Monthly Archives: December 2007

New Year’s Resolutions . . . Not!

Ahhhhhhhhhhh! What a nice break that was. Much thanks to Clary for understanding about my need to let my posts slide for a little bit. It’s been a hectic holiday season–it’s been a hectic few months–and I needed some time to kick back and relax. But it’s about that time to get back to it all, so . . .

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. I don’t make New Year’s resolutions. Haven’t since I was about 12 years old or so. As far as I’m concerned, why not start earlier and continue upon what you’re doing? Or start later when you can. Change what needs to be changed, keep what needs to be kept, but who cares what day it is?

Aside from various events, the main thing that really changes based on the year is the date. But some things do make the “New Year” convenient in terms of getting certain projects done. The availability of resources and time. The working world has slowed down because of the holidays right before the change of the year, and one can take some time to just relax or get things in order without worrying about outside obligations.

And there are bargains after the holidays. Everybody wants your money, because they know it’s a peak season for people to buy junk they’ll use for a few months (usually past the date it can be returned for something practical). If you’re in the market to buy specific items, just after the holidays is one of the best times to go out and get them.

Almost everyone’s pumped up at this time–just off of vacation (for those that get one;), high off of presents and surviving family events, etc.

But, still, for me–and I suspect for many other artists, business people, and the like–2008 will be a continuation of projects, work, and in general just living life. So to those who make New Year’s resolutions–much luck to you! And to those who don’t–high five!
Nancy O. Greene
http://www.portraits.bravehost.com

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Eat, Pray, Love

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From Linda’s opinion page: She is definitely in the news. I’ve watched Elizabeth Gilbert on Oprah twice now and found myself stirred by Gilbert’s eager and more than passionate delivery when asked a question about or to elaborate on the experience of writing her book, “Eat, Pray, Love.” The excited state of the audience during both shows was off the charts, spinning my head to a place that wanted to know and understand what I could be missing. At this point I had not read the book, but found it interesting to realize there are so many people (especially women in this case) who experience their lives as lacking and unfulfilled; ready to drop everything and fly to Italy, India or Indonesia to find themselves or just a small perfect piece that would make the puzzle of who they are whole. Listening to the women who shared their similar stories, I realized they were waiting for some kind of permission “to be.” I don’t live in a well, so I’ve always known there are types of personalities, male or female, who have a little trouble being assertive and can be quite passive or submissive in nature much to their detriment, but the number, after following the aftermath of this author, I’ve found to be overwhelming. I guess we haven’t progressed as far as I thought we had. Elizabeth Gilbert, an excellent writer and story teller, has surely become an effective pied piper for an eager trail of confused, fractured or wanting women. After I read the book, I appreciated the raw emotion she chewed through to free herself and can understand how others in a similar knot will follow her lead. I also, more importantly, found that I’m not confused, fractured or wanting, BUT if I were, I’m sure I could gain twenty to thirty pounds enjoying great forkfulls of food right here in the USA, my spiritual essence could be nourished in my own back yard, and I’ve always believed love comes to those who love. Of course that’s all based on “Bergman-Althouse” experience and philosophy. So, I’m flexible enough to understand the need to do whatever it takes to reach our own contented and fulfilled place. I just hope that while reaching for the greener grass, women, who’ve been influenced by the hype and their own romantic fantasies, won’t leave behind budding and fertile relationships, careers and environments they could come to regret. Yes, Virgina, in truth, life has it’s regrets. I extend my New Year’s wish of creativity and courage for all those who need to release what is no longer meaningful in their lives. I’m not done. How about a little patience and tenacity that will enable you to hang on to what’s most important in your life and make it work for you? “Eat, Pray, Love” is an inspirationally well written book with a great title that can be practiced and lived whether you are confused, fractured or not. Those of you who are (and I pray the numbers are less than it seems), GO FOR IT! with any motivation that sticks.

HAPPY 2008 TO EVERYONE!!!!!

Linda Bergman-Althouse

Author of “Save Them All

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Ciudad Navidad


¡ FELIZ NAVIDAD, AMIGOS/AS !
http://poemagenes.blogspot.com

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Paws Pause For Christmas

‘Tis the season to be jolly with my friend’s niece Molly. I bought her a dolly, and she named her Holly!! Okay, I’ll stop. I always look forward to Christmas. Although I hear many a heavy sigh, followed by “not again,” it’s never too much for me. I love it all; the decorations, baking, the sweets that none of us should eat, the shopping, the presents and the wrapping, the music, the Christmas cards, friends coming over for tea, the hugging and the all encompassing reason for the season. I embrace every minute detail! My cats, Kitty, Pearl, Cybill and Seven, can’t possibly comprehend any of that, but they seem to love the holiday season even more than I do. Normally, we’re a fairly laid back household. I can’t get the furry ones to do much more than sleep, eat and make deposits in the litter box during the rest of the year. And I’m usually the only one who moves toward the door when the bell rings and when people enter, one might hear the lack of traction on the kitchen flooring because the furry foursome can’t become invisible fast enough. Some people don’t believe I have cats, they never see them (even the pet sitter) until Christmas time. I was even accused of renting them just for the holidays. But when the season begins, my “hideouts” are definitely under foot. They want to see everything and everybody. The postman is exceptionally exciting because he usually has a box to open, which means they get to watch me remove presents, which they sniff audibly and when the box is empty, they jump in. There’s some pure joy current in the air that truly has an affect on them. It begins when the tree and boxes of decorations come down from the attic, watch out, they can hardly contain themselves. Fortunately they are not destructive, they just want to see and be a part of everything. They paw the ornaments before I get them to the tree and visit each light on the strand as it lays across the carpeting during testing. After the tree is up and decorating completed, my furry children want to be near it, either on the arm of the sofa, sitting in front of it gazing at the twinklings or under it but fortunately,  never in it.

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Christmas Carols will bring them close to the stereo or radio. Kitty and Pearl don’t seem to mind how loud I play them. Presents are something to rub against or lean their heads on when they snooze. You won’t find our cats approaching anyone throughout the rest of the year, but during the holidays, they want a pet from everyone. They even become so bold as to jump into a strange lap or two. They get ecstatic when we open gifts on Christmas morning. They are simply so thrilled to roll around in the wrapping paper that it appears they have been waiting for this special treat all year (and there is no presence of catnip). Their unusual behavior at Christmas always astounds but warms me. May you, also, enjoy some of this strange behavior as our paws pause for Christmas. Savor the holiday moments, connect with those you love (or merely tolerate), sniff all the Christmas goodies, feel the vibrations of some great carols and jump on a lap or two. I remember reading a verse that goes something like: “When you worry and hurry through your day it is like an unopened gift . . . thrown away. Life is not a race. Take it slower and hear the music, before the song is over.” Those wise words shared with me are a regift from me to you. Please carry them with you to 2008.

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Merry Christmas To All, and To All A Good Night!!!!

Linda Bergman-Althouse

Author & Wildlife Rehabilitator

(Let’s hope there are lots of “Save Them All” under Christmas Trees this year!)

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Authors Herbie J Pilato, Sharon Kaye and Jennifer Weed on Share-a-Vision Radio

In case you missed it, the Dec. 18 edition of Talking Television with Dave White is now available on the archives page at Share-a-Vision Radio, KSAV.org. This week, Frankie and I welcomed Herbie J Pilato, whose books include The Bionic Book and Life Story: The Book of Life Goes On (both of which are available through Bear Manor Media), Sharon Kaye, editor of Lost and Philosophy (Wiley-Blackwell, 2007), and Jennifer Weed, editor of 24 and Philosophy (Wiley-Blackwell, 2007).  Click on the link below to listen to the program:

http://www.talkingtelevision.com/HighSpeedArchives/archive121807pt2.mp3

Happy listening, and Happy Holidays.

Ed Robertson
Pop Culture Critic and Television Historian
www.edrobertson.com

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Paying it forward?

It’s really a great concept.  A bank in Fargo, ND has decided that the best way to get their employees in the “giving” spirit this year is to give them money with the condition of having to spend it on doing good for others.  Check out this story!  As a former HR manager, I was really inspired by this.  What a great idea!  And it’s not just $50, it’s $500 for part-time employees and $1,000 for full-time. 

If all businesses did this, just imagine the impact it would have on how people treat one another.  Many times people want to give but can’t seem to find ways to make it feasible.  Actually, we are supposed to (and I’m not sure where this came from) give to others no matter how much or how little we have.  The rules of karma will pay it back to us if we do it all in good spirit and without expecting anything back.  That’s what I’ve found at least.  Helping others pays you back in so many ways that you simply don’t miss the money. 

I really just wanted to take this opportunity to share the story with everyone.  Maybe others will follow the lead of the N.D. State Bank & Trust.  It would be a huge step in the right direction!

 Happy Holidays!

 Rebecca Benston

Author of The Rona Shively Stories

http://www.theronashivelystories.com 

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Christmas is Drawing Near

Though Christmas is nearly here, like everyone else I suppose, I’m not quite ready. There are more presents to buy and wrap. I don’t have my Christmas Eve or dinner menu decided. The Christmas tree is decorated, but our three cats are quickly undecorating it.

We attended a retirement party for our eldest daughter in a lovely house that was beautifully decorated inside and out for the holidays. More than sixty of daughter’s co-workers attended along with a few relatives. It was a great send-off. But how can I possibly be old enough to have a daughter who is retiring?

We have a dinner party to attend this evening with my critique group and their spouses. Should be fun. Since I’m having a difficulty finding time for my work in progress, I don’t mind putting off the group’s regular meetings for a couple of weeks. They probably feel the same.
Friday night is our church’s Christmas party, always a fun event.

I already received a great Christmas present. My latest Deputy Tempe Crabtree novel, Judgment Fire, is an Eppie finalist in the mystery category. I haven’t had a finalist for several years, so I’m excited. The cover of the book won an Ariana award for the best mystery cover. (The cover was designed by one of Mundania Press’s cover artists.) So I’m doubly proud.

I also heard that the next in my Rocky Bluff PD crime series will be out in January. It’s called Smell of Death. More about it after the holidays.

You can read the first chapters of both these books on my website: http://fictionforyou.com
I’m going to quote one of my Sunday School student’s sentiment, “What I want most is for everyone to have the best Christmas ever.” If Christmas isn’t what you celebrate, I wish you all the best of the holiday season with lots of good food and fellowship with family and friends.

Marilyn

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