Sunday, December 21, 2014

My Dreams~

I have spread my dreams under your feet.
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams. 

Poet W.B. Yeats held a lifelong torch for famed revolutionary Maud Gonne (born December 21, 1866). Though they were close friends and he proposed often, she always turned him down, in part because she thought that his yearning for her made him a better poet.

Sunday, December 14, 2014


The pieces that I chose were based on one thing only – a gasp of DELIGHT.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

About living today!

What is so marvelous about living today is that it is possible to extend, like a flower, spreading petals in all directions. 

Carolyn Kizer (born December 10, 1925) was a Pulitzer Prize-winning poet who wrote a series of poems titled Pro Femina and also translated Japanese and Chinese works. When she was 17 years old, one of her poems was published in the New Yorker.

Monday, December 8, 2014

My Beating Heart~

Sometimes this can be a very good thing~ others, depending on what I'm remembering it can make me feel very sad~

"The past beats inside me like a second heart." 

Happy 70th birthday, John Banville! The Booker Prize-winning novelist also writes crime fiction under the name Benjamin Black—he has said that books written under his own name, like The Sea, can take up to five years to write, while books written under his pseudonym are finished in under five months.

Friday, December 5, 2014


"Happiness is something that comes into our lives through doors we don't even remember leaving open."
Rose Wilder Lane (born December 5, 1886) was a highly respected journalist who wrote the first biography of President Herbert Hoover and is credited with coining the term "libertarian movement." However, she is best known for helping her mother, Laura Ingalls Wilder, shape the Little House on the Prairie series.

Whenever happiness decides to appear, it's a truly wonderful thing!

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Strong words~

"I like good strong words that mean something… "

Louisa May Alcott (born November 29, 1832), grew up in an iconoclastic household. Her parents were transcendentalists who later established a utopian community, and when she was a teenager the Alcotts were part of the Underground Railroad. Though her beloved book, Little Women, was based on her relationship with her sisters, it paints a more conventional family picture.

Louisa's story is a story in itself~ what a resilient, strong woman!  

Sunday, November 23, 2014

No words necessary~

I would like to think this is common amongst my many friends and I~  Oh to have the love and trust that words are not needed~ that one knows how I love them and care for them~ whether a long true friend or one I've just met~  Lucky am I 

"They spoke very little of their mutual feeling; pretty phrases and warm expressions being probably unnecessary between such tried friends." 

November 23, 1874: Thomas Hardy's first major success, Far From the Madding Crowd, was published 140 years ago today. He went on to write Tess of the d'Urbervilles and Jude the Obscure.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Losses and so much more!

Life seems sometimes like nothing more than a series of losses, from beginning to end. That's the given. How you respond to those losses, what you make of what's left, that's the part you have to make up as you go. 

Happy 59th birthday, Katharine Weber! Her memoir, The Memory of All That, is about her fascinating family. Weber's grandmother was Kay Swift, a composer who had a long affair with George Gershwin, and her father was a pioneer of AromaRama, producing the first movie with smells.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Leaving Out....

"The more you leave out, the more you highlight what you leave in." 

Even in his lifetime Henry Green (born October 29, 1905) was not widely read, but his contemporaries like W.H. Auden and Eudora Welty admired him enormously. The Paris Review called him a "writer's writer's writer."

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Farewell Bob Manhatton~

October 23, 2014

My dear sweet Carolyn,

Words escape me ~  I haven’t known you very long at all but I have a solid glimpse of your heart and the love you have for your Bob and family.  

I am so very sorry that you have lost your soulmate, your partner, on this earthly plain but know that he is with you~ there is music playing and a fire.  I caught a glimpse of the life you shared with him through the generous words of your friends on Bob’s Caring Bridge Site.  

I read the following at my Aunt Judy’s outdoor service and I read it often when I am missing someone whom I can no longer see~  I want to share it with you~

Do not stand at my grave and weep.
I am not there. I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow.
I am the diamond glints on snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain.
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning’s hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry;
I am not there. I did not die.                        
~ by Mary Elizabeth Frye

May God bless you, your children and your entire family~  May God hold you when you need it most and may he walk beside you as you journey into a place that you never imagined you would travel.  While God is on one side, know that Bob is on the other to walk with you into your new life.  I am praying for strength and courage and grace...of which you already have so much~  

Lunch~ coffee~ a chat~ anytime you need it.

Much love,    

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Monday, October 13, 2014

Must Read Memoir

are you breathing, are you lucky enough
to be breathing 
October 13, 1958: LeRoi Jones (later Amiri Baraka) and Hettie Cohen got married 56 years ago today. The event would later be chronicled in Cohen's popular memoir, How I Became Hettie Jones.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Dear Rachel~

Dearest Rachel~ As trite as it may sound, you are exactly where you are suppose to be.  There is no feeling that is not okay and there is no timeline to healing.  You will love, miss, regret, cherish, laugh and cry, I would guess, the rest of forever when you think of your precious daughter, or see things that remind you of her.  The loss of little Audrey is something that most of us could never, ever imagine.  Be you, be honest, just be...  You will be loved and cared for always~ Great big hugs, Cynthia

Monday, October 6, 2014

Clutter Bug

"I had what I like to call ‘clutter body’ where your entire body is so encased in clutter that you want to cut off all your limbs and set them outside in hopes that they’ll feel some air and space."  Unknown

I have had this malady since our flood in June, well to be honest, long before as my kids left home and left their treasures, and my parents left "home", this earthly home and left their treasures, and as I left behind hobbies, and collections, and things I no longer used....  It was once loved and now what is it?  What do I do with "it"....  Once was treasured by someone, remains a treasue, right~

To be continued....

Thursday, September 18, 2014

In a Fury~

When you find yourself in a fury, the person you perceive as causing it is your greatest teacher at that moment. That person is teaching you that you have not yet mastered yourself, that you still do not know how to choose peace as that button is being pushed.
When you feel something like anger, practice mustering up the courage to say how you feel without being abusive or loud. You will see that communicating rather than stifling yourself will end the rage almost immediately.

Wayne Dyer~

Thank you for the reminder!

Monday, September 1, 2014

Father Mychal Judge~

You've got the right idea Father Mike!

Lord, take me where you want me to go
Lord, let me meet who you want me to meet
Lord, tell me what you want me to say
Lord, and keep me out of your way 

from Father Mychal Judge, New York Fire Dept. Priest, killed on 9/11/2001
rire Dept. Priest, killed on 9/11/2001

Sunday, August 31, 2014



Monday, August 25, 2014

Rest Little Audrey Claire Leslie


One thought on “Celebration of Life

  1. Christopher, Rachel and Cooper,
    There are no words to express how we grieve for you today~ no words to soothe your pain. When Scottie kissed Audrey’s forehead and held her little hand he said Audrey’s skin was so soft and she smelled like fresh air~ We pray that your memories carry you your whole life long. Audrey is forever your beloved, blessed little child~ she chose you because she knew your love would fill her up for her lifetime, and it did. We grieve for you today, tomorrow, and always~ Audrey became beloved to us because we care so deeply for you. Scottie and I will send up one pink balloon and one white balloon today in honor and memory of your cherished little girl.
    Love, Aunt Cynthia & Uncle Scottie
    – Author Unknown
    Papa please don’t look so sad,
    Mama please don’t cry.
    I am in the arms of Jesus
    and He sings me lullabies.
    Please do not try to question God,
    don’t think He is unkind.
    Don’t think He sent me to you and that
    He changed His mind.
    You see, I am special
    and I’m needed up above.
    I’m the special child you gave Him,
    the product of your love.
    I’ll always be there with you.
    So watch the sky at night.
    Find the brightest star that’s gleaming.
    That’s my halo’s brilliant light.
    So Papa please don’t look so sad.
    Mama please don’t cry.
    I am in the arms of Jesus.
    And He sings me lullabies.
    love above all~

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Happy 40th Anniversay Sweetie!!

Happy Anniversary to US!!
40 Years

Friday, August 22, 2014


Do You Have Trouble Saying No ?
Just like many of you I can have trouble saying no to the many requests for my time and help I receive every day. It can be a big challenge to find the courage to say no when you know in your heart that it is the very best thing for you to do for your own soul. I personally struggle with the feeling of letting others down.
If you trouble saying NO there is a great new book that can help you it is The Power of NO by James Altucher.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014


Whatever opens us is never as important as what it opens~
 Mark Nemo

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Good~bye Sweet Audrey Claire Leslie

No words describe the love that was bestown upon you little one~ You tried your very hardest for 81 days to stay with your momma, daddy, and big brother Cooper~ They loved every little thing about you doll.  One day, out beyond the stars you will be with your entire family.  Won't that be a very happy day! 

Audrey Claire Leslie
May 24, 2014 ~ August 16, 2014
May God Bless you and keep you little one~xo
Great Auntie Cici

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Farewell Justin~

Of Brooklyn Park, MN passed away on May 30th, 2014. Justin was born on March 29, 1976 in Burnsville, MN, graduated in 1994 from Lakeville High and served in the U.S. Air Force from 1999 to 2003. He is survived by his son, Grady, daughters, Summer, Samantha and Payton, sister Nicole, mother Sharon Lange,father Kevin and grandmothers Harriet Kruckman and Evelyn Lange.
A memorial service will be held at Ritter Farm Park, 19300 Ritter Trail, Lakeville on June 22 at 12:00 noon

Changing lives on horseback

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Posted: Sunday, October 28, 2012 6:00 am

My Changing Gaits experience and interview from the back of a horse

In 2001 Nile (Guy) Kaufman founded Changing Gaits, Inc., a Faith Based diversified Equine Assisted Addiction Services (EAAS) in Brook Park.
A certified equine specialist, Kaufman said EAAS is based on OK Corral techniques that can help individuals conquer addiction or help families, children, adults or coworkers learn creative thinking, build relationships, problem solve, builds self esteem and communicate.
During a visit to the ranch, Kaufman suggested that the best way to understand the therapy is to experience it myself. This is how I ended up on an hour-long trail ride, conducting an interview from horseback.
Metaphors and Meaning in Manure
Kaufman walked a lovely buckskin mare named Akita over to me. With Kaufman’s assistance I mounted a horse for the first time since grade school. As he showed me the proper way to sit and hold the reins, Guy explained some of how EAAS works through several metaphors.
At Changing Gaits, metaphors abound. There, the horse you ride represents some kind of issue or challenge in your life, whether it be addiction or problems in communication, behavior, or relationships. The issue might even be a stressful job —like one with lots of deadlines.
He explained the horses can be a reflection of ourselves. If we are tense, stressed, or not-so-confident—so is the horse. But by doing a variety of exercises, we can build our confidence and learn to control our horse and our life’s problems.
After not having ridden a horse since I was a child, there I sat, clinging onto the saddle with my entire body, staring down at the mane of my horse focusing on my chosen issue. It was then that Kaufman suggested I relax, let go, hold my arms out like a bird and close my eyes.
To me that didn’t sound like I would be controlling my issue.
As I held my arms out, Kaufman took the reins and silently coaxed Akita forward. With her first step, her weight shifted beneath me and my stomach dropped.
As strong as the urge was to drop my arms and open my eyes, I kept them shut as Kaufman explained part of the therapy is allowing others to help you and having faith in God to lead you down the right path.
While Changing Gaits is a faith-based organization, everyone is welcome. Even though God is often included in the therapy and many of the lessons and metaphors, Kaufman said that they don’t force religion onto their clients.
After a few laps around the indoor arena (eyes open this time), we were ready for a trail ride.
Kaufman led the way with his horse Shadow, then me on Akita, followed by another member of the staff on a horse named Orion.
Within the first minute of our trail ride, one of those earlier mentioned metaphors landed with a plop as Shadow stopped on the trail to relieve his bowels, leaving a pile of fresh green manure along the path.
“When we’re out on the trails and that happens we say, ‘So what kind of crap do you have to get rid of that you’re not talking about?’... We’ve all got crap,” Guy said.
Whoever thought manure could be so meaningful? For the duration of the ride I could not help but reflect on some of the things I had on my own shoulders that I needed to relieve myself of.
Changing Lives
The ranch is also home to the Changing Gaits Sober Community, an eight-man sober house that helps residents through addiction recovery and develops responsibility by caring for the horses. The sober house provides most of the income from the ranch while the rest comes from donations.
Sober house resident manager Justin Kruckman has his own history of alcohol addiction. Kruckman said he had been to 23 recovery centers in the past nine years before coming to Changing Gaits. This time, sobriety has stuck.
“I can honestly say I’m done. This place has changed my life,” he said.
Along the trail Kaufman and Kruckman can tell stories to make you weep. Kaufman told a story about his own struggles with addiction and about how he saved his horse, Shadow, from death with determination and prayer.
Shadow, a 16-year-old Arab/Quarter horse gelding, was Guy’s first horse that helped to found Changing Gaits and change the lives of others, including the life if Laikin Brasch.
Seven-year-old Laikin, who has ADHD, a metabolic syndrome and is prone to emotional outbursts, has been visiting Changing Gaits for a little over a year now. With the help of his favorite horse, Dozer, he is learning how his behavior affects others.
“Laiken seems to have better control of his behavior,” said his mother, Terrie Brasch. “This helps a lot as far as him learning new skills and how to deal with stuff. The horses mimic what you do, so if he was having a bad day they would follow Laiken’s behavior then he would learn how to overcome that.”
Terrie, who said she was amazed by the effectiveness of the program, has since become an active volunteer for Changing Gaits. About a year ago, she encouraged Keith Haro (whose name has been changed to protect identity) to join the program.
Now six months sober, 16-year-old Haro is a recovering alcoholic. With Kaufman’s encouragement, Haro has been using the horse he rides as an example of his sobriety: “Take charge, don’t let it control you, you control it,” he said.
“It helped me a lot. Got me thinking about a lot of things instead of just the horse. It just made me think about sobriety... This place can change lives if you let it,” Haro said.
Continuing along the trail
Along the trail, dodging sticks and rough patches, Kaufman taught me about how to keep my issue from leading me into dangers—like pointy sticks off the path where Akita was tempted to eat some grass.
That day I went to the ranch with my head full of that week’s stress and work, flustered and determined to track down the facts needed for my story, snap a picture and rush on out to the next.
By the end of our hour-long ride, my inner thighs felt quite sore, but I also felt more ready than I ever had to do what I needed to do with confidence and self awareness of my issue.
Maybe it was Kaufman’s stories; maybe it was Akita’s rhythmic walk; or perhaps something else. In the end, I certainly witnessed and experienced first-hand the change that can happen out at the Changing Gaits ranch.
Changing Gaits is hosting a “Friend” Raiser Event Oct. 27 from 1-4 p.m. Free horse rides, Equine Therapy demonstrations and refreshments will be available. Visit Changing Gaits at 27274 Monument Road in Brook Park or check out their website at