About Me

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West, United States
I love to hike, bike, ski, run, swim, read, write, teach, learn, experience and enjoy loving others.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

An Adventure-- Breaking Through to the Inner True Soul

Before reading this note please take time to read a beautiful Christmas story just posted in Paulo Coelho's blog. I refer to it below and you will miss the point if you have not been enlightened by its message.


I want to thank Paulo for this beautiful and inspirational story – It has touched me greatly. We all want to be able to reach our true inner soul—the light of God.

The following analogy has been helping me to move toward my inner light.

Think of your true inner soul being covered by five various shells – much like the Babushka Dolls of Russia.

If we can take off or get through the outer shells, we will discover our Divinity. We learn by removing each shell on our journey inward.

SHELL ONE: Even though it might seem awkward, risking by praying to your Higher Power with your own words/thoughts --- Some might start with memorized prayers of their religion, then move into a conversation with their Higher Power… (much like Tevya, from Shalom Aleichem’s stories) Always keep a prayer in your heart.

SHELL TWO: Reading and learning from various scriptures and articles from various faiths – ALL religions have truths sent by God/Goddess --- ponder them and meditate – and listen for your inner voice ;-) Patience is required here… Listen..Listen..Listen

SHELL THREE: Not to be afraid to show charity for those less fortunate --- remembering that ALL of your cohorts here on this world, man, (rich, poor, well, sick) animal, plant, and even land, at times need a helping hand --- if you are continually praying, seeking and especially listening, you will know those who need your aide. You were blessed with talents…USE them for the Good of the entire Soul of this World.

SHELL FOUR: This is where most of us stop. To literally break the shell of this doll, we must not be faint-hearted and fearful because it is only through true humility that we will get to know our higher power… We must develop a deep lasting faith– and become “lowly in heart.” We begin to remember and rejoice over all that is good in us. This will strengthen our inner selves and leave us less dependent on outward acclaim. When we pay less attention to public praise, we then also care very little about public disapproval. Competition and jealousy and envy now begin to have no meaning. Patience and unconditional love is gained as we overcome our weaknesses; and like the boy in this beautiful story “even through the journey gets heavy,” the rewards though any times not seen are of such profound strength and quiet triumph of faith that we are carried into an even brighter sphere. This fourth doll is broken open, just as a contrite heart is broken and we are reborn.

SHELL FIVE: The inner doll… our true soul… the sacred center of existence --- the boy, through the recognition of the beautiful Vicar was able to feel of his true being…. For those of us who have the courage and faith to break through to the center of our existence we will find the brightness, the wisdom, and the warmth of a the loving power who keeps all of this universe in a continual motion…going forward with brightness.

My blessing for all is for you to know that YOU ARE HOLY--- that YOU HAVE DIVINITY right there within you waiting to be uncovered --- unleashed--- brightened.

Merry Christmas …

((((LOVE)))) and ****Warm Bright Blue Light**** radiating your way from this side of the world

Wednesday, December 22, 2010


This is the winning recipe from the chocolate contest at the 2010 Sevier County Fair. I was a judge and although we wondered if these balls were donations from a kitty litter box, we were brave and bit into them. OH MY! They were heavenly. I have to admit they are a very romantic treat for your better half and you. ;-)


• 3 cups sweetened whipped cream chilled in the freezer – not to ice cream stage, but firm.
• 1 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate pieces (In the USA just buy 2 Hersey Symphony Bars )
• 3/4 cup crunched almond toffee pieces -- Crunched quite small to 1/8 pea size
• 1 1/2 cup Graham Wafer or Digestive Biscuit crumbs -- Crunched almost to powder…
• 1/4 cup cinnamon
• 1/8 cup sugar
• 1 2oz bottle of Confectioner’s Dessert Sprinkles

Place semi-sweet chocolate pieces/chunks --- and almond toffee pieces in a bowl and microwave until the mixture starts to soften. (about 30 to 40 seconds) Take a fork and blend the mixture so the toffee pieces are well distributed among the chocolate. When somewhat cooled, mix the chocolate/toffee into the whipped cream and then place the mixture back into the freezer. Let it stay there until the mixture is once again firm, but not frozen.

While the chocolate mixture is setting, crumble the Graham Wafer or digestive biscuits. Mix the cinnamon and sugar together and mix it with the wafer/biscuit crumbs. Place this mixture in a wide bowl and set aside.

In another wide bowl, take the “sprinkle”lid off of the dessert sprinkles and dump the colorful little balls into the bowl. Set it next to the wafer/biscuit crumb bowl.

When the chocolate mixture is firm, take the round tablespoon and dip it into the mixture. Then scoop the mixture out of the round tablespoon with a regular dinning spoon and drop it into the crumbs. With clean hands or hands covered with plastic chef gloves, roll the drop of the mixture around in the crumbs just enough to lightly cover it. Then take this ball and drop it into the dessert sprinkles. Roll it around until it is covered and very round. Place the completed ball on a plate that will fit in your freezer. Keep dipping and rolling until the mixture is gone, then place the balls back into the freezer for a while. In fact, I leave them in the freezer and take them out a little while before serving. You will want them a little firm but not frozen.

Now, I am aware that the balls look a little strange, but OH MY, once your guest bites into one, he/she will be hooked.

Tin Soldiers

by Elaine Street

"These sure are cute little lacy plants." the neighbor gushed, and then continued, "What kind are they?"
"Oh, they're Elaine's marijuana plants." mumbled the sweet gray headed lady as she grabbed another towel from her laundry basket to hang on the clothesline.
"Well, did you hear about the little Nielsen girl? Can you imagine, getting married so young?" the jaws yammered. "I'll bet she's pregnant."

* * *

The summer of 1974 was going to go down as one of the most memorable for Elaine. With high school graduation in the next week, she was thinking how each minute had to be lived to its fullest, because who knew what would come next.
"Honk, honk." bellowed a familiar horn.
Elaine glanced up as she was striding toward her tan, Olds 88, bomb in the school parking lot. A deep maroon, Chevy Chevelle 447 cruised up beside her. It was Dennis, her boyfriend of two years. Elaine's parents were not too pleased with their relationship. Dennis' family was okay, but he was not the "church type". Elaine was shocked the first time he asked her out; she didn't think she was his type. Being cute in a “Teddy Bear” sort of way on the outside, he marred is inside by partaking, once in a while, a few illegal substances. Elaine figured that she could "save" him so she accepted. Thoughts of dating someone on the edge intrigued her. The two immediately hit it off and had a blast whenever they were together as long as she saluted his commands.
"Come on. Get in. I've got something to show you," he snapped.
"Okay," said Elaine as she jumped in and slid over by him.
As rubber squealed out of the parking lot, he enlightened her. "You know Randy, the guy taking auto body with me at the Tech? The one with the hopped up Vega. . . ?
She nodded.
"Well, he's going to be in serious trouble if we don't help him. You see Randy kicked his roommate, Greg, out of their house, and Greg is not too happy because he has had to sleep in the Lion's Park the last few weeks."
Dennis went on to explain that Greg was getting even with Randy. For the last two years Greg had grown marijuana around his father's cornfields in Wayne County. Harvesting it before his father caught on, Greg had himself quite a stash, with plenty of seeds for a new batch. He told Dennis that he had planted marijuana seeds all around Randy's rented house in Richfield. Greg knew that the police would bust Randy. What a way to get even!
"The plants are just right for transplanting" Dennis mentioned. "Let's go get some before I tell Randy and he digs them all up."
Elaine had never seen a marijuana plant before. She was curious, but she was also cautious. "You're sure no one knows about this? We won't get caught or anything will we?"
"Oh lighten up. You worry too much."
He pulled his car up in front of the little house. No one was home. Grabbing some paper cups and spoons Dennis had brought, they walked around the house. Sure enough, little marijuana plants were poking their heads up to see the world.
"Come on. Let's hurry!" Dennis commanded, "You dig over there and I'll dig here."
"But I just wanted to watch."
"Hurry. Help me before Randy comes," he ordered her like a four star general.
Snapping to, Elaine quickly and carefully transferred three healthy plants into the paper homes and carted them back to the Chevelle. Setting them on the seat like fragile glass sculptures, she thought, “They are kind of cute. I wonder what they look like when they flower? I wonder if I dare take them home like I would a puppy?” As Dennis got in, she asked, "Now what do we do with them?"
His car motored in a slower than normal motion as they discussed various options. Then it was decided. He would take his home and so would she.
After she got back into her own car, Elaine looked at the frail little specimens. “I've always been able to level with my mom. I'll tell her just what they are and see if she'll let me grow them in the backyard.”
As Elaine pulled up in front of her home, she noticed some young boys playing in the baseball field next to the house. It was Robin and his friend Kelly. The boys were laughing and having fun. Elaine longed to be like them again without the thoughts of graduation and the future lurking in the back of her mind.
Protecting the lacy little foliage from snapping in the breeze, Elaine carried them in the house and explained the situation to her, preoccupied, dinner-cooking, mother. Then added, "I don't care to smoke it. I just want to see if I can grow it and see what it looks like when it flowers."
"Okay. Set them over there on the counter, and help me by putting the dishes on the table for supper."
As Elaine sauntered into the kitchen the next morning, the counter was empty. They were gone. She was a little comforted thinking that her mother had thrown them away, but the back door opened.
"I've found a home for your plants. Come and see!" her mother beamed.
Ambling behind her, Elaine was led to a spot in the backyard. There they were, in the shade of the blossoming cherry tree, lined up like tin soldiers ready to withstand anything.
"Thanks Mom," she swallowed.

* * *

The summer was a busy one. Between teaching swimming lessons and life guarding at the city pool, Elaine didn't have a lot of time for her relationship to grow with Dennis, but her tin soldiers grew taller and wider every day. “I hope we don't get caught,” was always in the back of her mind. “I wonder why Dennis seems so calm about the whole thing? Is he used to this?”

* * *

By the middle of August, white hats were starting to adorn the three- foot tall soldiers.
"That is a dainty little flower," commented her mother.
"Yes, it is. It's toooo bad they won't hold up when it freezes," Elaine came back in a slightly sarcastic way. She was thinking about the added stress because of them and relieved at the thought of frost.
Finally the first of September - - The kids were out of school for Labor Day, the last time the cooling plunge would be open that year. After sitting in the hot sun for what seemed like hours, Elaine was highly contented to get into her tan bomb and propel herself home. As she rounded the corner, a sight made her heart stop. A sheriff's car had stationed itself in front of her home.
"Oh no!”
She whipped past her house and immediately cracked down to Dennis' place.
"Good, he's home," she gasped as she screeched into his driveway.
"Calm down," he said as she told him about the cop car. "If you were in trouble, they would have arrested you at the pool. Now go home and act as if nothing has happened. If they are there to scope out the plants, tell them you didn't know what they were. " Then he ordered her as if he had epaulets on his shoulders, "Don't you dare get me involved with this."
“Hey, weren’t we in this together?” she thought as she dejectedly planted herself back in the bomb.
Summoning up all the acting ability inside, she rehearsed the scene as the bomb coasted around the corner again. The four-wheeled guard was still there keeping watch. Strategically placing the bomb for a quick get-away, Elaine got out and started walking toward her doom.
“Hey, Elaine. Come and pitch some fast ones to us,” yelled a voice from the baseball field.
“Yeah. It’ll be fun,” chirped Robin.
She walked toward them like a prisoner trying to sneak away from work detail, but then she stopped. “What if they come and arrest me in front of the boys?”
Elaine said reluctantly, “Sorry guys. I would love to play with you tomorrow though. Dad showed me a new curve I’d like to try.” Then she mumbled under her breath, “If there is a tomorrow.”
Taking a deep breath as she started to head for her house, Elaine thought, “I can do this.”
Her legs seemed like mushy spaghetti as she wobbled through the front door. Expecting to see a room filled with people, there was no one. All was silent except for her quick breaths. She worked her way out of the back door and heard the endless chatter of people. Just then the aroma of barbecue touched her nostrils. Inching her way along each of the cinder blocks that lined the house, she was able to get view of the crowd. Dad was frying hamburgers on the grill; Mother and two ladies were preparing the picnic table under the cherry tree; another lady was stirring punch; and two men, one of them in a sheriff's uniform, were sitting directly in front of the marijuana soldiers. In fact, as the breeze blew, the soldiers waved fingers across the back of their necks.
Just then Elaine's father noticed her. "Hey come on out here and meet some friends I met in Alcoholics Anonymous." The introductions went on until he said, "And last but not least, is the sheriff in charge of drugs and alcohol, Officer Jensen."
"How are you, young lady?" Urged the officer as he shook her hand. "Won't you come and sit down over here with us and chat a while?"
"Ahhhh. . . no thanks. . . ahhh. . . I've got a date tonight. . . It was nice meeting you though." Elaine murmured as she backed into the house. Her breathing was easier now. In fact, she chuckled. "That guy did look a bit on the senile side. Maybe he's never seen a marijuana plant before."
Just then the phone rang. It was Dennis.
"Is everything okay?" He interrogated.
"It's fine. False alarm. . . I'll see you later on main and explain."

* * *

A few days later, Elaine went home after helping close up the pool. She could hear her mother talking to someone while hanging out clothes. Peering out the window, Elaine noticed that it was “The Mouth,” a nickname her father had given the neighbor lady across the street.
"These sure are cute little lacy plants. . . "
Just then Elaine eyed her three tin soldiers. Her mother had carefully placed them into shiny ceramic homes. They were sitting on the porch exposing themselves to the neighbors.
After “The Mouth” had yammered for a while and gone, Elaine stamped out and demanded, "Mother what were you thinking? Now she'll go all over town spouting out, 'Elaine Breinholt is growing marijuana!' Why did you pot them in the first place? I wanted them to freeze."
"What are you so upset about? They'll make cute house plan. . . you mean they really are marijuana? . . . You're always teasing me. . . Elaine, what am I going to do with you?"
"That does it! I'm getting rid of them once and for all." Gathering the soldiers in her arms, she marched directly to the canal behind her home. Splitting up the ranks, she pitched them in one at a time for a final burial at sea. Watching as each one drew its last breath, Elaine's mind was clear, clearer than it had been in a long time. She was not only getting rid of her three tin soldiers, but also their general.
* * *
“Hey, Elaine are you ready to show us that new curve?” yelled Robin.
“You know it!” She said freely, “Just let me get my mitt.”

Saturday, December 18, 2010

The Sweet Innocence of Children

Lainee Brian wanted her two boys, ages five and six, to have a fun time at the annual neighborhood Halloween costume party. In the years past, she had come up with outfits for the boys to wear: clowns, cowboys, and football players. But now the two were old enough that they wanted to be different characters and not go as a duo.

“We are not twins, mom!”

Lainee decided to see how creative her boys were in coming up with an idea for a costume. To help them with ideas for characters, she talked with the boys about the superhero characters that they thought were powerful. Lainee added. “Take three days to think this over so that you are certain about the shoes you will step into. It’s hard to change costumes at the last minute.”

The elder of the two started going through magazines and talking with this young mother about various superheroes. The five-year old didn’t give it much thought and spent his time busily riding his big wheel around the block, visiting the neighbors and playing with friends.

The morning of the 3rd day, both boys came into the kitchen. The oldest said, “I want to be Batman because he made himself a superhero.”

“Nice choice,” Lainee responded, “I think we can manage that.”

The youngest son got a great big bright smile on his face and exclaimed, “This was easy. I want to be Jesus because he’s the greatest of all the heroes!”

Sunday, December 12, 2010