Just Some Inspiration To Go Kick Some Ass

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“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

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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

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The Twelve Days of Christmas

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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

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“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!

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