Sunday, December 25, 2016





              MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Friday, December 23, 2016



  A Name that changes everything for all time.


                       Some of us still use it.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Advent Wisdom

Being Open To New Ideas

Sometimes as we age we think we've
heard it all. 

And then someone says something that 
opens our heart and mind to a new thought. . .


"In the Christian liturgical calendar, we refer to the four weeks before Christmas as "Advent." For Christians, this is a time of expectation, of looking forward to the birth of Jesus. Perhaps surprisingly, I feel closest to my Jewish brothers and sisters during the Advent season. Christians, of course, believe Jesus to be the Messiah, but we also look forward to his second coming at the end of time. Traditionally, Jews expect the messiah to come as well, but when he does, it will be for the first time. When the Messiah finally comes, we'll ask him together whether it is his first or second coming, but for now, we will long for a world of justice and peace together."   
                                                    -Father James Heft, 
                                  President, Advanced Catholic Studies at USC

Thank you Father Heft.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Gaudete Sunday

"Sunday of Joy"
              -Pope Francis

Have you noticed the lights are up
in neighborhoods?
Don't they make you want to pause,
stop what you're doing and just
enjoy the beauty of this Season.
This Sunday we are called to:


     "The Lord is near."

May some peace-filled quiet time
            by yours today!

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Food In The Desert

John The Baptist

Today in the Gospel of Matthew we 
learn how John prepared for the coming
of Christ. He spent time in the desert.
His food was locusts and wild honey.

In 2016 we are more likely to be eating 
cinnamon rolls as we gather our
credit cards and head for the nearest 
shopping mall.

Maybe as we proceed through Advent
we can light the candle of hospitality,
opening our home to a friend who 
needs a cup of caring -- with honey. 

Blessings on the way. . . to Christmas.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Beaver Moon

      No time to waste. 

Some of us will not likely

See the next Beaver Moon.

        Think 2034!

There is still time. . . grab that camera.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Fall Is Absent in CA

Where is Fall?

Am I alone or do others here in CA miss  
the fog of Fall?
Stores are clearing front ends for Christmas and 
I need more of that season of mellow mist and 
healthy soups and marigolds.
Can anyone name this native?

Oh it will do whatever its name. 

         The election is over.
     Now let's pray for peace
  and kindness and the grace of
acceptance as we meet "the other"
        person on the way.

         God Bless America
  and those who will soon lead
         this hurting nation.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Monday, October 10, 2016


One week before Mother Antonia's 

3rd anniversary into Heaven. . . 

Sunday, September 11, 2016

15 Years Later

Re-living that day.
September 11, 2001

We find it hard to watch the programs
and yet we find ourselves drawn to them.



Monday, September 5, 2016


Do you cry when you are hurting?
Whether the pain is emotional, physical,
or spiritual we need to know that
someone is listening, ready to offer us

                 God is listening.
He knows our owie before we even pray.

I believe Our Loving Father frequently uses others
to send us a "cookie" and just as when we were
children, that treat takes our mind off of life's
cuts & bruises.

Today I received such a consolation and wish to
thank some heavenly messengers:

(Saint) Mother Teresa
Mother Antonia
Sister Mary Matilde

Look for the story here in November. . .

Tuesday, August 9, 2016



“When a man writes from his own mind,
he writes very rapidly. The greatest
part of a writer's time is spent in reading,
in order to write; a man will turn over
half a library to make one book."   

                              - Samuel Johnson

One of my favorite quotes. . .

      But then, 
if you are a writer
you already know
        it's true! 

   (A small sample from my office/library)


   Special Birthday Wishes
              J. Gray



Sunday, July 31, 2016


Do you agree the word itself seems to sing?
At one time or another serendipity shows
up in everyone's life.

Sometimes, we say, "it's a miracle."
And other times it just seems strange, right?

Today serendipity hit me right in my google
search. I began to type a mundane word,
and immediately "St Mary Euphrasia"
(Rose Virginie Pelletier) completed itself in my search.

                            Good Shepherd Nuns interned at Rangoon City Jail during WWII

Serendipity or miracle. . .as it happens
today is the 200th birthday of this saint
who founded the Order of the Sisters of
the Good Shepherd.  (An order of nuns
that first drew my thoughts to religious
life when I was sixteen years old.)

(My short essay on these Sisters was
accepted for publication some years ago.
And like many writers, I wait to see if it will
find its way into print.)

Now here comes the question: Why/How
did this happen today of all days?

Is there some young woman out there
who needs to read about this French nun--
maybe a religious vocation thought for someone?

Or. . .  perhaps I am just being given the opportunity
to say, Happy Birthday! Rose Virginie Pelletier.
Pray for us.

Saturday, July 30, 2016


Where did you find 

your inspiration today?

If you found something in nature
be grateful;
If you came across someone's
inspiring words be grateful.

Here is a link to a site that
brings me into areas of deep
recognition and inspiration.
I am grateful.

Sunday, July 24, 2016


         All of you reading this,
          please help yourself
           to chocolate today!

Those of you who host a Blog know about
the "overview" button, which tracks the
number of visitors (hits) to your site.

This simple, non-commercial blog:
recorded almost 50 visits in one day.

Dear Visitor,
I don't know who you are or how you
found this space--but I am so happy to
have you visit anytime.
And please feel free to let me know
what you like or what you'd like to see.

                       Also. . .
Happy to report that you get to have chocolate again
tomorrow for "National Hot Fudge Sundae Day."


Saturday, July 16, 2016

May Sarton

May Sarton died on this day in 1995.
She brought light into so many lives
with her poetry and journals.

  I inhabit a marvelous world

  Where every sense is taught

    New ways of perceiving.

                      -May Sarton
                    "Inn at Kyoto"

Friday, July 15, 2016

Someone Has A Birthday

Do you know anyone who is celebrating
today as the day they were born?

Thought: We should all celebrate the day
we were born and the gift of life we are given.

            Happy Birthday
     to someone special who is

Friday, July 8, 2016



                     Nature can make us smile
                              with wisdom.

Happy Birthday MKO

Monday, July 4, 2016


Happy Independence Day!

We celebrate freedom in America today.
Many have fought for the freedom 
we enjoy--some with words and some
with their lives.

Each of us has the right to life, liberty 
and the pursuit of happiness.


Here's an old emotional rendition of
a song with truths we want to believe,
even today when all seems in question.

"That's America to Me"

Friday, July 1, 2016

Saints of July

This month we celebrate the lives
of some very special saints:


        July 1st  St. Junipero Serra.
     (Father of the California Missions)

     July 14th St Kateri Tekakwitha  
           (Lily of the Mohawks)

Maybe you will agree . . . 
We need some saints in America today.

With five months to go before we elect our
President, it seems no one likes anyone.

These are the times we need to pray for
guidance to make the right decision.



Tuesday, June 14, 2016


THAT SONG (We All Have One)

More and more it happens. . .
you're in a store and a song from your youth
begins playing. First you hum along and then
all the words come back and you sing it--trying
to keep it to yourself.
Now if we were happy little birds, we wouldn't
dream, would we. We'd peck at flowers and move
on to another happy taste.

Are you still at that Dreamin point in your life?
Now dream and work toward that dream.
And sing along if you'd like.

Dreamin' (Johnny Burnette) 1960 Stereo Remastered, WJGroup LLF files

Monday, May 30, 2016

Memorial Day 2016

The Gift--Remembering

     A gift was left on our porch.*

A beautiful reminder of the gift, the love, 
we celebrate today:

No one has greater love than this, 

to lay down one's life for one's friends.

                - John, Chapter 15

We thank God for all those men and women
who gave their life for us, in order that
we might enjoy the freedoms we have today.

And God bless all veterans
on this Memorial Day. . .
May they know we are grateful for their
brave service in keeping our country safe.

*Note: thank you, Sandee.



Sunday, May 8, 2016

Mother's Day 2016

     who nurture Love in a child!


     Anyone who creates a home for peace
     in the heart of a child, who shows by
     example the right road, who honors
     goodness as an example to be followed,
     who forgives ultimately with a hug.

     We think of these people today and give
     thanks that they have touched our lives.

     How about a text or email or phone call now?

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Your Mind Working

"Like the circles that you find in the windmills
                         of your mind." *

For many of us on days when inspiration takes
hold. . . our minds race.
Thoughts and ideas come and we want
to work them.  Where to begin; how to begin?

That's what creativity is all about. We are
inspired by a piece of music, or we attend a
play or even something as simple as a walk
outside with an open mind.

We can't make notes fast enough. We think
about a poem or essay and then realize there
needs to a beginning and an end--and that is
the point where we stop.

However, the true artist pushes through and
does the work, draft after draft, no matter
what it takes, right?

Happy Birthday today:
Carol Burnett (actress) and Marilyn Nelson (poet).

Lucille Ball died this day in 1989. We all
know the laughter and joy of her work lives on.

May something we create live beyond our
brief stay here.

*Lyrics by Alan & Marilyn Bergman and Michel Legrand

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Peace, Love, and Mercy With a Kiss

Dear Friends,
Two years ago on this date I began posting
to this Blog: 218 posts and over 200 images.
I have heard from readers as far away as Alaska.
My thanks go out to each of you for taking time
to look/see what was on my mind.

How To Celebrate?

Some of you may recall my mentioning Mother
Antonia Brenner (The Prison Angel). Many of you
may know the facts of her life. If not I would
encourage you to read the book about her 
written by two Washington Post reporters.
This woman who gave up everything, always had a 
smile for those she met because she loved as
Jesus did. Unconditionally.

I was blessed to catch one of Mother's kisses with my
camera in 2008. It is not a perfect photo but the love
that she sent out on that day was for everyone!

And so to celebrate . . . 

if you would like a 5x7 copy of this image to
download, please email me and I will be happy to
answer with a high resolution of this photo for you. 


Mother Antonia always signed her notes/letters with

Peace, Love, and Mercy.

And so I close this day with Mother's words & my gratitude. 

Monday, March 28, 2016



And now you have time to reflect on your 
greatest Easter gift this year:

Maybe something you had given up for Lent?
Maybe a poem or a card someone sent?
Maybe a full church of happy people?

We all have our unique gratitude list.
So now on Easter Monday, when you have
time, look out the window and maybe
you will see even nature rejoicing.

             ALLELUIA !

Monday, March 7, 2016

March 7th 2016

Luther Burbank Born on this day in 1849

      (Horticulturist who developed hundreds of
    new varieties of flowers, fruits, and vegetables)


                 His home & gardens in Santa Rosa, CA 
                         are a photographer's delight.

   Artichoke Flower-- Who knew?

And by the way, the next time you bite
into an amazing Santa Rosa Plum you
might think about Luther Burbank.


Sunday, March 6, 2016

March 6th 2016


Just that one word and we think art.
Most would agree he was one of the
greatest artists in the world.
Born on this day in 1475. 

What was his most astounding creation?
For Lent we turn to the Pieta.
The dialogue in this You Tube will hopefully
become a contemplation.

Michelangelo, Pietà, 1498-1500

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

March 2, 2016

Thomas Kennerly Wolfe, Jr.

           Born this day in 1931

Being a writer requires two people:
the person writing and the person reading;
or the person speaking and the person listening.

One night in the 1990's I met Tom Wolfe who had
come to speak at Chapman University. It was a
classy evening. Tom Wolfe paid tribute to the art 
of writing by the way he presented himself.
On such an evening you go home and write.

                    TOM WOLFE

                 In his six-button
                 cream colored vest
                 and his high forehead
                 hair falling part at the left
                 Tom Wolfe tailored facts
                 and fit them into a life
                 of their own. Smiling
                 he said, I am not the writer
                 who can't go home.
                                      -Kathleen Gunton

         Happy Birthday! 

           to the writer who founded what
           we now call the New Journalism 

       Here's a quote on what he says he found--we
are richer for it. . . 
      "I found a great many pieces of puctuation and
typography lying around dormant when I came along--
and I must say I had a good time using them."
                                                    -Tom Wolfe

Monday, February 22, 2016

Monday, February 22, 2016

Edna St. Vincent Millay

  (February 22, 1892 -- Oct 19, 1950)

Edna's candle burned at both ends
of my journey into poetry. 

For many poets her words gave
a lovely light to the art of the written word.

In the late 1990's I journeyed to the woods 
around Steepletop. Though the House was closed
at the time, I was able to capture an image of
the autumn trees where I imagine the poet might have walked.

This picture appeared on the cover of my book,
Something Untamed. (The publisher changed the book
cover for the 2nd run.)



          Happy Day of Memories.

             Happy Day for poets.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

February 14th 2016



This is the day the commercial world tells
us to celebrate love. We are sold over-priced
flowers and candy of every shape and density.
Many (husbands in particular) get fed-up with 
the idea and simply say, NO!

But LOVE does not allow us to be a "clashing cymbal"
of protest as regards what we are really called to do.


                       be patient
                       be kind
                       don't be jealous 
                       don't be pompous
                      don't be selfish
                      endure all things

        Difficult ways for humans to show love, right?


                GOD IS LOVE

Today maybe we should thank God for always
             responding to us with LOVE!

Friday, February 12, 2016

February 12th 2016



We (should) all know:
Abraham Lincoln was born on this day in 1809
& Charles Darwin was also born this day in 1809.

 NOW . . .

Because it is very cold on the East Coast;
because the day we celebrate love is near;
and because I enjoy a bit of wine--a poem by
Thomas Campion (physician, composer, and poet).

Now winter nights enlarge
This number of their hours;
And clouds their storms discharge
Upon the airy towers.
Let now the chimneys blaze
And cups o'erflow with wine,
Let well-tuned words amaze
With harmony divine.
Now yellow waxen lights
Shall wait on honey love
While youthful revels, masques, and courtly sights
Sleep's leaden spells remove.

This time doth well dispense
With lovers' long discourse;
Much speech hath some defense,
Though beauty no remorse.
All do not all things well:
Some measures comely tread,
Some knotted riddles tell,
Some poems smoothly read.
The summer hath his joys,
And winter his delights;
Though love and all his pleasures are but toys
They shorten tedious nights. 

                                   -Thomas Campion
                                   B: Feb 12, 1567


                  ORMAN P. DAY !

  A writer born this day in 1946.
  Look for his travel essays and
  give yourself a delightful read.

         Good wishes to all
who are in celebration mood.

Monday, February 1, 2016

February 1st 2016

Wistawa Szymborska

was one of Poland's gifts to the literary world.
Ms. Szymborska won the Nobel Prize in
Literature in 1996. She died on this day in 2012.

Read her work and you may recognize yourself--your
simple and complicated ponderings about life and  
humankind. Her poems are witty and wonderful and profound.

       Some poets honor other poets with a poem:

                     CONSIDERING THIS PICTURE
                                         (for W. SZYMBORSKA)

                      Lovely ageless woman
                      you are holding thin
                      fire in your hand,                                       
                      muted by the partial
                      light of seventy-eight years.
                      Smoke rises above
                      a violet turned gray.
                      In that small room,
                      which Leonardo said
                      disciplines the mind,
                      an open window.
                      You smile.                                     
                      And we on the journey know.
                                             -Kathleen Gunton
                                              © 2001 FREE LUNCH                                

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Thursday, January 28th 2016


Most people are not comfortable with the word.
Though people of faith look at death differently.
Faith tells us that as our physical life comes to
an end our new (forever) life begins. It is a
profound consolation as we mourn.

On January 28, 1986, the Space Shuttle Challenger blew up,
taking the lives of its seven crew members.
We watched the disaster on television screens in our home.
Today we mourn again those brave souls who gave us
both a dream and the reality of the unknown.
God Bless them and the families they left behind.

On January 28, 1985 a quiet widow died. She had no children
but I was blessed to be her niece. I smile now as I recall
our last visit and what she told me.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

January 23, 2016


(Cursive writing)

Today in memory of John Hancock's birthdate (1737).
A call went out a few years ago to celebrate handwriting.

Have you ever received a hand-written note that could
be identified by the way someone always dropped their
words on paper? with pen or pencil?

Here is an image of something Thomas Wolfe wrote.

Visible proof on a vestibule desk that some ghost of memories
remains in that rooming house in NC.

Writers can't help but respond
to such a real presence?

So my poem handwritten. . . 

When research says that hand writing things down
can helps generate ideas believe them!

Maybe you will write to someone today, not by
text, not by email, rather with a little pressure on
a sheet of paper signed with your own John Hancock.
Know that that physical moment will be treasured
now and maybe for many years to come--emoticons
have their day and are gone but real words from an
aged hand will never be erased.

Friday, January 15, 2016

Friday, January 15, 2016


Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. was born
on this day in 1929.
Many recall his "I Have A Dream" speech.
This coming Monday (as a nation) we will
celebrate his extraordinary life.

Do you have a favorite quote that gets you through difficult moments?

Thank you Dr. King. 

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

January 13th 2016

 Your Talent As An Offering

  In today's very commercial, money-driven world 
  how many artists do you know who offer their talent 
  for love of what they do or in thanks for the gift they
  were given?


                                  THE OFFERING

On this day at the age of 37, Stephen Foster died in NYC.
He gave us many songs that have been handed down
and enjoyed. He is known as the Father of American Music.

The Irish Tenors - Beautiful Dreamer w. Lyrics

Friday, January 1, 2016

January 1st 2016

A New Year Begins

"My Lord God, 

I have no idea where I am going,
I do not see the road ahead of me, 

I cannot know
for certain where it will end."

                               -Thomas Merton
                        Thoughts in Solitude

Wishing you many blessings in 2016.