinating as the artificial Christmas tree stood positioned between the living room and piano parlor entryway. This cut my running route off, so I had to learn to scoot through the sides of the tree! I thoroughly enjoyed sliding on the tree skirt positioned underneath the tree atop the wood flooring! The ornaments and lights became fascinating to look at, and staring at them for any length of time began to mesmerize me! I must confess I did bat at a few of the ornaments, but much prefer my catnip toys! When gifts were opened, I enjoyed playing with all the ribbons, tissue and wrapping paper – not to mention the boxes were fun for jumping in and hiding inside!
My most memorable experience that first Christmas was the beautiful music, colorful lights and warm feeling of pure love surrounding and enveloping the season. As a natural wayshower myself with born intuitive instincts, I feel this intoxicating love and kindness within me and surrounding me and enveloping me with such joyous, peaceful tranquility. We angelic animals are here to assist in transmuting and transforming these man-made, inconsistent and damaging thoughts, words and actions into joy, peace and love. Chert knew it. I know it. We have to assist in being the light and doing the work to bring about restoration to our world one loving thought, word or action at a time.
“If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.” Dalai Lama
Ben Fambrough (lead vocals, guitar); Chuck Kozlowski (drums, back-up vocals); Chris Carlsen (bass, vocals); Lori D. Marchell Carlsen (keyboards); with guest musicians Rich Kennicutt (keyboards) and James Michael Thompson (guitar, vocals).
“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”
“Talent is Good, Practice is Better, Passion is Best!”
Frank Lloyd Wright
“The difference between ordinary and extraordinary is practice.”
“Your talent is God’s gift to you. What you do with it, is your gift back to God.”
“Music gives a Soul to the Universe, Wings to the Mind, Flight to the Imagination, and Life to Everything.”
“To play a wrong note is insignificant; to play without passion is inexcusable.”
Ludwig van Beethoven
“It is a mistake to think that the practice of my art has become easy to me.”
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
“The most valuable practice aid is patience.”
“Excellence is not a skill, it’s an attitude.”
Thank you to Ransom Steele Tavern, Cyber Cafe West, family, friends and guests for making The Other Ear’s Reunion weekend of music a memorable experience for everyone!
Recordings will be available in the near future from the two gigs which include Ben Fambrough’s original songs as well as cover music from such artists as Talking Heads, Phish, Beatles and Grateful Dead.
Ben Fambrough (lead vocals, guitar); Chuck Kozlowski (drums, back-up vocals); Chris Carlsen (bass, vocals); Lori D. Marchell Carlsen (keyboards); with guest musicians Rich Kennicutt (keyboards) and James Michael Thompson (guitar, vocals).
“The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; upon those who dwelt in the land of gloom a light has shone. You have brought them abundant joy and great rejoicing.”
The past few days have been remarkable in the phenomenon of nature, be it in the gathering of hundreds of bees, the singing of birds in the trees, the brilliant colors exhibited in the sky, one must simply wonder and ask the Universe “why?” The humor in this rhyme is my featured Jaco Kitty, who has a habit of talking extremely loud and oftentimes sounds like he is asking the question, “why?” He also squeaks with a cadence sounding similar to the goldfinch chirp! As he welcomes in the morning light, his wonderment of the day to unfold is greeted with joyous anticipation, as if to say “why not?!” The lessons that he teaches me about patience and the perfection in timing cannot be overly stated. I do believe as I have referenced in my first book, “My Father’s Greatest Gift: Life Lessons From A Black English Labrador Retriever” that Chert Dog sent me Jaco Kitty to teach me the necessary next lessons in my life in order to learn how to take quantum leaps of faith to soar and fly. Jaco is one of my greatest teachers as his present moment involvement in all that surrounds him shows me to take in everything as it is a gift. When Jaco took a leap of faith from an oak tree to the lower branch the year I found him, he taught me about trust, joy and patience that day. I hope that we can be open to these small, daily reminders every day about how very short our time is here. Let us be reminded continually to take in what is most valuable in our lives and embrace it!
“Now remain these three things: Faith, Hope and Love; and the greatest of these is Love.”
1 Corinthians 13:13
“Adapt the pace of nature. Her secret is patience.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson
“Live in each season as it passes; breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit, and resign yourself to the influence of the earth.”
Henry David Thoreau
“The setting sun, and music at the close, as the last taste of sweets, is sweetest last, writ in remembrance more than things long past.”
Č’ert Dog had a plan for me. Four months to the day, I awoke
compelled to walk to watershed where we would drive him to go
for his walks. It was the last place he walked while still with us. As
I began walking back down the busy road (which I normally would
drive when Č’ert was with me), I heard a crying sound. Sure enough,
atop an old oak tree there clung a gold and white kitten holding onto
the very top of the tree for dear life. After about an hour and a half
of praying, talking to him and encouraging him, he finally took a
“leap of faith” from his predicament as he began to fall down the
tree, clinging to branches along the way. I climbed up the tree and
caught him. He trembled as I wrapped him in my scarf and I held
him close to my chest as I walked him home. He was very dehydrated
and looked as if he had not eaten for many days…
Jaco Kitty’s first toy was a tiger printed bow tie from one of
Č’ert Dog’s Halloween costumes. I stuffed it and put elastic around
it. It is his favorite toy and he brings it everywhere with him. It is
actually very coincidental as that it was Č’ert Dog’s as he always had
to have a toy, a shirt, something in his mouth. Jaco is also very fast
and runs around the house and outside when we are outside with him.
When he first gets up in the morning or when he is running around,
he makes a squeaking sound similar to that of my favorite bird call
of the goldfinch. Of course, he goes for the white birch tree out front
and likes to perch inside its weeping branches. I did find him in a
tree, so I guess it is his favorite place to be!
“Hope in God! For I shall again be thanking Him; in the presence of My Savior and my God!”
“And He will…make you shine like the sun, and hold you in the palm of his Hand.”
“Who gave Himself for our sins, to rescue us from the present evil age, as our God and Father willed – to Him be Glory for Endless Ages!”
“It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.”
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
“Doghead is easy to learn, you just have to speak from the heart.”
As some of you may know, through the tragic loss of my Mom, Chert Dog saved not only my Father’s heart, but my brother, John’s and mine too! There is something about unconditional love from an animal, so altruistic, pure, peaceful and kind. Angels brought to us in various forms, to be embraced and cherished or relinquished forever as we are all given that chance to choose the highest and best for all concerned.
It is during these most tremulous times that we are being given the opportunity to make new consciously aware and awakened choices with our most precious gift of life. Allow for your new preferences to include:
“…Whatever is true, whatever is kind, whatever is lovely, and if there be anything worthy of praise, think then on these things.”
“You who dwell in the shelter of the Lord, Who abide in His shadow for life, Say to the Lord, ‘My Refuge,’ My Rock in Whom I trust. And He will raise you up on eagle’s wings, Bear you on the breath of dawn, Make you to shine like the sun, And hold you in the palm of His Hand.”
On Eagles Wings by Michael Joncas (Psalm 91)
This is the last in The Three-part Romeo Series of oil paintings inspired by Tofino Photography. My eternal gratitude for the empowering photographic compositions which bring one to a place of such beauty, tranquility and peace!
As I took a break from painting the second layer of oils onto the canvas yesterday, I went outside to walk barefoot in the lush, soft grass. As I walked around my prolific blooming garden, I knelt in the grass next to my Sacred Heart of Jesus Statue that I have placed in front of my white with pink-tipped flowering Peony plant, whose buds are just beginning to form. The statue is with Jesus dressed in his white robe with the red over shawl, as some of you have seen in my photographic image of the setting sun in my posting entitled Jesus Walks Among Us. If you look into the setting sun over Highland Lake, you see an image of what appears to be an individual wearing a white robe with a red shawl. It also appears that this image has an individual alongside him as the red material seems to be wrapped out around another image. When my Dad was alive, I recall him sharing with me a dream he had which impacted him for the rest of his life. It was a vision of Jesus, shining in his glory in a purple glowing cloak with his ethereal eyes gleaming compassionately to envelope ones soul with peace. So I ended up repainting the Sacred Heart of Jesus Statue’s heart and his wounds in red and the cross, chain and shield in gold and the collar of his cloak in gold.
I do believe that the Romeo Eclipse is an important message for us all, that we are to be living heaven on earth now, and that the lion shall finally lie down with the lamb.
“Let there be a world to see, Let it be of Inspiration, Let there be a world to be, Let it be of God’s Creation.”
John V. Marchell (My Dad)
“The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the suffering and afflicted. He has sent me to comfort the broken-hearted…Beauty for ashes; Joy instead of mourning; Praise instead of heaviness.”
“All you birds of the air, Bless the Lord; Praise and exalt Him forever.”
On this Mother’s Day, Grandma Marge will be flying around as a hummingbird in her angelic realm for certain! The above painting of a hummingbird in acrylic I painted on one of her party dresses and used the beaded hemline to create a border around it. She was so thrilled when I brought it for her to see, and am so very thankful for the time I spent with her throughout my life! But especially during the time from when my Mom passed and I moved back to New York from California. Our relationship merged into that of Grandmother/Mother and Granddaughter/Daughter. It is these memories that are cherished in my heart for always!!!
I was with her a few hours before she passed. It was the Feast Day of The Blessed Mother’s Assumption. During that most sacred time, she emphatically asked me to put her “poppuchies” on now (slippers in Slovak), put a hat on her head now and she wanted to sit in her chair as if to wait for the angels to come to carry her home! When she had spoken with Father Tim earlier that week, she said that she just wanted to go home and be with Jesus, her best friend! I recall the gathering of birds that flew by me that evening, their haunting calls were not of common birds. As some of you have read from my previous postings, Grandma gave me a gift of spiritual stigmata on my left hand the following day of her passing and it disappeared when I brought her rose embellished urn vase to her resting place at Calvary Cemetery seven days later.
In memory of her unconditional love and forgiveness, I am posting a short video of her singing at United Methodist Homes accompanied by Ralph with his harmonica. She sings “You Belong to Me, Now and For Always.” Ya Ti Muc Muc Muc Lubiem Starinka!!!
“The transcendental state of Being lies beyond all seeing, hearing, touching, smelling, and tasting – beyond all thinking and beyond all feeling.”
Maharishi Mahesh Yogi
There are sacred moments in time where all the senses are so attuned that you feel saturated in the love of the Universe! It is places like Highland Lake which have brought that sense of awareness in timelessness. Prior to having internet and cell service there, it seemed to magically bring you to a place of peacefulness, wonderment and awe as moments seemed to span lifetimes!
There is a glorious Willow Tree named “The Lady of the Lake” whose graceful limbs with lacey leaves reach towards the heavens! Her hour glass womanly figure-shaped trunk has weathered many a winter’s wind and basked in the summer’s vibrant glory! An earlier limb was used for children to swing out into the lake as they would splash cheerfully into the water! Through the years, she had to relinquish this part of herself to the past, full of memories of her lifetime!
On the pathway walking around Highland Lake there is a stoic moss covered tree known as “The Lord of the Forest” whose stately presence breathes embodiment to all of nature.
Further along the pathway around the lake, there is a section where the stream and pond flow out into the lake. Oftentimes you will see turtles and bullfrogs, together with dragonflies and you may even encounter a fairy or two!
As you continue along the pathway, the senses of sight, taste, smell, hearing, feeling and knowing are awakened in the freshness of the fragrant, soothing air. It is moments like this which span our awareness of time and we become one with all that is around us and within us. This bliss full state of consciousness allows for incredible insights as the mind drops into sacred heart-centered alignment and inner knowing. You may see a spiritual rainbow cone, or even an orb or two!
Peaceful mornings and throughout the day, the lake transforms her appearance into something new! There is much to be learned from her deep lesson of inner knowing.
Cloud formations pass throughout the day, bringing colorful rainbows, angelic wisps of glistening crystals, as the sunlight reflects brilliantly off the textured glassy water.
And so after a splendid sunset, the campfires begin to emerge surrounding the water’s edge. Oftentimes, the fireflies will gather around the sloping hills as the crickets and peepers and tree frogs begin their harmonic evening melodies which accompany the sparkling starts lighting up the gradually darkening vast evening sky.
Sunfish Sailboats sport around Highland Lake with moments of gusty winds and other peaceful doldrums. There is a gentleman who has configured a way to sail his rainbow colored sailboat around the lake using just the one arm that he has – remarkable the ingenuity of the power of invention, determination and necessity!
Then there is the early morning choir of birds singing, as the stillness of the morning air and water invigorates the soul. Timelessness revisited.
Various boating activities and music festivals as well as floatilla competition are just some of the many activities at Highland Lake. Not to mention the fireworks! They simply begin on the Fourth of July weekend and continue throughout the season!
And so our lives are to be lived to their fullest, richest, reaching for the stars, pressed down and flowing over! As my Mom would say, “Keep Joy in your life, Jesus wants it that way!” and as Grandma Marge would say, “Happy, Happy, Happy!!! Joy, Joy, Joy!!!”
“Rejoice in the Lord always! And again I say, rejoice!”
“In quietness and confidence shall be your strength.”
Yellow, one of the three primary colors in an artists’ palette, it is often used as the color of sunshine, optimism, enlightenment of creativity and symbolizes spring. It communicates our third chakra’s empowerment and is the center of our very being. Being a Pilates and Yoga Instructor and Creative Coach, this is where all our emotional health and wellness, confidence and ability to believe in one self centers from. As a pianist, it resonates to the letter “E” of the scale and uses sight and fire to create confidence within as music can sooth the soul.
It’s luminosity has actually changed the yellow hues of our planetary sun into a brilliant diamond of crystal prisms of dazzling white light. Yellow was my Mom’s favorite color, and ironically it symbolizes that angels are in our presence.
“Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.”
In memory of Connie A. Mitchell Marchell whose anniversary will be this Easter, and ironically she passed on Easter 22 years ago. Who many have called an earth angel, whose unconditional love, generosity, pure, open heart and sparkling smile radiated God’s Love, Joy and Peace and touched everyone on her Yellow Brick Road Pathway. She would oftentimes say to me that “Sometimes God allows our hearts to be broken so that He can beautify our souls.” Sunflowers are one of the many things which remind me of her essence and presence in my life. I do believe that these flowers cry tears of joy, too.
“All in good time and measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over.”
“For the Lord sees not as man sees; man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.”
1 Samuel 15:17
“Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any virtue and excellence and anything praiseworthy, meditate on these things.”
My new family is involved in an old English style of dance
called Morris Dancing which involves groups of 4, 6, or sometimes
even 8 people who line-up in two rows across from each other wearing
white outfits and bells on their shins and either handkerchiefs or
sticks in their hands. They weave around each other and jump up in
the air and dance along with music which is played on instruments
such as an accordion, concertina, violin, drum and flute (just to name
a few). I understand that Lori and Chris met while dancing at the
Maple Sugar Festival in Marathon, NY. Morris Dancing remains an
important part of my new family’s life. That said Chris took me for
a ride with him to this old English Tudor styled inn in a place called
Gilbertsville. There were several other Morris dancers and musicians
at the inn, which they referred to as the Major’s Inn. There was much
music, dancing, drinking and food to enjoy. Several Morris dancers
gave me many yummy treats which I thankfully inhaled. Little did
I know that all this diet and exercise that I had been so diligently
pursuing would create such intestinal complications from this rich
food! Oh well, he wanted to bring me!
The next day Lori arrived with a very close friend who also happens to be a Morris dancer, but for the women’s team. Since the weather had turned cool and rainy,
they let me stay in the car, which I gladly enjoyed having the warmth
and comfort instead of the wet, hard pavement and sidewalk. Then,
we drove back to the Major’s Inn for a big feast! More rich food, but
this time Lori was keeping track of my diet regime and I thankfully
did not experience any further intestinal difficulties thank you very
That evening, we were sleeping in a corner room of the vast
mansion when all of a sudden, there was an incredible amount of
noisy music coming from the hallway outside the door! Being the
protective and inquisitive Doghead that I am, I went closer to the
door to investigate all the commotion. Well, wouldn’t you know it,
they opened our bedroom door! Then the music and noise became
much louder and I began to wag my tail in anticipation of being able
to be part of this unusual sounding marching band. Apparently, my
presence was not well accepted as I was suddenly pushed back into
the room, sliding along the wooden floor as the door slammed behind
me! Oh well, I really didn’t care much for their style of music anyway.
I much more enjoyed the music accompanying the Morris Dancers.
Maybe that is why the marching band only plays at night because they
really are not very good – is sounds more like nonsense than music
to my Doghead ears anyway!
There is a favorite saying from the Law of Attraction which states “No amount of action can compensate for misaligned energy.” Potent statement which reveals the vital importance of inner clearing, aligning, strengthening and empowering to connect with all that is, our purest relationship with God, Source, Love, Light, Peace, Joy to embody the music of our heart. This moment captured in time conveys the rainbow loving energy of God’s Love embracing, surrounding and flowing from within, the softness of angelic whispers blowing through Dad’s Crimson Kind Maple, the fragrance of roses, the taste of fresh, crisp enlivening air, the harmonics of birds singing and the inner knowing of an incredible monumental moment where the saturation of joyousness shown through to remind us of how loved we are. This was my first experience of transcending the linear to embody the infinite. I even had an orb caught on my face! This digital age has allowed for things which were not seen but felt to now being revealed.
If faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not yet seen (Hebrews 1:11), why are we “seeing” and “hearing” amazing colors, bell-tones and applying quantum leaps of faith now more than ever? Sometimes we just have to have faith, trust and patience in the process of our new journey to living in peace, where the lion lies down with the lamb. It is time. Grandma Marge would say in Slovak “uj moy dost” or “uj je ches.” Sometimes, we just have to believe.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord…”plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11.
While watching a Weather Report Music DVD with friends
on “Jaco Pastorius” night, Jaco had been playing outside all day and
was pooped. He rested on the loveseat while we watched the concert.
He seemed to nod his head with the bass beat, and when a mistake
was made, he actually put his paw over his head in disbelief! A true
musician at heart he is! If he isn’t resting in my husband’s bass case,
he is on the piano bench either playing the piano on his own or sitting
with me as we do our duet together. Since he has such large paws, he
can play a triad. I just add the bass notes, and wallah, we have a song!
Since we refer to Č’ert Dog as Jaco’s older brother, the
blessings of new adventures continues…..
One of my favorite Bible verses is taken from 1 Corinthians 13 regarding the importance of Love in our life. If you explore the context further with use of your trusty Thesaurus, the deeper meaning of the sublimation of our ego and the imperative importance of forgiveness of both others as well as ourselves comes to light. Contemplating these inner truths while sitting underneath my beautiful and fragrant Wine and Roses Weigela, the message of unconditional love permeates through the air, the flowers, the birds and sun. It surrounds us and envelopes us, it molds and shapes us into becoming all that we are capable of through the collective power of Love.
With this Valentine’s Day remembering all those we have loved and continue to love, it is imperative that we look within to celebrate the joy of your inner wellspring of God/Source/Energy and to spread this love prayerfully and energetically through your gift of conscious awareness toward all of life. It is our duty and purposeful calling to permeate and saturate the entire world with loving, joyous and peaceful thoughts towards all life. As I am contemplative sitting underneath my colorful Weigela, I think about the love and grace that went into creating such a glorious creation and marvel at all the beauty surrounding us and within us. That’s why I meditate so often, as it renews my spirit and allows for me to prepare for my next quantum leap of faith!
“Since the Lord is directing our steps, why try to understand everything that happens along the way?” Proverbs 21:24