The Goose Looks Over Her Shoulder

Mother Goose is not the kind of person who goes around honking her own horn. I prefer to perform my good deeds and random acts of kindness with a great degree of anonymity and humility. My accomplishments come and go as swiftly as the wind, and like the wind, I remember them not.

However, I’ve been blessed with a beautiful daughter who not only has the memory of an elephant, but the heart of an angel. On the recent celebration of the birth of this goose, she gave me a gift which will last a lifetime — a love letter listing all of the goals I’ve met in 2012.

It is not my intention to brag about my achievements, but to encourage you to believe in your own selves in the coming year. When we allow hopes and dreams to grow, they bear fruit of great sweetness. If a goose such as myself can do this, that and the other thing, imagine what YOU can do? Please allow me to share excerpts with you.

From Jessi:

“You continued your blog, gaining friends, followers and support for your hilarious and inspiring stories.

You trained for months so you could run and complete a 5K race. And even after, when your ankles hurt so bad, you cared for us.

You brought new life to Blue Star Banners; bringing a very tangible symbol for people’s love and pride in their military sons and daughters.

You Mystery Shop now! And while some interactions seem small, people get a sense of purpose from helping another find the soy nog!

You were hired to tutor kids in west side schools!

You maintained amazing friendships and closeness with your friends and your family — including fostering a closer relationship with Grandpa.

AND…on top of all this, you encouraged your husband and kids to never give up, to set goals, and to always believe that the best outcome is possible.

Thank you for a truly inspiring year, Momma.”

Isn’t she a fine and loving daughter to write all of that sweetness about Mother Goose? I love her very much…

We could also spend some time today reflecting on a few of Jessi’s own 2012 achievements and accomplishments:

She graduated from Columbia College Chicago with honors!

She worked a bad job for a year so that she could pay off her credit card!

She applied to the graduate school of University of Illinois in Chicago, and was one of eleven candidates selected for their Urban Planning and Policy Program.

She spent three hours behind the scenes at the Brookfield Zoo Marine Mammals department, working as a guest trainer for the seals and the dolphins. Here are some pictures from that wonderfully amazing event this past Saturday:

There she is squatting down next to the water.  She got to KISS a dolphin!

There she is squatting down next to the water. She got to KISS a dolphin!

In the course of her Wild Encounter, Jessi interacted with a leopard seal who PAINTS as therapy for her neurological disorder.

In the course of her Wild Encounter, Jessi interacted with a leopard seal who PAINTS as therapy for her neurological disorder.

An unforgettable experience with the trainers and marine mammals at the zoo.

An unforgettable experience with the trainers and marine mammals at the zoo.

Dear readers, Mother Goose wishes you and your families a new year full of hope and dreams, joy and peace. But mostly I wish you a new year full of love. God bless you all.

Please Pass the Joy Butter

Quite recently, I was asked the question that all authors, bloggers and ordinary people love to answer:

“Why do you write?”

Those four words are deeper than you can imagine! To even begin to answer the question requires much thought and soul-searching. Most writers would toss it back and forth between their ears, and mull it into a warm autumn drink. They would then consider the options; they would weigh the outcomes and pontificate on the ramifications.

It took me about three seconds to answer…

I write to spread Joy Butter over the toast of ordinary, everyday life.

Eric needs a little Joy Butter on his rye bread.

The Lord said that we should pray, “Give us this day our daily bread.” Toasting the bread is good — getting it warmed and crunchy is a fine morning tradition — it’s completely palatable and nourishing. However, dry toast can be…well, dry! It can be just crumbs in your mouth, pretty bland and ordinary. But omigooseness when you spread a pat of butter over the toast….why it just makes a world of difference.

Do you have “toast” days?

Kinda of dry, kind of boring, kind of crumby…

Mother Goose is here with her Joy Butter, ready to add some flavor and smiles to your day. Please pass the Joy Butter!

M.Goose Says “Remember and Don’t Forget”

Here in the United States and around the world, we stop today and remember the horror that came out of the skies on that beautiful sunny blue-sky day eleven years ago. We lost loved ones and we lost our innocence AGAIN on that day. It seems that every fifty or sixty years, America loses her innocence again. We become accustomed to our sedate world presence and forget that “the bad guys” are still out there.

It was said after Japan struck Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941 that it would be “a date which will live in infamy’ — that has proved true. Former NYC mayor Rudy Giuliani said in the aftermath of the terrorist attack on 9-11, “The attacks of September 11th were intended to break our spirit. Instead we have emerged stronger and more unified.” The mayor was correct and to a degree, we have remained strong and unified.

The horrific death toll on that day was 3,000 lives. That number includes the nineteen terrorists who also fell victim to the madness of al Qaida propaganda.

Eleven years later, my children ask me, “Why did the terrorists attack us?” I have had to search my soul and also the internet to find a suitable answer for their precious ears.

Of course, the first easy answer is that this group of Islamic fundamentalists have a deep hatred for America because we are living out the freedom declared by our founding fathers in our Constitution.

We could also say that they hate us for having a presence in Saudi Arabia, the homeland of Osama bin Laden and his followers. They saw our Middle East involvement as greed for oil.

There’s also the answer that any country allied with Israel risks the hatred of the Arab nations.

Some analysts come right out and say that al Qaida pointed chose its targets (the twin towers of the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and potentially the halls of Congress) because of America’s free enterprise system, our military might and our democratic government.

Osama bin Laden himself gave many reasons for his attacks. The brave elite Navy seal team, DEVGRU, put an end to the taunting video releases of bin Laden and his discourses, but his zealous followers continue their long-enduring campaign to bring down the United States of America.

To date, the War on Terror has taken the lives of 6,280 Americans in combat zones Afghanistan and Iraq. That number, combined with the death toll of 9-11 itself, is ghastly. Nearly 10,000 lives lost in the madness of a war which drags on and on…

Pray for peace. Remember the victims and their families. Don’t forget that the War is still raging and Americans are still dying in this fight against terrorism and this fight for freedom.

But here’s the punchline: Do something unselfish for your community today! Or tomorrow! Make this a Day of Good Deeds to help America stay strong on the neighborhood level. Bake some cookies and bring them to the firefighters. Help your neighbor with some yardwork. Volunteer at a local food bank, or a homeless shelter. Pick up some litter in the ditch.

Fly your American flags.

Remember and don’t forget.

Cookies for the firefighters and the family.

Love from Mother Goose

Balmy Morning Story

There is much on the mind of Mother Goose this morning.

I could tell you how we are having plumbing problems, and there is absolutely no amount of water draining out of our house — none.

I could opinionate about President Obama’s daring visit to Afghanistan to visit President Karzai and the American troops.

We could examine the reasons why my son may have come home from school yesterday with strained muscles in his chest after working on the fitness machine in his gym class.

I could share with you my prayer that my ex-husband would be less bitter and more forgiving towards me.

I could try to write about the overwhelmingly absurd passenger-searching policies of the TSA which seem to target the young, the old and the infirm.

However, these seem like very serious topics for a goose to address…

Instead of a heavy dissertation on current events, please relax and enjoy some music whilst I tell you a story about this balmy morning.

I woke to the mystic robin trills again this morning — she still thinks she’s a Hermit Thrush and that’s OK with me. A little identity confusion is fine. I have some of that myself…am I a goose? Am I a person? Should I honk or speak? Flap or run?

The sun was golden in its rising — like a handsome, brave prince-knight dashing into the day of battle. Glorious in his victory over the darkness, the sun invites a celebration of spring. I inhaled the sweet air of morning. There is always one spring morning in May when the air is balmy.

I love the word “balmy”. I’m allowed to use it only infrequently because of our geographical region. Our corner of the world is generally known for brutally cold winters and stifling hot summers. Spring is balmy but for only a brief time — summer is waiting impatiently in the wings. Autumn is beautiful but dry, and too often abbreviated by winter’s big rush to get started.

Balmy speaks to me of comfort. It’s easy to breathe when the morning is balmy. The air is very soft on my feathery face — just slightly moist. Inhaling and exhaling the balmy air is a joy in itself. The gentle breezes are cool and refreshing. All around me layers and shades of green, scrubbing the air for me. I cannot see it happening, but my spirit feels the trees working on my behalf.

I would imagine Professor Tolkien’s Rivendell to feel balmy. I wonder, have you been there? I wonder, is Watkins Glen State Park sometimes balmy?

I wonder, is it balmy in your world today?

Imagine a lake named Balm. As a child, I spent much time at Balm Lake in northern Minnesota. My dear grandmother, grieving the terrible loss of her son, found comfort there. The peace and quiet of the lake, the sound of small waves lapping at the shoreline, the haunting call of the loons in the evening, the twittering of the robins and the swallows, the reflection of a million birch trees on the far shore. All of the balm in Gilead could never bring healing such as Balm Lake brought to her soul.

Mother Goose herself finds soothing and restorative peace when she sits near Balm Lake.

But even in Oak Park, on balmy mornings like today, my spirit is refreshed. My heart soars, hitchhiking on the wings of songbirds. Every living creature knows there is balm in the air this morning. May your world be balmy today…

Green Hope

Mother Goose is celebrating Spring and all things green and pink. These pretty pictures were all taken in my yard, and it’s a real blessing to share them with you.

Bleeding hearts seem to come up overnight like mushrooms!

I love the two-toned beauty of our Plum Tree.

Our Weeping Crab tree has tiny white blossoms.

Peonies and Sedum are on their way.

New leaves on the grapevine. Who could ever forget the failed jelly of Mother Goose last autumn?

My special Clematis which transplanted miraculously from Carol Stream in 2010 will bloom purple in a month.

The waxy and pink magnolia blooms are bigger than the rubbery foot of Mother Goose.

So much GREEN!

Mother Goose could expound on the beauties and miracles of springtime. I could talk for hours about hope and rebirth and all things pink and green. But I think the Scriptures say it best:

“Oh! May the God of green hope fill you up with joy, fill you up with peace, so that your believing lives, filled with the life-giving energy of the Holy Spirit, will brim over with hope!” [from Paul’s letter to the Romans, Chapter 15, The Message]

Important Stats for a Goose

  • 64,142 honks to date

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