Henry David Thoreau

He’s a hoot!  To whooo, To whooooo!

Have you read or heard anything Thoreau has written about his period of semi-isolation out on Walden’s pond?  It’s pretty gripping stuff which is funny because he’s often writing about sitting in his doorway facing scrub pines from dawn till noon while nothing happens.

I liked one particular lesson he taught me.  He was talking about the dawn, not as a period of time that can be checked on a watch.  Instead he was saying that all of our days should be filled with the feeling of newness and that we should experience dawn at any time of the day.  Each new day we throw off our “somnolence”.  That is true especially if we are lucky enough to wake on our own when our bodies are ready for a fresh start, rather than being awakened by a machine like a clock  that we set to disturb us from sleep, it is  then when we awake on our own that our sense of being awakened is close to thrilling.  It is then, at that moment that we are the most ready to start our day.

I never thought of dawn in that way.

So yesterday, after a bit of storm passed I looked out my back window and I saw some wispy fog floating through some trees on the tiny hill behind my house.  I imagined it was dawn and I imagined what it would feel like to step outside in that new day.  It was pretty darned exciting!

Today I’m going to hope you experience the dawn!  Do it any time you can!




Pray Without Ceasing!

I’m a mutt when it comes to religion.  I suppose I’d say I was a Roman Catholic because that was my first official faith.  My parents decided to “leave” their local parish- which meant they no longer attended or paid any money to the church and for a while we were “nothing’.

When I got a little older I started attending Catholic school.  During the same year I visited a small Presbyterian church for a Bible study.  The sudden introduction of all of that Christianity on my life has certainly left a mark.

I convinced my parents that the folks at the Presbyterian church were wonderful and they soon became members there.  I often took my services in that building instead of the Catholic church and I was pleased that I was able to answer my teachers questions each Monday about the services because I found that it didn’t matter which Church I was in, the calendar of readings was generally the same.  Imagine how pleased I was with myself to be studying the word in a Protestant church and getting credit for having attended Mass.

Still later my parents attended a Christian Science Church.  I went too.  I liked that my Sunday school teacher was a man named Mr. Moses.  He was a wonderful teacher and I truly admired him.  He was one of those people that glowed.  In a faith that disregards human frailty or human illness he stood out for me because he had a distinct hump on his back.  I sometimes wondered how he could teach about a belief that taught that human imperfections were the result of poor thinking, or poor relationship with  Christ while he had a visible hump!  Somehow I avoided asking.  I probably saw that his mind wasn’t all tied up in his “physical flaw”.  To me that was the real mystery.

Also, during this time I was introduced to TM.  A lot of people were afraid of meditation back in those days.  They thought it was of the devil, or at least they thought it was from a religion that wasn’t normal for those of us in the West!  Eastern religions were a little scary for dyed in the wool Christians.  Afterall, look how their introduction has subverted Christianity! 🙂

I’m sorry I’m laughing about it.  I wasn’t really talking about subverting Christianity as a whole, I was talking about how it may have subverted my own personal walk.

When I got older I married a Methodist.  He had no interest in exploring his faith.  He was what he was and he was hoping I’d join him and our children would be what he was.  ( That I did.)

My new church was very open to people like me.  I was filled with such different takes on some of the stories in the Old and New Testaments that I think I was given more credit than  I deserved in my new church.  I was allowed to become a Lay Speaker but all I really had was a lot of personal questions about the meaning of faith.  I’d spend serious time looking for answers and that appeared to my new friends as a genuine love of God and their faith.  I’m sorry that that wasn’t what was going on for me because I’m afraid I let quite a few people down when I couldn’t honestly preach Salvation to them.  I needed more learning myself.

To make a long story short, I still have a yearning to experience the sacred and they mystical and the meaningful in my life.  But I’ve taken to looking in a very quiet way.  The bad news is I have forgotten about my own children.  I haven’t been raising them up with a strong connection to any faith.  I took it for granted that they’d know how to handle their own relationship with religion.  I imagined our traditions would strengthen them.  It turns out I was both wrong and right.

In a deep conversation about faith with one of my children my child started crying.  It seems they are living in a community with people that trumpet their positions on faith.  They live in a community that teaches  that if you don’t go to church you go to Hell.  Through my neglect, they have accepted that they are almost “orphans” when it comes to seeing a supernatural being as a loving father.

According to Christian teaching that means I’m to tie a millstone around my neck and toss myself in the deepest part  of the ocean!  I have inadvertently hurt some of “the least of these”.  I’ve come all this way in faith, only to screw up the bond between my own kids and God.   But I don’t think I’m going to pitch myself in the ocean  just yet.  Because I know what grace is.  I know that even when I’ve done everything possible to sully or to tear apart my children’s relationship to their faith I know that as long as I”m not dead, I can get a clue and I have a chance to try to rebuild what I’ve messed up.  I believe in the depths of my being that God honors trying.  ( I could be absolutely wrong!)

So lately, I’ve begun praying a lot.  I’m not petitioning God for favors.  I’m just spending a lot of my waking days repeating childhood prayers.  Prayer has taken place of a walking mantra.

I’d like to be honest and say all this prayer hasn’t lifted me up wholly.  I’ve had some powerful anxiety even while focusing on prayer.   I am not one of those people who will fill anyone’s heads with visions of golden gates and pearlized harps attended by flying musicians.  For me prayer is concentrated thought, and it isn’t a passport to Heaven.  As I said in my childhood when I first learned to pray, my reason for praying is to acknowledge God’s kingdom here on Earth as it is in Heaven.  Don’t bother asking me what that means for truly it’s beyond me!

I still want mystery.  I want beauty.  I want peace.  I want a feeling of God’s presence in my life.  I feel a little silly talking about it here, because it’s like I’m advertising how NOT to find God.  But a still small voice is insisting that I tell my story.  And I thought I can’t write about this, because it will make me look bad.  And the feeling that was informing my plan to write all of this seemed to acknowledge my fears.  It was as if I heard ” Ayup, you might look stupid alright.”

On the other hand, I might be a tiny candle burning in a dark way.  Maybe my mistakes will show others what to watch out for.

I just imagined I heard once again ” Ayup, you might look stupid alright.”  🙂




Pottstown’s Limerick Shut Down Due to Minor Explosion

Operators of the Limerick Generating Station in Pottstown took Unit 1 offline Wednesday morning after an electrical disturbance on the non-nuclear side of the plant, according to Exelon.

Company spokesman Dana Melia said the electrical disturbance caused a loss of power to generator cooling equipment.

Melia said Unit 1 will remain offline until repairs, inspections and testing can be completed.

Limerick’s Unit 2 continues to operate at full power.

Melia said that as a result of the electrical disturbance, an “Unusual Event” was declared at 8:39 a.m. and terminated at 9:46 a.m. An Unusual Event is the lowest of four Nuclear Regulatory Commission emergency classifications.

Melia said Exelon Generation notified all appropriate federal, state and local government officials of the event, and that there is no threat to the health and safety of the public.

A Montgomery County spokesman confirmed local officials were notified of the incident.

“We did get an alert that there was an unusual event over there … there was an explosion inside a protected area of Unit 1, but it does not affect public safety,” said Frank Custer, communications director for Montgomery County.

“This is not an explosion like you would normally think,” said Diane Screnci, senior public affairs officer for the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission in Philadelphia. “It’s more like when your house trips a circuit.”

Screnci said the incident resulted from an electrical fault in a transformer. She said the plant manually shut down the reactor.

“The plant responded as designed. It is stable,” she said. “There was no impact on the public or the workers.”


Do You Snore? Try Yogic Breathing!

Have you ever had to sleep with someone who snores?

I’m guessing that a lot of you, especially those of you who are coming just because of the title of this post have had experience with snoring- either you are doing it and are being pestered about it, or someone you love is doing it and you are worried.

I would like to start out by recommending you talk to your physician.  There are health consequences associated with sleep apnea and it isn’t something to fool around with if you are suffering with it.

That said, for some folks there might be a way to reestablish healthy breathing techniques that might stave off the need to take medication, or have surgery, or wear a breathing mask which is cumbersome and noisy.

When you see a baby breathe they are often silent.  I can’t remember the times I had to stand over my infants beds with my hand on their bellies to assure myself that they were breathing and sleeping soundly.  What you notice when you touch their abdomen’s though is they are really using their diaphragms to breathe.  Adults stop breathing that way for some odd reason.  A lot of us start taking chest breaths and we rely on our upper larynx muscles to haul air in while we sleep.  A snorer may start snoring immediately upon closing their eyes.  If that is true, then this might indicate that they aren’t belly  breathing.

Belly breathing can be silent.  Try sitting quietly and inhale not by making a lot of noise but just by extending your abdomen.  Really press it out there.  Now contract it and you will probably find yourself exhaling just as quietly.  The diaphragm was intended to help you breathe, your nasal passages were not!

I’m no expert.  I’m just fond of finding natural solutions to natural situations.  And when I noticed that someone I cared about started snoring as soon as their head hit the pillow I was suspicious that there was something going on physically that was leading to the noisy inhalations and the painful sounding delays in breathing.    I asked them to think about their breathing when they were standing upright- when nature helps the diaphragm move up and down.  Then I asked them to use those muscles while laying down.  It took some concious control, but then this person fell sound asleep with a much easier pattern of breathing.

I’m not an expert in anything!  Have I made that clear?  I’m just relating an experience I had.  I’m just putting my experience out there and if anyone else is interested I’m glad.

Sleep softly!





Back From Vacation!

Hi everybody.  I just got back from a rather long trip.  Well, it was long for me.  We went to South Carolina and while it was a wonderful getaway, I’m kind of tired of being away from home…know what I mean?

First we went to a South Carolina State Park called Poinsett.  It was filled with big old trees draped in Spanish Moss.  The cabin we stayed in was fully appointed with a huge and I mean huge central air unit.  In S.C like in W. Va cabins have linens and dishware.  It is a very nice amenity.  We drove down on the 4th of July and Poinsett is located near Shaw Air Force Base which was going to be celebrating the 4th with “the biggest fireworks display in the Carolinas”…Well, let me tell you that for all of the South’s bragging about their fireworks, Pottstown has them beat!  ( Of course I didn’t see the display this year, but comparing years past, well, I missed being home for the display.)

Anyhow, we stayed at the park for a couple of days traveling to South Carolina’s inland lake Lake Marion which is ginormous.  There is a state park there as well called Santee and we tried to check out the round shelters, or cabins that are near the water there, but no luck cause they were all occupied.

Saturday morning we left Poinsett and traveled to Cherry Grove in North Myrtle Beach.  We have been staying at a little cottage down there for the past couple of years and it’s right on a lake/inland bay.  It’s nice to view the marshy grass and we bring our canoe and kayak to paddle back there.  Well, this year there was a bit of excitement when a young lady hooked a shark while fishing in that back bay/lake.  I’ll tell you that put a damper on my wanting to go kayaking!

I’ll upload the video of “Sarah’s big ass shark”…but be forewarned there are some colorful words when Sarah and her family are surprised by the little toothmonster.  By the way, I found out that this took place because I was out on my back deck and I heard the folks who had caught the shark tell their neighbor next door that they were going live on GMA in just a few.  I saw the neighbor say okay and then she rushed into her house.  I thought gee, that is strange…but then I realized that they were going to be on TV.  So I dashed in and turned on Good Morning America to see the ” spot of the day” where they were featuring this family and their catch.

So when you check out the video you’ll see where I was on vacation!  Only I was across the water sort of catty corner to them facing the marsh.  Zoiks!

I’m going to go find the video but I wanted to say my biggest worry about being that far from home is my anxiety about my home.  It isn’t that I live in the finest of houses, and it isn’t as if my things are all that valuable, but still they have such personal meaning that it’s hard to go away and not worry about rather stupid things like did we lose any electricity in a storm?  Or did I remember to water the plants?  Or who is going to put the trash out?

I’m the kind of person that worries about the little things, which is sort of nice most of the time because that makes me the kind of person that usually remembers everything!  It’s just hard when you are remembering things and you are over 600 miles away.

So, if anyone is going on vacation in our area  and you need someone to drop by your house to make sure the mail is in, or the outdoor cats have food and water, or your trash can gets dragged back, or your outdoor plants get watered then just call me!  Or email me!  I’ll charge you for my time, but we’ll both feel better about you being away from home!  And I’m probably pretty cheap compared to other services that charge you for year round protection.

Thanks for those of you who dropped by even if I wasn’t doing any updating.  I didn’t fall off the planet.  I just went down south to see some palmetto trees!  And a shark 🙂