Wednesday, November 27, 2013


I have always loved Thanksgiving Day… I have always loved the LOVE that the day brings out in people… it is the only day that all Americans celebrate regardless of their religion... it is the only day that everyone is thanking God or the Universe or some other higher being... all day people are giving thanks...... people take time to reflect and think about how fortunate they are … and then, they rush out and help the less fortunate… it is the one day of the year that actually has an excessive amount of volunteers at homeless shelters… which is great I suppose, except that why aren’t these people who are giving of themselves on Thanksgiving Day (as if it is a grandiose gesture of love), volunteering the other 364 days of the year? I mean, the homeless shelters are open year round…

This is not my own thought…. This enlightenment came from a nun at the “Sisters of Charity” in Midtown Miami one Thanksgiving morning that I went to sing at the morning mass… my parish actually takes care of them year round… our church has its own vegetable garden and we have hens who provide 130 eggs daily for them… on Thursday nights, we make sandwiches and someone from the church delivers them on Friday mornings…. Regardless, there were so many people that Thanksgiving morning that we could hardly move inside the little building… a lot of people had to stand and eat outside… and the nun was up against the wall shaking her head… I asked, “What’s the matter Sister?” …. “I am thankful that the parishioners from your church come out every year, but it would be nice if they came in small groups every day... we feed all of these people all of the time…maybe you can spread the word” …. There was nothing I could respond except, “yes, of course I can say something...” I felt so small and insignificant… I didn’t go to help serve food, I was simply asked to sing at the mass…and now I just wanted to leave...  I went back a few times on random days, but I hardly make it to that area anymore … my own guilt is eating up at me right now for not practicing what I preach so go ahead, call me a hypocrite today….

I am not sure what I am going to do for Thanksgiving… probably nothing… my father is dead… my mother left town... my brother left town... my youngest brother and baby sister live out of town…  and the sister I love deeply… well, if I spend it with her, I think we will be miserable together... we were definitely Daddy’s girls … last night she was at the house and we were already crying again just talking about the fact that he won’t be giving grace… but, I told her that if I don’t high-tail it out of town, I will stop in for dessert…

Fortunately, my boys understand my lunacy… they’re like “Road-trip, Mama!!!” so, maybe that’s what we will do… they are my family… I haven’t shared Thanksgiving with my oldest one for 4 years and my middle one for 2 years… it might be nice, just us… course, it might not be nice…. And as I write this, I just received a call from my 18 year old… he’s got big plans for the weekend… so, we’ll see what happens.. but whatever happens is fine with me.. it’s about how we can be happiest…and I am thankful that despite the sadness we feel without my Daddy, we are relatively happy people... 

My heartfelt wish to all of you is that you are not only thankful on Thanksgiving Day, but always… I know I am… May you and your family be blessed with all things good… You are loved beyond measure…go out and love the world’s people as often as you can… be thankful for one another.. we're all we've got... 


p.s. if you have little ones and/or you consider yourself a little one… check out … Sunday, December 1st, is the “Day of the Elf” and there will be a lot of magical things happening as we count down to Christmas…

Monday, November 18, 2013

Daughter of the Moon

(Sitting in the breezeway with my Ma on the night of the November Full Moon)

“I just can’t believe that all of my children are crazy..”
“I have a perfectly good excuse, Ma… I was born under the full moon..”
“that’s no excuse really…”
“sure it is… and since I was born in the morning, both the sun and moon were visible at the same time.. didn’t you notice?”
“Are you kidding? … I was giving birth… the only thing I remember was that when they opened the curtain of the delivery room, all I could see was a vast ocean in front of me… it actually scared me… I almost forgot where I was..”
“Oh Ma, that’s awesome … I love that”
“yeah maybe, but it still doesn’t explain why you are so crazy..”

As she shook her head, (the way mothers do when they are just totally dismayed by their children), I searched the internet for all the full moons dates for every month and year corresponding to my grandparents, parents, siblings and children, to see if anyone else in our family was born under a full moon… meanwhile she was muttering things and I would just say, “okay.. really… wow…” when I was done with my investigation, I interrupted her and told her that I was the only one born in the full moon in our family… she threw her head back and said, “you see, only a crazy person would even google that.” …. Lol….

Regardless, I don’t consider myself “crazy”… I am a daughter of the Moon… On the day of my birth, the Sun rose at 7:01am and the Moon set at 8:03am, therefore, I want to believe that while my mother was in the absolute last hour of labor, (I was born at 7:38 am), the Moon was introducing me to the Sun…. lol…. okay so…. Maybe I am a little “touched” … but it does make for a great mystical story, doesn’t it?

The full moon…. Most everyone loves this monthly occurrence… and why not? .. it’s spectacular to see… and to witness and to feel and be overcome by its grandeur .. and it’s acceptable to blame it IF you feel inclined to act a little crazy when it is shining in the midnight sky… lol…. many people follow the cycle of the moon and probably have never known why they become more sentimental or melancholic.... I, for one, do not even have to look at the calendar to know that it is coming…. And since my father’s passing, (he died on the night of the “Super  Moon” in June)… I think I am even more connected to it… except now, I am more peaceful… I look to the Moon and feel a sense of calm… I look to the moon and feel the beams filling me with more light than any Sun could ever do… I look to the Moon and feel my daddy’s presence and it soothes me…. (or maybe I just want to believe that so that I don’t miss him so much)… hey, whatever works for the crazies, right?

Anyway, as Sandy Miller said, “You have to be able to appreciate things. How many people can say it was a full moon last night and appreciate it?”

 I will leave you with this lovely prayer written by Bill Attride, Astrologer for last night’s full moon..

From the point of light within the Mind of God,
Let Light stream forth into our minds
Let LIGHT descend on Earth.
From the point of love within the Heart of God,
Let Love stream forth into our hearts
May LOVE increase on Earth.
From the center where the Will of God is known
Let purpose guide our wills
The PURPOSE, which the masters know and serve.
From the center which we call Humanity
Let the Plan of Love and Light work out
And may it seal the door where evil dwells.
Let Light and Love and Power restore the Plan on Earth.


Friday, November 15, 2013

...miles to go....

“… but I have promises to keep,
…and miles to go before I sleep.
…and miles to go before I sleep.”      

When I was in second grade, my best friend’s mother insisted that we memorize the poem, “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening” by Robert Frost… There was no real reason except that it was one of her favorites and she wanted Frost to be one of our favorite Poets as well…. and so, we learned it…. I could never imagine then how many times I would call upon those three lines to get me through life whenever I felt I could not see the light at the end of the tunnel…  It is one of the few poems I still remember and can recite… (the other poem is, also, a Frost poem.. “Fire and Ice”) …

Years ago, when my boys were 5 and 3 years old, I took them to Gatlinburg. During one of the hikes we took, they began their whining, which was understandable because it was cold and wet as we travelled up the mountain trail.. so, I started reciting the poem to distract them… and it worked… they were so inquisitive and kept interrupting me and asking me, “well, whose woods are they?” … and “what is a harness bell?” … and “how come it’s called “downy flake?” … lol… and eventually, as I repeated the poem, they learned a lot of it as well… to this day, my oldest remembers most of it and on our weekend trip to Georgia, as we hiked the trail at “Red Mountain”,  he turned to his 6 year old cousin and said, “Whose woods these are I think I know……”  

…and so… all weekend, I seemed to be thinking about each individual I was with… about all the “miles” we all need to go still…. my brother, at 43 years of age, is back in school studying to be a Chiropractor… his entire life has changed already… My two teenage boys, ages 18 and 16, had their weekly melt-down of wanting to kill each other…  My 12 year old nephew did not want to do homework and was lying about it... my 9 year old niece only brought 2 leggings to wear for 5 days (mind you it was in the 40’s) so we had to wash them by hand daily.. my 10 year old Aspie thought it was okay to veer off the trail and would disappear into the woods saying that he was like “Connor” from Assassin’s Creed… and my 6 year old nephew, well… he is 6 and doesn’t have a care in the world…. He could go a million miles without any sleep…

Naturally, WE all know what the “miles” mean… right? I don’t think any of us really dwell on it too much though… we plan as best we can for the future, but “life” sometimes deals us cards we would rather throw back… I am not one to worry about the “miles” I have to go, however, I do worry about what is in store for my children… and we speak openly about a lot of “life” things (maybe too openly) because I want them to be aware… I can’t be certain that they listen all the time, but my hope is that they if they are in a situation where they aren’t quite sure what to do, their memory will re-call one of my stories in a “deja-vu” kind of way …..

Anyway, I chose to travel with all these characters to see my brother for the long weekend… that, in itself, was an adventurous decision… but, it was worth it… it was a great time of reflection for me…. And I think we all learned some valuable lessons about one another and how other people’s actions (or lack thereof) can easily change the road you’re on…. The kids experienced this first-hand when we landed in  Fort Lauderdale.  I really was expecting that someone would be there to pick us up, however, I will just say there was a  “misunderstanding” of sorts (so as to keep the peace in the family). 

There I was with 6 children, who ate breakfast at 8:00am and were now sitting on the sidewalk of Terminal 4 at 1:00pm telling me they were hungry and asking me how we were getting home…. To keep calm, I was silently repeating a “grateful” mantra…. "I am grateful for the sun; I am grateful for the moon; I am grateful for the trees; I am grateful for the grass…" I looked up and saw a sign on the column, took a deep breath and said, “There’s a free shuttle to the Tri-Rail station.. I guess we will take the train to Miami” … (that was our Clint Eastwood moment… “Improvise, Adapt and Overcome”) …lol……. not one disgruntling word was uttered from any of their mouths… meanwhile, under my breath, I was certainly muttering some choice words…. My oldest shrugged his shoulders at me and then turned to the rest of them and said, “You all might as well learn how to travel now, else you’ll never be able to travel in Europe for a month like I did.” …. They agreed, gave one another high-fives and we were on our way….

Three and a half hours later, we finally made it home…

I kept my promise… 

Later, as I was tucking my Aspie in, he said, “Mama, that was a great adventure today… we traveled 690.6 miles to get home.” … “wow, really?”.. “yes… I googled it… that’s a lot of miles… I think we can go to sleep now… “ …. “LOL…. Yes, I suppose we can.” 

Some other day I’ll explain what it means when I say…….

“… but I have promises to keep,
…and miles to go before I sleep.
…and miles to go before I sleep.”       

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Hello... and here I go.....

I once was a writer of blessings. 

I love that true sentence… it’s just like HEM always said to do when you have writer’s block.. just write one “true” sentence and go from there…. Well, that’s what I did Sunday night… and the day was done… it is a new dawn and I am simply writing… I am not sure what I am going to be writing about yet…  like everyone, I am full of stories… and so much has happened in the last 7 years of my life as I have journeyed with my “blessed” people… writing "blessings" for them has sustained me... it has kept me rooted in the "fellowship" of belonging to a group of people who have many of the same beliefs I have.... we have shared so many prayers and affirmations… we have laughed and cried… we have been constant in our faith, hope and love for one another.. . we have “seen” one another… we are “Namaste” people…. And we carry one another’s hearts…  I love my people…. And I always will….. but today, I feel like the weight of the world is off my shoulders… no one will be expecting a “blessing” from me… I have resigned.  Course, it doesn’t mean that I will never write one… I may start writing and rambling like I do and it may very well go in that direction…

Since this is a new blog for me maybe I should introduce myself… I am “Cloud of Peace” … an Indian name given to me by my FSU Seminole friends when I lived in Tallahassee almost 25 years ago.  Those were the days when hardly anyone had a cell phone and we still mailed letters to one another...…  and if you were going to write anything about “life” or your opinion on any political happening, you would send it in to your local newspaper’s “soapbox” section and hope it didn’t get thrown in the trash without being read …

So, for half of my life, I have felt somewhat compelled to live up to the name given to me… granted, it hasn’t been that difficult because I am generally a peaceful person.. but, of course, I have had a million and one moments where I have wanted to show that “other side” of me (and I probably have slipped more times than I have wanted to) … and so I have written lyrical poetry and “blessings” more as a tool for myself to “practice what I preach” …. however, the day is done…

I received a lot of beautiful responses and words of encouragement to my “farewell” blessing, but I have one friend that wrote, “You’ll change your mind” … lol….. she might be right… but not today she isn’t… and so…. I begin a new journey… my “blessings” people may not continue on the new path with me and I will miss them….. but, I have traveled with many souls, for many lives and so I look forward to meeting  old friends on the written path… I would say, “wish me luck”, but I don’t believe in luck… I trust in destiny and fate … The story has already be written…

“I am the sum total of everything that went before me, of all I have been seen done, of everything done-to-me. I am everyone everything whose being-in-the-world affected was affected by mine. I am anything that happens after I'm gone which would not have happened if I had not come.” Salman Rushie, "Midnight's Children"

Let your light shine... 
With love,

Sunday, November 3, 2013

The Day is Done

Hello from my heart to yours....

His talent was as natural as the pattern that was made by the dust on a butterfly's wings. At one time he understood it no more than the butterfly did and he did not know when it was brushed or marred. Later he became conscious of his damaged wings and of their construction and he learned to think and could not fly any more because the love of flight was gone and he could only remember when it had been effortless.” Ernest Hemingway, A Moveable Feast

That has to be one of the saddest quotes from HEM's book, but I have always loved it.... I have known many people like F. Scott Fitzgerald, whom he is speaking of..... today, I can relate to the quote myself.... since I once was a writer of blessings..... a talent that came naturally to me... something that was effortless for me..... sometimes too effortless.... sure I have had moments of absence before.. moments of silence.... however, the words were always tugging at my heart.. I would just seem to lose my way or take a different path, but I would find my way back eventually... the blessing "sabbaticals" never lasted this long........ and though my wings are not damaged and I still want to fly, it isn't in the direction of writing blessings anymore... because it isn't effortless anymore... I am thinking of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's poem, "The Day is Done" ... it's a long poem (too long to post here without boring you).. but basically he is describing the end of a long and exhausting day at work... he comes home and wants his lover to read a poem to him.... I do not feel that the last 7 years have been long and exhausting.... I think I feel that the times when I do not write have been long and exhausting.... but I just do not have anything else to say.... like Longfellow, I want to come home to a poem of simplicity which will carry me off to another place... I want to be able to close my eyes and feel the humility of the poet who expresses peaceful serenity...  I want to hear it being read to me quietly, almost in a whisper, so that I can let go of the cares of the day and tune into the music of life... the work day is over for him... the blessings are over for me... I want to embrace the night and use this time of slumbering to express myself not as "the girl who writes the blessings" ... but perhaps just... "the girl who writes" ... and if I happen to write a blessing, well then, bravo... 

At the suggestion of my oldest son, I have created a new blog called, "The Other Side of "Cloud of Peace" ..yeah, it sounds a little bit evil... like "The Other Side of Eden" ... but it would allow me to just write about anything I want to write about without having to focus on the "blessing" of it... I do not plan to bombard any of you with emails anymore...but I will always be available for you through this email and/or through facebook.... 

I think of you all very often... I carry your hearts in my heart.... Remember that you are loved beyond measure and are a cherished blessing to the world and me always.... you can always visit my "blessing" blog at to read some of the blessings I have posted in the last 2 years (and maybe you'll find a new one every now and then)... ... and/or you can visit my new blog at ... (though this will be my first entry there) ..... 

I once was a writer of blessings..... and I am forever thankful to God for giving me that gift for so long....and I am forever thankful to all of you for blessing me with your friendship for so long.... 

May your life be blessed with all things good.... 
I love you,