Monthly Archives: December 2015

Quote Yourself

I love to happen on to quotes by wise and successful people.  I see them on t-shirts, bookmarks, billboards, plaques on walls, etc, everywhere I go.  Some resonate with my own thinking so much that I find myself repeating them to everyone I talk with for days.  They just keep coming up in conversation.

If you remember a few of the key words and want to find the complete quote or who said it, all you need to do is do a search on the internet.  Alakazam!  So much information pops up to surprise and delight you that you can spend days reading about the context in which it was given, the period of time, the stage of life and mind of the author…..and whether or not he actually said it or who else is given credit for the same quote.

For instance, Henry David Thoreau and Zig Ziglar are credited with the same quote as Johann Wolfgang von Goethe:  “What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as who you become by achieving your goals.”  It’s an inspirational quote no matter who actually said it.  The influence these men and numberless others have on our world continues regardless of who gets the credit.

So, I have to believe that sharing these snippets of wisdom and witticism adds to self-empowering contemplation and humor that benefits mass consciousness.  We are all more powerful and influential than we know.

Occasionally, I hear someone say something that I think is profound and succinct and that warrants memorializing .  But, quickly, I forget…..most of the time what was said and even what it was about.  I’ll have a fleeting thought:  what was that again?

So I’m carrying a small notebook around with me now to record the deep thoughts that cross my path and my own musings.  It is, afterall, the flashes of inspiration and feelings of intuition, that move me the most.  Hummmm…..  Don’t be surprised if I abandon quoting others and start quoting myself!


Breaking The Rules At The CERN Large Hadron Collider

The theme of the TedxCERN Conference held in October 2015 was Breaking The Rules.  The event took place in the CMS Assembly Hall at the CERN Large Hadron Collider.  Scientists from different fields took the stage to present innovative solutions to life’s everyday problems. Innovations are constantly changing the way we think and the way we view our world.


I’m so happy to have a keyless starter in my car.  I love carrying my phone in my pocket and using it for reservations, receipts and ticket validations at the airport. When I think about all of the myriad of ways my life is different than it was 10 years ago…..even 1 year ago, I get excited.  Watching the videos of the speakers at this conference jacked that excitement up a notch.

Michael Bodekaer spoke at TedxCern about changing the way science  education is offered by teachers and received by students.  He used special goggles and an ordinary smart phone to demonstrate immersive virtual laboratories filled with the latest technologically advanced machines and the way the teacher and student would use them. Fascinating!  The video of his demonstration reminded me of several movies I’ve seen recently showing large screens of information hanging in the air and changing with the sweep of a hand… science fiction but so right on our doorstep.

What a blessing it would be if teachers and students alike  could be excited about the subject they’re focused upon…..even anxious and self-inspired.  Yikes!  Classrooms would be transformed into highly charged, exciting places to be.

Mr. Bodekaer explained that these laboratories would be used to provide experience needed by science students the same way that flight simulation programs are used in training pilots:  hands on experience without the crash and burn aspect.

Videos of the presentations at the conference are now available online.  They’re fascinating!  Linda Liukas spoke about the poetry of programming computers.  She’s written a book to encourage little girls to dream, to explore imaginary worlds and their own physical world in an effort to make computers friendly tools to be embraced and used to create whatever their hearts and minds want to pursue.  She’s so charming.  I was enthralled with her presentation.

Vikki Stone mesmerized and entertained on the keytar and piano and delivered an earth shaking truism:  keep on doing what you’re doing, have fun, push the boundaries, break the rules!  In fun the best work is begun!  Pioneering The Dog Bearding Movement is the name of her presentation…..don’t miss it!!!!!

If you’re interested in ideas that are being developed to improve our quality of life on planet earth, you’ll love Marcia Barbosa’s 2014 TedxCERN talk about The Weirdness of Water.   Being curious and spending time satiating that curiosity leads down all kinds of unexpected paths.  Wow…..what can I say more…..spend a little time listening to these talented scientists.  It will be time well spent.  Just go to TedxCERN Breaking the Rules and click on videos.



Red Sprite

Lightning is such a fascinating phenomenon.  I live on a mountainside where, as storms approach, I can watch them come across the valley to the west bringing their towering clouds and lightning with them.  The bolts are often bright, jagged and searing…..very dramatic as they light up the clouds above them and attack the ground below.

At the same time that we are able to see lighting below clouds during a storm,  there are sometimes massive, but weak, luminous flashes above the clouds.  They are described as large scale electrical discharges high above cumulonimbus, normally reddish-orange or greenish-blue with hanging tendrils below and arching branches above.

The first photos of sprites were obtained by accident in 1989. Since then, thousands of photos have been taken from the space shuttle and aircraft.   Early research referred to them as “upward lightning” or “cloud-to-ionosphere discharges”.  Now because of their whimsical, fleeting nature, they are simply called sprites.  I think it’s so much fun that “scientists” would give what sounds so serious, a Transient Luminous Event or TLE, a wonderful, full of personality and life name.  I imagine them dancing around above storms sometimes singly and sometimes in groups like nymphs in the moonlight.

There are some subjects and ideas that just grab a hold of me and I want to know as much about them as I can.  I love living in the day of the computer.  So much is being discovered and shared…’s so exciting!  I kept thinking about these red sprites and decided to bring them to life with my paint and brush first with small studies and then a large painting.

When I imagine our world, our universe, I imagine life… from the smallest particle to the largest expanse… that composes the air we breathe, life that forms our sun and stars and the life responsible for and embodied in the red sprites that dance above our storms.

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Cropped photo of Red Sprite 34″x51″.

Fairytale Wedding

I’ve listened to many couples talk about just what they envision for their wedding experience.  Those dreams are as varied as the individuals involved.  But when I began to hear about the plans for this wedding from the Mother of the Groom, it was obvious to me  that this couple had made a conscious choice to listen to their hearts and their hearts dictated fun, travel and magic.

I believe looking for fun is the natural God-given state-of-being we are born into as enfants.  It’s probably the most important state to which we could aspire.  But it often appears to some as a state of selfishness or childishness… which I say…..Hey!  Hey!  (to get your attention)  We all want happiness.  No one can give it to you.  You have to take it…..that’s what looking for fun is all about.  And, once you have it, it spreads to everyone lucky enough to be around you.

I believe travelling is so exciting because it takes us out of our comfortable routines.  Just seeing new places and people and adjusting to new experiences opens our eyes a little wider to the beauty that surrounds us, sharpens our ears to take in new sounds, expands our ability to love and be loved and increases our zest for life.

I believe in magic!  I see it everyday!  I experienced magic in a concentrated dose over several days spending time with the family and friends of two talented, genius visionaries as they pledged their love and began their lives together.

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The spanish moss hanging from the huge oak trees created the perfect backdrop for the ceremony.  The late afternoon sunlight added the perfect, soft, magical atmosphere.  The Jekyll Island Club Hotel provided it all.  Everyone there was bathed in gold and we basked in every delicious moment.

That’s how it was in Georgia…..a fun, extraordinary, magical experience.   I love knowing that it wasn’t an accident.  They planned it that way.   I’m sending out my love and appreciation to everyone involved and especially to the newlyweds!


Jekyll Island

If you’ve read the book, The Creature from Jekyll Island by G. Edward Griffin, you’re familiar with the secret meetings of wealthy bankers and industrialists in November 1909 that paved the way for the Federal Reserve to be established in America.

We had heard a lot about this infamous/famous place through the years.  When we were invited to a destination wedding to be held there, we had no idea what to expect.  Jekyll Island is one the Sea Islands off the coast of Georgia, along with  Amelia Island and St. Simon’s Island.

We flew into Jacksonville, Florida, and drove up the coast into Georgia.  Of course, you can’t drive along a coastal highway and see enticing signs of new places (especially islands: how romantic), historic districts and restaurants without getting a little off course. As we drove around the historic district  of Fernandina Beach on Amelia Island, we were charmed by the gift shops and fishing boats and lured into a great restaurant and bar, The Crab Trap.

The waitress assured us the crab, shrimp and scallops had been caught that morning just down the pier.  After one bite, we were believers.  I’ve never tasted such tender, sweet, flavorful crab and scallops.  Wow!  And…..hush puppies….whoa!  crisp on the outside, soft and almost creamy on the inside, great cole slaw and I haven’t mentioned the crab cakes.  I’ve tasted crab cakes in various inland places and been unimpressed.  These were melt in your mouth crab….no filler and just a very light crust on the outside.  Yum.  Well, together with the margaritas…..what a spectacular surprise

The Jekyll Island Club, where the wedding was held, was built in the late 1880’s and was described as the richest, the most exclusive club in the world in 1904. J. P. Morgan, William Rockefeller, Vincent Astor, William Vanderbilt, Marshall Field, Henry Hyde and Joseph Pulitzer were among the members.  Because of the concentration of internationally prominent businessmen,  Jekyll Island was the scene of some important historical events such as the first transcontinental telephone call placed by AT&T president Theodore Vail in January, 1915.  The members left the cold new england winters and sailed on their yachts to the warmer Georgia coast.  Our tour guide noted that Florida had not been developed yet so Georgia was the warmest, southernmost area on the east coast.

The State of Georgia now owns Jekyll Island, maintains the hotel and shops and is restoring the “cottages”.  The museum and tour were fascinating.  It took us through two of the cottages.  The Indian Mound Cottage with twenty-five rooms was built for the Rockefeller family.  The bookcase was filled with books such as Joseph Pennell’s Life and Letters.  I love old books, the printing and illustrations, the bindings and the smells.  This was such an interesting peek into this period of time in our country’s and world’s history.

Our last night on Jekyll Island, we set out to find fresh seafood and an outdoor patio to eat it on.  And…..surprise…..after scouring St. Simon’s Island all afternoon we ended up right on the same property as the Club Hotel.  Latitude 31 degrees.  I’m so jealous of people who live near fishing areas:  the whole dock, fishing boat and water lapping the piles vibe.  Yes, the fish was caught that morning, fresh, fresh and succulent sweet.  So we travelled home, in fresh seafood satisfaction.