Sunday, December 21, 2008


So glad that my fave color is the hottest trend in the USA right now. Purple goes way back to my high school days when it was part of the school colors for the Academy of the Holy Cross in Kensington, Maryland right outside of Washington, D.C. Some say that today it reflects confusion on the part of the people; that we just can't make up our minds on things today. Purple is made up of the cool color blue and the passionate, fiery red. Choosing purple as the pigment du jour symbolizes that we are torn between these disparate emotional states.

Kristina Zimbalist, in the November 10th, 2008 edition of Time Magazine states that: "On the off chance that it has escaped your notice, purple is having a moment. And while many may assume a sudden color explosion to be just another whim of fickle fashion, the analysts and anthropologists who study shifts in chromatic preferences see this particular manifestation- the purple proliferation- as a sign of our uncertain times."

Here's some recent purple in my life:

Saturday, December 20, 2008


Ok, you know that you had an extremely busy week when you fall asleep watching "It's a Wonderful Life" and it's only 9:00 p.m. on a Saturday night!! Of course it could have been the really cool and very smooth Italian Creme Liqueur that I made tonight (killer secret ingredients: Frangelica with Vodka) or it could be due to the ridiculous traffic and unbelievably long lines in all the stores I was even able to get my car close to. I guess we are a community of procrastinators all hitting the highway on the same day: TODAY!

Anyway, I did obviously awaken from the movie in time to see George's fall from grace and into depression. He made that infamous wish that he "had never been born" and then I watched Clarence redeem George and take him back to his rightful place as hero of Bedford Falls. Clarence earns his wings and all is right with the world, or at least their part of the universe.

Here's hoping all is right in your corner of Bedford Falls.

Friday, December 19, 2008


I have been holding a burning desire within myself for the past 24 hours. It has been smoldering within me as I travel through the business of my life, just waiting for an opportunity to stop and process what is on my mind. Of course the extremely dreary, gray day with the torrential down-pour adds nothing to lift the state of being that I currently reside in. In fact, as I write this, the sky is growing ever more blacker, and the rain is literally pounding on the skylights in my office loft.

I shall forge on regardless.............Yesterday, I followed my morning routine of breakfast, coffee and the Cincinnati Enquirer prior to jumping into my work day and noted the very depressing headlines that were screaming out in large black type just one week before Christmas. Given the already worrying conditions in this country, having all four lead articles spew out doom was very distressing. Here they are:


Then the news about Keri Shryock's death during the first Christmas performance of "Awakening" at the Crossroads Community Church was just too much. This young woman, a graduate student at my alma mater, Xavier University, had found community within this mega non-denominational church that does so much good for the local community and abroad. She was a performer in the show and fell 30 feet to her death (see earlier post). Reports from her friends show that she was a wonderful, caring, young woman who was truly making a difference in this world. A difference that is sorely needed given the above headlines that are morphing in various forms on every front page of every major city in this country. My prayers are with her family and friends as they go through this difficult period of loss. My hope is that her spirit of giving will live on in the many lives that she has touched and that these people will go on to pay it forward and touch other lives.

The message of Christmas is all about love: "For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." Let's remember why we are celebrating December 25th and focus on the good that is going on in our lives.


Despite the picture of bleakness that the media never ceases to remind us of, there are many rays of sunshine: just look for them closely, or go create some like Kerry did in her short life-time. And please add Keri's family to your prayers.

God Bless!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Prayers for Keri Shryock's Family

Church performer dies after fall

By Jessica Brown and Quan Truong •, • December 18, 2008
Comments Print PrintShareThis • Type: A AClick To Listen Click-2-Listen
OAKLEY -- An actor in an elaborate Christmas production died this morning after falling as much as 30 feet Wednesday night while performing in the theater at Crossroads Community Church.
Keri Shryock, 23, of Sylvania, Ohio, was a graduate student at Xavier University who joined the non-denominational megachurch in August.
Audience members described the horrible scene on the opening night of the production "Awaited,'' a contemporary retelling story of the Christmas story.

They said the fall came about 20 minutes into the performance. Shryock and two other actors were playing the Three Wise Men on their way to Bethlehem. They ascended from the ground harnessed to ropes and moved slowly up toward a star.

Three others stood on the ground below them holding the ropes. The three actors began performing acrobatic-type moves similar to those in "Cirque de Soleil'' productions. One audience member said Shryock was trying to move farther up the rope to be as high as the other actors.

Suddenly, Shryock fell headfirst about 30 feet into an aisle in the audience portion of the theater. A silence fell over the audience of 2,000 people, the lights came up and people raced to Shryock.

The pastor urged everyone to remain in their seats so that EMS workers had room to help Shryock. An ambulance took Shryock to University Hospital.

Audience member Daniel Doepke, 55, of Middletown, said the performers were high up on a cable and pointed toward a star in the ceiling as music played. They wore Middle Eastern head wraps and pants.

“Toward the ending of the song she came loose,'' Doepke said. "I can’t describe how heart-wrenching it was, her fall to a hard concrete surface.''

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


The exercise in writing circle today was to look at a very interesting ornament, in this case a silver heart with a ruby in it's center and full of glitter and sparkle, and to write whatever came to mind about the ornament. We had to turn off our internal censor and just let the words flow. Here is my random piece:

Silver heart with bicycle spokes
a ruby center directing the motion
Glitter sparkles on the ribbon-entwined edge
Christmas ornament, yet so much more............

Here is my heart forever to hold
I will carry you within me forever
Your beauty shines more brilliantly than the center ruby
and your smile, like your personality, dazzles and delights me
as you flow through your world dispensing
pieces of glitter over all who enter your perimeter

The heart is timeless
just like our love
It will go on forever
Surviving wars and tough economic times
only to be reborn in later generations
as a reminder of what was and
what could be................

Thanks Shelly Steffen-Byrne for leading this exercise!


SO TIRED...........I hate when I am disappointed by the failure of other people to live up to my expectations. Why can't we all operate in a way that is full of integrity? If I place my trust in you and you violate that trust, a fissure occurs in our relationship. I operate with honesty and integrity with the intention to always do the right thing to the best of my ability. It is so tiring to have to deal with people who don't follow this golden way of living. UGGGHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


Xavier Universty now #7 in the nation. According to the Cincinnati Enquirer:

"Monday the Musketeers (9-0) matched or established program highs by ascending to No. 7 in the Associated Press Top 25 and tying Gonzaga for seventh in the ESPN/USA Today coaches' poll."

GO X!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Unusual Virus Stops Me in My Tracks

I never, ever get sick. I am a huge germ freak and wash my hands every time I return home even if it isn't cold and flu season. For some bizarre reason, I caught this strange virus that attacked every sinus passage on the right side of my head. I felt like there were a million tiny knives slicing my brain, ear drum and facial muscles. It was even near impossible to chew and the severe pain made me wonder if I was headed for a root canal or some other major procedure. After 10 days of antibiotics and a major decongestant Rx, I finally feel normal again. My life is usually this big whir of activity and accomplishments coexisting at breakneck pace trying so hard to keep up with my synapse-popping brain cells. I am a study in motion and my finished To-Do lists rival any major work of art for their slashes and circles and symbols. I am a major multi-tasker, yet if someone needs me, I drop everything just to listen to their problems. I am just thankful to be returned to the land of the living fully. Having very gloomy weather last week just added to my health woes and lack of energy. Bring on the sunshine, banish the talk of snow!!!!!!!

Thursday, December 4, 2008



I sat down this morning to review my vast collection of writing and turned to the pages from the year 2003. I found this wonderful essay about Mackenzie when she was just 6 years old and a first grader at IHM. I love it, but at the same time it makes me sad because it reminds me of her precociousness and her sheer brilliance in intelligence and how once again for the 7th year in a row she is bored in school and not challenged to the level of her abilities, despite being in all of the advanced programs that her school offers. She has always made straight As- and not your garden variety type of A, no the upper echelon As where the lowest grade is a 97% for any subject, with lots of 100s and 99s sprinkled in for good measure. She is a good standardized test taker as well, hitting the 99th percentile in several areas. Thank God that she has also been active in lots of sports and activities and music lessons and lots & lots & lots of friends. This keeps the loss on the academic end from being a gnawing feeling in the pit of her being. The really cool thing about Mac is that she is one of the nicest little girls one could ever meet- truly has a big heart. Anyway, this is starting to sound sappy so........... here is the essay from January of 2003:

To Speak or Not

Dear Mackenzie,
It will be interesting to see the person that you grow into. As a mere child, you are so astonishing. As a toddler, the thought-structure and complex sentences that came out of your mouth always gave me pause. I always wished that I had carried a pencil and pad of paper with me to capture your words. The few I could remember amidst my busy day, I would phone to Grandma leaving her long messages regaling your brilliance.
Most recently you were in the midst of the flu and 104 degree fever. You were due to be the greeter for the all school mass at Immaculate Heart of Mary; bringing the group to attention and giving an overview of the Gospel and how it relates to our lives today. It was three paragraphs long and filled with large 4 & 5 syllable words. Quite fitting for a precocious reader like you. The flurry of phone calls from your teacher, even while we were in the doctor’s office (the wonder of cell phones!) checking on your health; enquiring whether you could come to school just for mass. Mrs. Corey said, “Quite frankly, no one else is capable of doing it.” What an honor! We got the doctor’s clearance. The next morning, you felt awful, but were excited to be reading in front of the 700+ students and faculty. To my surprise, you processed in with the priest and altar servers at the beginning of mass instead of being seated with the other students who would be reading petitions later. Everyone came to attention when they heard your six-year-old voice. I will never forget that morning. You were magnificent! Your use of eye contact to connect with the room was uncanny I can still picture you in your navy Lands End uniform pants and your brightly striped Talbot’s sweater (you got the out of uniform break, since you weren’t officially in school that day). The teachers and other adults present were amazed at your prowess and many complimented you on your reading the next day when you returned to school. Your brother, seated near the ambo whispered “Great job” when you finished and turned to bow at the altar. I was proud of him for recognizing your accomplishment and giving you the thumbs up.

I remember being asked by my 5th grade teacher at St. Peter's to do a reading at our class mass, and being terrified to speak in front of a group. I recall asking Grandpa Ken to write a note to Mrs. Doherty to excuse me from the task at hand. I don’t think I got out of it, but I remember being very nervous, uncomfortable and quite terrified and I was 10 years old! You weren’t nervous one single bit. Public speaking will not be an obstacle for anything you wish to do in the future. Only time will tell which path your little feet will follow.

Monday, December 1, 2008


Missing Madrid

I hope life is treating you well

As you sun in that corner café,

Eating Tapas and sipping dark, red wine

Contemplating what Picasso meant in his infamous "Le Guitariste"

Cubism vs. Web 2.0- where do you go from here?

Just continue to unleash your creative energy

And let the words & music flow....................