Saint Francis

I am sure tomorrow will be a better day for storytelling.

Actually, today’s storytelling went well–things fell apart as I hit the “publish” button. As I hit that, my story disappeared. Poof!

Could it be a pre-Halloween thing?

So, once again, I went to my prayer collection. What a great find–on the top of the stack was my favorite, the Prayer of Saint Francis.

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace,
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy;

O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love.

For it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.

I am…

B…simply being…

May God bless us all.








A Prayer Shared

There are some days that test you. Today was definitely one I’d call a “testy” one.

My mind is tired.

Which makes it a great time to share a prayer I found a few days ago. I’d been looking through an old book when a worn little scrap of paper fell away from the back few pages. I recognized my handwriting but did not see where I’d noted an author or where I’d found the prayer. I hope the author won’t mind my sharing.

My prayer for you today, my friend, is for God to bless you with a heart full of patience and understanding. May your eyes be open to the beauty and opportunity given to you every day. May your mind be full of wonder and awe. 

May God bless us all.

I am…

B…simply being…





“The happiest people on earth are not those who have robust bank accounts, or all the good things in this world; but, they are those who truly embrace the attitude of gratitude. Some of these folks are poor, but are still very grateful for the little they have; for the peace of mind they enjoy, for the love in their lives, for the unity in their family and for all the ordinary things many people take for granted. They always focused, not on the things they are aspiring for, but for all the things God has used to bless their lives.”
― Sesan Kareem

I’m learning about gratitude.

I’m now nearly a month into the renewal of writing my daily pages. I am thankful for the purpose and direction this practice has given my daily life.

I am thankful for the constant support Michael has given me as I stumble into the office each morning to write those pages and sequester myself there in the afternoon writing my stories.

I am thankful for those who have found my blog and offer their encouraging words–many taking the time to do so daily. You are my angels and give me such joy.

I am thankful for the memories that surface and the insight that accompanies them.

I am thankful for the spark of passion that’s returned to my life, giving me a new perspective and vision which opens my eyes to the many opportunities available to me.

I am thankful for the courage that enabled me to take the risk of putting my words out into the world.

I am thankful for the opportunity to learn and grow.

I am…

B…simply being…

Stay patient. Be kind. Pray for each other.

Most of all, know you are loved.







Fred Lessons

For the past few days, I’ve been talking with a friend who’s thinking about getting a dog. She is well aware that this is not a decision to take lightly. For me, it is hard not to push hard because I really want her to have a dog in her life.

As we’ve talked, I’ve thought back on the dogs I’ve had over the years. Thankfully, most were in my life for a very long time. All but Fred.

As I talked about Fred today I realized she’d taught me a lesson all those years ago. I am so surprised that I did not really appreciate that until today. While it is still fresh in my head, let me tell you the story of Fred and me.

I’d always wanted an Old English Sheepdog. This is not an easy breed to find nor are they inexpensive. After searching for months, Chuck, now ex-husband, and I finally found a puppy we felt would be a good companion for us and for our other dog, Honey, a feisty miniature Poodle. The moment I saw the puppy, I just knew her name had to be Fred. Why I named a female puppy Fred, I don’t know. I just felt it was the cute, funny, and perfect. Just like I felt she was!

Looking back, I think that little energized puppy was trying to tell me something. From the first time we called to her, she never responded well to that name. I was so dead set on that name, I did not think her reaction may have been her way of trying to show me or tell me something. Now, I think this was her first and her consistent attempt to tell me that something was not right.

As far as Honey was concerned, Fred was another thing to tolerate. From day one, Fred was much larger. She ran and played hard but she never pushed Honey around. There were a few times when Fred grabbed Honey’s ears. After a few hard yanks, Honey let her know who, in no uncertain terms just who really was in charge!

These were days when both Chuck and I worked long hours. I was working days while he was working nights. Because of this schedule, the dogs did not have to be alone very much. Training a puppy is not the easiest thing but we were making progress. After a few weeks, I began to notice a different pattern. When I’d get home from work, Fred could not make it outside before she’d have had an accident in the house. As time went on, the distance she made to the door became shorter and shorter. After another month or so, she’d stopped even trying to get to the door. Off to the vet for us where we were assured she was okay. We just needed to be patient.

That was not so easy for me. I was getting frustrated. After working all day and rushing home, we seemed to be going backward in the housetraining department. Fred seemed to sense my frustration. She would show some improvement for a day or two, only to start the pattern all over.

One one very cold, snowy night, I came home to a clean house. No accidents. I took both dogs outside and was thrilled. As if fixed dinner, I turned to see Fred squatting beside one of my large houseplants. I’m not proud to tell you, I started screaming at her. I ran and grabbed her face in both my hands and looked into her eyes. I asked, “Fred, why did you do that?” Her answer was quick and strong. She took both of her front paws and scratched her dew claws down both of my arms.

Our eye contact did not break. We both knew that this was not going to work. Chuck and I decided we needed to let Fred go. We placed an ad in the Sunday paper. Early that snowy Sunday morning our phone rang. The person calling told us he was calling for friends who were deaf. His friends saw our ad and wanted her, sight unseen. They would bring the cash that morning. When could they come get her?

Well…that was fast.

My whole being knew that what we were doing was the right thing to do. At the appointed time, there was a knock on the door. All four of us went to the door, my ex, me, Honey, and Fred. The couple at the door smiled as they handed us the money. As this was happening, Fred made her way to the door, stepped forward, and waited for them to hook up a leash. In a matter of seconds, all three of them were trudging away through the snow–no hesitation–no one looked back. As the snow fell harder, they simply disappeared.

What did Fred teach me?

She taught me that my idea of choosing a dog was all wrong. I’d always thought I chose my dogs. I now know–Fred taught me–they chose me. I believe that there is some other, higher level of communication between dogs and humans. Dogs are more aware of this than humans. I now believe think a dog knows the minute they see us whether or not we are the human for them.

I understand now more than ever how important it is to think hard before you begin to search for a dog. Are you really aware of the level of responsibility you take on when you bring a dog into your life? A dog brings it all to this game called life. You must be ready to give your all to them as well. It’s part of the deal.

Oh…if we could all love each other like our dogs love us. Heaven must be like that…

Speaking of love, please focus your prayers on California. How is it possible that each week I ask for prayers for so many different disasters. Our world feels like it’s spinning faster and faster into some unknown dimension. If there was ever a time when we need each other, it is now.

I am…

B…simply being…

Love and peace, Y’all.












This Little Piggy…

Several years ago, Michael and I were searching for wild bird seed. It was winter and we loved feeding the birds. After a few weeks, we felt that the food we’d been using was too expensive. We looked at several places but did not find a mix that fit our needs. We decided to check out a store a few miles from us.

It was a Saturday and the area was busy. We searched for the address listed in their ads but could never find a sign or a storefront. The ad was old so maybe the store had closed. Clouds had been building all that morning and the winds shifted just in time for us to get a whiff of bar-b-que.

Whatever was cooking smelled incredible. We had to check it out. We followed our noses.

Across the parking lot at one of the neighborhood Kings Sooper grocery stores, we saw huge grills set up. There were large signs telling everyone they were serving pork burgers. Not just any pork burgers–this pork came from Iowa. Not just any ol’ place in Iowa–this pork came from Tama County.

As a young kid, I grew up in Tama County. Which meant, we had to check this out.

We marched our way to the grills and started asking questions. The Tama County Pork Association was in Colorado promoting Iowa pork. For this promotion, they were serving free burgers all over the country. This was not just a way to promote Iowa pork but it was a way to remind people burgers could be made with any type of ground meat. They made a point of saying that this King Soopers was the place they would be in this part of Denver.

What a surprise and such a delight!  We had excellent burgers served by super friendly people all while sharing our Iowa stories.

The synchronicity of this chance encounter was and still is, incredible to me.

Had we not decided that this was the day we would search for less expensive bird seed and had we not struck out trying to find the Wild Bird Store, forcing us to walk around a shopping center we were not familiar with, we never would have noticed the grills set up at a grocery store we never use.

The whole interaction made my soul smile that day and it is making my soul smile today.

All this comes to mind because Michael just got home from the hunting lease. He did not come home alone. In our YETI 65 cooler, he had a dressed wild pig–oh–excuse me–Wild Texas Boar.

Now, this pig filled that entire cooler. I’ve watched Life Below Zero. I know this would not be a problem for Sue or Glenn, or Chip and Agnes Hailstone. But, this was a first for me. I did not know how to begin.

What does an Iowa girl do in this situation? She pulls out her Tama County Porkette Cook Book.

I’m pretty sure our “cuts” are not even close to the traditional cuts shown on the Porkette’s diagram. Well…we all have to start somewhere. For our first time, I’m thinking we did okay–I’m also thinking that this little piggy will smoke up just fine.

I gotta tell you, Texas continues to amaze me in so many unexpected ways. I also have to say, it is very fun finding ways to mix in a little bit of that Iowa flare–Porkettes and all–however I can make that happen.

I am…

B…simply being…

Love Y’all.






My Stories

I’ve had the past couple of days to myself –which usually means I am tearing things apart and/or re-arranging something. I was concentrating so hard on what I was doing, I lost track of time. I knew I needed to finish up so I could write my story of the day. A thought that surprised me. Today’s the first time I realized I considered myself a storyteller. I have to say, I  like that. I also realized how much I enjoy sharing my thoughts here.

Is it easy? No. Deciding what to write and share is difficult some days. Some stories I put on hold because I know they will take much more time to pull out of my head. Others–flow so easily they almost feel like they write themselves.

I found this picture today as I was re-arranging storage spaces. It was taken in October of 1991. I had flown to Austin, Texas, to meet Michael’s family. I think we were at The Oasis. From left to right, the cast of characters–characters being the operative word–Michael, Irving, Michael’s sister’s boyfriend, now her husband, Michael’s sister Neva, and Michael’s Mom.

It was a whirlwind trip filled with all the sites of Austin. We had an extra day of exploration because of an early snowstorm that closed the airport in Denver. It was my first experience of leaving one airport in shorts and flip-flops and arriving home in Denver to snow on the ground.

As I think back on this time, I’m awestruck by how quickly the time has passed. In a blink of an eye, twenty-six years have flown by us. Michael’s Mom and Dad passed away ten years ago. When I do the math, which is always questionable when I am the one doing the calculating, I think I am the age Michael’s Mom was in this picture. Once again, God is giving me a strong message to live each day.

I am passing on that message to all of you. Live and love today. Of all the things we know for sure these days, it is the fact that tomorrow is not promised to any of us. Hold onto each other and enjoy each day with all your heart.

I am…

B…simply being…

I love you.


A Rest Day

“There is virtue in work and there is virtue in rest. Use both and overlook neither.”
― Alan Cohen

I rested today.

The sun was warm-hot actually, the breeze strong, and there was a feeling of change in the air.

As I sat on my back patio, I saw the first honey bee I’d seen in a very long time. This little bee had so much pollen on his back legs he was moving very slowly. It was so fun to watch him and several other bees crawl and fly on and over this beautiful plant.

Since it was such a slow day, let me update you on my revived ritual of journaling.

This one very simple act has reconnected me to my world. As I walk to my desk each day and open my notebook, I am so thankful for the early morning time of self-awareness. So much has changed in my world these past few years. For the first time in a very long time, I now write what comes to mind and allow those words to come unfiltered. I’ve learned I’m still looking for my place here. That is a big discovery. It is powerful. The insights unfolding as I write are giving me direction. I am able to work on a plan that will allow me to continue moving forward and grow. I’m learning that having a plan buffers the fear and the worry. It gives me control–and–surprise–I really like that.

I journal Monday through Friday with downtime over the weekends so my batteries have the time they need for recharging. Those batteries took some serious abuse in the past–their reserve power is best not challenged–so I don’t. Early each morning, I grab my coffee, put on my Celtic music, sit down, sharpen my pencils, and write. As I gaze out my windows, I’ve been reminded of how magical the early morning hours are while I’m bedazzled by the beauty of the hill country sunrises.

I’ve learned how important it is to write first thing. For a few days, I sat on the front porch with the dogs and Michael, sharing coffee and awaiting the sunrise. It was a good experience but that time gave my brain time to engage the “ego.” With those few minutes of delay, I’d lost that window of pure, unfiltered honesty. Writing now comes first.

Tonight, we are expecting our first major cold front of the season. Tomorrow will be much cooler. Texas is still pretty crazy to me–I see the trees sway as the winds gust–I find myself wondering how much snow will fall overnight! Crazy–yes–but I am very thankful I will not have to add shoveling snow to my tomorrow to-do list.

I’m off to bed. Please, remember to pray for each other, my friends. These cold and icy days mean there will be many slips and falls. All that translates to broken hips, arms, and whatever else hits the ground first. Watch out for each other. Lend a steady hand where you see it’s needed. Get out and help your elderly neighbor shovel snow.

Be patient and kind.

I am…

B…simply being…

Love you.






Writing this week has been tough. Honestly, doing anything seemed a little surreal. How do you absorb the sights, sounds, and emotions that played out these past few days?

You can not.

We all have to move on–but how? The only way, at least for me, is to stop watching. It is time for me to refill my own emotional well–it is dangerously low. I have nothing left to give. I now need to keep my mind focused on myself and direct my attention back to my own soul.

To get me started, I turned to my usual sources, my own collection of quotes and the internet. I needed something that would put fear into perspective. I read and read. Finally, I found the one. I agreed with it. It was so simply true–and it made me slowly smile.

“Is it useful to feel fear, because it prepares you for nasty events, or is it useless, because nasty events will occur whether you are frightened or not?”
Lemony Snicket

I wish you all a safe and peace-filled weekend. May we continue to help each other heal, both physically and mentally. Please stay patient and kind. Pray. Hug freely, fully, and often.

I am…

B…simply being…

I love you.


The Helpers

“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.”

― Fred Rogers

I woke up in the middle of the night and made the mistake of picking up my phone. While I waited for the dogs, I checked what was new. One of my friends had a post where she talked about her first job as a radiologic technologist and the things she saw in her early career.

This put my mind into overtime. The good part of that was I now knew what I would write about today. I would write about the caregivers but add my twist about something I always questioned when I was working. Who takes care of the caregivers?

As I began to write, my story began to change. That’s not unusual. These past few months of writing my blogs, the stories often take on a voice of their own. Today was no exception. What I’d planned moved aside to let another voice speak.

The message? What about those unintentional caregivers? You know–those people who were there to see and hear and be part of this three-day music festival.

If we, those of us who were and are healthcare workers and providers, have our own worst memories thrusting themselves into our minds, how do these people who just happened to be at the wrong place at the right time deal with all they are feeling?

We’ve all read each other’s stories of when this happened and when that happened when we were working. BUT, we were trained on how to deal with what came down that hallway. Our stories of those long days or nights are like what these everyday people experienced in the first two minutes of this attack.

These courageous people did not run away. In fact, from what I have heard and read, many actually helped one person and returned to help more. What many saw and experienced that night had only been seen and endured before by trained soldiers on battlefields.

Compared to the stories they could tell us, mine are like first-grade show-and-tell.

My point?

There were many times in my career when I went home questioning who would listen to me and help me understand the pain and suffering I’d witnessed that day. These brave souls did unbelievable things. Who will listen to them and help them understand what they saw and felt? Who will help them find the words to get all the images out of their heads?

If you know someone who was there, treat them with extra care. Give them the time they need to talk. Help them find help so they can begin to heal. The images they saw will be with them forever. If there was ever a need for a very large special care therapy center, it is now. Unfortunately, even if it could happen, it will never happen.

Let’s do what we can as individuals. Be aware that there are even more people among us who need our kindness and prayers. Please be gentle with these novice caregivers who answered the cries they heard in the panic that night.

I believe in angels. I believe angels flew close to the earth that night, helping the helpers help.

Please, God, bless them all.

I am…

B…simply being…

I love you.


Key to Yourself

When I first met my husband, he had a little paperback book he read every day. The name of this book is Key to Yourself, by Dr. Venice Bloodworth. It is an old book, the copyright date, 1952.

He bought a copy for me which sits on my bookshelf and I added a digital copy for my Kindle. Dr. Bloodworth’s book is another one I grab when I need spiritual help or guidance.

For me, the chapters are short, making it easy to add them to my morning routine or use as a way to calm my mind in the evening. The wording may be dated but the ideas presented are not–I have to remind myself that she wrote this book in the 50’s.

Today, I searched for the chapter she’d written about fear. Let me share the ending paragraphs:

“Fear, anger, criticism and all such thoughts are the most expensive guests we can entertain. They bring a harvest of poverty, misery, and discord. There is no need to fear anything for we carry the indwelling power to overcome everything. Then why should we be angry with our brother? If he has injured you, he will surely reap with interest everything he has done to you, and if you are angry in return you harm yourself more than him; and remember that the same mighty power that dwells in you, sleeps also in your brother. We are all children of the Father and co-heirs with Christ; so lift yourself above the petty manifestations of mistakes and live in accord with the good within you.”

One ship drives east, another drives west, 

With self-same winds that blow.

“Tis the set of the sails and not the gales

Which tells us the way to go. 

Like the waves of the sea are the ways of fate, 

As we voyage along through life. 

“Tis the set of the soul which decided the goal, 

And not the calm or the Strife. 

Ella Wheeler Wilcox

I am…

B…simply being…

Love Y’all.



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