Saturday, May 30, 2009

building community one neighborhood at a time

I'm rarely one to quote Sunset Magazine, but check out this great article "25 ways to make your neighborhood a community".

Accident, Mass. Ave.

Jill McDonough just won the Pushcart Prize. Her first book of poetry, 'Habeas Corpus', will be out this spring.

I love "Accident, Mass. Ave." Read it at The Three Penny Review.

We behave the way we 'think' we are suppose to behave. We respond the way we have always responded. What happens when things are not what we assume or expect?

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Today, go where the day takes you. You already are where you need to be.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Opting Out

One lesson I've learned in life is...'s okay to opt out of toxic situations and conversations.

Opting out doesn't mean that you're weak, nor does it make you a bad person. Sometimes, the most advantageous position is, in fact, one in which you don't resist, in which you don't explain, in which you don't try to justify your position, in which you don't bother trying to help others see your point of view. Or, conversely, in which you don't try to be inclusive, to give antagonists a forum, or to apologize to diffuse a situation.

While I appreciate the mix, the diversity, the contrast... Sometimes a well placed 'opt out' is a welcomed breath of fresh air.

"Is that so..?" can go a long way.

What have you learned in life?


Congratulations to Judge Sonia Sotomayor on her nomination to the Supreme Court.
A Hispanic woman from the housing projects in the South Bronx nominated to the highest court in the land... that is fantastic!
I am reminded of the power of women, the power of family, the power of mentors, the power of education.

First Lady, Michelle Obama, says it best:

Tuesday, May 26, 2009


Today the California Supreme Court issued its opinion upholding the legality of Proposition 8.

How do we teach respect and tolerance in the face of intolerance?

Here's some ideas:

Interracial marriages were once banned in most American states. (When President Obama's parents got married, their union would have been illegal in half the states in the U.S.) What similarities exist between the rights for interracial marriage and the rights for gay marriage?

The majority of voters in California voted to ban gay marriage. In other states, legislative majorities have voted to allow gay marriage. In a democracy, what are the proper ways to express dissent when you disagree with the majority?

Should the majority be allowed to vote on the rights of the minority? Would slavery have ended if left to a vote?

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Inclusive Memorial Day

This Memorial Day as we remember our fallen troops with gratitude, 
take a stand and remember all our troops... heterosexual and gay. 
Take a stand for all who have served and sacrificed.
Take a stand for Lt Col Victor Fehrenbach. 
Take a stand for civil rights.

Sunday Children's Book

Little Beauty

We are big fans of Anthony Browne. "Voices in the Park" is another favorite of ours.

For some reason after reading this wonderful book with my children, a quote from Albert Einstein came to mind...

"Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted."  - Albert Einstein

Friday, May 22, 2009

1 nice thing

Check out the Do One Nice Thing web site.

Good-bye cruel world... Make the world a lot nicer. Do one nice thing every Monday.

Thursday, May 21, 2009


Seth Godin on TED talks about reviving the human social network of Tribes.
Find something worth changing... and create a movement.
Find your true believers, and organize!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

box of crayons

A not-to-be-missed little video that can change your day for the better.

...because who can resist a new box of crayons?!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Broken Hearts

Check out this cool site:
100 Abandoned Houses in Detroit

Photographer Kevin Bauman took exquisite photographs of 100 abandoned houses in Detroit, Michigan. He has managed to turn the economic crisis into artwork.

I couldn't help thinking of the line from a song: "Broken hearts are like houses where no one lives."


This just makes me smile!

Monday, May 18, 2009

a single garment of destiny

Be sure to watch President Obama's commencement address at Notre Dame. President Obama had the ability to take the uncomfortable and make it triumphant.

"Remember that each of us, endowed with the dignity possessed by all children of God, has the grace to recognize ourselves in one another; to understand that we all seek the same love of family and the same fulfillment of a life well-lived."  -- President Barack Obama

Saturday, May 16, 2009

the energy that you bring

I watched Oprah's commencement speech to Duke graduates. I am a fan of Oprah.
At about 14 minutes into her speech, Oprah references Jill Bolte Taylor. And at 14:30 she quotes, "you are responsible for the energy that you bring." Those words have stayed with me all week.

I am responsible for the energy that I bring... into my home, into my community, into my world.

What a wonderful idea.

For more Jill Bolte Taylor on Oprah, go to Oprah Radio.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Jill Bolte Taylor: Neuroanatomist

Jill Bolte Taylor on TED.

Brain scientist, Jill Bolte Taylor's book, My Stroke of Insight, chronicles her own stroke as it happened. She is a powerful voice of peace and compassion.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Health Care

Who should handle health care?

I was listening to Marketplace on Monday and heard commentator Matt Miller's opinion: Health care should be government's job.

Corporate America spends more on health care than it earns in profits. America is the only advanced nation that operates much of its welfare state through corporations.

Who should provide our social safety-net when it comes to our health?
Is linking health care to jobs a dead idea?

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

One Art

I heard this poem yesterday, and loved it.

One Art
The art of losing isn't hard to master;
so many things seem filled with the intent to be lost
that their loss is no disaster.

Lose something every day. Accept the fluster of lost car keys, the hour badly spent.
The art of losing isn't hard to master.

Then practice losing farther, losing faster:
places and names, and where it was you meant to travel.
None of these will bring disaster.

I lost my mother's watch. And look! My last, or next to last, of three loved houses went.
The art of losing isn't hard to master.

I lost two cities, lovely ones. And, vaster, some realms I owned, two rivers, a continent.
I miss them, but it wasn't a disaster.

--Even losing you (the joking voice, the gesture I love) I shan't have lied. It's evident the art of losing is not hard to master
though it may look like (write it!) like disaster.

-- Elizabeth Bishop

I Love Reading

Celebrate Children's Book Week, May 11 - 17, 2009.
Consider a donation to the Toys-for-Tots Literacy Program

Monday, May 11, 2009

Citizen's Briefing Book

To President Barack Obama from the American People: Citizen's Briefing Book

I Love the Word Cloud Illustrations

Sunday Children's Book

Claudette Colvin
Twice Toward Justice

"Well behaved women rarely make history."

Sometimes it takes stubborn women to start a revolution. Before Rosa Parks, there was Claudette Colvin, a teenager who knew her constitutional rights and was willing to get arrested to prove it. 

This is a wonderful book for any young woman wondering if she can make a difference in the world. Claudette's age (15) and circumstances didn't diminish her courage.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

The Harlem Miracle

This NY Times op ed article was sent out as a "must read" from New Jersey Mayor Cory Booker. Be sure to read David Brooks' article, The Harlem Miracle if you haven't already.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Social Innovation Fund

On Tuesday night, Michelle Obama delivered the opening remarks at the TIME 100 gala in New York. I searched for the article because... well, because I wanted to see what she was wearing (which, by the way,  was a fabulous full length black dress accessorized with multiple long-strand necklaces).

When, however, I read her remarks I learned that the president's budget proposal for next year will include $50 million to help promote national service and advise nonprofit groups. The new Social Innovation Fund is designed to help nonprofits think about service in new ways and approved by Congress as part of a national service law.

The Social Innovation Fund was authorized in the Edward M Kennedy Serve America Act. The White House Office of Social Innovation and Civic Participation will coordinate efforts to enlist all Americans - individuals, non-profits, social entrepreneurs, corporations and foundations - as partners in solving our country's great challenges.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

OK To Tell

Fellow Americans who are gay and lesbian are serving honorably in our military right now. However, they are forced into the closet and cannot openly enjoy the support of their partners or spouses. It is time to move beyond "Don't ask, don't tell".

Be an advocate for these service men and women. They deserve the same rights we enjoy.

New York Times Article: In Military, New Debate Over Policy Toward Gays

Monday, May 4, 2009

playing for change

We stand at a moment of great challenge, great possibility, and great opportunity. Seize the moment. Come together and choose a new and better future.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Sunday Children's Book

The Hello, Goodbye Window

This book celebrates a child's love for her grandparents, Nanna and Poppy. I love the Caldecott Medal winning illustrations... although it has been much criticized online. To quote Poppy, "Hello World! What have you got for me today!"

Saturday, May 2, 2009

I took a chance it would work

I took this idea from Boomerang
A fantastic thing to try this weekend ... a 1000 piece jig-saw puzzle!
  • non-eye contact conversations yield great insight and conversation from kids (especially boys).
  • tackling a 1000 piece puzzle has no winners or losers ... it's all teamwork.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Justice Souter

A great article on Justice David Souter. Go to  CNN

Health Care

Should a country's social safety-net be the responsibility of corporations? America is the only advanced nation that operates much of its welfare state through corporations.

Listen to Matt Miller on Marketplace and let me know if you think, "Linking health care to jobs is a dead idea..."