Thursday, January 29, 2009

The Keepers of the House

I stayed up way too late last night finishing a paperback that I must have picked up at a thrift shop or garage sale. The Keepers of the House by Shirley Ann Grau deals with racism, tradition and belonging to the land in Southern society. Grau was born in New Orleans and her novels are about Southern life.

The story follows the Howland family and introduces each of the family keepers over the years in sections. Long-time land owners, rich and influential in their community, William Howland marries, but his wife dies in childbirth. His love for her prevents him from re-marrying. He meets a young, black woman who he falls in love with and brings into his home. They have three children together and end up raising his granddaughter Abigail. Abigail eventually becomes the keeper after she marries a racist man who is heavy into politics. This marriage eventually ends, the home is attacked and Abigail eventually, using her money and family history, seeks revenge upon the people of the town.

Grau sharply identifies attitudes of Southern people towards Negroes. The children of William and Margaret (the Negro woman) stand no chance of success in the area because of their mixed blood and are sent North for school. It also expresses the attitudes of Negroes to the White citizens, and the problems created for the mixed-race children.

It's sad that there are so many people yet in the United States who have these same attitudes. It is much more acceptable now for mixed marriages, but still is difficult at times for the child who is neither considered white nor black. Hopefully, through this generation we will become one nation of all races.

Monday, January 26, 2009


Today in Northwest Kansas, it's cold. At 10:50 am, the temperature is 8 degrees F. There is a very light snow falling. We need some moisture and I wouldn't mind seeing it continue to snow, but oh, is it cold.

I just found a couple of books laying around that I haven't read yet. Maybe I'll give them a try later today. In the meantime, I got out my card table and a jigsaw puzzle to help pass the time away. When the weather is like this, all I want to do is eat and sleep, and I don't need to do either.

When I was a young mother and lived in Colby, I used to bundle up the babies and go visit my Aunt Kathleen. One of the really neat things I remember about visiting her is that she always seemed to have a jigsaw puzzle in progress. She kept it on her table, and when she wasn't working on it, she would cover it with an oil cloth so the table was never really "out of service" because of the puzzle. I enjoyed very much sitting with her, talking and working on the jigsaw puzzle.

It's days like these that I wish that I were closer to my own family. It gets so lonesome when you just can't or don't get out and around. If I lived in Brewster, some of my grandkids would most likely stop in to see me often. I could bake cookies and goodies for them and just enjoy seeing them more than I'm able to here. Mom and Dad would be right there to visit, and so would my sister Jackie. She likes jigsaw's, too.

None of that is likely to happen right now so I guess I'll finish separating the edge pieces in the puzzle and start putting it together. While I do that, I'll think of Aunt Kathleen.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Lilies of the Field

Matthew 6:28
And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin.

I just watched the movie Lilies of the Field. It's been years since I saw it, and I remembered liking it so much that I thought I would watch it again. As with many great movies, I saw things this time that I didn't notice before, or maybe I had just forgotten.

The passage in the Bible is Jesus talking to the people. He is telling them that if they have faith in God and seek his Kingdom first, then God will provide them with what they need. The nuns in the movie did just that, and God did provide.

Beyond that wonderful message, I noticed that there was quite a mixture of people. There were the nuns who came from Germany, the black man who built their chapel, and the Mexicans/Indians who helped to build the chapel. The priest and the man at the diner were both white Americans. The nuns were, of course, Catholic, but the man who built their chapel was Baptist. The man in the diner was a bit unsure of his faith.

The coming together of these people and their religion produced a chapel for them to go to for worship.

This is what I consider a Circle of Relationship. Race, religion and heritage did not matter. All that mattered was that this Circle of Relationship brought forth love, understanding and a beautiful chapel that the people would be able to use for years.

Hats off to my cousin Mary for her work with Habitat for Humanity. This is another great example of working together for something good.

The Shack 3

Good and evil. What exactly is good and evil? Can it be defined?

The idea of good and evil is formed in a person's mind according to what is good for him or not good for him. When we think of good, we think of those things that benefit us socially, financially or in any other way. When we think of evil, we think of things that will harm or hurt us. But is this a logical measure of good and evil?

The Civil War in the United States was fought to free people from slavery (a minor reason for the war, but present just the same). Is slavery evil? I think it depends on how you define it. The Southerners who had large plantations saw nothing evil about it and fought for it because it benefited them. Many of them still feel this way. The Northerners saw nothing good about it because it didn't benefit them in any way, and as they saw it, hurt other people.

Because of the Civil War, slaves were freed, or at least they were freed from bondage under plantation owners. Their freedom was not that easily attained because of prejudice. Once slaves were freed, they were still looked at as a lower class of people. Hate groups formed eventually such as the KKK. Blacks were harassed, killed and forced into positions of submission. They were not allowed in white schools. They rode in the back of a bus. There were many ways these people were abused. Was this evil? If you were raised to hate another race, it might be considered good. There are still people today that saw nothing wrong with slavery or black submission. All of this goes back to the idea of individualism vs a circle of relationships. Until we can accept all humans into our circle of relationships, there will be prejudice. Fortunately, we are making great advancements in this direction, but we still have a long way to go.

It seems as though I'm getting off the topic. Not really. In The Shack, Young talks about good and evil. People tend to work hard for what they consider good, things that benefit them, and will fight against what they consider to be evil because of fear. Sometimes the things people believe to be evil turns out good, or the good turns out evil. When your good clashes with someone's evil, war breaks out between you. Good and evil are just language with definitions formed in a person's mind. Papa says that we need to leave the concept of good and evil to him. He states that no one is completely good or evil. Even the man who killed Mack's daughter has some good in him, and Mack needs to forgive the man in order to have peace.

Why did we go to war in Iraq? Was it because there were weapons of mass destruction, or because we had an interest in their oil, or was it because we wanted to free the people from the pain, agony and death they were experiencing under Iraqi leadership? Was it because the Iraqi people were responsible for 9/11? All of these have been used as reasons to justify the war. It's sad that we didn't work harder on a circle of relationship rather than to jump into a war without at least trying to accomplish a peaceful solution. In fighting against what we perceive as the evil in the government, how many innocent men, women and children have we killed? How many more of our soldiers have died compared to the number of people killed in 9/11, and how many came home injured physically and/or emotionally? We as Americans are responsible for their deaths and injuries. How much damage have we inflicted upon the Iraqi people? How much prejudice have we inflicted upon the Muslim people?

I hear so much hate expressed towards the Iraqi people and the Muslim religion, but most of the people don't even consider that these are people just like us but with different traditions and a different way of life. Their religion is not a bad religion, just different from ours. What has given it the bad reputation is our fear because of a few people who have defined the religion to fit their needs. Imagine where the Christian religion would stand if they were judged for the actions of those who had instigated witch hunts, or if we defined all Christians as people like Jim Jones or David Koresh outside of Waco, Texas?

Mack refers to Papa as a Christian, but Papa is quick to say that he isn't a Christian, that the Christian religion was formed by people. The people have formed an hierarchy within the church in order to satisfy their own need of having someone in control. As I said in an earlier blog, he believes that the religions of the world all worship the same God, and that God is Him under different names. This is the same as I believe. We choose our religions to fit our individual needs rather than to have a circle of relationship between all religions and accept other religions as legitimate and basically good.

When people are hurt or being killed, we do need to try to stop these atrocities, but before we declare war on anyone, we need to negotiate and work out our differences in a circle of relationship. When people belong to a different religion, we should not tell them they are going to Hell because chances are, they are thinking the same of you. Accept their religion as being right for them and welcome it into your circle of relationships.

In closing, I believe that when one holds power over the other, the other is hurt and held back from being who they really are. Let's let people decide who they really are.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

The Shack 2

Today I want to focus on a part of The Shack which deals with the circle of relationship and the hierarchy of power.

Mack asks Papa who is in charge in their group of three. Papa explains to him that there is not a position of power in their relationship. People have a need for someone to be in power and therefore, consider that Papa (God) is the most powerful of the three. In reality, none of them are in power over the others because they have a circle of relationship. Each one of them is a part of the other. They are three in one.

Papa tells Mack that hierarchy is a problem of people. They have taken the idea of hierarchy so far that it exists everywhere; in politics, in business, and even in marriage. When there is a hierarchy, there must be rules which leads to a chain of command and destroys relationships rather than protects them. Relationships are the important things in life, not who has control over others. A person who gains control soon becomes independent rather than in a circle of relationship, and that person looks to take care of himself. But Mack isn't convinced about the problem of hierarchy. He tells Papa that all these rules protect people. Papa points out to him that they also hurt people. Any of us can see that this is true just by looking at Hitler. But even more sad, we see it every day in countries around the world, including our own. Decisions are independently made and executed in order to benefit specific groups rather than for the good of all. The more independent we become, the less we care about how things will affect others, as long as we gain in some way ourselves.

Can we get away from this control of hierarchy and independence? I doubt it. However, we can work to control it. One of the beautiful things concerning the government in the United States is that even though they have a "person in charge" in the President, there are controls over this person through Congress and the powers they have over the President, through states in the form of Senators and Representatives, and right down to each person in the form of elections. Unfortunately, over the past few years, the controls have been limited by the President himself, the Congress by not using their powers, by lobbyists who work for individual organizations using bribery to get what they want, and pork barrel passages put into important bills. The good thing is that the people in the United States are beginning to see how these powers are beginning to hurt the entire country and are screaming for changes. This can be seen by the way elections came out in this year of 2008. Now we can hope that the power of the people as a circle of relationships will help to fix the power of the government.

Another area that I feel choosing independence over relationships has become a danger is in health care. I know that there are many people who fight against having any kind of program that works to give all people health insurance. They are afraid that controls will be put on them as to the insurance they want, the Dr.'s they want to see and the quality of care they will get. I had one person tell me that the government would gain control, taxes would rise and they would be paying for everyone's insurance. I'm not sure that this is true. Right now there are millions of people who have no insurance at all. Because they don't have insurance and Dr.'s won't accept them as patients unless they are paid immediately, people put off getting health care they need. So then what happens? They really get ill and end up in an emergency room of a hospital. That hospital takes care of them for a condition that could have been controlled in a Dr.'s office before it became so expensive, and ends up taking a loss. So where do they make up this difference? They bill insurance companies more for their services, and the insurance company bills their clients more on their premiums. So, who is paying for those uninsured people? You, the insured, are. If every person in the United States had insurance at an affordable price, I think many of the insured people would find their own insurance premiums to be less because there would be more people to contribute to the health care system. As for controls on Dr.'s and hospitals that you can use, that doesn't have to happen. Actually, it exists right now through our insurance companies. Some of them have lists of Dr.'s and hospitals that can be used, and if there is an emergency, they expect you to contact them for approval. If you don't, chances are they will refuse to pay. Then there is also the problem of insurance companies refusing to insure people or putting riders on the policies. If you have had cancer in the past, they put a rider stating they will not cover cancer. This is probably the service the insured person needs the most. People who develop problems soon find their insurance premiums rising. They can't change policies because no other company will take them, so they are now stuck with extremely high premiums or no insurance at all.

This is probably long enough for today. Later I will expand further on this subject and talk about prejudice, war and possibly controls over individual persons.

Happy blogging.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

The Shack

A very interesting book to read is The Shack written by Wm. Paul Young. Young's BA Degree is in Religion. The book gives us some great perspective about how God relates to us in this world today.

The book begins with us meeting Mack, alone in his home with an ice storm covering the outside world. Mack goes to the mailbox, not knowing if the mailman will even run the mail in this weather, and what he finds is the beginning of his look at his relationship with God. When he goes to the mailbox, he finds a note from someone who calls himself Papa. No stamp. No return address. The note said that Papa missed him and wanted to meet him at "The Shack". "The Shack" is the place where he found items that belonged to his daughter Missy who was believed to be killed by a serial killer. Mack blamed himself for her death.

On the way back to the house, Mack slips on the ice and is knocked out for a few minutes. He then drags himself back into the house and waits for his wife to come home.

Mack doesn't tell his wife about the note. Instead, he makes arrangements for her and his other kids to take a trip so that he can sneak away to the shack, thinking that whoever wrote the note was the killer and he would finally get revenge. The end of the story is when Missy's body is finally found and put to rest, giving closure to the family. What is between deals with Mack and his relationship with God.

I'm not going to go into detail about what happens in the book. Instead, I will choose some areas that particularly interested me.

When we meet God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit we are surprised, and I found it a bit hard to adjust to, that God was a black woman, Jesus was a man from the Middle East and the Holy Spirit was an Asian woman. Mack found it hard to focus on God, felt very comfortable with Jesus, and felt that the Holy Spirit was elusive. What this section of the book impressed upon me was that God is not found in a particular area, but exists within all people regardless of race, sex or religion. Later, Papa (God, the black woman) talks about how religion conditions His people to believe in certain ways. Aren't we all conditioned to believe in the religion we were raised? Most of us stay with that religion for life, some change to a different religion. All have the freedom to come or go. How can those who have been conditioned in Christianity, or any branch of it, be different from those who are conditioned in Buddhism? The same applies to all religions. Each believes their religion is the one true religion. Which one is the true religion, or is believing in and loving God the one true religion? Young also states that all people who believe in God/Goddess, whether Jewish, Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, Wiccan or any other religion are worshiping the same God, just in a different form. I've always had a problem when someone told me that a person from another religion would not be saved when I was taught that God loves everyone. Yes, people can make choices. But what about the child who is raised in conditions where he is not exposed to anything but his own religion? Does that mean he will not be saved?

More on The Shack later.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


Oscar, our weiner dog, had a traumatic experience not long after we got him. We have a basement with an outside entrance. I keep odds and ends and all of my garden canning and supplies in the basement to make more room upstairs for other things. One day I went down to get some canned goods to take upstairs. Unbeknown to me, Oscar followed me into the basement. I grabbed what I wanted and headed back upstairs. Oscar wasn't in the house and I thought he probably was outside running around, so I didn't worry about him. After that I totally forgot about Oscar. He loves to be outside and often lays outside taking in the sunshine. Several hours later I heard Oscar cry out. I went to the door, but no Oscar. I went outside and searched all the buildings and areas where he liked to hang out, but no Oscar. I couldn't hear him crying outside, but every time I went inside, I could hear his cry. Suddenly, it dawned on me. Oscar got shut in the basement! I hurried outside, opened the basement door and Oscar came running out and immediatly wanted in the house.

Poor dog. He won't even consider going into the basement now. The bad thing about the situation is that here in Kansas, we have tornados. And where do you go when there is a tornado warning? The basement. And how do you get your dog into the basement? Well, since it's Oscar, I have to carry him while he trimbles at the thought of going into that deep, dark dungeon.

Christmas Rage

My son-in-law Ron has quite a sense of humor. One day he and Julie were at WalMart in Hays when he saw Jessica (Julie's sister). It was during the Christmas season and the store was packed with people. Jessica hadn't yet seen Ron and Julie, so Ron rushed over to where she was and rammed her shopping cart, then began yelling, "Get out of my way! Get out of my way!" Jessica stood there looking at him with shock and turning every color of red possible. Reaction of the other people? They cleared the aisle and stayed away from Ron.

What is Ron's profession? ER nurse. I told Julie he'd better hope no one who was in the store had to go to the ER. He might scare them to death.

Monday, January 12, 2009


We have a weiner dog. His name is Oscar. My, talk about a spoiled dog, but he is very entertaining. Tonight I gave him a ham bone to take outside. We also have cats. Oscar went outside and spent quite a bit of time chewing on that bone. He finally decided it was too cold to stay out there any longer, so he asked to come in. I don't think he was inside more than 5 minutes when he wanted to go out again. He headed out the door, growled at the cats, chewed on his bone then asked to come back in. Now if the weather were warmer, he would take the bone a bury it somewhere out in the yard. During the summer, his favorite burial place is either Al's garden or my flower garden. Since the ground is frozen, he can't bury it so he leaves it sitting on the porch. After a few minutes, Oscar was at the door again wanting to go out. Then he wanted back in. I was getting pretty tired of letting him in and out, so when he asked in the last time, I'd let him out about 10 times, I grabbed the bone and set it on the floor beside his bed. Now he's happy. He can lay in his bed and watch his bone. He's not sleeping. He's sitting there watching that bone. Like I want to chew on it.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

mind control

Isn't it strange how the mind works? Have you ever noticed that no one has a certain brand/color of car, so you buy one and suddenly, it is like there are hundreds out there? Or a certain subject is mentioned and from then on, the subject keeps showing up before your very eyes? Well, that happens to me a lot.

I never intended to get into the subject of cults and mind control, but after re-reading Mago's Dream and then searching the net for the author, this news bit shows up about Jett Travolta. Yesterday I was upstairs working on my old computer and decided to turn on the television. I began to watch a movie, and what do you think it was about? Yes, cults.

I'm sorry I can't remember the name of the movie. I'm not very good at remembering names of movies, books, people, etc. I am making an assumption that the movie was based on a true story. It took place in Canada where a man was mind controlling several women in a community he had started. A woman on the outside was working to free these women and their children. Eventually, the children were all removed because of child molestation, and the women were given the choice to go with their children or stay. All of them stayed. Eventually, the women in the commune were freed, too, because of the woman who worked so hard to free them all. When the movie ended, the cult leader was in prison for murder. He had murdered a woman in his commune because she questioned him. The first woman in the group to accept help was injured when the cult leader took a knife and stuck it through her hand into the table. He later took an axe and chopped the arm off at the elbow.

This woman on the outside of the commune had been an abused wife and understood how mind control happens. The show itself was quite good because it showed and told how this mind control happens.

All cases work pretty much the same. In this case, the man of the commune found women who were insecure, felt helpless or unappreciated or had other kinds of "mind trauma". He was kind to the woman, took her into his fold and treated her special. Slowly, this began to change. Other women were introduced into the commune. When a woman began to "love" the man and felt she couldn't live without him, he began to abuse. Then the fear took over. They were punished if they didn't follow his orders by physically hurting them, mentally hurting them or isolating them. He eventually had them totally under his control . He became their "God" and loved him undconditionally. It took a strong intervention to save them from the situation.

Adolph Hitler had this kind of control over his people. He could speak to them in a way that drew them into his way of thinking. As he drew more power from his speeches, he placed himself into positions that would promote his growth. Once he had his followers under his control, he began to use scare tactics with those who questioned him.

Most of the time that you see mind control, it is in a situation where the victim was in need of love, understanding or security. That doesn't seem to be the case with Hitler. How could a man be so charismatic that an entire nation would follow him into destruction and war? How could they justify killing innocent Jews just because they were Jews? Is it right for anyone to condemn an entire nation of people, a religion, or a race because they believe and are different from us?

We are all victims of some mind control. Most of it comes from parents, teachers and others who have influence on a young child. They raise that child to "hate" or condemn what is different from them. Until we, as adults, look at situations with an open mind and quit condemning others for being different, there will be no peace in this world.

I read the book The Mind of Adolf Hitler written by Walter C. Langer. Just looking at it, I figured it would be pretty boring, but it was a very interesting book. The book was written from a "secret psychological report" that was written in 1943.

Did I wander sufficiently? Oh, well, it is my blog, so wander I will.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Squirrels In The Attic!

I was just reading Mary's Traveling Hammer blog from last November. It's about a bird in her attic. It reminded me of when I lived in a rented house in Brewster, KS.

We had trouble with squirrels getting into our attic. We could hear them scampering across our ceiling and making funny little noises at all times of the day and night. We told the people who owned the house that there were squirrels in the attic, and they dutifully came to rid us of the cute little pests. They trapped them, alive, I might add, and carried them off to the country hoping that our problem was resolved.

Well, it wasn't. Not long after that, they either found their way back "home", or another batch of squirrels found a new home. Who knows which it was! Anyway, one day my husband Al came home from work. I wasn't there. When he went in the house, there was this squirrel who panicked when he saw a human entering "his" territory. He took off running and jumping all over the house. Al propped the door open, grabbed a broom and took off after the squirrel. Now, just imagine a 6' 1" man, 325 lbs. running around the house with a broom, trying to get a squirrel to go to the door. I wish I could have seen it. Eventually, he did get the squirrel to go out the door.

Al never mentioned to me that there had been a squirrel in the house until I began to notice things really out of place and a Heritage Indian figurine that was broken (a gift from my parents). When I asked him if he knew how it got broken and why the curtains were askew he told me about the chase with the squirrel. Al said that darn squirrel was on top of the cabinets, over the furniture, up on the curtain rods and must have hit the figurine while it was running around.

The owners caught the squirrels again, and we acquired new squirrels again (or the same ones came home). When we moved out of the house, we moved our china cabinet, and guess what we found behind it! No, not a squirrel, but a huge hole in the wall where the squirrels had tried to get into the house once again.

Didn't take me long to contact the owners so that they knew there was a hole made by the squirrels. I sure didn't want to be responsible for replacing a wall because of the squirrels in our attic.

More fun.....

Since I haven't posted anything today, I decided I'd just tell a story about my grandson. My plans in the near future are to discuss different parts of The Shack by Wm. Paul Young, but I'm not quite ready to do that yet.

Now, to the story.

My grandson would hate it if he knew I told this one on him, but we all got such a good laugh out of it.

He had graduated from high school and was just beginning a job. He was nervous and left for work early because he didn't want to be late on his first day. When he got to the job site, he had plenty of time before he had to go in so he turned on his car to listen to music. While listening to the music, his battery went dead. His doors were locked.
In a panic, he called his dad.
"Dad, I need you to come and help me."
Dad asked him, "Why? What's wrong?"
My grandson replied, "My battery went dead and the doors are locked. I can't get out!"
His dad hesitated for a minute then said, "Reach over and pull up the lock."

Monday, January 5, 2009

Speaking of cults, I was just reading an article that was blaming the death of Jett Travolta on Scientology. There has been extensive discussion on this subject for years. It is considered a cult by many people. The article stated that Jett was Autistic and also had a heart condition that they refused to treat because of the religion. They refuse psychiatric drugs and counseling believing that only spiritual healing should be used for conditions of the mind, and Autisim is considered by them a condition of the mind. I also read that Jett was on medication at one time to prevent seizures, but the parents said they didn't work and took him off of the drug. Maybe they should have found another Dr. to resolve the problem.

My heart goes out to the family, but I will never be able to understand how any parent wouldn't do all they could to make their children healthy.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

A Word of Warning!

In my first post, I talked about the book Mago's Dream written by Ilchi Lee. While the book itself held great meaning for me, I strongly advise people not to follow Lee's classes on Dahn Yoga. Much of what he tells us in his biography has not been true and up front. Many people have reported that by joining Dahn Yoga, you are exposed to high tech sales and a cult-like experience, bringing you into it's circle and excluding it's teacher's from their own families by transferring their teachers every six months and often sending them to other countries without their families. Members are also encouraged to sign contracts with the "business" for an unreasonable length of time.

In the book Mago's Dream, Lee, at the end of the book, talks about us being a materialistic society. He also talks about recruiting up to 100 million "earth-humans" to promote his program of peace and spirituality. It sounds to me like he believes we should give up material things in return for spirituality and peace, yet he is feeding his own materialistic hunger with the money his followers are willing to give up. He also has a Declaration of Humanity, written in June 2001, that he encourages people to sign. This Declaration states that the person signing it declares to be a spiritual being, a human being, a child of the earth, a healer, a protector and an activist. All through the book, Lee had sounded supportive of all religions. Towards the end, his tone did change so that I felt he was saying all religions were comparable to a prison, filled with ideological dogma that the people never use. At this point, I can see where Lee has a dream of a cult-like society, combining all people in unity, giving up material goods for the sake of the cause, giving up their religion for the sake of the group, and giving up their individuality.

The mind is an amazing part of our being. I am sure that we do not utilize the mind as much as we can. Caution should always be taken to avoid mind control by someone else whether it be a cult leader, an abusive parent or spouse or anyone else who tends to dominate others. We should keep control of our own minds, weigh both sides of information before we accept it and use our minds for the good of all.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Grandma Smarty Sez. Now where would a name like Grandma Smarty come from?

When my daughter Julie was beginning to talk, she had a favorite book that we often read. The name of the book was Artie the Smarty. We would go to see her Great grandmother Artie and tell her that this is Grandma Artie. Julie began to call her Grandma Smarty and the name stuck, at least on our side of the family.

The name Grandma Smarty seemed quite appropriate because Grandma was a very intelligent woman. She was someone we could go to with confidence and faith and tell our problems to her. She either gave us advice, or led us in the direction of finding the right answers. Grandma was non-judgmental and accepted each of us just as we were. She was kind, caring and loving, and children were very special in her life.

I didn't choose the title Grandma Smarty Sez for her column; she did. I think she rather enjoyed hearing the little ones call her Grandma Smarty.

Five Generations
Grandma Smarty holding Zeb
Granddaughter Vonita
Son Jack
Great Granddaughter Julie, who
gave her the name
Grandma Smarty
Way back in 1982 I worked for a small newspaper in Brewster, Kansas. I believe the name of the paper was "The Brewster Gazette". It didn't stay in business for long. During that time I had my grandmother write a weekly article that we called "Grandma Smarty Sez". I know this isn't June, but after writing about the earth earlier, I thought I would share with you an article Grandma wrote which I think we all would be wise to listen to whether it is Summer, Fall, Winter or Spring. Every season has it's own beauty. Grandma had a true love of the earth. It was a rare day when she didn't go for a walk and take in the beauty of the earth. She passed this on to her children and her grandchildren.

Grandma Smarty Sez

Are you missing out on something this week that you won't have a chance to enjoy for twelve months, and even then it will be different from the one this year. Life is mighty short so don't pass it up. All outdoors is so lush and beautiful after the rains.

This is the solstice week. The longest day of the year was Monday, so by the time this is in the paper, the day will be a minute or two shorter.

On one of these longest days this week, get up early and check and see if the sun plans to shine, that is if the clouds will let it. If they do, get on your clothes and go out and see what is going on in this world before most folks are out of bed. Put on a jacket. Early mornings are chilly even in June. Take a walk, most anywhere will do since this is the year every little spot of earth seems to have something growing on it.

Sure, we have been hoping for dry weather with milo to plant, summer fallow that looks like a young forest. The growing things know what they are doing, making the most of every minute of sunshine.

No doubt farmers will be farming, housewives cleaning and cooking, kids playing or arguing ten years from now, or twenty, or fifty. If not, so what? You may be around and then you may not, especially if you are as old as I am. So take a half hour or so just to look and listen.

There are whole green fields shining like a huge diamond in their covering of dew, huge fields of wheat soon ready for harvest, leaves on the trees so heavy not a bit of sunlight comes through. June grass is covering the pasture. Stop a minute or so and take a look at a stalk of side grama grass with its neat row of seeds all on one side.

Listen, too, to the June sounds. Most of the birds do their singing this month. There are robins, brown thrashers, king birds and the pastures and roadsides are full of larks, buntings and meadowlarks. The killdeer will try to coax you away from her nest by making a big racket, and if that doesn't work, she can always try her broken wing act.

James Russell Lowell wrote in his poem The Vision of Sir Launfal:

And what is so rare as a day in June?
Then, if ever, come perfect days;
Then heaven tries the earth if it be in tune,
And over it softly her warm ear lays.
Whether we look, or whether we listen,
We hear life murmer or see it glisten.

How true this is for folks in western Kansas this week of the summer solstice in June 1982.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Fun with Children

This will be a short blog, but I wanted to share with you something my daughter Jessica was just telling me and a few other "children" stories.

My grandson Hunter is having his birthday party on Sunday. He has a friend Bret whose mother is expecting a baby. Bret has been worried that he might miss Hunter's birthday party because he might have to go to the hospital to get his mother and new baby.

I can just see the brightness in his eyes as he came up with the perfect solution:

"Wait a minute!" he said. "Don't they deliver babies?"

When Jessica was about 3 years old, we lived in Wichita. To make the basement in our house more comfortable for the kids to play in, I began to piece together a rug using rug samples that I could get for $1.00 each at a neighborhood carpet store. This was their way of getting rid of the old samples. I had gone there several times and Jessica had gone with me each time. Each time the lady in the store always told me what a beautiful, nice little girl I had. Well, the last time that we visited the store she began with her usual praises of Jessica and leaned over her as she was praising her. Jessica doubled her fist and hit her smack on the nose, knocking her glasses to the floor. I'm sure glad that I didn't need any more carpet pieces.

One day when Matthew was riding in our shopping cart at the grocery store, we met a very heavy woman in the aisle. Matthew, only around 4 at the time, reached out and swatted her on the rear as she passed. Imagine my embarrassment when she quickly turned toward us with a look of anger on her face. What can you say? "I'm sorry, my son did it."

If any of you have some cute stores, send them to me and I'll post them on the blog, with your permission.

Thursday, January 1, 2009


When my first grandchild was born I wasn't sure if I was ready to be a grandma, but the first time I held him in my arms, I knew that the time had come. When Zeb began to talk, he had a special name for me which was Mago. This name was special to me because it was mine, and only mine. Zeb continued to call me Mago until he reached school age. I don't know what changed then, maybe the kids teased him for not saying Grandma, but he outgrew the nickname that he had given me. I never forgot it, though, and held it close to my heart.

Many, many years later, my husband, his sister and brother-in-law and I took a trip to Flagstaff, Arizona. One day we decided to take a drive to Sedona which held great fascination to me because of the energy vortex that exist in that area. I had studied Reiki and heard so many good things about the area.

When we reached Sedona and drove through the town I gasped and took a second look. There, on the right hand side of the road was a place called Mago's Cafe. Whoa, this is the first time I had ever seen this name anywhere but in relation to me as Grandma. I took a picture of the place and wanted to go back to it, but we didn't make it there. We did stop at a store further down the road. While looking through the books, I came across a book named MAGO'S DREAM written by Ilchi Lee. I had no choice but to buy the book with great anticipation to sit down and read it.

Lee was a peace activist, spiritual leader and energy healer who came to Sedona in search of a special place in this part of the world. He found it in Sedona. Not only was this beautiful, breathtaking scenery, but it held four of twenty-one known energy vortex areas in the world. In a small geographical radius you can find all the different types of vortexes (upflow/masculine/electric, inflow/feminine/magnetic, or combination /electromagnetic, etc.). This area was sacred ground to the American Indians in this area.

Bell Rock
The Strongest Vortex
at Sedona

People go to Sedona today for spiritual and physical healing because of these energy vortex.
The chapel where people from all around
the world go to pray for healing.

Lee says in his book that Mago is "the soul of the Earth". I knew at that moment that my grandson's name for me was meant to be. I am a child of the earth, and I began to use the name Mago's Child on the internet. Lee's book reached deep within my own soul because of his thoughts and feelings about the earth and how we need to care for it above all else. Everything we have comes from the earth. How can we be so blind as to not see how we are destroying the very soul of the earth, our very source of existence?