Tuesday, May 27, 2008


This has always been one of my favorite essays on life. And I'm sure everyone has heard and read it hundreds of times. If I am not mistaken, it was read at my graduation from Bethel Park High School, Pittsburgh, PA, in 1965. It would be lovely to include a copy of it in the card or gift of any graduate.

I used a photo of a Panama City Beach sunset that I took back in October as the background but had to fiddle with the photo so that the words would be visible. (Click photo to enlarge.) So the colors here are not "real" - they are gorgeous on the original photo.

I have the Les Crane CD that features "Desiderata" - he speaks it nicely with a chorus group in the background. I was happy to find it on YouTube! Hope you enjoy it!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Happy Birthday Mali!

Today my sweet furbaby Maltese is 11 years old. Mali (pronounced "Molly") is such a wonderful companion - she is funny and and quirky and smart. I lost my loving cat Freddie 2 years ago - he was 19 years old. Mali and Freddie were great friends and she learned some things from him - like how to open an unlatched door with her paw, how to groom herself (especially her feet) and I swear she purrs when she's content - a low guttural sound that comes from her throat when she's eating something especially tasty, cuddling, or resting. She is beginning to show her age - she's a little overweight, has some dental issues and joint problems, but she still has her sweet puppy personality and I love her dearly. I am so grateful to have this wonderful little furry friend who loves me unconditionally.

I've always liked the following poem/essay:

Things We Could Learn From Dogs

Never pass up the opportunity to go for a joyride
Experience fresh air and wind in your face as pure ecstasy
When loved ones come home, run to greet them
When it's in your best interest, practice obedience
Let others know when they are invading your territory
Take naps and stretch before rising
Run, romp and play daily
Eat with gusto and enthusiasm
Be loyal
Never pretend to be something you're not
If what you want lies buried, dig until you find it
When someone is having a bad day, be quiet and sit close by
Avoid biting when a simple growl will do
When you're happy, dance around and wag your whole body
No matter how often you're scolded, don't pout- go back and make friends right away!

Monday, May 19, 2008

Mail Art

I am in a group that decorates envelopes and passes them around (via the postal system) until everyone has added art to the original envelope. We select a large envelope, choose a theme, decorate it a little, seal it up with cardboard inside, then mail it to the pre-determined person who will then add to it and send to the next person and so on. There have been several postal employees who really get into this and look forward to seeing the next arted up envelope. Today I got my "Paper Doll" envie back and it is just wonderful! Here are the front and back as the envie looked before it left my house:

And this is what it looks like now! I am so excited about it!

The little wardrobe opens up and tucked inside are some adorable little paper doll clothes - isn't this the sweetest thing! Like I said, I love it!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Monday, May 12, 2008

Bragging Rights

I was never blessed with children of my own. I have two brothers who married dear girls and each family produced a daughter and a son. My two nieces and nephews became the center of my life and helped overcome my infertility woes. Today, each has grown into a fantastic adult and produced children of their own. In an earlier post, I bragged about Brandi, my first-born niece, and her teaching award. Today I will unabashedly brag about Nicole. BTW, my name is Jacqueline Diane - my first niece is named Brandi Diane and my second niece is Jacqueline Nicole - cool, huh?! Nicole is an interior designer - she earned her degree at Samford University and went on to earn her professional ASID standing and I am so proud of her! For two consecutive years, she was selected to design the interiors of Montgomery's Idea Houses. She did beautiful work and made the cover of the magazines! She is now beginning work on the 2008 Idea House. And in between all of this, she is a mom to precious Taylor who will be two in July. She has so many other accomplishments that it would take a day to name them all. Did I mention that I am proud??

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mother's Day

I found this lovely poem on the "Two Peas Soup" site - author is unknown.

Your Mother lives inside your laughter.
And she's crystallized in every tear drop.
A mother shows every emotion..........
happiness, sadness, fear, jealousy, love,
hate, anger, helplessness, excitement, joy,
sorrow..... and all the while, hoping and
praying you will only know the good feelings in life.
She's the place you came from, your first home,
and she's the map you follow with every step you take.
She's your first love, your first friend,
even your first enemy, but nothing on earth can separate you.
Not time, not space...............not even death!

This photo was taken in the 70's - it's my mom, her mom, and me.

Here is one of my favorite Il Divo songs:

Thursday, May 8, 2008


When I was a little girl, my uncle took our entire family to the circus. That was my first - and last - circus experience! I hated it! The clowns terrified me (and caused me to have nightmares), everything was so loud and confusing, but most of all I remember feeling so sorry for all of the animals, especially the elephants. I adore elephants!
I'm sure most of you have seen the Youtube video of the elephants in Thailand painting - literally doing self-portraits better than many humans could do! In case you missed it, here it is:

These mammoth creatures are amazing!
I recently found out that there is a haven for elephants in Hohenwald, Tennessee:


Check it out and watch the live cam and read their stories.
How wonderful that these beautiful souls can live out their lives, unshackled and free, in peace and harmony.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Cinco de Mayo

I'm sure lots of folks are celebrating today with tecates and margaritas and parties and fun. I will have a quiet little day with my favorite snack (see below), some art projects, some TV and my sweet pup, Mali.
About a year ago, I discovered a green salsa that I just love! I found it at Walmart and the price is a mere sixty-two cents per can. It's available at other stores too but they charge over a dollar per can. My favorite way to eat it is as a dip with Tostitos. But it's also good drizzled over grits, tostados, enchiladas, eggs, and any bean dishes. I have also mixed it half and half with creamy ranch dip. It's made with tomatillos and jalapenos and onions and seasonings and has only 50 calories in a whole can. Apparently sometimes the jalapenos are more potent in some batches because my tears will flow. But other batches have just the right amount of tanginess mixed with the hot flavor - yummy!

Friday, May 2, 2008

Raul Malo

I LOVE Raul Malo, formerly of the Mavericks - and this video is cool and artsy!

Thursday, May 1, 2008

May Day

When I was in grammar school, the first day of May was always an anticipated play day. No tests, no studying, no classes - just a day of fun out on the playground. Our "Room Mothers" would bring refreshments, our teachers acted like "real" people, and the kids were wild and happy! I remember some of the activities included potato sack races, three-legged races, Red Rover, etc. But my most favorite was the May Pole Dance - how fun it was to weave and duck and go round and round until the pole was completely wrapped. I never thought about it back then, but our teachers must have worked really hard to bring this day of fun to us.
I found this photo of a typical May Pole Dance on the net - sure wish I had a photo of my classmates and me doing this way back when!

I DO have a photo of my 4th Grade class at Rutledge school (in Fairfield Highlands, Alabama) - I think this was taken in 1955.

That's me, third from the left on the front row. What's amazing to me is that 53 years later, I still remember every single person's name - first and last! And I remember Miss Rutledge as the most wonderful teacher - I loved her dearly! I think all of my elementary teachers inspired me to want to follow their footsteps which is why I got my degree in Early Childhood Education.

And speaking of teaching, my sweet niece Brandi has received an awesome award - she teaches 3rd Grade and I am SO proud of her! She is an awesome mom, wife, teacher, friend - and inherited my brother's wonderful sense of humor!

Another May 1 tradition for some people is making May Baskets and hanging them on their friends' doors.

Sorry I have not figured out how others make their URL's into one-word, clickable entries - any help sure would be appreciated!

Here is a piece of art I created for the Diva group lottery - the theme was "Coffee":