Friday, August 24, 2007

Violence, Guns, and Video Games - Grow UP, America!

This may be an unpopular view, BUT...when is our government going to stop trying to parent our children? And WHEN are parents going to start parenting so the government doesn't feel a NEED to continually be trying TO parent?!!!

This whole violent video game controversy makes about as much sense to me as gun control. Guns don't kill people...screwed up PEOPLE do. Video games ALSO don't kill people, but sick people DO. A healthy, normal person is quite capable of responsibly handling weapon ownership and certainly capable of distinguishing fantasy from reality.

I was raised around guns, my father was an avid hunter, and also liked to go the range to shoot handguns. I was taught gun safety when I was very young. It would have NEVER run across my mind to "play" with a gun. I had parents that TAUGHT me. They did not rely on the school system, my friends, and other people to be my parents or "teachers" in ANY area of learning. I knew how to read and write BEFORE I entered school. My parents...PARENTED.

Make a law outlawing guns and law abiding citizens will follow it. The criminals don't care about the law NOW, they certainly will not THEN. Criminals....will always have guns.

And on the topic of video games, as I know they are a different subject matter than the gun control argument. The Columbine shootings are always brought up here. The kids that did that were psychologically disturbed kids. I would bet my life's savings that this was a problem LONG before they picked up a video game. Their parents seemed to ignore their strange anti-social behaviors to a good degree, and obviously did not get them the mental health HELP that they NEEDED.

I have been playing video games since their initial creation and release into the "public sector." I also allowed my son to play video games. Some...were probably a bit violent. But long before he (or I) began gaming, we had parents that had taught us the difference between fantasy and reality. I knew that Santa Claus wasn't real. (People REALLY need to quit LYING to their children.) I knew that movies were made by writers and actors. MY son knew all these things as well.

I've played a vast array of video games, from Painkiller to World of Warcraft, to Counterstrike, and I have never had the inclination to go out and kill anyone. I can say the same for my now 18 year old son, who is the varsity wide receiver for his high school football team, makes good grades in school, and WORKS, as well. He is a responsible young man who ocassionally enjoys (still) a good video game.

I think what this country needs to invest in, is a law and program that legally REQUIRES parenting classes for new parents. Period. Any IDIOT can have a child with no training or knowledge whatsoever. Instead of trampling our freedoms...why not teach people to be better, well...PEOPLE? And certainly there is a DIRE need for better PARENTS.

As human beings, when are we going to start taking RESPONSIBILITY for own OWN actions and quit blaming this, that, and the other thing? Inanimate objects and media are not responsible for the ACTIONS we take....WE ARE.

GROW UP America.

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Friday, May 18, 2007

Again questioning....what happened on 9/11?

This is the FIRST account of 9/11 regarding possible government involvement that I have found to be this credible. It is full of news accounts (by major news media) that were censored from our viewing at the time of the events, and also the expert testimony of physicists and analysts we've not aforeto heard from. Please....if you are a U.S. citizen....take the time to WATCH this.

Okay, I'm not generally a "quick to jump to conspiracy theories" sort of person. I have been highly resistant to even considering the posibility up until now. I've been guilty of LAUGHING at people who considered it. I'm not laughing NOW.

True, I don't trust the U.S. Government any further than I can throw the lot of them, BUT...I've never been much on "conspiracy theory" overall. And yet I seem to see more and more accounts of things from 9/11, by people that were there, by scientists, by experts in many fields, that somehow I never saw the first time around.

Is it possible that the terrorists (if that is what we choose to believe) were able to infiltrate the buildings weeks beforehand and lay out timed explosives throughout with no one knowing? Or is it possible that, heaven forbid, this was the result of something even MORE terrible than an attack from OUTSIDE our country? I'm open to believing that anything is possible. Yet I don't come down on either side of the fence on this....not YET.

What do YOU think? 9/11 Revisited

Sunday, May 06, 2007

How Would You Answer this Alarming Political "Quiz?"


Question: Who said this?

"An evil exists that threatens every man, woman and child of this great nation,". "We must take steps to ensure our domestic security and protect our homeland."

First try answer: George W. Bush?

Sounds like a good thing! Or...does it? The use of fear and psychological terror thrust upon nations by governments during times of upheaval and need for change is called propaganda. It has been used before. (see 'fine print' below for actual answer)


The answer to the question: Adoph Hitler, writing about creation of the Gestapo in Nazi Germany.

Interesting that he also said, "It is not truth that matters, but victory." Another quote, also from Hitler, "The great masses of the people will more easily fall victims to a big lie than to a small one." Are we beginning to see the problem here, fellow citizens of the United States?

For more quotes that will raise the hair on your neck see: Adolf Hitler Quotes Not a comprehensive list, but nonetheless....quite interesting.

Here you go, try this direct quote from Mein Kampf on for size, citizens of the U.S.:

Mein Kampf by Adolf Hitler
Volume Two - A Reckoning
Chapter XV: The Right of Emergency Defense

"A shrewd victor will, if possible, always present his demands to the vanquished in installments. And then, with a nation that has lost its character -and this is the case of every one which voluntarily submits- he can be sure that it will not regard one more of these individual oppressions as an adequate reason for taking up arms again. 'The more extortions are willingly accepted in this way, the more unjustified it strikes people finally to take up the defensive against a new, apparently isolated, though constantly recurring, oppression, especially when, all in all, so much more and greater misfortune has already been borne in patient silence."

Can you say PATRIOT ACT?

Thursday, April 19, 2007

"Seven Blunders of the World" by Mahatma Gandhi

"Seven Blunders of the World" by Mahatma Gandhi: "'Seven Blunders of the World'

1. Wealth without work

2. Pleasure without conscience

3. Knowledge without character

4. Commerce without morality

5. Science without humanity

6. Worship without sacrifice

7. Politics without principle

—Mahatma Gandhi"

What incredible words of wisdom.

~image from Paradise Engineering

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

The Right to Bear Arms

" One of the greatest delusions in the world is the hope that the evils in this world are to be cured by legislation."Thomas B. Reed (1886)

I feel a sense of outrage, mixed with fear....and not fear of other citizens, but fear of a government that tends to use current events to fuel political propaganda machines.

The right to bear what price?

I have very ambivalent feelings about this. To quote an article by a conservative (yes, I know, that's a shock coming from me):

"The fact of the matter is that gun bans do not work. Period. It only emboldens criminals that obtain guns illegally smuggled from nations who broke the very treaty they signed to keep international gun trades at bay. A citizen without a weapon makes for a very happy criminal. That criminal can rob and rape without the worry of being shot or stabbed in the process. However, a lady wielding a .40 caliber Glock tends to make a potential rapist back off. The very presence of a firearm in some cases are enough to actually prevent a crime from happening. Would a robber be more afraid of a homeowner with a 12 gauge shotgun full of buckshot or more afraid of a homeowner holding a telephone dialing 911? On average it takes about 15 minutes or longer for a police officer to arrive at a home after an emergency call. That's enough time for the criminal to have raped, robbed, and killed the person inside. However, if the person inside fires off a couple dozen rounds of 9mm shells, the criminal is guaranteed to be either full of holes or far away scared and hiding. Don't tell me that gun bans are good in making crime decrease because that's the biggest lie ever told." ( Rob Hood )

The original intent of the 2nd amendment was to afford a citizen the right to defend oneself and one's family from a potentially power-hungry government. It was not meant to be an excuse for us to war amongst ourselves.

Do we trust our government? I, for one, do not. Yes, they are "elected officials." Unfortunately, I don't even trust our election process fully. I do not have great faith in the government.

However, the above statement by Mr. Hood also makes such a valid point.

I have had discussions with people both from Great Britain and Canada and they often point out to me how many LESS gun-related crimes there are in their countries. However, they almost always fail to tell me their knife-related crime ratio. They quote these low crime statistics leaving out the population differences of our countries, and also the racial differences and tensions, along with many other factors that vary greatly when holding up the U.S. to other countries.

I do not believe that "guns kill people." I believe that PEOPLE kill people.

Do I think guns are dangerous? In the wrong hands, yes....I think they are. And yet, in the wrong hands a knife is dangerous, a bat is dangerous, airplane is dangerous. The violent will find ways to be violent. The laws do not matter except to the law-abiding citizen. Criminals will always find violent means to subject their victims to their will, regardless of any established "law."

With all that has happened within the past 2 days, this is not an easy topic for me. My mind reels with all kinds of statistics. I don't love my children any less than Canadian parents, or British parents, or any OTHER parents worldwide. They are precious to me. Life is valuable beyond measure. Yet how do you enforce laws on the unlawful? Virginia Tech, gun laws capture global focus Virginia Tech, gun laws capture global focus: "The Daily Mail's headline, meanwhile, asked, 'What price the right to bear arms?'

Gun ownership is strictly regulated in Britain. The Home Office, which is in charge of public safety, said gun crime accounts for less than half a percent of all crime recorded by police, according to the Press Association.

In a special report on BBC 24 Monday evening, a commentator, Gavin Hewitt, said mass murder on school campuses had become 'part of the American landscape.' The network showed video footage of Columbine and the Amish shooting in Pennsylvania and noted that the powerful U.S. gun lobby had blocked gun restrictions that Europeans regard as simple common sense. 'Even after today's horrific tragedy, laws are unlikely to change,' Hewitt said.

Queen Elizabeth II, who is scheduled to visit Virginia next month, was 'shocked and saddened' by the killings, according to a spokesman at Buckingham Palace.

The story led Canadian news reports throughout the day. But while Canada, which has strict gun controls, has long looked askance at the proliferation of guns in the United States, no sense of superiority was expressed. Canada has had five school shootings since 1975, the latest last year when a young man shot 20 students at a junior college in Montreal, killing one."

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Matthew Shepard and "Christianity" as we know it

Picketing in Topeka, 2005Image via Wikipedia
I don't know why, but for some reason today, I thought about Matthew Shepard. I had not thought of him for some time. I suppose all of the fundamentalist garbage I've been reading online lately might have something to do with why my thoughts wandered this direction. (Matthew's funeral was on October 16, 1998. This is not "news," albeit still very revelant today.)

What sort of human beings would have an anti-gay, hate-filled protest at a young man's funeral who was viciously murdered by two men who killed him simply because they "hate fags?" What sort of human being would support such an act of callous evil?

The particular "Christians" that evoke the name of such an incredible, amazing, loving, holy man, Christ do you justify such heinous behavior? Seriously...I want to know. How are you different than the "terrorists" who seethe with hatred in their holy wars, fighting with fervor against those that would oppose them and their how, exactly, are you different?

I want to share a little something very personal about myself. I am almost embarrassed to call myself a Christian anymore. It was not always like that. I was born again at the age of 9, lived a life of devotion to Christ well into my teens. I fell away from the Lord in my late teens and became horribly addicted to drugs. At the age of 23, God reached down and touched me through a wonderful woman named Deborah Johnson. Debbie has since passed away of cancer.

Debbie was the first Christian I had ever met that loved me totally without condition, without judgment, without reserve. She told me of her love for Jesus unashamedly, and yet never, ever, condemned me, reviled me, shamed me. She glowed from within with a love I have rarely seen since, from anyone evoking the name of Christ. God's LOVE, through her, over time, changed my life.

I came back to the Church, broken, contrite, pained and humbled. I was hungry for the love that I had seen in Debbie. While she was dying of cancer....she was more full of life than anyone else that I knew. I wanted to know the source of such incredible love, peace, hope and forgiveness. I had touched it once, when I was very young, yet at the tender age of nine, I didn't understand what it meant to feel empty, void of hope, bitter, alone, abandoned and tossed away.

From the time I was very young, perhaps even as young as six years old, I had always noticed both men and women in a sensual sort of way. I thought human beings were beautiful, lovely, amazing creatures. I had tremendous faith in humanity and the goodness of God's creation. I loved...really loved...humanity. (For the pseudo-shrinks that will read this, no...I was not abused by my parents, sexually molested, raped, or emotionally starved. Some of you seem to think there must be some "reason" the GLBT community is they way they are. There is a reason...we were created as we are.)

Sometime in my early twenties, yes, before meeting Debbie even, I had come to accept that I was bisexual. I was taught that I was fearfully and wonderfully made by a God who knew my beginning and my end, and that He loved me as He MADE me. That He wanted me, that I was important to Him, and that He had not made any mistakes when He created me. I viewed/view men and women both as beautiful creations of a loving creator, meant to be appreciated and loved and enjoyed.

In my mid-twenties, after years in Church leadership, music ministry, worship team, and women's ministry, the Church had managed to "beat" out of me, all feelings of acceptance from God. I became less a miraculous creation of His, in my eyes, and the love that God had at one time given me for myself and others, began to wane. If you do not love yourself, how can you love another?

Again...feeling rejected by those I cared for and through them, rejected by my God, whom I had come to so love and trust...I eventually walked away from the Church. But I never walked away from my God. I knew His presence with me daily and I just knew deep down in the very depths of my heart, that He was not whom He was being portrayed by the Church as being.

I watched them via Exodus International, and other means, try to change people who were homosexual. I watched many deliverance sessions (for those that do not know, that is much like exorcism). I even had "deliverance ministry" and countless hours of prayer myself, in the Church's attempt to change me to conform to their image. It was wholly ineffective.

I married...twice...while active in the Church, and had a wonderful son from my first marriage. Yet part of me still ached. I did not feel I was fully whom God created me to be. Try as I might, with complete and raw honesty, to communicate this to my friends from the Church....I was unable to receive anything but correction, more attempts to "change me," and finally disgust and rejection from the people I had loved. Debbie Johnson was long gone by now, and I never truly saw what I had seen in her, in any other "Christian."

It is hard for me to see the Church as anything other than teenage children run amok in their arrogance and self-righteous loathing. Their Father has not changed. I believe He shakes His lovely head in disgust at what His children are doing to their siblings all over the world. I believe He cries over the pain His children cause each other. I believe He endlessly loves us ALL. I believe He is horrified at the things that are done in "His Name."

It is the deepest desire of my heart to always stay open to His Spirit and to listen for that still small voice within that moves me to truth, love, peace, and holiness. Yet my definitions of those words are far different than that of the fundamentalist right wing radicals that label themselves as "Christian." I do not see them behaving in ways that are Christ-like....and neither does the rest of the world. And yet, I have to believe, that it is not God we should be disappointed with, but it is His children who do not always represent His thoughts and His will.

I certainly do not feign having any special "revelation" about God. I do not profess to know really much of anything, other than what my spirit and my soul move me to believe. But again, I is THIS Christ-like? (Watch the video and tell me what you see. I would love to hear from you.)

NOTE: ( This video has been removed from YouTube, and therefore from this blog post. I left all of the previous text however, and videos of Westboro's other "projects" can still be found with a Google search.)  To be fair regarding the viewing of the horrible hate-filled actions in this video....many, many Christians did denounce this mortifying behavior by Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, KS.

I am not saying that all Christians would approve of such behavior. I am saying that although most would likely not participate in such a hateful act outwardly....they agree with many of WBC's beliefs inwardly.

Do they have a right to speak their mind? Yes. But there is a line where human decency is crossed and freedom of speech becomes a hate crime.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Life's Little Interruptions?

Sometimes when life seems to "interrupt" our painstakingly laid plans, could it be possible that there is simply a different direction in which we need to go to fulfill our highest good? I used to spend a good deal of time going forward in life kicking and screaming, figuratively. I fought change like a tiger defending her cubs. I'm not saying that I've mastered the skill of handling changes with utter grace and ease, but I have progressed. I have to remind myself sometimes, that holding on to anything too tenaciously, is perhaps more a manifestation of my insecurities that it is a display of my "commitment."

”We must be willing to let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the life that is waiting for us.”

– Joseph Campbell
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Saturday, March 31, 2007

Adjust the Sails

"To laugh is to risk appearing a fool,

To weep is to risk appearing sentimental.

To reach out to another is to risk involvement,

To expose feelings is to risk exposing your true self.

To place your ideas and dreams before a crowd is to risk their loss.

To love is to risk not being loved in return,

To live is to risk dying,

To hope is to risk despair,

To try is to risk failure.

But risks must be taken because the greatest hazard in life is to risk nothing.

The person who risks nothing, does nothing, has nothing, is nothing.

He may avoid suffering and sorrow,

But he cannot learn, feel, change, grow or live.

Chained by his servitude he is a slave who has forfeited all freedom.

Only a person who risks is free.

The pessimist complains about the wind;

The optimist expects it to change;

And the realist adjusts the sails."

~William Arthur Ward

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Too Much Information

Even the cats are goners.

I've been obsessively surfing for hours. This happens to me pretty regularly, every day. There is just too much information on the web. My brain feels like it's about to enter the beginning stages of spontaneous combustion. The worst thing about this, is I want to see it ALL. I want to learn new things and see things I haven't seen before. I want to hear every opinion, read ALL of the web logs, see all of the videos and there is just no conceivable way that will EVER happen.
We're in an age of information overload. And that's another thing....some of what I read is fact, some is fiction, some is fiction disguised as fact. I cannot possibly rightly discern all of it.

Now this sounds like a mentally stressful dilemma, but I'm finding that it's more addictive than stressful. However, this may cause some stress when I don't cook, or the dishes pile to the ceiling, or my mother doesn't hear from me for a month.

I don't know whether it's good or bad, but my partner is also glued to the internet. I remember my parents being glued to the television, and I thought that was so lame when I was a kid. They would sit and watch that screen endlessly, as the world poured in pre-scripted rubbish and I thought their minds must be turning to jelly. I saw it as such a passive thing, allowing information and entertainment to be thrust at you, with no opportunity for you to have a second side to the conversation. Heh.....there WAS NO conversation.

Now with all the interactivity of the web, I have the opposite problem. Between assorted forums, web log comment logs, blogs, vlogs, twitters, MMOs, gaming communities, photo sharing sites, instant messengers, social bookmarking, etc., etc., etc., ad infinitum, I have way too MUCH interactivity. There is no way to "do it all," and you're left feeling like you just MIGHT be missing out on something that is going on somewhere.

I surmise that a person with attention deficit disorder might THRIVE in such an environment. Well, either that, or they'd go completely and irrevocably insane. I probably fall into the ADD catergory AND the teetering on the brink of insanity one, at any given point.

So what is a person to do with this much information, misinformation, and communication as close as their fingertips?

I'll be honest with you. I'm not so sure that the internet is making addicts as much as it is attracting those that already have addictive and/or obsessive compulsive natures. I, for one, have some pretty obvious psychiatric diagnoses that would lend themselves to web-entrapment for SURE. And while I don't want to just be making weak excuses....there are far worse things I could be doing with my time that would be more detrimental to myself and my family.

So, alright....this topic has been re-hashed forever and ever. I've no interest in the debate about it really, other than the question I personally have and that is; how can I get over the feeling that if I'm NOT online....I'm missing something? Because the fact of the matter is....I AM missing something! There is new information being made available every second. And I just KNOW that I'm going to be the last person to hear about it, read about it, chat about it, blog about it.....


Oh nevermind....I'll just go take my prescribed psychiatric therapeutic meds and carry on.

~image from

Monday, March 26, 2007

No, seriously....

I never intended for this blog to be all serious and shit. So far, I'm looking back on my past posts and thinking....oh my's too deep. Well, life does have it's deep moments (blinks, as I call them), but you know what? A lot of life is just pretty damn funny too!

I have another blog, of sorts, that probably has, up to this point, reflected my laughing-self better than this one. I would love it if you'd visit me there! You can find it here at StumbleUpon.

However, just so you know, I'm going to try to interject the same lightness of being into this blog. I have just been investing more of my time "over there." So, bear with me through my budding blogger growth, and know that I'm just a baby blogger coming into her own. As with everything else in life....there is nothing that is changeless except change itself. And oh yes, there is always plenty of that.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Spiritual Journey

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace,
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy;

O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love.

For it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.

~St. Francis of Assisi

And from where I have come pretty much boils down to this. This is what the journey so far has left me with regarding faith and spirituality.

I said in my last post, that I had been through an interesting journey so far in my life. Well all of the spiritual searching ultimately led to something more simple than what I thought it might be. I came to the crazy conclusion that yes, I am a believer, but I don't believe that "God" (by whatever name you call him/her) wants us to fight amongst ourselves sowing hatred and unforgiveness, self-righteous judgement, and all kinds of cruelty. I believe He/She wants us to have the simple faith and love of a little that has been unstained by the cynicism and hate of the world.

I can't think of a prayer that more reflects what I believe our Higher Power WANTS us to pray for, long for, and strive to see fulfilled, yet trusting Him/Her to make it REAL within our hearts. Even if we don't feel everything we ask for.....this is what serves the world best.....and we will be given the purest desires when we ask for them. If the people of the world could align themselves with THIS prayer, this petition unto their Higher on this planet and beyond, would be a more beautiful thing.

Of course, this is only my opinion. We are all entitled, by our God-given right to free will, to formulate our own opinions. Funny though, He/She seems to reserve the right to CHANGE our opinions with growth and experience. I pray that my heart will be open and full of light to see where I'm being divinely led.

--Image courtesy AFP and

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Simplicity and Survival

Today as I sat at my computer, I was plagued with something that was either depressing or motivating, or maybe a little bit of both. I really want to leave this world having contributed something memorable. I want to leave an imprint on the lives that I have touched....something impacting for good....something that will affect people in a lasting, warm, and loving way.

If I was to make that statement to someone that knows me well, say my family, or close friends, they would say, "Lori, you've already done that. You have a wonderful son...." and I DO! "You have a beautiful family that loves you, and you have done so many unique and unusual things. You've had an interesting and adventurous life." And I HAVE! However.....from the time I was maybe 12 years old, I have always wanted to write. I don't create and leave something somehow tangible, something that stirs others' hearts and minds. It seems very important to me. The dilemma is....I have no earthly idea how to do that or where to begin.

So I sit and blink, my empty blog posting page, wondering what I have to contribute to this online world of which I am a part. And with all of the life experiences I have had, with the talents that I have for communication and the love that I have for writing, I STILL cannot seem to compose a cohesive plan for how to accomplish this one important goal of mine.

There are so many many blogs. The personal/diary type blogs are so ridiculously numerous and they are probably the least read of all blogs. And yet if you have something to share that others can embrace and relate to, they can be so very vital to SOMEONE who reads them, even if only one person.

My sixth grade teacher was a marvelous woman. I remember her telling our class that you should write about something that you know well. You'd think at the age of 43, I would surely know SOMETHING well. I have to chuckle at the notion that her advice seems less helpful today than it was when I was younger and thought I knew a lot about many things. It seems the older I get, the less confident I am that I know much of anything. I'm more in tune with the truth that all of life is a classroom and that we are endlessly learning, and the older I get, the more quick I am to proclaim my lack of knowledge!

So what do I have to share? I haven't actively written in a long time. I used to write poetry, some of which was published in an American anthology. I used to write music and play acoustic guitar and had such a passion for that. Over the years of raising my son and working, that too faded into a blurry and now distant past. It seems that somehow over the past 20 years, I I'm not too sure of who I am anymore. I am unsure of my talents, my joys, my ideas. I feel so tentative and timid. Yet I know that deep inside....I am still there.

Perhaps the most vital thing that I have to share is the story of how I survived the many "adventures," as my mother kindly calls them, of my life. I think using the word "adventures" is probably my family's way of dealing with the myriad of foolish things I have done. Because looking back....they seem more like a symphony of tragedies and miracles than an "adventure." I have survived meth addiction, abusive relationships, mental illness, two failed marriages, assorted spiritual confusions and commitments, including being a vegetarian "enlightened" by metaphysics, a born again fundamentalist Southern Baptist "enlightened" by fear, a holy roller charismatic Christian devotee to evangelism and the gifts of the Holy Spirit enlightened by "deliverance" from drug addiction and hopelessness, to where I am now, which really doesn't resemble ANY of those things much.

I have done a lot of seeking, both spiritually and intellectually. The "conclusion" that I came to is that life is most enjoyed in simplicity, and that I, personally, have a tendency to complicate things for myself.....such as the simple procedure of blogging. :D

And speaking of "conclusions"....I will conclude this entry with one statement. One of the core elements of deep peace and joy is simplicity. In seeking joy, happiness, peace of mind and heart, success, and love.....I think often what we lack might well be just that....simplicity.

At the moment, I simply need some sleep! So with that I will end this entry and look forward to the next.

Happy Journeys,