Happy Travels!

parked boat

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I made a playlist for my hairdresser!  She’s moving to St. Thomas with her husband and children where they’ve dreamed of living for a long time now.  I’m so happy for people when they can embrace their bliss!  So I made a playlist to help her celebrate this new chapter in her life.

I included a variety of styles, choosing recordings of original artists whenever possible, ordering them to “modulate” from a sense of good-bye to “hello new world”!

  1. Happy Trails by Roy Rogers and Evans (because it’s just a fun way to say “Bon Voyage!” and to wish you all the best where-ever life takes you!
  2. Happy by Pharrell Williams (because I heartily affirm your happiness!!!)
  3. Don’t Worry, Be Happy by Bobby McFerrin (because there might be little worries along the way, but I hope all-in-all you will immerse yourself in your joy!)
  4. Leaving on a Jet Plane by Peter, Paul, & Mary (because it has fun associations for me from the first time I went on a grand journey!)
  5. So Long, Farewell by The Von Trapp Children (again, better to say fare-thee-well with a sense of fun and festivity than to think too much about the sorrows of parting.)
  6. When You Wish Upon A Star by Linda Ronstadt (You’ve had beautiful dreams, and now you’re making them a reality! Yea!)
  7. La Mer by Charles Trenet (because it’s about the Sea! — and because I love this song!)
  8. Mambo No. 5 by Perez Prado (Encouraging you to dance on the beach!)
  9. Beyond the Sea by Bobby Darin (now in English — because I love this song!!!)
  10. Take Five by The Dave Brubeck Quartet (What better way to take a break?!)
  11. Blue Bossa by Joe Henderson (Blue for the ocean, Bossa for the tropics.)
  12. St. Thomas by Sonny Rollins (Blessings to you in your new home!!!)

Here’s a link to the playlist:


It’s called Happy Trails, Rhiannon!

List of Lists

account black and white business commerce

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List of Lists I’d Like to Write:

  • Funny sounding words
  • Places I’ve been that I loved or were life-transforming
  • Places I’d like to go
  • Miracles I’ve experienced
  • All-time favorite restaurants from all the places I’ve traveled/lived
  • Names for the color blue
  • Names for the color green
  • Names I’d like to use in creative writing
  • Colors in the sea
  • Top ten books that have transformed my life or world-view
  • Favorite poets
  • Ways to procrastinate and still get things done
  • Reasons I keep going when I think I can’t
  • What matters most
  • Why we’re here (the meaning of life in general)
  • Why I’m here (my purpose/s in life)
  • How to value life when you feel disconnected or without purpose
  • Why I love Jack so much
  • Good things I’ve gleaned from bad experiences
  • If I lived in Paris…
  • Why the world feels so different “after 9/11”
  • Why the world feels so gone after my parents’ deaths
  • Why I don’t like the world anymore
  • How I might fall in love again with life
  • How to make friends with an alien world
  • How to value a small sliver of life even if the rest of the world seems fu@%&d
  • What I can learn from my cats
  • What I admired in our beagles Sadie and Winston
  • Best coffee brands
  • Favorite coffee beans or flavors
  • Why I love the French language
  • Books with writing I find most beautiful
  • Books I would recommend reading more than twice
  • Favorite composers for classical piano
  • Favorite non-piano classical compositions
  • A playlist for myself to represent the progression of my life
  • Music I would like people to hear or sing at my funeral
  • Bouquets (flower/plant combos) I would love
  • Five reasons “why” I’m still so stuck
  • Five ways I might get unstuck
  • If I could start a peer-support group, what kind would it be?
  • Components of an ideal diner
  • Components of an ideal cafe
  • Twelve movies with great cinematography
  • Twelve great movie soundtracks
  • Twelve movies with powerful and beautiful story
  • My favorite visual artists
  • Why I’m drawn to nostalgia
  • Why I sometimes can’t stand anything nostalgic
  • Things I’d take to a desert isle if I could take only one from each of my favorite-things categories
  • Things I use every day
  • Things I keep but never use
  • Things I’m saving for the next generation
  • All the beaches I’ve been to
  • Why I love being on an ocean’s beach
  • Modes of transportation I’ve experienced and when I first did so
  • What I like about travel
  • What I don’t like about travel
  • What I like about being in a new place
  • What I like about being at home

Easter Monday

agriculture barley field beautiful close up

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  • He is risen!
  • But the story doesn’t end even there: He meets us on the road to Emmaus,
  • He offers His wounds for us to touch and see,
  • He breaks bread with us,
  • He prepares breakfast for us when our catch is slim and our faith wavers,
  • He reminds of all that came before & shows us what it means,
  • He bids us share the Good News with others,
  • He gives us His Spirit,
  • and for me, today, He reminds me that He is risen even with scars; His scars don’t disappear, but they don’t shackle Him to the past; His scars give further testimony to how we ourselves are one (body & soul) and we are one w/ Him, He with us.

For I know that my Redeemer lives,
And He shall stand at last on the earth;
And after my skin is destroyed, this I know,
That in my flesh I shall see God,
Whom I shall see for myself,
And my eyes shall behold, and not another.

(Job 19: 25-27)

Yielding to the best yoke

What to do when you’re fed up with the world:

  1. Fast.  Does it seem like the world is a horrible place filled with selfishness, idiocy, cruelty, and all manner of evil?  Before you succumb to despair, pull back, retreat, disengage.  Forget Facebook, skip Skype, trash Twitter and Tumblr, pack away Pinterest, and set aside that smart phone.  You don’t have to let the world be so much in your face!  Take a siesta from social media.  It will be there when you choose to return!
  2. Take a nap.  But before you go to sleep, decide that when you wake you will do one specific thing to nurture your best self with the best of what you can give.  Do you need better nutrition?  Plan a simple but healthy and satisfying meal that you can enjoy upon waking.  Does your body need to move?  Or your lungs need fresh air?  Plan not only to take a walk, but visualize the actual path you will take; then, when you wake, put on your shoes and get going.  Do you need some inspiration?  Find a good book or better yet, The Good Book; pick an encouraging verse before you go to sleep, read it through at least once or twice before you dive into dream-land; when you wake, meditate on it further along with whatever you dreamt.
  3. Do whatever you planned to do after that nap!
  4. Write a letter to yourself:  remind yourself of times you came through the dark valley and rose again to new heights.  Describe at least 3 of such times.  Then gently encourage yourself to dream again.  What is one thing you can actually do today that would help you achieve one of your dreams while making the world a better place?
  5. Pray.  Thank God for all the blessings in your life and in this world.  Thank God for all the graces in the face of sins, your own and others’.  Thank God for all the evidences of redemption.  Thank God for His faithfulness.  Thank God for His Presence now.  Thank God for all the graces to come.
  6. Consider prayerfully: is there some way you can be used by God to grace someone else?  Is there someone you are ready to forgive?  Is there something you can redeem?  If not, ask the Lord for healing, for yourself, and for the whole world.  If the Lord shows you some good you can do in His Name, do it, and thank Him for that one thing.  No matter how small it might appear now, thank God for it.
  7. Practice trusting God.  You’re correct that the world is not always a safe place, and not everyone in it is trust-worthy.  In fact, no-one is always trust-worthy for everything.  But remember too, we are not responsible for everything. Be discerning with people, but trust God completely.  Trust God with your whole heart.  That’s where and how you’ll find rest from the wearisome world.  Let God fill your heart; let God make His Home in your heart, and then you’ll find your Home in God.

“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.  Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart; and you shall find rest for your souls.  For My yoke is easy, and My load is light.”  (~Jesus Christ, from Matthew 11: 28-30, New American Standard)

Thank You God for Everything


Who, what, where, when, and why?

To whom am I grateful?

God (AbbaPapa-JesusChrist-HolySpirit), my parents, my spouse, my family, The Church, my friends, mentors, teachers, students, pro-life medical professionals, farmers, composers, artists, authors, all who pray for peace and try to live it.

For what am I grateful?

Life, love, home, belonging, safety, joy, truth, The Eucharist, peace, justice, mercy, beauty, music, art, books, coffee, cats, good food, trees, flowers, birds, the ocean, the whole earth, the universe!, seasons, last night’s moon, blue skies, breathable air, drinkable water, hot water for showers, all the ways we can make music and share music, all the ways we can communicate, friendship, laughter, silence, quiet, tranquility, prayer, education, travel, freedom, permanence and change, passages, time and eternity, space and transcendence, being and doing, compatibility, male and female, adult and child, dancing, bees, sweet things, savory things, all flavors, plants especially quirky ones life succulents, roses, iris, lilies, respect, wisdom, self-control, help especially when needed, courage, pets, wildlife especially hawks whales dolphins, ability to choose a good attitude, health, healing, a good immune system, my bed, The Bible, light, warmth, Mass, the capacity to worship my Creator and to adore my Savior-Lord, fellowship with Catholics and other Christian believers, the gift of faith, the conviction of the sanctity of life, empathy, forgiveness, understanding, gentleness, strength, perseverance, patience, gratitude!, all that is Good, God’s amazing Grace and ability to turn all things for Good, rain and rainbows, storms, hope, far-seeing, details and small things, grandeur, paradox and interesting juxtapositions, pain and suffering that can be redeemed into intimacy with Christ, Christ’s resurrection and ours to come, beginnings, endings, sweetly resolvable dissonance, resolutions, II7 chords, smiles, tears, skin, babies, lovers, fertility, barren-ness that can yet be hospitable to The Spirit, deserts, mountain-tops and valleys and pastures and meadows, gardens of all kinds and sizes, quilts, laptops, notebooks, pens, paper, texture, smells, color, color upon color, seemingly infinite gradations of hue, transparency and opaqueness, goldfinches, purple thistle, candles, incense, fire, purpose, spontaneity, ritual, good habits, memory, a stretchable heart.

Where am I grateful?


When am I grateful?


Why am I grateful?

Oh Lord, because You are Good and all You have made is Good, and all that is can be used for Good for those who love You.  Blessed be Your Holy Name, forever and ever.  Amen!

PS– The last prayer I heard my mother pray was “Thank You, God, for everything.”  She prayed this while in the throes of painful cancer and constant nausea.  Lord, thank You for her example.  Please help me to embrace her attitude.  While I am grateful for much, I know that You could yet convert my heart to be totally grateful, to truly receive everything truly having faith in Your Goodness.  Oh Papa, take my heart and let it be consecrated, Lord, to Thee.  Amen.

Light shines.

This is a short but important list of three blessings in the midst of grief, gifts amidst chaos, my certainties amidst everything.

Maris Lacrima

“The bad things that come into our lives would not nullify all the good.” ~ from Shattered by Rita A. Schulte (page 87)

Bad does not nullify good.  That is such grace!  I want to take a moment to think about good things in my life that have persisted despite contemporaneous bad.

I always know my Heavenly Father is with me, holding me up, within me through the Holy Spirit, sustaining me in His Life, comforting, companioning, guiding, guarding, forming me in and through Christ.  That right there is such a gift.  The faith I have in God is all grace.  God proves Himself over and over, but the fact that faith is seated securely within me is pure grace.  It is completely His Gift, and I praise Him.  Lord God, Heavenly King, Almighty God, and Father, I worship You!  Thanks be to Thee, forever and ever!

Knowing that my…

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