From the category archives:


The Declaration of Independence was adopted on the 4th of July but had yet to be signed & started as a resolution a month earlier. True change is never instantaneous but each choice plants a seed & every action waters it. What may start as unrest or discomfort often leads to declarations of intent yet it’s what we do with those good intentions that make the difference.. or not. In 1776, five men presented a resolution

“declar[ing] the United Colonies free and independent States, absolved from allegiance to or dependence on the Crown or Parliament of Great Britain…”

Copies were distributed to members of the Continental Congress as well as throughout the colonies & other territories upon its adoption. A congress made of revolutionaries rallied British colonists one year into an ongoing rebellion against Britain itself. The 13 colonies that participated did become the country we now know as The United States of America.. after seven more years of war.

star-spangled coffee

That dawning of independence did not provide freedom. In declaring ourselves free, we stated our intent. An intention that would’ve been but a footnote in history had we not been willing to put in the work, take the risks & suffer the losses. As a side-note, it amazes me when Americans think France should be beholden to us for our involvement in World War II since French involvement was crucial to The American Revolutionary War & it was the Treaty of Paris that officially recognized the independence of The United States of America in 1783. Surely it was the least we could do, considering we may not have existed as the country we are without them.

“To safeguard democracy the people must have a keen sense of independence, self-respect, and their oneness.”
~ Mahatma Gandhi ~

Allies are an important part of any revolution. Whether revolting against the status quo or your own habits, support from the right people — including yourself — is key. It can be as tricky to find true support from outside sources as it is to truly support ourselves. If we remember our choices plant seeds of possibility, perhaps we can assess our actions & influences more honestly. How are they watering those seeds? As detrimental as a drought of discouragement is, it’s seldom too late to revive a thirsty idea or intention. What we need to be wary of is any form of acid rain as it won’t just stunt the growth of our seeds of change. Acidic input will damage our personal revolution at its roots.

“Independence is my happiness, and I view things as they are, without regard to place or person; my country is the world, and my religion is to do good.”
~ Thomas Paine ~

Independence must not only be won but kept. From the moment we decide our circumstances must change, we are fighting for or against that goal. Only we can declare our intention, claim our independence & exercise our freedom. The confines in which we do that declaring, claiming &/or exercising is what varies. In Iran, the declaration of a vote may feel lost but the intention remains & the claims were heard. Amidst Iranian freedoms being challenged, it’s the Iranian people who must choose not to be quieted. We, as allies, must choose to keep listening. When larger freedoms are limited, we learn to recognize & exercise the power of our intrinsic liberties.

An angel for Iran

Rebellion begins with questioning yet often is the questioning. Conditioning & fear are the twin pillars of the staus quo, there to keep questioning to a minimum. Most North Koreans live in fear of the outside world rather than longing for it as we might imagine. Generation after generation is conditioned to trust a government that’s manipulating them. For all the liberty lost throughout the world, most painfully evident in regions like Darfur, rarely does freedom seem so lacking as in North Korea. Their physical freedoms lie at the end of an Underground Railroad like the one slaves once relied on in The US so freedom of thought becomes everything.

“Injustice in the end produces independence.”
~ Voltaire ~

Our thoughts are the ultimate battleground. Regardless of the freedoms we’re granted or opportunities we’re provided, we’ll offer up little more than passing fancies unless we dare to believe. No-one else can give us the chutzpah to question or the impetus to act. If we’re paying attention, others will demonstrate their faith in us & yet others will lead by example but we must be open to inspiration. In a world where new thoughts are frightening, North Koreans are nonetheless thinking them. Faced with history being revised as it’s being made, Iranians didn’t give up. Despite varying degrees of privilege, we are not truly free if we’re not willing to imagine a world radically different than the one we know.

“Independence … is loyalty to one’s best self and principles, and this is often disloyalty to the general idols and fetishes.”
~ Mark Twain ~

That willingness, that independence of thought, is what the 4th of July is really about. Few freedoms exist that new thinking didn’t help create. Even our intrinsic liberties require creative thinking to be put to dynamic use. Whatever your country, don’t let your life be dictated by circumstance. Don’t settle for declaring what you want. Revel in that victory & find ways to start implementing what you envision. Whether the changes you imagine are large or small, take the action your current circumstances allow then build on that as things begin to change. Be patient but persistent, avoiding the drought of inaction & the acid rain of self-doubt. Any ideal we have for ourselves or the world, can & should be watered sought.

“True independence is a state of mind, not of being.”
~ Phyllis aka doreyart, as quoted in my post
‘Independence found, freedom fostered’ ~


  • retweet of @hochmann: been thinking about that lately. thinking about the “whats” of my dreams, trying to get past the “why nots” (YAY you!) #
  • We've removed the ceiling above our dreams. There are no more impossible ones. -Jesse Jackson (rather than if; what, when & why not now)
    the quotationary Thomas replied to, as tweeted above

  • retwt of @Pistachio: #Twitter is; Newspapers in a Blender… Pulped up, turned inside-out & pouring out as liquid streams. (which we create) #
  • retweet of @ursulas: OMG! DOMESTIC PARTNERSHIPS ARE NOW LEGAL IN NEVADA!!! Legislature just finished overriding Governor Gibbons’ veto! YAY! #
  • from the keys of one of Twitter’s founders, @Ev:

    retwt of @evskeys: Even I know love’s not based on the hardware you’re born with. No one can tell you the shape of the key that opens your <3

    retwt of @evskeys: The internet’s like the human brain; vast power arising from millions of interconnections yet we use less than 10% of it.

  • so glad you retweeted @onlinedesign & @EnLieux aren’t those great? @evskeys -the keys belonging to #Twitter founder @Ev- are pretty smart ~_^ in reply to onlinedesign #
  • reading “The George #Tiller I Knew” – – (via @QueenofSpain) on The Daily Kos (@markosm) [short yet important read] #tcot #
  • via @blogdiva RT @BiancaLaureano: for the record, “pro-life” isn’t something pro-choice folk argue, we argue anti-choice..there’s a BIG diff #
  • POTUS #quote “However profound our differences over difficult issues such as abortion, they cannot be resolved by heinous acts of violence.” #
  • I, w/@EmperorNorton, respect those who seek to reduce the incidence of abortion by helping single mothers. That is productive and Christian. #
  • from @EmperorNorton-[Social conservatism] is miseducating its followers. It must say that in civil matters, there’s to be no violence. Ever. #
  • Never let the fear of striking out get in your way.-Babe Ruth (act on your inspirations for you never know what else may be inspired)
    the quotationary that prompted the quote shared below

  • my friend provided the perfect #quote to complement’s quotationary: “Don’t let your fear grow bigger than your faith.” – Josie Bissett #
  • retwt of @Serene_Balance-What about YOU? Do you Dare to Care? (caring’s incomplete if not active & every action matters) #
  • retwt of @QueenRania-Factoid: There are half a billion women around the world that can’t read or write. That’s the same as population of EU! #
  • Welcome to June, dear Tweeps.. many a new beginning lined up, incl. our 19th wedding anniversary tomorrow & @RhodesTer‘s 50th b-day the 9th! #
  • wrt those new beginnings, to #quote my dear @RhodesTer “I don’t want to have a boss anymore. Bosses are overrated.” #
  • retweet of @HiroBoga-The myth of job security, & a great post on the fine art of self-employment from @havi: Also, hummus. #
  • retweet of @mlvalentine-Bloggers didn’t kill journalism, journalists who stopped reporting the news and starting spewing rhetoric killed it. #
  • so.. @Rhodester‘s been drinking some Bud Light we got stuck with & keeps offering to share!? if I wouldn’t drink it @ 14, why would I @ 40?! #
  • double rainbow at sunset
    1 of the “18 Beautiful Rainbows” tweeted below

  • retweet of @spreadingjoy: RT @Jason_Pollock: 18 Beautiful Rainbows from Around the World – (I love rainbows!) [so do I] #
  • Friar John Cor recorded the creation of the 1st known batch of scotch whiskey 1 June 1495-time to get our whiskey drink on then @goingglocal #
  • THX @BeMeaningful-“Just as u can’t steer an anchored ship u cant create change until u make changes.” Inspiring interview #
  • Coping with Someday in Constant Pain:
    Dorian (aka coffeesister) Interview

    by Alex Fayle on 18 May 2009

    Dorian aka coffeesisterWho: Dorian is coffee for the soul; brewing up help, health & happiness from a simple, stimulating & sustainable life while offering life lessons, potential perspectives & empathetic encouragement to all takers for that’s why we’re here: we’ve all been lent to each other.

    Name one moment in your life when you threw a pity party for yourself and the reasons why you felt you weren’t able to achieve your goals:
    I’ve had chronic pain, in one form or another, throughout my life but that didn’t prepare me for being bed-ridden by my late-20s. I’d gallantly pushed on despite migraines, chronic daily headaches, tendinitis, mild scoliosis & asthma for over a quarter of a century — even keeping a job through what was presumably mono, despite having to drop out of college. Then.. No amount of willpower nor sense of urgency nor the strongest determination could make up for the fact that I was debilitatingly weak, constantly tired, painfully sore & cognitively spent.

    CLICK to read the entire interview,
    there’s something for EVERYone ~_~

  • GO Jeanne! @jeanneendo celebrated her 1yr blogiversary by moving to her own domain; #chronic #endo #fibro #ME #MCS #
  • via @charitywater RT @TheWaterProject-Every day we don’t learn how we could do better is a wasted day. The ppl we serve demand our humility. #
  • retwt of @spreadingjoy: Here are the results of our month of giving; Thank you! [(|_|*to joy being created/shared*|_|)] #
  • from @RhodesTer: 19 yrs of wedded bliss. Happy Annual-versary to US :-) [his post's worth reading, my comment too] #
  • btw, the “Annual-versary” post I tweeted of is of course @ so hope to see you there ~_^ @no1lefthere thanx Chris *mwah* in reply to no1lefthere #
  • “I <3 being married. It’s so great to find that 1 special person u want to annoy the rest of ur life.”-Rita Rudner #quote #
  • What @EmperorNorton said to an anti-abortion activist & other tho’ts.. ..tho’ts I tend to agree with-esp wrt conscience #
  • from @RhodesTer-My coffeesister’s sitting here quoting Roger Rabbit to someone in chat. (of course, he can only be quoted “when it’s funny”) #
  • here’s @RhodesTer‘s latest blog post-A Visit From Father Phil- -in which I use the word “exactly” exactly too many times #
  • It’s good to have an end to journey towards but it’s the journey that matters in the end. Ursula LeGuin (our means-not ends-define us) #quote #
  • as we start our 20th year of marriage & @RhodesTer wraps up his 50th yr of life, w/so much in jeopardy, the contentment means that much more #
  • retwt of @TIME: See pictures of Obama’s trip to Saudi Arabia | -via @rkref- (I particularly like the 6th photo in the set) #
  • great #quote via @motivational: “Other people & things can stop you temporarily. You’re the only one who can do it permanently.” -Zig Ziglar #
  • retwt of @amyderby: I’m checking myself into Scrabble rehab. Word is, free Thorazine drip will be provided. (“Word is”-double meaning score) #
  • via @Pistachio & @kitson-New Hampshire 6th state to legalize gay marriage; @BBC-joining Iowa, Conn, Mass, Maine, Vermont #
  • officially blessing @deafmom‘s efforts “to pester @RhodesTer from now until Tuesday so all of Twitterville knows his birthday is coming up.” #
  • Get clean water to 100 million people. Ask senators to cosponsor the Water for the World Act, sign the petition.. #

  • via TheONECampaign, wrt the tweet above
  • came across the idea that being poor is only a frame of mind & all I can think is that the person being quoted has never experienced poverty #
  • a must-see collection of gorgeous & amazing photographs at their own aptly named blog.. “Industrial Decay” (THX @Karoli) #
  • decaying industrial building overtaken by nature
    from the “Industrial Decay” blog, as tweeted above

  • YES @hochmann could NOT agree more ^_^ purity is pointless & unappreciated w/out a little wickedness to spice it up ~_^ (|_|*to balance*|_|) in reply to hochmann #
  • retwt of @liveonpurpose: I need my supplements 2 function in my busy life (they ARE crucial tho’ need to be liquid or chewable to work best) #
  • THANX for the stumbles on my interview by @AlexFayle, @kimota & @MrJWells as well as the reviews; OMG, @ndpthepoetress #
  • from @EmperorNorton: [who] stops himself from wondering “what if”. There’s only What is. (which leads to What’s possible, “what if” doesn’t) #

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Silliness should be prized. I’ve had the good fortune of being raised with it as it’s always been one of my family’s most prized pursuits. None of us are class clowns or cut-ups (I had to marry to add that to the mix) but we love to laugh. We laugh readily & easily as well as good & long, especially when a shared bit of silly is the cause. Of course, it’s not so much the silliness as sharing it that we find infectious. Inside jokes are a constant. Our favorites are ones that don’t require insider information to be laughable so that anyone can join in. It also helps that those don’t require long memories since my maternal Grandma was the only one with a good memory.

“The more you laugh, The more you fill with glee
And the more the glee, The more we’re a merrier we!”

~ I Love To Laugh, “Mary Poppins” ~

What memories she had! One she shared time & again in her later years has become especially dear. When she & her siblings were quite small, one of her brothers would say, “YOU sooo siil-ly!” Grandma not only remembered it but quoted it exactly as that little boy during the Great Depression had said it. Such an appropriate remembrance too for she never would talk much about her childhood struggles; just pointing out that everyone does in one way or another. It was the little things she shared, like those long-ago words of her brother or a cherished doll (so rare amidst such poverty & no doubt the reason she collected dolls throughout her life).

“I have made it a rule of my life never to regret and never to look back. Regret is an appalling waste of energy… you can’t build on it; it’s only good for wallowing in.”
~ Katherine Mansfield ~

Optimism is a choice. While it does come more naturally for some than others, when paired with our often opposing natural inclinations, it’s a powerful tool. My mum tends to be pessimistic by nature but so childlike in her faith & hope that optimism is the knife she uses to cut her pessimism down to size. It wasn’t until Grandma’s recent death that I fully realized she was a Realistic Optimist just like me although I’d long understood that our souls saw the world in the same way. She considered us soulmates, teaching me early on that true connections are made through the soul & are never limited to romantic relationships.

Grandma's little girl

Our souls are also how we connect to the world. The eyes are considered windows to that one part of us that is wholly unlike anyone else not solely because they allow a glimpse in but more importantly because it’s how we should be looking out. Memories, while precious, aren’t what make us who we are as is typically believed. My own broken brain & fictional explorations like Joss Whedon’s “Dollhouse” call such common wisdom (as if wisdom is ever common) into question. It’s our souls that define us & our experiences that shape us, regardless of how or if they’re remembered.

“There can be no knowledge without emotion. We may be aware of a truth, yet until we have felt its force, it is not ours. To the cognition of the brain must be added the experience of the soul.”
~ Arnold Bennett ~

Remembrance is simply a journey, along a path the lucky ones hope is true. Our strongest memories are born of our strongest emotions so the mosaic of our life has amazing & horrible moments equally highlighted. It really was the best of times & the worst of times but we choose which we want to build from. Of the numerous things my Grandma imparted to me, by far the most precious was her ability to focus on the good in myself & others. My mum & her parents each provided unconditional love; Granddad accepts people as they are which he passed on to his daughter who wanted me so badly she couldn’t help but love me while Grandma, as she did with everyone, saw all my flaws but never let them keep her from seeing all my potential.

“There is one thing one has to have: either a soul that is cheerful by nature, or a soul made cheerful by work, love, art, and knowledge.”
~ Friedrich Nietzsche ~

Disappointment’s a given, hurt an inevitable risk & betrayal a likely eventuality. It’s not just human frailty that keeps things a far cry from perfect, our own circumstances work against us. To live is to live in interesting times. There are no easy fixes or guarantees; luck runs out, loved ones die, we let ourselves & others down, they reciprocate, no amount of hard work or positive thought leads to a particular outcome, goals can only keep you on track & acting on your dreams may not make a damn bit of difference. Letting any of that stop you is the only form of failure that really exists though.

“There are three things in life which are real: God, human folly, and laughter. The first two are beyond our comprehension so we must do what we can with the third.”
~ Indian Proverb ~

Laughter, recovery, love, perseverance; these are just as much a part of the human condition yet must be chosen. Grandma lived with everything listed previously but refused to get stuck in those aspects of life. In my own life, when I came close to not graduating high school, my mum wisely let her mum take over for a time & the truth Grandma consequently explained was the beginning of the beginning for me. She let me know in no uncertain terms that everything I did affected those who loved me & I had no choice in the matter because they would never stop loving me. It’s not that I thought unconditional love was a free pass but I hadn’t sorted the truth. It’s a responsibility.

“Just as despair can come to one only from other human beings, hope too, can be given to one only by other human beings.”
~ Elie Wiesel ~

If we affect others without even trying, imagine the impact we can have on ourselves. The brilliance of my Grandma-given epiphany was that she specifically did not say I was hurting those I love, forcing me to face that the ripples were out of my control. When we’re struggling — be it financially, physically or psychologically — we tend to think we can limit the collateral damage by withdrawing. The reality is that we can’t make progress from that inward stance & those who are invested in us are already along for the ride. Whatever our progress or lack thereof, if we remember we’re not traveling alone, won’t we want to make the most of the trip?

To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children, to leave the world a better place… to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.

Take life on, take others for who they really are & take in the good while accepting the bad so that you too can live as my Grandma did. Never one to hold back her opinions or not pursue her own interests, she learned to balance those needs with kindness & patience. She may have never gotten to live at the beach but she loved her community & there were things she didn’t accomplish but she whole-heartedly enjoyed the things she did. Always the better reflection of me, she’s put me back on track one final time & will always light my way. I’m used to having two mothers to call on this important holiday; instead, my mum & I will honor the one we shared by living our lives anew & making it a fun journey for all involved.

“What soap is to the body, laughter is to the soul.”
~ Yiddish Proverb ~

We’ll start with a little silliness..

“You have to do your own growing no matter how tall your grandfather
[or grandmother] was.”

~ Abraham Lincoln [Grandma's hero, beside Granddad] ~