Archive for the ‘Florence’s Take’ Category

Who Cut The Cheese?

September 6, 2012

As we were checking out at Trader Joe’s, the tall, tropical-shirted guy at the register eyed our basket and asked, “So, what have you got planned for this evening?”

To which I replied, “Oh, not much. Gonna stay in and watch the Democratic Convention.”

After a deadpan couple of beats, he said, “Well, with all that cheese, I thought you were gonna have a party or something!”

Taken aback by any employee, of any market, commenting on the food I’m purchasing, I found myself looking down at  the 3 little boxes of Boursin, as I countered, “Well it goes with celery.”

‘What?’ said a voice in my head. ‘What?!’

And just in case he was of the other political persuasion, who’d already had their convention the week prior, and wanting to keep my own political preferences private, I added, “I believe if you watch one convention, you should watch both.”


Which got a big, “That’s the way to go!” from him.

On the way out of the store, I felt discombobulated; wondering what the heck that was all about and wishing I hadn’t gotten a case of the ‘have to reply’ blah blahs.

At home, I thought about the encounter, the energy, the intrusion, the political insertion.


I buy that cheese there because it’s less expensive than at other markets and even beats Costco’s price because I can get 3 of the original kind instead of the variety Costco 3 pack.

And it keeps nicely and does go well with celery and crackers and makes a tasty stuffing for chicken cutlets and livens our healthy snacking.

Why did I feel like I had to justify my food purchases to an imperfect stranger?

“And what was with the politics?” I asked myself out loud in the shower later that night.

I guffawed out loud under the waterfall as it came to me, like the scene from the movie, “Bruce Almighty.” where the lead, played by Jim Carrey, is down on his hands and knees in the middle of the road on a dark and rainy night; railing at God to send him a sign; while a department of transportation truck full of Stop, Yield and Slow signs goes right by him unnoticed….

Another universal joke….cheese and politics.


Of course they go together, however oddly as it may happen…lighten up; let’s face it…anyway you slice it,

Political parties are cheesy!


My beloved quips, “Shoulda told that guy, we were part of the Wisconsin delegation!”

Now I have visions of big yellow wedge shaped hats…..which proves my point.


The Gratitude Pool

July 20, 2012

I’m grateful tonite to dabble my toes in the G Pool.

Appreciation of so many ‘little’ things catch my mind’s eye and meander through my consciousness:

Cooler temps for sleeping; a comfy bed with soft oomphy squooshy pillows that support my neck; cool, clean sheets and a soft comforter to burrow beneath like a bear hibernation;

A safe roof over our heads; enough to eat; enough to pay the bills and enough to go to a movie.

I’m grateful for the creative teams who make good movies like “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel,” which has characters and lines that stay in one’s heart and funny bone;

Eyesight which allows us to see and enjoy the fruits of last year’s planting labors;

Awe as dahlias bloom monster mop heads of riotous color in our garden;

Ears to hear crows who caw-caw us awake to the sound of their cleaning our rain gutters for us;

Bright blue stellar jays and songbirds and hummingbirds visiting with a host of many colored butterflies.

This morning when I awoke and breathed in the gratitude for another day, my next thought was, “It smells like summer; like childhood on a good day.”

I’m still smiling.

Thought For The Day

June 15, 2012

The question is often asked, “What can I, one person, do to make a positive difference in the world?”

An answer might be, regardless of means or physical ability, differences or geographics, we each are empowered with choices to think a kind thought, change a negative or judgmental thought to a positive one about persons, places and experiences and opt for a thought of compassion or gratitude.  It only takes a moment and can be done from anywhere; anytime.

The energy riding on your thoughts goes out into the world to build positive or negative for all people and our planet.

We may not see the results yet, as surely as you are sitting and reading these words, you make a difference.

It takes courage to speak for those who cannot and but a nanosecond for any of us to become voiceless or feel hopeless.

Thankfully, it is good to know that somewhere some dear empowered kind hearted soul is sustaining us with kind thoughts and words; winging uplifting energy our way…..and that dear, courageous person who makes such a positive difference in the world is YOU!

Thank you.

M. I…. Oy Vay!

June 8, 2011

I used to miss getting postcards

Next I  missed getting letters

Then I missed getting phone calls

Now I miss getting E-Mails

Down to texting,  and I find myself old enough to now miss half of the alphabet

Branching Out

March 17, 2009

It is said that we are all one; a part of one another; unique, individual yet the same; like limbs of a tree.

Pondering this thought over the years has taken many twists and turns as with each life experience, I’ve faced gnarls and windbends, whorls and snapping breaks of the branches of my own tree.

It never ceases to amaze me how varied human leaves look, sound, act, react or cease in the storms that this tree of life weathers.

Bending in sweetness to birdsong as a winged one alights in softness on a sturdy shoulder; swinging low with bountiful harvest of luscious ripening of the seasons, holding fast in the face of fierce storms, arms held akimbo reaching for light in the darkness and growing into fantastical shapes with aching, arching of years of survival in all life’s gales and gasps show the simplicity and intricacy of patterning on which one comes to depend for framework. A how-the-world-should-look-and-be in what is named normalcy.

Yet where one might suspect sapling flexibility there may arise oaken solidity unbending; fertile fruit bearing females may fail, male monoliths may moss, and where willows weeping-wend low they may wildly wail warning and warring while weathering the world.

How can it be that if we are all indeed one, there is such diversity, intensity and perversity on the tree of life?

One is tempted to be lulled into a false sense of illusion that leads to expectations of drops of kindness falling gently on leaves being met with kindness of receiving; joy shining in sunshine returning bright, reflective joy; compassion greeted green with whispering breezes empathetically enfolding and satin sadness shaded by the underside of understanding of silver soft leaves.

It is not always so, this vision of how things which seem to have always been will always be.

Therefore questions crop up as behaviors metamorphosis in conditions of global warming, economic explosions and scorched earth wars wreak havoc on the roots of our foresty home. 

Chaos of color collapses into challenge to change beyond accustomed seasonal sensations.

Where green at its worst, was envy, it is now greed. Riotous Autumnal ruby reds are flames of fury; buttery yellows of golden years turn into fears for future and burnt browns and siennas represent shades of balefulness.

How can our roots hold fast while limbs have been arched in agony, twisted beyond recognition and broken in breach of faith while the trunk of our tree of life is interminably tested?

Can we, arms of this essential elm, embrace each other and weave together a tapestry of stronger support so that we all may live long and well enough to see other bebranched beeches benefit; palms together play; willows whisper wonder and gingkos give the gold of memory for hickory heirs yet to spring forth?

Will we want to wake up enough to branch out in saner directions; to bring our best to the borrowed time in which we’ find our firred and furrowed forest and are we willing to look deeply inside the bark of ourselves to become aware of and acknowledge our shortcomings and see the lunatic in limbs gone gaga?

Can we manifest peace and perfection without courage for a good look at our family tree and, in the middle of madness all around us, when found to be outrageously out of control; whacked out in our own wilder-ness, can we honestly own our own behavior, see our common roots in “out of my tree’ behaviors and answer, without shame or blame, with perhaps a shower of light, the tree trimming question, “From what branch of the Crazy Tree did you fall?”

WTF Next?

March 10, 2007

by Florence Ondré

First it was Pluto not being a planet any more and now it’s screwing with time.

Are these the latest stupid human tricks or can we not find something larger to do with our shpielkes?

Can’t that overactive energy be channeled into something more beneficial like creating a better education system which truly motivates organic skills and talents beyond rote and is available for all children in this country?

Can man be still for one moment and appreciate what is without having to jiggle their legs up and down like a plugged in electrical dandling machine going no where fast?

We’ve all seen people sitting down; one leg still moving up and down like a racing engine idling in neutral. Why not go further with that available energy? Better than windmills, what about recycling the idea of people standing at their desks on treadmills? Why hasn’t our government or think tanks thought about hooking them up to power generators? That alone could have corporations making their own power and helping us out with our energy crunches. Of course there’d have to be a little something-something extra in the paycheck or as corporations often do in lieu, a new title might have to be bestowed. Now, that is green usage of alternative energy sources.
But then there would be the tangles of how to market, outsource, monitor and manage the whole ferschlugginer thing. After all waste is a terrible thing to mind.

Is it just me or could our energy and time be put to better use?

Wouldn’t you rather see a cure for cancer, AIDS or a multitude of other diseases which have had people waiting years and lifetimes for a glimpse of help from science and scientists?

Bending time to suit a few humans; downgrading age old planets, yeah, that’s where I want my tax dollars to go for research and lawmaking. Yup. That’s where I want my representatives in government to focus.

Forget trivial things like top quality healthcare, and housing for everyone. Let’s get Congress to declare more paid holidays so we can enjoy that extra daylight they’ve just rearranged for us. War? Well, hey, there’s more daylight to see your enemy in. Oil gouging? Wait a sec. There’ll be less energy usage because you won’t have to put the lights on in your house as much, even though the same amount of SUV’s and trucks will be guzzling gas, lining pockets of oil robber barons and fuming up the atmosphere. Safety on those highways and byways? Material for plugging up the potholes in our roads? Sorry. No new research or materials there. We’re busy with the business of tinkering with time.

Don’t get me wrong. I can certainly smile at humans shifting the light to give everyone more of that commodity. Who of us couldn’t use more light in our lives? I can hear Angels laughing as we “lighten up.”

I do have concerns though.

Halloween is gonna be all messed up. There won’t be enough dark for the trick or treaters now that Congress has put this massive effort and funding into moving minutes around like tiles on a game board. You know how woosie it is to dress up like a vampire with the sun still shining.

I’d just like to see all that energy, science and funding go toward creating peace on this planet one day soon…that is IF Earth still is a planet.

You never do know…..tick tick tick.

The Gratitude Pool: Taking The Plunge or Being Submerged

February 18, 2007

by Florence Ondré

The challenge to find a grain of gratitude in the middle of your own personal besetting of travails is daunting and yet doable.

Sitting down to write at least one thing I can find in which to be grateful is a snap on the good days and at times when I take a rare glimpse at the nightly newscast. It’s no biggy to feel grateful for the roof over your head and heat in your home while you see so many without one or the other in the middle of subzero temps and blizzards.

Sure, in the face of cataclysms which dwarf your own ills, it’s a hell of a lot easier to get perspective and toss in the towel of temptation to dismiss your own troubles as smaller or no thing to whine about. “Look, at least I have a (more…)

Rose Petals and Rust

February 1, 2007

by Florence Ondré

In reading over Esther Warner Dendel’s words, “It takes a certain maturity of mind to accept that nature works as steadily in rust as in rose petals,” it occurs to me that while my mind, which is hooked up to that portion of my training as a human being in this lifetime that tells me that I must be doing something every minute of the day, has a tug of war with the muscles of my body which are saying, “Stay still. Be quiet. Do no thing.”

When things are not seeming to go fast enough for my satisfaction, these are wonderful words which remind me that nature/spirit has a plan and ways of bringing everything to a divine order and fruition. Everything really is in its own right place and right time.

It really is a maturity stage to arrive at and linger upon; loving as much the rust forming and the rose petals unfolding.

It is in the eye of the beholder and the mind of maturation where the loveliness of both can say, “Ahhhhhhh!”

As I sit back and take a breather, I find that I don’t mind this process at all.

Daring? Do!

January 6, 2007

by Florence Ondré

When Thomas Paine said, “He who dares not offend cannot be honest,” you could be shot for opening your mouth and laying your truth on the line.

Today, you can just be shot down by people who either don’t get what you’re saying or can’t hear and go selectively deaf when you describe your experience.

Different still gets a whack on the head and sometimes by your nearest and dearest. (more…)

“Brighter Day” by Florence Ondré

October 26, 2006

“If I look for the brighter day, I may miss the rays of light which peek out around me in the seeming darkness of this moment. Where there is dark there is light. Therefore I may as well be still where I am and breathe what peace; what good there is here in perceived gloom. Who knows what lesson, blessing, brighter day is present in the now?”
Florence Ondré, writer, poet, singer song writer, photographer

I’ve come to realize that my challenge is to be content where I am; to remember that all things pass in the energy of change; to not miss anything that is happening right now.
I forget that because many experiences are chafing, uncomfortable or distasteful. Yet there is the Rumi saying, “If you are irritated by every rub, how will you be polished?”
Finding my brighter day each day is my inner work because I do know I’m a work of art in progress; that angel in the marble Michelangelo talked about. We all are.
Most of my life when there was pain (and there was plenty of it) I looked to a brighter day. I was told there would be one coming. There always was – even though the time in getting here varied in length, breadth and texture.
The practice of that looking forward widened a river of hope running through me.
Today, I want to fine tune that way of being in the world; always looking, with smile on my face, for some bright to appear – hopefully soon.
The last time I spoke of the latest travail which seemed to be lingering overlong on my timeline, a friend listened patiently and gently. After I ended the saga with my positive spin of, “But I know there’s a brighter day coming,” she asked me a quiet question, “What do you really want and when?”
I was a little taken by surprise and had too stop and think deeper than usual; let the question sink down through my head and heart to my gut.
Taking a deep breath as I felt the question journey within, on the exhale, I knew what my real goal was and that I wanted highest good for myself and others- and I wanted it ‘now!’ Not sooner or later – now – right now!
Old-tape feelings of ‘how selfish and demanding are you, you instant gratification child?’ popped in my brain. I acknowledged them, said,’thanks for visiting. you may leave now. Go into light to become more light’ and realized how silent and invisible these little snippets of preconditioning are; still hanging around, blocking my view.
Realization flooded me. If I had the components of seeking, seeing and summoning, the energy to create within me, why shouldn’t I just shift my wording and wanting into present tense?
I’d read about affirming your good in the now. Not simply saying the words, ‘thanks for my highest good now,’ but really feeling my good evolving as I think of it.
It stood to reason that, if ‘our words are our wands,’ ‘what we conceive, we can achieve,’ and ‘I can’t recognize a stranger,’ then the bright day is already here manifesting.
The only matter yet to consider is when I sense it.
Rumi also said, “When you do things from your soul, you feel a river moving in you; a joy.”
The form is formed now and it is me who is catching up to it.
It is said that in thinking what you want, putting your desire out into the Universe in partnership, trusting that all is well and better than you can imagine at any given moment, manifestation time of our highest good is getting shorter every day.
It’s not a matter of it ‘coming.’
My brighter day is here in the now. As soon as I can recognize it.

As Victor Hugo wrote, “Be like the bird, who halting in his flight / On limb too slight, / Feels it give way beneath him, yet sings / Knowing he has wings.”
…and so it is.

Morning Of The Macadamians

October 20, 2006

Florence Ondré

Last night when I went to bed, I didn’t know if we’d wake up to nuclear war or not wake up at all.
I shrugged and thought, as I performed my evening ablutions, “Well, if we’re facing a boatload of nuclear substances sailing into wackadoo North Korea, it really doesn’t matter if I shave my legs.”
I usually don’t listen to news at night (don’t want to have freakazoidmares) but last night the tube was on at 1 A.M. and I caught the drift of the ‘breaking story’ wherein a very stone faced reporter intoned the impending doom of a ship carrying possible nuclear stuff heading into North Korea. This, following that country’s July test-firing a barrage of missiles and performing a nuclear explosion on October 9th, 2006.
Ah, the stuff of dreams, eh?
I’d heard the news this week of the chief North Korean Walnut refusing to be part of peace talks; ranting threats to the Imperialists (they don’t call that, U.S., for nothing) like a bully in the international schoolyard, “If you put financial sanctions against us, we’re gonna blow you up…” (Notice there’s no thought that the radiation cloud blows right back onto your own people.)
There’s a tired variation on the old, ‘I’m taking my ball home if you don’t play my way.’ We’ve heard untold slants on that theme so often that we’re like weary elders sighing and saying, “You get a time out.” Then we go to bed thinking, ‘Hey, if you’re gonna be a brat, you’re gonna be one. Zap. Poof. There goes your allowance until you quit it.”
And bingo! I do wake up this morning. There still is a world and, lo and behold, President Peanut says, he’s sorry. He’ll talk nicely now. Did his honorable Mother China wash his mouth out with soap? Or was it venerable Father China taking away his spending money so he won’t go out and throw it away on weed or weapons of mass myopathy?
Geepers! If I had a nickel for every time a big bag of wind farts in public, I’d be able to fund safe housing, medical treatment, education and art for the entire world!
Which brings me to our own homegrown Main Macadamian, who I read in the headlines (which are more arselines, due to lack of cerebral portion of the anatomy engagement) announcing that he’s campaigning for ALL his minions of Cashew candidates; including the outed, perverted, pedophile Pecans, to get re-elected to office. (Yeah, that’s what we want. Years more of bad boy B.S.)
Are you as tired of this ignorance and arrogance posturing as leadership as I am?
The assorted salty snacks of in-flight meals are cha-cha-ing out of the can and the cracker factory doors are open wide.
I’m weary just thinking about how much energy it takes to be, or behold, an unsalted schmuck.

I’ll probably have to shave my legs now.
There might be a tomorrow.

The Gratitude Pool: Creativity and Human Spirit

October 19, 2006

Florence Ondré

I’m so grateful for the creativity and warm spirit of people around our planet.
In a world which looks so out of control and violent, it’s a challenge to see things otherwise.
The nightly news, broadcasting it’s steady stream of 90 per cent tragedy and 10 per cent (I’m being generous here) positive, uplifting and good, can obscure a greater, less visible or widely reported, reality.
I believe that Anne Frank was accurate. On my most challenging days, in my heart (and there are those days where I have to dig deep), I too believe that all people are good in theirs.
The Free Hugs Campaign, which started with one man- Juan Mann to be specific- in Sydney, Australia. Standing solo in a public place, holding a cardboard sign which announced hugs were available for no fee; no limit, for anyone who wanted one, this lone person started a rash of good energy that spread faster than calamitous contagion around the world.
Now this kind of epidemic we can live with.
Who among us couldn’t use a hug? Just a minute of a Mom-patting, ah-babying, yes-you-are-good, atta-boy, good job, keep on keeping on, good-to-see-you experience of human connection can make you smile, take the world less seriously and send you on your way a bit lighter and happier. Certainly makes my work day go more smoothly.
It’s a gesture of loving energy that anyone can give or receive. Remember the last time you had a disagreement with someone. Didn’t it feel good to make up and have a hug? Just look at dogs. They wag their whole bodies in happiness from receiving a hug.
Hugs for free? Given by a person you don’t know? Wow. A little scary. Might take a moment to let go of distrust and avail yourself of a happy second where two strangers can share a moment like friends. Radical stuff. Chancey. Dicey.
Authorities in Australia had initial doubt about the legality of such a concept.
“Stop that folderol right now, you uniquers!”
The ministry of silly stuff should have been called. “Yup. It’s giggle producing. Here’s your permit.”
It did take the populace banding together, inking 10,000 plus pro hugging signatures to get an official stamp of approval.
Good non violent speaking up and out people. Patience and persistance. Even hugs are a process.
Might have to take down those walls we’ve built up to insulate us from each other. Might have to experience life from a kid point of view.
I’m not saying go hug people in dark alleys. It’s good to be self caring and discerning. We’re talking mall, streets, public areas, daylight.
Take a look at the videos from the many countries where people emulated Juan Mann. Become aware of how you feel looking at all those joy filled people giving and receiving hugs.
I couldn’t stop smiling as I got to share the good contagious energy of hugs in Moscow, Barcelona, Venezuela, Victoria B.C., Kiev, Portugal, Tel Aviv, Mexico, and America. I laughed watching the experiences of tentativeness turn into joy and unity.
It was contagious and I hadn’t even left my chair.
I wanted to get up and go out with my own hand made Free Hugs sign.
Maybe that would be a good way to celebrate holidays, everydays. Talk about your joy to the world. For free yet, already!
With a little creativity and spirit, look what can travel around the globe; making people feel united, peacefilled, elated with natural happiness.
The simplicity of a human act…a hug.
Thanks Juan. Thanks all you good hearted people of all ages, sizes, nationalities, beliefs who dared to be the best human you can be; who dared to smile, to experience peace and a moment of gladness…those who dared to hug.
You inspire us.

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