Just Some Inspiration To Go Kick Some Ass


“The one who falls and gets up is bound to become so much stronger than the one who never fell. It is natural to seek out approval and secure yourself a cheering section but the ones who choose to keep working at things without clinging to someone to help make things happen are the ones that have a fire inside themselves. These people do not or possibly cannot rely on someone else’s fire or encouragement… so there they are – kicking ass all by their self. There is where you find a truly strong and spirited person!” ~Phyllis Ida Concordia

The Song Of A Heartbeat


Mothers have a place in our hearts always, sensing their heartbeat is a like a song that fills us with warmth, security and a feeling of belonging… a Mom keeps each of us within herself until we are born into this world – our Mom’s are our very first safety… there is no need to learn to trust – there is no learning to love – it’s simply and naturally there between us.  With so much love that remains when our Mom’s heart ceases to beat and to comfort us physically we in turn have the chance to keep our Mom safely inside ourselves while our heart beats for the rest of *our* life.  And then the love, it’s hard to keep inside.  Wouldn’t the world be a greater place if we lived with the intentions of a Mom… the pure intentions, the uncomplicated intentions?  We need to give the extra love that was part of our Mom’s physical presence and purposefully send that into the world… pass that extra love to your families and to your friends… and to people we come across from day to day who we don’t even know. Whether you are a Mom or not… we should hope for our own heart beat to be a comforting song to those we love and for the things we do or say to bring hope and love into everyone’s world.  Never forget the very first thing that your Mom did for you, even before birth… which was to nurture, protect and love, extend that into the world… and it can only be a better place for all.  Smile… choose loving words, laugh at yourself… learn… laugh more, love… care.  Forgive.  Breathe. Make all of your of the heartbeats that remain inside you, a song of love. ~ Phyllis Ida Concordia

Dorothy A. Concordia (February 21st 1941 – January 11th 2013), My Mom


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Dorothy A. Concordia (February 21st 1941 – January 11th 2013), My Mom

As her children we first knew her as the loving, caring person whom we trusted to take care and comfort us. We depended on her for all of our basic needs… as for all loving mother’s provide – for so much more  Many of you knew her as Dorothy, Aunt Dottie, Dottie, .e, Dotsy… we first came to know her as Mommie.  The wonderful, comforting scent that was present when wrapped in her arms… the wonderful comforting scent of our Mom.

Our Mom was more fun-loving than many… playing like a child right along with us – laying on the floor with us with coloring books and crayons… coloring intently right along with us. She delved into playing with us in the snow, pulling us all in a sled through the woods.  She always said one of the most amazing and favorite things to see was a child’s face discovering something new.

Throughout the school years she accompanied us on class trips and was an avid volunteer at our schools. She was the kind of Mom who packed our school lunches with love – she wanted you to have a really *nice* sandwich so she packed the lettuce and tomatoes individually to make sure it was not soggy. We remember those little things.

With her trademark blonde hair (sometimes avant-guard
) and her unforgettable blue eyes, her small-stature, and spunky attitude and her many many pairs of shoes… she often had over-the-top and hilarious ways to try to gain and maintain order of her sometimes unruly children – making up a song and dance just to get our attention and make us listen… this usually resulted in much laughter in the present moment and over the years when thinking back to those times.

Our house was a HOME and our Mom adored EVERY moment of making it a home.  She cooked right on par AND ABOVE with the four generations of the Italian family she married into as a “Medighan”.

She loved people as individuals.  She recognized the gifts within her children individually.

Michelle is the dependable one, with strong sense of leadership, responsibility and business.  In raising her own daughter it is obvious that her attention to the little details that a child will come to understand are the acts of a loving mother are the very traits of our Mom’s.  Our Mom often looked at the similarities of how she did the same sort of things as Michelle and was so very proud of that – she always very proud of Michelle.

Michael is her son who could turn ANYTHING into laughter – often huge fits of laughter… she enjoyed his teasing.  He was always generous to her… always there to defend our Mom or to come to her assistance. She loved her son, whom she affectionately called her “Bozie”.  She talked about how when he was very young he was lost, there was a search for him in the woods. When Mikey was found she cried tears of joy and told him he should not go into the woods alone. He explained to her that he was not lost he had simply gone to get her a worm… and she should not have been so worried because our cat was with him.

Phyllis is the one who she considered effortlessly intelligent – she stated many times that she never met such a smart person who lacked common sense. Phyllis replied, “Well, there was Einstein, Mom.” Phyllis was always ready to run away from home, but with a rough exterior, not unlike our Mom’s it seems she understood as she accurately prophesied “Phyllis, you are going to be the one up my ass for the rest of my life.” Funny, how she was right.

Danielle is her joyful “surprise”.  She really kept our Mom on her toes whether Dani was lost on the beach and assisted by the police was found not even crying… told our Mother “Mom, you were lost.” or climbing the ham radio tower to a bedroom on the second floor where Mom was making the beds excitedly calling through the window , “Mom, I got you the mail!” Dani gave our Mom many of the reflective parenting stories that she talked about often… the kind of scary stories that make a Mother reflect on how blessed she is in spite of the trials and tribulations of being a parent.

Our Mom is a Grandmother to Samantha, Valerie, Jakob, Lucy… and another on the way.  She rushed to be at the birth of her first, second, and third grandchildren.  Her grandchildren called her Grammy… and referred to her as Grammy at the Beach, often addressing cards and letters to her that way.  When Samantha was born she boasted at work with a brag book that she showed everyone who worked at the office anyone coming to conduct business.  On a Sami’s picture on her desk labeled “She’s beautiful and she’s mine.” She was so proud and excited… Sami was simply the beginning of a new generation of children to love and she thoroughly enjoyed showing her off, and cherished any time she could spend visiting. Our Mom’s co-workers pranked her one day and labeled the brag book full of Sami’s baby pictures “Ugly Kid Pix” – this was the sort of teasing our Mother enjoyed.  Sami loved to wear our Mother’s heels, particularly her red ones, when visiting – because they were the only adult shoes that could almost fit her… as our Mom had the smallest feet most people had ever seen!

Valerie was next and Grammy always enjoyed her gentle, compassionate nature and loved the things she said. Val often told Grammy she was pretty – just out of the blue, for no particular reason.  She would look up at my Mom and simply say “Grammy, you’re pretty.” This made our Mom smile.

Jake was part of her life in his early years, as she took care of him for several months, on her own – even though she was in pain.  They formed a bond that remained strong.  Our Mom often said she so very much enjoyed that time of taking care of Jake, despite any hardship.  Just a few days before she passed away she said to Phyllis, “Jake… he’s really going to be something, that boy!”

Lucy has a sweet little voice that Grammy adored.  When Grammy asked what Lucy wanted for her birthday this year Lucy’s response: “A car.” Grammy asked, “What color car?” Lucy responded, “Blue.” Before Grammy could finish saying “okay” Lucy continued, “And green… and yellow… and pink… and red…” Phyllis and Grammy laughed and went to pick out toy cars all ALL of the colors Lucy asked for.

Our Mom often gave more than she really could, and also realized that giving was also and more importantly about giving memories… she certainly did that.  Our Mom, Dottie Concordia, gave so many people, so many memories.  Having the opportunity to speak with her many friends, that knew her in recent times, and those who had lost touch – it has been a gift to hear their stories – their memories of her… and she was so real… because the person we knew as Mom was the person they knew back in her childhood.  It all fits.

We remember crabs and spaghetti, elaborate Christmas decorations, a home filled with family and extended family… a home filled with big Sunday dinners, many parties and lots of laughter.  We remember the opportunities she gave us to always participate in things like ceramics, basketball, horse-back riding, piano lessons, summer camp, and of course summers at the shore – summers at the beach.

She kept a calendar of birthdays and anniversaries… and each day she looked at the calendar and announced who was having a birthday… sometimes Phyllis would respond “Mom, I don’t even know who that is.” Rest assured if you did not get a card or a phone call… she was thinking about you on your day.

This Christmas she told me that she didn’t feel like visiting anyone – she didn’t feel up to it and wanted to stay home; she told me that I could go if she wanted to.  I said I wanted to stay but that we needed to put up a tree. With much of my things in storage we went to get 4 foot tree which she proclaimed was just about her size.  I decorated it and she looked and said, “You are really good at that – it’s beautiful.” I replied, “Of course it is, how many years have I watched you do this?”

Mommie, thank you for taking care of us. Thank you for being the light in so many lives. Thank you for being the strong, brave, unfailing woman that you’ve been throughout your entire life. Thank you for the fun and laughter, the love, the base of a family and the chance to know what family is… and family times and thank you for loving the each person in your life in their own special way.

I will honor you always in my hearts, in my memories, and in remembering you as the beautiful, winning lady, I know as my Mom.

Thank you, Mom. I love you so much.


The Epiphany



The Twelve Days of Christmas



In many Christian-based religions the first day of Christmas is Christmas day and is the beginning of “Little Christmas”, also known as Nollaig Bheag (Irish – Scotish – Gaelic) or many call it “The Feast of The Epiphany”.

  • The first day is the 25th of December which is Christmas Day.
  • The second day is the 26th of December.
  • The third day is the 27th of December.
  • The fourth day is the 28th of December.
  • The sixth day is the 30th of December.
  • The seventh day is the 31st of December which is New Year’s Eve on the Gregorian Calendar.
  • The eighth day is the 1st of January which is New Year’s Day.
  • The ninth day is the 2nd of January.
  • The tenth day is the 3rd of January.
  • The eleventh day is the 4th of January.
  • The twelfth day is the 5th of January and is The Eve of The Epiphany.
Some who observe the Twelve Days give individual gifts with each day of the Twelve Days representing a wish for a corresponding month of the new year. The entire twelve days is in observance of the Christmas season, celebrating each day and evening the entire time through the morning of the Epiphany, lighting a candle for each day has become a modern tradition in the United States. Some, instead, light a Yule Log on the first night (Christmas) and let it burn some each of the twelve nights.
Many Americans have their own traditional foods to serve each of the twelve days.
In many parts of the world, especially in the United States this period of celebration has been over-shadowed by commercialism and has led to the misconception that the Twelve Days are a celebration that would take place in the days before Christmas Day. It conveniently has come to fit with promotional sales for retailers.
It would be great to restore the meaning of the Twelve Days – it would certainly extend the spirit of Christmas into the New Year!

Happy Birthday J.R.R. Tolkien; Thank You for The Stories!

John Ronald Reuel Tolkien

3rd January 1892 – 2nd September 1973


“All that is gold does not glitter, Not all those who wander are lost…”

~ J.R.R Tolkien

Here Comes The New Year!

Here comes the New Year!  The name January is derived from the God Janus, a principal deity in Roman Mythology, originally the God of Light and Day he gradually became the God of Beginnings and Transitions including gateways, doors, and bridges.   He is often depicted as a two-faced God since he looks to both the past and to the future.

Party… party large or small!  Bring good luck to the New Year by with the tradition of kissing at midnight!  Kiss your loved ones, your pets, kiss yourself, if you choose… and get up, get up and dance… dancing on new years’ day will bring love and prosperity.

Try to make sure your cupboards are full and your wallets have some cash in them, (even if it’s just a dollar) on the New Year.

It is said in Scottish tradition that the first person to enter your home after midnight on New Year’s Eve will greatly influence your life for the next year.

Try to postpone housework until January 2nd… throw nothing away on the first day of the New Year!  No emptied dust pans, no shaken rugs to free their dirt.

Don’t do laundry on New Year’s or you may ‘wash away’ good memories in the New Year.  Save this chore for January 2nd!

Don’t clean your house on New Year’s Day… another chore to put off until January 2nd.

Don’t wash your hair on New Year’s Day!

Do wear a new article of clothing on New Year ’s Day as in increases your chances of getting more clothing in the year to come. And speaking of clothing, wearing red is your best bet as it will bring happiness in the New Year.

Do create a ruckus!  At midnight open all the doors in the house to let in the New Year and make noise to scare away the evil spirits.

Make sure you drain the bottle of champagne – or any beverage – on New Year’s Day as it brings good fortune.

Grapes!  Eat twelve grapes at midnight… served perhaps on a skewer… swirled into a glass of champagne just before the countdown.  Each of the twelve grapes represents a month.  Fortune would be that each of the grapes are sweet… if you get a sour grape, it indicates a bit of a rough month.  For example, if your fifth grape is sour, the month of May could be a bit of a rough month for you!  Hope for sweet grapes!

Round or ring-shaped cakes… here is your excuse to have a donut – either ring-shaped or filled with something sweet.

In many Asian countries long soba (buckwheat) noodles are eaten on New Year’s Day, this is called “toshi-koshi” which translates to “from one year to another”.  There is a catch… you cannot break the noodle before it’s all in your mouth.  Eat the noodle quickly and try not to chew it too much… the longer the better!

In much of the southern parts of the United States black-eyed peas represent humility and are thought to bring good fortune to those who eat them at the New Year, pair these with collard greens which symbolize financial prosperity!

In much of Europe and the United States serving any types of cabbages is a new year’s custom since it is green and resembles money and fortune!

Throughout Italy lentils are thought to be good luck when eaten in the New Year… lentils resemble coins and good fortune!

Pomegranate represents abundance and fertility and in much of the Mediterranean is eaten at the New Year!

Cornbread is good luck because the glories of gold!  Have some cornbread… round if you can!

If you are a meat-eater… some meats are considered good luck, some are not.  Stay away from poultry, such as chicken and turkey or anything which scratches backwards in dirt (representing poverty) and eat nothing with wings.  Eating something with wings is said to make your good luck “fly out the window”!  For good luck, in many parts of the words fish is associated with moving forward into the New Year since fish swim forward! Pork is also considered a good luck food, pigs always root forward with feet firmly pushed into the ground – this symbolizes progress and their high fat content represents wealth and prosperity.

It’s fun to eat as much lucky foods as you can for the New Year!  Just don’t overindulge!

Work a little… it’s actually a good thing to do something work related on New Year’s Day, but just a token activity, nothing major. And no, you don’t have to actually be at your place of business to do it.

Whatever you choose to do to ring in the New Year always remember to do so safely… no drinking and driving, no texting and driving, no distractions.  Wear seat belts… watch your surroundings and be cautious of others who may be distracted on the road, crossing streets, and just generally celebrating without good common sense.  Being alert, and sober while driving or walking is going to always be your best chances of a great start to the New Year!

Most of all… celebrate, cherish life and love!  Happy New Year!

December Solstice – Merry Winter!

The December solstice will occur at 5:30 am GMT on Thursday, December 22nd 2011.

The December solstice is also known as the winter solstice in the northern hemisphere and the summer solstice in the southern hemisphere.

The December solstice has played an important role the lives of many people in ancient times. To this day, the world is still influenced by various traditions linked to the observance of the December solstice.

The December solstice, in the Northern hemisphere, is unique among days of the year — the time of the longest night and the shortest day. At this time, the dark triumphs but only briefly. The Solstice is also a turning point from which (until the June solstice, the summer solstice), the nights grow shorter and the days grow longer. Some friends, here in the Northern hemisphere, feel we are plunged into winter, perhaps unfairly, by Mother Nature. But we must remember, this point marks a much more hopeful time, where our periods of light increase (by about one minute) per day! This prospect excites me! Even though I consider myself a “night person”, I do realize the benefits of daylight to my psyche! (I still try my best to avoid direct sunlight, and we should all be protecting ourselves with a good sunscreen regardless of the season!)

Many of the customs associated with the December solstice, and other northern hemisphere mid-winter festivals such as Santa Lucia’s Day, Saturnalia, Hanukkah, Christmas, New Year’s Day and Twelfth Night all derive from stories of a mighty battle between the dark and the light, which is won, naturally, by the light. Other traditions acknowledge and celebrate this as the time a savior, the Sun-Child, born to a virgin mother. The world’s cultural and religious traditions are so much intertwined!

The Battle Between Dark and Light

Saturnalia, celebrated by the Romans from December 17th to December 24th with a festival called during which all work was put aside in favor of feasting and gambling. The social order was reversed; masters waited on their slaves. Saturnalia is named after Saturn, who is often depicted with a sickle like the figures of Death or Old Father Time. Astrologically speaking, Saturn is saturnine: gloomy, old, dutiful and heavy. He was the god who ate his own children rather than let them surpass him. For new life to flourish, for the sun to rise again, it is necessary to vanquish this gloomy old fellow. Therefore, the feasting and merriment of the mid-winter season were religiously mandated in order to combat the forces of gloom.

The day following the Saturnalia, was the Juvenalia (yay for Latin words), a holiday in honor of children who were entertained, feasted and given good luck talismans (amulets). After vanquishing the Old King, it’s time to celebrate the new in the form of children, the New Year’s Baby, the Son of Man. Naturally this is the time of the year at which the birth of Christ is celebrated, since he is also the New King, the Light of the World who brings light.

Music For The December Solstice

This history of Saturnalia reminds me of Led Zeppelin’s song “The Battle of Evermore”, although the lyrics of which are inspired by “The Lord of the Rings” by J.R.R. Tolkien.  I think of it being wrapped up in the December solstice.

I also love listening to To Drive the Cold Winter Away by Loreena McKennitt, A Winter Garden: Five Songs For The Season (also by Loreena McKennitt, but out of print) or if you don’t have access to that CD, there is actually an extended version of this release (with eight additional songs) called A Mid-Winter Night’s Dream, by Loreena McKennitt.  All of this is all lovely music for the holidays and winter season.  New age and spiritual… it’s just pretty to listen to and it is so appropriate for now and the holidays!

The Birth of the Sun

Christ’s birthday was not celebrated on December 25th until the 4th century. Before then, December 25th was best known as the birthday of the Persian hero and sun-god, Mithra. The myth tells that he sprang up full-grown from a rock, armed with a knife and carrying a torch. Shepherds watched his miraculous appearance and hurried to greet him with the first fruits of their flocks and their harvests. The cult of Mithra spread all over the Roman Empire. In 274 AD, the Roman emperor Valerian declared December 25th the Birthday of Sol Invictus, the Unconquerable Sun.

Christ was also not the first miraculous child born to a virgin mother. Resources state “the virgin birth of heroes and sages was a widespread formula in the Hellenistic world: Pythagorus, Plato, Alexander were all believed to be born of woman by the power of a holy spirit.”

The union of a virgin and a supernatural force, like the couplings between Zeus and assorted nymphs, was shorthand indicating the presence of a miraculous child, a child with the powers of both worlds. Dionysus is such a child, born of a union between Zeus and Semele.

Lenaia was a women-only mid-winter festival honoring Dionysos. According to one reference, on this night, Greek women “held their ecstatic dances in winter — fully clothed in Greek dress, with castanets or the thyrsus, dancing together with no male companions, human or satyr.” Some called it Lenaea, the Festival of Wild Women (a nice companion for the Festival of Merry Women on December 14th). A bull, representing Dionysus, was cut into nine pieces, with one piece being burned and the rest consumed raw by the worshippers. Dionysus was born in winter, crowned with serpents, became a lion in the spring and was sacrificed as a bull (stag or goat) in the summer because these were calendar emblems of the old tripartite year. Some refer to Dionysus as a Year God. Mithra was also associated with the bull (his initiates were baptized with the blood of a sacrificed bull) and shown with the emblems of the zodiac surrounding him, suggesting that he is also a “Year God”.

Lenaia occurred on the twelfth day of the Greek lunar month, Gamelion, which falls in early winter. The twelfth day of a lunar month (which begins with the new moon) always falls on a full moon night. If we move this lunar festival to the solar calendar and count from the winter solstice, the festival would occur on January 5th or 6th.

Until the fourth century, Christ’s birthday was celebrated on January 6th, on the same date when the Virgin Kore gave birth to the year god celebrated in Alexandria with a festival called the Koreion. St. Epiphanius complains about the hideous mockery of this rite but it preceded the story of Christ’s birth. In the original ritual, the image of the goddess, decorated with gold stars, was carried seven times around her temple as the priests cried, “The Virgin has brought forth the new Aeon!”

Although Aeon, or Eon, is now defined as “an indefinitely long period of time; an age, eternity,” its Indo-European root aiw conveyed “vital force, life, long life, eternity,” and the Greek form Aion meant specifically “vital force.”

This description recalls the Egyptian ceremony re-enacting the birth of Horus, the sun-god to Isis. All lights in the city were doused while Isis circled the sarcophagus seven times, then brought forth Horus who was called “the Light of the World.” Statues of Isis holding the newly born sun god on her lap, presenting him to the world, are similar to pose to later statues representing Mary and Jesus.

The Festival of Lights

The return of the light is the most prominent feature of most mid-winter festivals. In Sweden on St. Lucy’s Day, young girls wear white dresses and a wreath of candles and awaken their families with cakes and song. Hanukkah, the Festival of Lights, is celebrated by lighting candles over a span of eight days. The Christian custom of the Advent wreath, with its four candles, one lit each of the Sundays before Christmas, is another way of re-kindling the light.

The Christmas candle, a large candle of red or some other bright color decorated with holly or other evergreens, was at one time a popular custom throughout Great Britain, Ireland and Scandinavia. One person, usually the eldest or the head of the household, is designated as the lightbringer. She lights the candle for the first time on Christmas Eve before the festive dinner and during each of the remaining evenings of the Twelve Days of Christmas. To extinguish the candle, she snuffs it with tongs rather than blowing it out, since that would blow the luck away. The candle sheds a blessing on the household and so is protected from accidental quenching. It seems likely that the candle also represented the coming year, just as the weather of each of the twelve days of Christmas foretell the weather of the corresponding month. It had protective or fertilizing powers and was kept as a charm. In Denmark, during a lightning storm, the remnant would be brought out and lit to protect the household.

Similar customs once surrounded the Yule log. The Yule log must never be bought but could be received as a gift, found or taken from you own property. Often the log to be burned at midwinter was chosen early in the year and set aside.

Tradition varies about the type of wood to be used. Oak logs were popular in the north of England, birch in Scotland and ash in Cornwall and Devon. Ash is the only wood that burns freely when green and the world-tree, Yggdrasil, in the Nordic tradition, was an ash-tree. It is important that the Yule log be the biggest and greenest log available since the Christmas festivities will last only as long as the Yule log burns!  (I can only imagine families and friends announcing, “Okay, everyone, party’s over… the fire is out!”)

In some parts of the Scottish highlands, the head of the household finds a withered stump and carves it into the likeness of an old woman, the Cailleach Nollaich or Christmas Old Wife, a sinister being representing the evils of winter and death. She’s the goddess of winter, the hag of night, the old one who brings death. Burning her drives away the winter and protects the occupants of the household from death.

The Yule log is first brought into the house with great ceremony on Christmas Eve (or the eve of solstice, if one prefers). Usually it is decorated with holly and ivy and other evergreens of the season. Some people prefer to use the Yule log as a decoration and place candles on it instead, thus transforming it into a candelabra like the menorah or the kinara.

In Italy, the Yule log is called the Ceppo.  Boccaccio in the fourteenth century described a Florentine family gathering about the hearth and pouring a libation of wine upon the glowing wood, then sharing the remaining wine, thus linking the Yule log with the custom of wassailing, pouring out libations to the trees in the orchard.

The Yule log is left to burn all night, and, if possible, through the next twelve without going out, although it may be extinguished with water. The ashes are kept for good luck. They have magical properties and can be scattered in the field to fertilize the soil or sprinkled around the house for protection.

The Solstice Evergreen
Another ancient midwinter custom is decorating with greens. The Romans decorated with rosemary (ooo… the scent of fresh rosemary), bay, laurel, holly, ivy and mistletoe. (What a lovely combination of scents and beautiful greenery!) The holly and ivy were both important midwinter plants in Great Britain and Ireland, as heard in the lyrics of the mysterious medieval carol which mentions the rivalry between them. This 15th century carol refers to an ancient battle between the two, with the Ivy representing the cold gloominess of winter and the Holly King, the jolly spirit of the season.

The history of the Christmas tree has origins based all the way back to the 15th century, although some historians will say it is a more recent tradition. The earliest record of an evergreen being decorated comes from the country of Latvia in 1519, when a group of local merchants carried an evergreen adorned with flowers to the marketplace, where they danced around it and then burned it. Another possible source is the custom in 15th and 16th century Germany of hanging apples on a fir tree as a prop for the miracle play performed on Christmas Eve depicting the Biblical Adam and Eve being driven out of Paradise.


You should enjoy yourself as much as possible on the December Solstice because this will bring back the light into the world. Different traditions mention feasting, gambling, playing pranks, giving gifts, visiting, drinking, dressing up, putting on plays and staying up all night… and yes, ummm… fornicating. During the dark of winter, invoke all the forces of pleasure and love which make life worth living.

Decorating for this festival is easy since you can use all your Christmas decorations. Evergreens and wreaths represent rebirth and the circle of life. Fill your home with candles and Christmas lights. Place them on mirrors so all of the light reflects, hang up lots of sparkly ornaments and prisms and tinsel so you can create as much light as possible. Oh what fun!

Embracing The Darkness

Earlier traditions focused on the battle between the dark and the light, but we know both are valuable. Honor the dark before calling in the light. This is the season when animals hibernate and nature sleeps and we can turn inward too. Perhaps some of the depression people feel during the holidays comes from not providing a space for feeling the sadness associated with this season. Set aside time (hard to do amidst the frenzy of the holidays) for sitting in the dark and quiet. I like to spend the entire day of the Winter Solstice in silence and reflection.

This is a natural time for letting go and saying farewell. Release your resentments and regrets into the darkness, knowing they will be transformed. Write about them in your journal or write them on slips of paper which you can burn in your Yule fire. Use your holiday cards to make amends to people you’ve hurt or neglected, this is a friendly and healing tradition, and it is, in fact, social networking! I think receiving a card in the mail is lovely, but we all want to save a tree, and save money – mailing cards is expensive! But try, to reach out by mailing holiday cards. It just feels good.

It sounds new age-y and spiritual… but, remember, when you light your candles and your fire, do so with the intention of bringing light into the world. What are the ways in which you can help make the world brighter? How do you bring light into the lives of those around you? Make a conscious effort to increase the amount of light you create for yourself and others!

Romantic? Cloying? Sweethearts and Their Heartthrobs Connect… No Matter Where They Are

  • Do you experience separation anxiety when the love of your life travels away from you overnight?
  • Are you in a long-distance romance and longing to feel together as one?

If you are seeking the comfort of someone you love to be right there with you as you sleep Pillow Talk will help you connect with your otherwise inaccessible darling sweetheart sugarplum!

With Pillow Talk your distant love’s heartbeat and sense of glowing warmth is as close as your pillow. Whether you’re in down the road, in different cities or in opposing countries, you can always feel a sense of togetherness and your love is just a heartbeat away and as close as your pillow.
Here’s how it works, according to the Pillow Talk website:

Each person has a ring sensor they wear to bed at night, and a flat fabric panel which slots inside their pillowcase. The ring wirelessly communicates with the other person’s pillow; when one person goes to bed their lover’s pillow begins to glow softly to indicate their presence. Placing your head on the pillow allows you to hear the real-time heartbeat of your loved one.
The result is an intimate interaction between two lovers, regardless of the distance between them.

The couple each put on their ring which in turn monitors the heartbeat, and as heads hit the pillow it creates a comforting (or perhaps possibly to some… and eerie) glow.

Unfortunately, Pillow Talk is not yet available, pending further development, and now has funding to create manufacture the prototype, and the company is welcoming further funding assistance.
Pillow Talk is a creation by Joanna Montgomery, a 23-year who has attended Dundee University, finishing with a First Class BSC in Digital Interaction Design. Her company is Little Riot, and is in the UK.

Romantic to some, ridiculous to others… but endearing. Anything that helps the ones you love feel close seems to be a good thing, especially when couples often make sacrifices for work-related trips and military leaves. It may also be nice for when your sweetie may have a hospital stay. Once it is available, it is sure to be romantic gift for many!
See more of Pillow Talk at http://www.littleriot.co.uk/ and

Where To Draw The Line

The controversy over Marc Jacobs Oh Lola! Perfume featuring Dakota Fanning is not a black or white issue for me.

The perfume “Oh Lola!” features an advertising campaign DESIGNED for controversy. Society inadvertently helps to thrive on creating a PERFECT, NO-COST advertising campaign for the very companies and products they are hoping to ban. This creates more interest in the very issues and items they hope to “squash”.

Here is the problem, the Oh Lola! Perfume advertising portrays innocence as an enticing form of sexuality. The pictures may seem cheeky in a “no big deal” sort of way to many who may argue that Dakota Fanning is seventeen years old and the pictures are very tame. That was MY initial thinking and probably the thinking of most of our rational society. However, giving it more consideration I do see where this IS a problem… because not everyone shares MY attitude towards sex, which by the way, is not as free-spirited as one might think. Dakota Fanning is a child, I am a huge fan of this child actress and am partially disappointed in the idea that she is losing her innocence and there is nothing I can do about this… I am not her parent, and this is not my personal concern… BUT it IS SOCIETY’S personal concern if society decides it is! And that’s just what is happening in the UK… Marc Jacob’s Oh Lola! ad… banned… slap-slap Mac Jacobs!

The picture in the ad is “nothing” or is it? 

Considering that controversy was the desired effect for this ad, this is “SOMETHING”.

Many in society call this “nothing” and then we are astonished and upset when we encounter the countless crimes of child pornography and  sexual abuse.  This must sound a bit dramatic, I realize.  But it is certainly a stepping stone.  This is not the first time, nor will it be the last time we have an obscure line to define and draw as a society.

Where do we draw the line as a society for a sick-o putting suggestive pictures of children “out there” or a company putting a suggestive ad “out there” with the purpose of selling their product.

Thumbs down to Marc Jacobs, and thumbs down to the PARENTS of Dakota Fanning for not using better judgment for their talented and beautiful child. 

Click here for a YouTube link to a story regarding this controversy, this opens in a new window.


~Don’t Make Me Call My Flying Monkeys!

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