A Holistic Harvest on Keuka Lake!

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“Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves.”

John Muir

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“No synonym for God is so perfect as Beauty. Whether as seen carving the lines of the mountains with glaciers, or gathering matter into stars, or planning the movements of water, or gardening – still all is Beauty!”

John Muir

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“Everything is flowing — going somewhere, animals and so-called lifeless rocks as well as water. Thus the snow flows fast or slow in grand beauty-making glaciers and avalanches; the air in majestic floods carrying minerals, plant leaves, seeds, spores, with streams of music and fragrance; water streams carrying rocks… While the stars go streaming through space pulsed on and on forever like blood…in Nature’s warm heart.”

John Muir

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“One is constantly reminded of the infinite lavishness and fertility of Nature — inexhaustible abundance amid what seems enormous waste. And yet when we look into any of her operations that lie within reach of our minds, we learn that no particle of her material is wasted or worn out. It is eternally flowing from use to use, beauty to yet higher beauty; and we soon cease to lament waste and death, and rather rejoice and exult in the imperishable, unspendable wealth of the universe, and faithfully watch and wait the reappearance of everything that melts and fades and dies about us, feeling sure that its next appearance will be better and more beautiful than the last.”

John Muir

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“How little note is taken of the deeds of Nature! What paper publishes her reports? …. Who publishes the sheet-music of the winds, or the written music of water written in river-lines? Who reports and works and ways of the clouds, those wondrous creations coming into being every day like freshly upheaved mountains? And what record is kept of Nature’s colors – – the clothes she wears – of her birds, her beasts – her live-stock?”

John Muir

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“Nature is always lovely, invincible, glad, whatever is done and suffered by her creatures. All scars she heals, whether in rocks or water or sky or hearts.”

John Muir

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“When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe.”

John Muir

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“Amos the Bordeaux Mastiff descendant of Turner and Hooch (aka Beasely).”

Thank you Paul and Sharon Kayes!

http://www.bighousebordeaux.com/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turner_%26_Hooch

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©Loriginal Designs

©John Muir

©bighousebordeaux.com

©Turner and Hooch

Special thanks to Paul and Sharon Kayes and meeting Amos the Bordeaux Mastiff!

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The Ocean’s Depths

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As some of you may know, my Father, John V. Marchell, was also a writer. In the following song verses that I wrote to a piano piece I composed, his writings are used as the chorus for the song. Collaboration with our loved ones wherever they are is essential for us to unify in Spirit, Love and in Truth. It is our calling, duty and responsibility to end this holocaust towards the very earth and all her creatures which were given us as a gift to love, honor and nurture in Mother Earth’s ceaseless giving back of herself with all of her resources. It is time for us to give great gratitude by giving back to Gaia.

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The Ocean’s Depths

Beneath the abundant waters, there lies an inner strength,

For all of life regurgitates its inability for breath.

Corporate greed and power trample innocence, as born and unborn was ashore,

Oxygen and hydrogen’s purity are tainted, as Belezugh’s holocaust roars.

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Chorus

Let there be a world to see, let it be of inspiration.

Let there be a world to see, let it be of God’s creation.

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White sandy beaches with turquoise to indigo waters flow,

Sounds of children laughing, as birds soar in the wind and fly so ever low.

Sandcastles built along the coastline retain the putrid-smelling oil in their motes,

Fishermen haul in their cast-out nets containing lifeless fish into their boats.

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Chorus

Let there be a world to see, let it be of inspiration.

Let there be a world to see, let it be of God’s creation.

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The gift of life is given us to do with what we will,

In God We Trust are words of honor written on our currency bill.

There is still time to wash away all corruption from the past,

Through gratitude, love and mercy, the possibilities are vast.

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Chorus

Let there be a world to see, let it be of inspiration.

Let there be a world to see, let it be of God’s creation.

©Copyright Lori D. Marchell Carlsen and John V. Marchell

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“…Anyone among you who aspires to greatness must serve the rest.” Matthew 20:26

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“I don’t think of all the misery, but of all the beauty that still remains.” Anne Frank

Children’s Shimmering Waterfall Art Lessons

Since I enjoy painting on material with acrylic paint and then quilting it into a wall hanging, I thought it would be a fun project for Nandhana and Sanjana to do!  They both have their own style and really did a terrific job!  We used a photograph from Taughannock Falls State Park.  They admired the wall hanging below that I did and asked if they could make one, too!

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Pictured below are the young budding artists at work painting in the basement with the material taped down on a hard board.  Once their paintings were completed, I sewed the quilting in and backed them into wall hangings and added some shimmer, sequins and glitter!  These will look lovely displayed in their new home!

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A short video of the girls in their painting process is linked below!

Painting Art Lessons Video

And of course, we must have visiting time with Jaco Kitty!

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These young ladies are very talented and Nandanah plays the violin and takes piano lessons from me as well!  Below is a final photo of these two little angels all dressed up!  See Grandma Marge’s PINK Orb in the photo above Sanjana?  She’s always flying!

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Piano Lessons with Jaco Kitty (excerpt)

Chert Dog’s Greatest Gift:  Quantum Leaps of Faith

So if you recall, I have five digits on all four paws, with actual thumbs on my front paws which makes for excellent piano playing abilities!  We have composed my original song utilizing a triad chord which I can play easily along with Lori playing the melody.  I have yet to crawl inside the piano and choose best to either sit on the bench or underneath as going inside doesn’t interest me at all!

I have been so very blessed with the piano students who arrive for lessons as they first want to visit with me, as I seem to be part of the attraction for the children!  Because they are so free-spirited, they understand my contemplative nature and wish to share their love with me!  The children teach me so much about creativity and living in the moment as well as their inspiring imagination.  With my Zen practices and studying of the Chakra Energy Centers, I see the importance of music in opening-up each colorful Chakra through the note vibration with which each resonates..  There are many deeper levels to what things appear to be on the surface.  It fascinates me to continually be learning new pieces to this puzzle of life, for when you begin to connect each unique item, things begin to fit into place (no pun intended)!  Yet, there seems to always be an element of surprise in that knowing what the next step is which can conjure up old thought and belief systems which no longer serve you, the Universe or the highest and best for all concerned.  That is where that quantum leap of faith comes into play again.  By praying for discernment in all things and allowing the highest vibration of love to be your intention, you know that you are being supported in stretching, reaching and growing.

“Some people think that as soon as you plant a tree, it must bear fruit.  We must allow it to grow a bit.”  Prince Tunku Putra Adbul Rahman

Wonderment at Watkins Glen State Park

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“We know that God is everywhere; but certainly we feel His presence most when His works are on the grandest scale spread before us; and it is in the unclouded night-sky, where His worlds wheel their silent course, that we read clearest His infinitude, His omnipotence, His omnipresence.”

Charlotte Bronte

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“I avoid looking forward or backward, and try to keep looking upward.”

Charlotte Bronte

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“You know full well as I do the value of sisters’ affections: There is nothing like it in the world.”

Charlotte Bronte

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“I am no bird; and no net ensnares me: I am a free human being with an independent will.”

Charlotte Bronte

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“Life is so constructed that an event does not, cannot, will not, match the expectation.”

Charlotte Bronte

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“I believe in some blending of hope and sunshine sweetening the worst lots. I believe that this life is not all; neither the beginning nor the end. I believe while I tremble; I trust while I weep.”

Charlotte Bronte

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“Better to be without logic than without feeling.”

Charlotte Bronte

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“Cheerfulness, it would appear, is a matter which depends fully as much on the state of things within, as on the state of things without and around us.”

Charlotte Bronte

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“Men judge us by the success of our efforts. God looks at the efforts themselves.”

Charlotte Bronte

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“If you are cast in a different mold to the majority, it is no merit of yours; nature did it.”

Charlotte Bronte

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“But this I know; the writer who possesses the creative gift owns something of which he is not always master — something that at times strangely wills and works for itself. If the result be attractive, the World will praise you, who little deserve praise; if it be repulsive, the same World will blame you, who almost as little deserve blame.”

Charlotte Bronte

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“To see and know the worst is to take from

fear her main advantage.”

Charlotte Bronte

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“The writer who possesses the creative gift owns something of which he is not always master- something that at time strangely wills and works for itself.”

Charlotte Bronte

*

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“Novelists should never allow themselves to weary of the study of real life.”

Charlotte Bronte

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“I would always rather be happy than dignified.”

Charlotte Bronte

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“Crying does not indicate that you are weak. Since birth, it has always been a sign that you are alive!”

Charlotte Bronte

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“I would always rather be happy than dignified.”

Charlotte Bronte

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“Enjoy the blessings Heaven bestows, Assist his friends, forgive his foes; Trust God, and keep his statutes still, Upright and firm, through good and ill; Thankful for all that God has given, Fixing his firmest hopes on heaven; Knowing that earthly joys decay, But hoping through the darkest day.”

Charlotte Bronte

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“Prayer is not asking. It is a longing of the soul. It is daily admission of one’s weakness. It is better in prayer to have a heart without words than words without a heart.” is not asking. It is a longing of the soul. It is daily admission of one’s weakness. It is better in prayer to have a heart without words than words without a heart.”

Charlotte Bronte

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©Loriginal Designs

©Charlotte Bronte

*Photograph of me taken by Lisa Lash

My Near Death Journey

My life came to a startling halt when a large truck smashed into the driver’s side of my small car. The impact crunched my vehicle like aluminum foil. The initial force thrust my seat to the passenger’s side of the vehicle. Rescue workers used the jaws-of-life to extract me from the wreckage. Notified of the accident, my husband sped wildly to the hospital.

The accident resulted in extensive swelling to the left side of my brain, broken ribs and a collapsed lung, and lower back injuries. Being in good physical condition at the time of the accident, I was spared internal injuries.

The doctors stated to family that if I did not regain consciousness and the brain’s swelling continued, they would have to operate to relieve the pressure. Brain damage or neurological impairments were possible.

Family remained at my bedside, hoping that I would regain consciousness. While friends and family prayed for me, my spirit traveled to a vividly colorful yet familiar place – my grandparents’ house (both had passed away prior to the accident). Their environment was lucid, tranquil, appreciative and loving. All the flowers, environment and people radiated this intense saturation of love and communicated telepathically.

In this dreamlike encounter, I was again an animated child of five soaring on my favorite swing set. Grandpa was close-by working in his garden. Grandma was on her way to walk the grassy, wooded trail along the creek that Grandpa kept neatly manicured. For prayer time, she referred to it as her rosary path. As I stood at the base of the rosary path next to the St. Francis statue surrounded by roses, I was no longer a child of five but a woman. As Grandma looked down to me from her path, she asked me to come with her in her strong Czechoslovakian accent. In a melancholy yet courageous voice I told her that I had to go now.

Was God asking me to stop long enough to take a good look at myself and realize how much I had to be thankful for NOW, in the PRESENT MOMENT? I truly believe that in my race to be more, do more, and become more, I had somehow quit appreciating who I already was.

After responding to Grandma’s question, I awoke from the coma. Family stood in front of the bed, looking down at me, indebted to God that I had finally regained consciousness.

The hospital released me the following Saturday into a disorienting, foggy existence. I did not know who I was anymore and felt like a puzzle whose pieces had been scattered. Could I put myself back together again? Were all the pieces still there?

“I can do all things through Him who strengthens me,” (Philippians 4:13, NAS) became a scripture I memorized together with, “Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours” (Mark 11:24, NIV).

God/Source had always been the center focal point in my life, yet I began realizing what it meant by “letting go and letting God,” which lightened my perspective and allowed me to rise above my emotions to a place of spiritual enlightenment.

Before the accident, I’d felt like a clear glass jar full of vitality and love. Being an avid runner, bicyclist, canoeist, and x-country skier, I had an active lifestyle. Playing the piano, sewing up clothes, painting pictures, and reading were other hobbies I enjoyed.

After the accident, I was a smoke-colored glass jar that was empty. A stretched optic nerve resulted in double vision. I would often say things backward or stop mid-sentence. My short-term memory and concentration decreased, so I wrote everything down to remember. Opposite behavior qualities emerged, including introversion, moodiness, and irritability.

A fatigue emerged that made me feel like I was asleep even when awake. I experienced “sensory overload,” which made concentrating on the immediate task difficult. I was experiencing symptoms of post-concussion syndrome. My relationships with those closest to me went under quite a strain.

People often said I looked fine, not knowing the distress that lurked in the depths of my soul because the injury was INTERNAL, not external. Yes, I was extremely grateful that I had not been disfigured, but injury occurs on the inside, too. This simply reemphasized to me, “For the Lord sees no as man sees; man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord look on the heart (1 Samuel 16:7, RSV).

Since my friends and family lacked insight regarding head trauma, this made me draw closer to God because He could understand all my needs.

Looking back in my previous journal writings, I sensed an urgent need to bond with God and know and love myself. Using this convalescing time, I was being given a second chance to appreciate and reclaim those qualities that were still available to me.

“…that in everything God works for good with those who love Him, who are called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28, RSV).

I practiced the piano to increase concentration skills, painted, and began to read and record my voice to re-learn concepts. Living on the boat, bicycling along the country roads, and sketching summer scenes brought renewed vitality.

Now, 26 years later, this clairvoyance, peace, and love empower my life with inner knowing and joy.

– See more at: http://www.tut.com/article/details/232-my-near-death-experience-and-the-power-of-love/?articleId=232#sthash.9nuzq95R.dpuf

http://www.tut.com/article/details/232-my-near-death-experience-and-the-power-of-love/?articleId=232

My Near Death Journey

My life came to a startling halt when a large truck smashed into the driver’s side of my small car. The impact crunched my vehicle like aluminum foil. The initial force thrust my seat to the passenger’s side of the vehicle. Rescue workers used the jaws-of-life to extract me from the wreckage. Notified of the accident, my husband sped wildly to the hospital.

The accident resulted in extensive swelling to the left side of my brain, broken ribs and a collapsed lung, and lower back injuries. Being in good physical condition at the time of the accident, I was spared internal injuries.

The doctors stated to family that if I did not regain consciousness and the brain’s swelling continued, they would have to operate to relieve the pressure. Brain damage or neurological impairments were possible.

Family remained at my bedside, hoping that I would regain consciousness. While friends and family prayed for me, my spirit traveled to a vividly colorful yet familiar place – my grandparents’ house (both had passed away prior to the accident). Their environment was lucid, tranquil, appreciative and loving. All the flowers, environment and people radiated this intense saturation of love and communicated telepathically.

In this dreamlike encounter, I was again an animated child of five soaring on my favorite swing set. Grandpa was close-by working in his garden. Grandma was on her way to walk the grassy, wooded trail along the creek that Grandpa kept neatly manicured. For prayer time, she referred to it as her rosary path. As I stood at the base of the rosary path next to the St. Francis statue surrounded by roses, I was no longer a child of five but a woman. As Grandma looked down to me from her path, she asked me to come with her in her strong Czechoslovakian accent. In a melancholy yet courageous voice I told her that I had to go now.

Was God asking me to stop long enough to take a good look at myself and realize how much I had to be thankful for NOW, in the PRESENT MOMENT? I truly believe that in my race to be more, do more, and become more, I had somehow quit appreciating who I already was.

After responding to Grandma’s question, I awoke from the coma. Family stood in front of the bed, looking down at me, indebted to God that I had finally regained consciousness.

The hospital released me the following Saturday into a disorienting, foggy existence. I did not know who I was anymore and felt like a puzzle whose pieces had been scattered. Could I put myself back together again? Were all the pieces still there?

“I can do all things through Him who strengthens me,” (Philippians 4:13, NAS) became a scripture I memorized together with, “Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours” (Mark 11:24, NIV).

God/Source had always been the center focal point in my life, yet I began realizing what it meant by “letting go and letting God,” which lightened my perspective and allowed me to rise above my emotions to a place of spiritual enlightenment.

Before the accident, I’d felt like a clear glass jar full of vitality and love. Being an avid runner, bicyclist, canoeist, and x-country skier, I had an active lifestyle. Playing the piano, sewing up clothes, painting pictures, and reading were other hobbies I enjoyed.

After the accident, I was a smoke-colored glass jar that was empty. A stretched optic nerve resulted in double vision. I would often say things backward or stop mid-sentence. My short-term memory and concentration decreased, so I wrote everything down to remember. Opposite behavior qualities emerged, including introversion, moodiness, and irritability.

A fatigue emerged that made me feel like I was asleep even when awake. I experienced “sensory overload,” which made concentrating on the immediate task difficult. I was experiencing symptoms of post-concussion syndrome. My relationships with those closest to me went under quite a strain.

People often said I looked fine, not knowing the distress that lurked in the depths of my soul because the injury was INTERNAL, not external. Yes, I was extremely grateful that I had not been disfigured, but injury occurs on the inside, too. This simply reemphasized to me, “For the Lord sees no as man sees; man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord look on the heart (1 Samuel 16:7, RSV).

Since my friends and family lacked insight regarding head trauma, this made me draw closer to God because He could understand all my needs.

Looking back in my previous journal writings, I sensed an urgent need to bond with God and know and love myself. Using this convalescing time, I was being given a second chance to appreciate and reclaim those qualities that were still available to me.

“…that in everything God works for good with those who love Him, who are called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28, RSV).

I practiced the piano to increase concentration skills, painted, and began to read and record my voice to re-learn concepts. Living on the boat, bicycling along the country roads, and sketching summer scenes brought renewed vitality.

Now, 26 years later, this clairvoyance, peace, and love empower my life with inner knowing and joy.

– See more at: http://www.tut.com/article/details/232-my-near-death-experience-and-the-power-of-love/?articleId=232#sthash.9nuzq95R.dpuf

http://www.tut.com/article/details/232-my-near-death-experience-and-the-power-of-love/?articleId=232

The Carousel Circuit!!!

All six carousels were donated between 1919 – 1934 by *George F. Johnson, founder of the Endicott Johnson Corporation (1857-1948).  His gift to the community was that all can enjoy riding the carousels for free!  The carousels were manufactured from the Allan Herschell Company, North Tonawanda, NY. 

Open from Memorial Day to Labor Day Broome County, NY.

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Recreation Park Carousel, Binghamton, NY

“The Twilight Zone” Walking  Distance (TV Episode 1959) by Rod Serling”

http://www.wearemoviegeeks.com/2011/09/the-twilight-zone-carousel-opens-in-rod-serlings-hometown/

Recreation Park Gazebo
Recreation Park Pavilion, Binghamton, NY

Recreation Park Carousel and its housing Pavilion were built in 1925 with 60 “jumper” horses four abreast and two chariots.

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Recreation Park Carousel, Binghamton, NY
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Recreation Park Carousel, Binghamton, NY
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Recreation Park Carousel, Binghamton, NY
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Recreation Park Carousel, Binghamton, NY
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Recreation Park Carousel, Binghamton, NY
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Recreation Park Carousel, Binghamton, NY
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Recreation Park Carousel, Binghamton, NY
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Recreation Park Carousel, Binghamton, NY
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Recreation Park Carousel, Binghamton, NY
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Recreation Park Carousel, Binghamton, NY
Recreation Park Carousel
Recreation Park Carousel, Binghamton, NY

This community has the only four abreast Herschell carousels still in existence which are:

  • C. Fred Johnson Park Carousel
  • Recreation Park Carousel
  • Ross Park Carousel
Ross Park Carousel
Ross Park Carousel, Binghamton, NY

Ross Park Carousel built in 1920 houses 60 “jumper” horses which are four abreast and two chariots.  It is currently under renovation.

C. Fred Johnson Carousel
C. Fred Johnson Park Carousel

C. Fred Johnson Park Carousel and the Pavilion were constructed in 1923 which houses 72 figures, all are “jumpers”  which are four abreast.

Highland Carousel
Highland Park Carousel, Endwell, NY

Highland Park Carousel was built in 1925 and originally located at the old En-Joie Park in Endicott, then relocated to its current location.  It has 36 “jumper” animals with a pig and a dog situated three abreast!

George W. Johnson Carousel
George W. Johnson Park Carousel, Endicott, NY

George W. Johnson Park Carousel was built in 1934 with 36 horses three abreast and two chariots enclosed in the original Pavilion. 

West Endicott Carousel
West Endicott Park Carousel, Union, NY

West Endicott Park Carousel built in 1929 has 36 animals three abreast, including a dog and a pig along with horses, all are “jumpers” and enclosed in a Pavilion.

There are fewer than 150 antique carousels left in the United States and Canada. 


*In gratitude to George F. Johnson and his vision for welfare capitalism.  Both sides of my family were immigrants from Czechloslovakia who worked at the Endicott Johnson Shoe Factory.  Mr. Johnson provided a pamphlet to all new employees called “An EJ Worker’s First Lesson in the Square Deal.”  Some of these benefits included shoes, medical, subsidized housing, playgrounds, parks and FREE CAROUSEL RIDES!

http://www.npr.org/2010/12/01/131725100/the-legacy-of-george-f-johnson-and-the-square-deal

©Loriginal Designs

In Memory of Margaret D. Petran Mitchell Stolarcyck (excerpt)

Chapter 10: Tomatoes, Sunflowers and Roses

“My Father’s Greatest Gift:  Life Lessons from a Black English Labrador Retriever”

My Father’s Greatest Gift

Lori found this writing John had done about his mother-in-law
Margaret Stolarcyk’s halupki the day after my Master had passed.
I personally do not care for cabbage, but John just loved it – please
read:

The Saga of the Last Halupki 

You came to me in a big red bowl, thanks to
Grandma Marge – you and 25 or 30 little piglets
in your kraut and sauce. I could have devoured the
whole bowl at one sitting.
But no – I decided to portion them out over
three days – sounds reasonable to me. Three here,
four there, one snack, two snacks – well, you get the
picture.
Finally, there was but one – and a perfect one at
that. The art and love that went into making you was
quite evident. The corners of the cabbage leaf neatly
tucked to hold every morsel intact. There you lay in
that big red bowl, nestled in a bed of kraut and sauce
topped by a strip of bacon – a little lovely – maybe. A
sight to behold – yes.
And as I opened and closed that refrigerator
door my mouth would water in anticipation of eating
that last tasty treat. But no – I would save you for
later – prolong the agony.
Then finally – it’s time to end this torment and
enjoy this last treat. Nuke for a few second – just
enough to warm it through. Then delicately slice and
savor each bite – right. Wrong – the savage in me
took over and I attacked this last morsel like a pack
of piranhas!
As quiet time took over and I wiped the corner
of my mouth with a napkin, I mumbled under my
breath –
Rest in peace you little bastard – you will
torment me no more.

So, what do you think about the symbolism in his writing?
It personally speaks to me about his life in a “halupki” shell, if you
will. Intelligent, handsome, athletic and witty, with a beautiful wife
and family, yet he had that one halupki in the batch which tempted
and tormented him during his entire adult life. The apostle Paul
speaks often about this weak nature and thorn in our side. He goes on
to say that it is only through our weakness that we are made strong
because we are to draw closer to God and He will draw closer to us. I
witnessed that moment of peaceful surrender and acceptance of John
that summer while he watched the sunset. All I can say is thanks be
to God for giving me such a wonderful Master and for God’s grace
to bring peace to John’s tormented soul.

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Sisters Margaret and Bobbie together once again

 

T

Epilogue from “My Father’s Greatest Gift”

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“When we die, we leave all that we have

and take with us all that we are.”

Connie A. Mitchell Marchell

“My Father’s Greatest Gift: Life Lessons from a Black English Labrador Retriever”

My Father’s Greatest Gift

Ah, Doghead here. Hope you enjoyed hearing about what
my mission was while I was here. Just thought I’d like to point
out the synchronicity of all of the events that led to bringing that
much needed peace and serenity to John’s tormented soul. His wife,
Connie, had told him that if she were ever to leave the earth plane,
she would come back as his dog because he gave so much love and
attention to all of the animals in his life. All I can tell you on that
note is that since Love is all there is and we are all One in the Spirit,
it is quite possible that her love channeled through me to mend his
broken heart and bring life more abundantly into his life. So my
mission was accomplished and I want to thank you for giving me the
opportunity to share my experience of the unlimited powers of love
with you. Doghead out.

Grandma Marge’s Greatest Gift

Grandma Marge in Port Charolette, Florida her wonderful winter home!

In Memory of Margaret D. Petrany Mitchell Stolarcyk
2/26/20 – 8/15-8/16/2016

I felt led to share an incredible experience that Grandma Marge gifted me the week of her passing one year ago.  The day she passed, she held my left hand very tightly as I knew she was being prepared to continue her next life.  My fraternal Grandmother Susie passed on August 15th which is celebrated as the Blessed Mother’s Assumption.  Now please keep in mind that Grandma Marge was always early for everything her entire life. Yet, this most important day of which countless rosaries and prayers were said for many throughout her life, her date of crossing over was early on August 16th.  Grandma was always someone who would share a joke and make you happy, and we laugh at her intention to celebrate her passing on the Blessed Mother’s Assumption and just missing it.  Since there are different time zones throughout the world, we still believe that she was honored to celebrate her passing on that sacred day.  Her beloved daughter, Connie (my mom) passed on Easter Sunday the year of her journey to new beginnings.  When Mom was here with us, she traveled to Medugorje and with the children visionaries which impacted her total spiritual life.

Several years ago, St. Padre Pio’s Stigmata glove was being presented for blessings at St. Cyril’s and Grandma Marge and her sister, Bobbie took me there for a continual detached retina on my left eye which I was traveling to have surgery on once again.  Aunt Bobbie held the framed glove and blessed my eye with a rose petal placed over the glove.  Since that time, my left eye has been stable!  Needless to say, St. Padre Pio is one of many Patron Saints for me!  Aunt Bobbie (whose birthday was the same day as mine) recently passed and her service was held at St. Cyril’s with a beautiful testimony to her faith.  Now the two youngest sisters, who were from a family of 11, are now celebrating!

As family arrived and preparations began, I assembled her outfit with her favorite bright pink blouse and of course, her “poppuchies” (slippers in Slovak) together with her crystal rosaries and wedding ring.  After I cleaned the wedding ring, I placed it in her rosary pouch which I held in my left hand.  Immediately, the center of the palm of my left hand puffed-out like a fast-forward movie.  It hurt and I placed ice on it, thinking that it was just a spider bite.  Then it began to enlarge and turn blue and sunk into the palm of my hand, as a heart-shaped blue stigmata.  It didn’t bleed, but the spiritual empowerment from this gift made me become a channel for Grandma to prepare things for her celebration as I was led to scripture for her readings Daniel 3:52-90 (which I read) and Philippians 1:18-23 (my cousin read).  Fr. Tim made an incredible reference to the meaning of pink symbolizing love and commented on her countless acts of mercy and kindness towards others throughout her life.  The entire week of preparations I didn’t sleep and was assembling photo albums and visiting with family to prepare the most beautiful celebration of her life with us.  It was that week when the corn stalk tassel turned pink in my backyard as well as her yellow butterfly appeared in my garden.

As I carried her rose-painted ashes vase to her resting place, and sat next to her son holding his right hand with my left hand, I knew why I had received this gift from her.  It was for her love and healing light to permeate through me into her beloved son.  And then the blue heart-shaped stigmata disappeared.

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Grandma Marge’s Greatest Gift

Grandma Marge in Port Charolette, Florida her wonderful winter home!

In Memory of Margaret D. Petrany Mitchell Stolarcyk
2/26/20 – 8/15-8/16/2016

I felt led to share an incredible experience that Grandma Marge gifted me the week of her passing one year ago.  The day she passed, she held my left hand very tightly as I knew she was being prepared to continue her next life.  My fraternal Grandmother Susie passed on August 15th which is celebrated as the Blessed Mother’s Assumption.  Now please keep in mind that Grandma Marge was always early for everything her entire life. Yet, this most important day of which countless rosaries and prayers were said for many throughout her life, her date of crossing over was early on August 16th.  Grandma was always someone who would share a joke and make you happy, and we laugh at her intention to celebrate her passing on the Blessed Mother’s Assumption and just missing it.  Since there are different time zones throughout the world, we still believe that she was honored to celebrate her passing on that sacred day.  Her beloved daughter, Connie (my mom) passed on Easter Sunday the year of her journey to new beginnings.  When Mom was here with us, she traveled to Medugorje and with the children visionaries which impacted her total spiritual life.

Several years ago, St. Padre Pio’s Stigmata glove was being presented for blessings at St. Cyril’s and Grandma Marge and her sister, Bobbie took me there for a continual detached retina on my left eye which I was traveling to have surgery on once again.  Aunt Bobbie held the framed glove and blessed my eye with a rose petal placed over the glove.  Since that time, my left eye has been stable!  Needless to say, St. Padre Pio is one of many Patron Saints for me!  Aunt Bobbie (whose birthday was the same day as mine) recently passed and her service was held at St. Cyril’s with a beautiful testimony to her faith.  Now the two youngest sisters, who were from a family of 11, are now celebrating!

As family arrived and preparations began, I assembled her outfit with her favorite bright pink blouse and of course, her “poppuchies” (slippers in Slovak) together with her crystal rosaries and wedding ring.  After I cleaned the wedding ring, I placed it in her rosary pouch which I held in my left hand.  Immediately, the center of the palm of my left hand puffed-out like a fast-forward movie.  It hurt and I placed ice on it, thinking that it was just a spider bite.  Then it began to enlarge and turn blue and sunk into the palm of my hand, as a heart-shaped blue stigmata.  It didn’t bleed, but the spiritual empowerment from this gift made me become a channel for Grandma to prepare things for her celebration as I was led to scripture for her readings Daniel 3:52-90 (which I read) and Philippians 1:18-23 (my cousin read).  Fr. Tim made an incredible reference to the meaning of pink symbolizing love and commented on her countless acts of mercy and kindness towards others throughout her life.  The entire week of preparations I didn’t sleep and was assembling photo albums and visiting with family to prepare the most beautiful celebration of her life with us.  It was that week when the corn stalk tassel turned pink in my backyard as well as her yellow butterfly appeared in my garden.

As I carried her rose-painted ashes vase to her resting place, and sat next to her son holding his right hand with my left hand, I knew why I had received this gift from her.  It was for her love and healing light to permeate through me into her beloved son.  And then the blue heart-shaped stigmata disappeared.

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Silly Sylvester Somersaults

Sylvester came into my life Thanksgiving weekend while my brother and I were playing catch football outside.  He was still a kitten, but determined to make his home were I lived.  From the beginning, I could see that Sylvester didn’t know he was a cat because he believed in himself and that he could do anything that he set his mind to.

From “flying” from the back deck to the birch tree, wading in the steam alongside the property, “pointing” at pheasants in the brush, jumping to turn the light switch on or just climbing as high as he could go, he made certain that his message to me was clear – stand your ground, listen to your heart and follow your dreams.

The above video was a weekend project many years ago with friends as Sylvester was filmed doing somersaults, or the Slovak term, “koperdonitz” as Grandma Marge would call them. (Found on YouTube).  After a weekend of filming, he decides that he isn’t interested in somersaulting anymore and lets me know it on the last clip!  My first encounter with this acrobatic ability occurred  as he somersaulted into his food dish one day!  He brought much joy and laughter into my life and his message of believing in myself has resurfaced once again as a reminder to be true to my God-given gifts, talents and abilities and to somersault joyously through life!

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A Once In A Lifetime Love…

“It is good to have an end to journey towards; But it is the journey that matters, in the end.”

LeGuin

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On this day, May 20, 1961 my parents, John V. Marchell and Connie A. Mitchell were married.  It was a bittersweet wedding for my mom’s father, G. Clifford Mitchell, had passed from a heart attack less than a month prior to their wedding date.  Their love for me is crystal clear as I was the honeymoon baby.  Dad would often say to me that I was a ‘much loved child.’

I do believe that Grandpa Cliff’s Spirit has been with me always, as he was a graphic artist who, at an early age, was asked to work for Walt Disney.  He declined the offer and went into business for himself with many of his creative works promoting IBM in their beginning stages with their first place of operation located in Endicott, New York.

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So on this day, I honor my parents unconditional love and everlasting guidance still evident miraculously in my life as love transcends our human understanding.  It is through building a firm foundation by focusing on the gift of union which makes the relationship stronger and resilient to withstand any storm.  With the extraordinary gift of a once in a lifetime love,  one hundred percent belief, trust and faith in one another with open heart awareness; together the two open their arms wide to embrace the unknown.

As their hearts joined together pictured in the glowing setting sunset clouds, I know that their gift of new beginnings is approaching for me as their message permeates my soul.

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“It’s time to unite your hearts, for together your energies  combined are magnetic, magical and infinite in their abilities to manifest miracles.”

Mom and Dad

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“One does not discover new lands without consenting to lose sight of the shore.”

Andre Gide

©Art and Photography by Loriginal Designs

Highland Lake, PA

(©wedding photograph, unknown)

Chapter 12: My, My, My, My, My Syria! (excerpt from Chert Dog)

“My Father’s Greatest Gift:  Life Lessons from a Black English Labrador Retriever”

My Father’s Greatest Gift

When I first laid eyes on her, I was hooked. My heart skipped
several beats! The sound of her bark was music to my Doghead
ears! She ran to me, with her fluffy white hair flowing in the gentle
breeze and her bright eyes winking at me as she ran up to me and
then around me and underneath me. I am in love for the first time
in my life! And better yet, she lives across the street from where I
now live! Oh, thank you God for giving me someone to love while I
am here helping out so many people! Well, we know that all things
work together for those that love God! All this diet and exercise has
transformed my body back to what I looked like when I was much
younger. I have so much energy now and it feels wonderful to go for
walks and actually jog a bit! All this preparation was definitely for a
reason. This little white flirty number moved in across the street and
my jaw dropped – she is the gal for me! Now I think I can realize just
how much John loved his wife. This lovely Bichon is named Syria and
our lives have changed for the better. She loves me just as much as I
love her – who would have guessed it?! Now, every single morning
for my walk I must go over to her house to say “hi.” Sometimes her
family opens the door for her to let her come out to see me, but other
times she just sits at the glass door looking out at me. I just don’t
understand why Lori can’t go over to the door and open it, but I guess
it is about respect of other people’s property and privacy. But all I
want to do is just be with her – she brings such joy to my heart and I
have a jump in my walk and a smile all of the time. Thank you, God,
for bringing Syria not only into my life, but across the street as well!

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A Convocation of Twelve Eagles

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“You carry Mother Earth within you. She is not outside of you. Mother Earth is not just your environment. In that insight of inter-being, it is possible to have real communication with the Earth, which is the highest form of prayer.”

Thich Nhat Hanh

On my morning hike the stellar sky and enlivening day brought about a feeling of oneness with Mother Earth around me. As I walked the local school track in meditation, I overheard a coach motivating the students he was training. The message he shared in encouraging, emphatic words: “You’re going to make mistakes on the field, that’s ok. Learn to fix them and move on.” Was he just coaching the athletes he was working with? As that message rang true to the very core of my being, I came upon the realization that was exactly how I have been approaching life. In the optimistic way he presented his message to those he was coaching, it brought about a yearning from those he was instructing to strive for improvement. The delivery of the message in a positive context planted the seed of working towards perfection within these adolescent youngsters.

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“Creativity is so delicate a flower that praise tends to make it bloom, while discouragement often nips it in the bud.”

Author unknown

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As I left the track to venture up the back hill, I stopped as I came upon a congregation of immature eagles gathered alongside the ground as well as flying in the area! Thankfully I had my cell phone to photograph them, even though they are not professional looking nor close up shots. But the message was a very profound one for me in my journey of the heart. Symbolic as well, for the coach from the track training session had been instructing adolescent children on the importance of perseverance towards their goals, dreams and desires.

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“Being myself includes taking risks with myself, taking risks on new behavior, trying new ways of ‘being myself’, so that I can see who it is I want to be.”

Hugh Prather

Eagles Circling

As I stood there observing the eagles, they began to gather in a convocation as if to communicate with one another on their next soaring expedition, deciding on where the thermals and winds would allow for them to glide effortlessly to a new destination. I remember thinking how lucky they were to have each other to assist in their learning and growing stages of development, and how important that support system is within our own lives as well. When they began to unite as a circle of life joining their energies, I stood there with my arms reaching upwards towards their wings as they rose above me, their feathers just within reach of my outstretched arms. As they soared higher, I was able to count twelve of these youngsters who had graced me with their ‘anything is possible’ outlook on life. Their powerful, pure energy filled my soul with grandeur as a monumental experience for me in my personal life’s journey.

“Jesus said: With God, All things are possible.”

Matthew 19:26

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“Care no more for the opinion of others, for those voices; do the hardest thing for you. Act for yourself and face your truth.”

Katherine Mansfield

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From this profoundly enlightening experience, I slowly began the walk up the trail. As I looked to the right where some of the eagles had been grounded, I found a secondary eagle feather symbolically left for me from one of the messengers who flew into my life that morning. The eagle has been an animal totem for me my entire life and I have been attuned to their energy for some time. It has been a blessed experience for me to witness such a marvelous moment and to be able to share it with others as a way of showing that there is much around us to assist in our journey, we just need to be still, open and aware in trusting that still, small voice within, honoring Mother Earth and striving for the highest and best in all areas of our lives, knowing that mistakes are a part of our learning curve, in order for us to super duper quantumly soar!

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“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that don’t work.”

Thomas Edison

©Loriginal Designs

Deck Duty

Chert Dog’s Greatest Gift: Quantum Leaps of Faith

The backyard deck is “purrfectly” designed for me from “hiding-out” behind the railings to sitting atop the railings which are wide enough for sitting comfortably. There is always much activity when February to March arrive, as the robins return to build their nests and other “birdheads” arrive on their way to stay for the season or venture further up to the north county. I much prefer the view from the deck, though taking naps in the flower bed during the warm summer afternoons is another of my favorite things to do!

Besides the chatter and flutter of birds arriving, I have been noticing an increased rainbow effect presenting itself within the clouds, brilliant colorful hues and angel-like feather wisps with colors changing as the moisture content seems to arrange an artist palette in the sky! Truly a magnificent sight to see, but you can “feel” it, too. Maybe because I have a strong sixth sense and can “hear” things at a higher pitch opens my awareness more to the prevalent intoxicating energy of love and light permeating and surrounding us, flowing from within our very being and resonating to all the quantum frequencies.

“My Father’s Greatest Gift” First Book Signing and “The Sedona Method”

My Father’s Greatest Gift: Life Lessons from a Black English Labrador Retriever book signing held March 18, 2017 at Arrowhead Parable Christian Store, Johnson City, NY
My Father’s Greatest Gift Website

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Are any of you familiar with The Sedona Method developed by Lester Levenson, with a tool set to assist in clearing out old, embedded thoughts, beliefs and feelings that were handed down through our DNA; which we have now become able to access on our own through The Akash to allow for the realization of these aspects of our depths in order to do “Spring Cleaning” as it were. The core components are letting go of the four basic wants: Approval, Security, Separation and Control. That said, it is a mouthful to digest when one begins asking the questions about how are these certain aspects of our inner workings serving us anymore and can we let them go? Are you willing to let them go? When?

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The Sedona Method has been one of my “tool sets” for many years, but for some reason it surfaced this morning, so I am being led to share some insights from Lester’s “Lessons” on releasing. We are all cleansing energetically now, using a variety of tools which resonate for each one of us individually. The Sedona Method, by author Dale Dwoskin, shares Lester’s workings and research on our unlimited potential and provides yet other applications to address the old, worn out thoughts and beliefs which most probably were not originating from our own thoughts, but handed down through generations, like a grafting form a rose bush.

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Once you maser writing out the reasons why you are holding onto a certain want: Approval, Security, Separation or Control, you then need to address the deeper layers of thought patterns: Apathy, Grief, Fear, Lust, Anger, Pride, and even areas of Courageousness, Acceptance and Peace. By doing this deep inner work, your are dissolving resistance to “reacting” to criticism and to praise. In other words, you are at point zero equilibrium balance of mind, body and spirit, the center of Love and Gods Set Point.

As Khalil Gibran noted: “I have learned silence from the talkative, tolerance from the intolerant and kindness from the unkind; yet strange I am ungrateful to those teachers.”

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So you may be wondering why I am reflecting on The Sedona Method and how that applies to my first book signing of Chert Dog’s story, My Father’s Greatest Gift: Life Lessons from a Black English Labrador Retriever? It is very simple. Because of all the years of doing the inner work within and clearing out the old thoughts and beliefs, it has given room for unlimited potentials to flourish in my life! (“Pombu Zoplatz: Thanks be to God”).

Care no more for the opinion of others, for those voices. Do the hardest thing for you. Act for yourself and face your truth.” Katherine Mansfield

My First Christmas (excerpt from Jaco)

Chert Dog’s Greatest Gift: Quantum Leaps of Faith

With all this snow outside, I thought I would share my first Christmas photo shoot with you! Thank goodness the sun was outside because the snow is very cold! Unlike my older brother, Chert, I DO NOT love sitting in the snow! He, however, would just sit in it for hours, as I was told! I wish that I had met him, but that defeats the whole reason I am here, doesn’t it? Because I am Chert’s Gift to the family he left behind when he went home to be with his Master. The children in the neighborhoood Chert grew up in used to call his Master “Mr. John” which made him smile and fill his heart with joy. Children have a way of doing that, as I so love when the piano and art students come to visit!

So, my first Christmas was fascinating as the artificial Christmas tree stood positioned between the living room and piano parlor entryway. This cut my running route off, so I had to learn to scoot through the sides of the tree! I thoroughly enjoyed sliding on the tree skirt positioned underneath the tree atop the wood flooring! The ornaments and lights became fascinating to look at, and staring at them for any length of time began to mesmerize me! I must confess I did bat at a few of the ornaments, but much prefer my catnip toys! When gifts were opened, I enjoyed playing with all the ribbons, tissue and wrapping paper – not to mention the boxes were fun for jumping in and hiding inside!

My most memorable experience that first Christmas was the beautiful music, colorful lights and warm feeling of pure love surrounding and enveloping the season. As a natural wayshower myself with born intuitive instincts, I feel this intoxicating love and kindness within me and surrounding me and enveloping me with such joyous, peaceful tranquility. We angelic animals are here to assist in transmuting and transforming these man-made, inconsistent and damaging thoughts, words and actions into joy, peace and love. Chert knew it. I know it. We have to assist in being the light and doing the work to bring about restoration to our world one loving thought, word or action at a time.

“If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.” Dalai Lama

God’s Workmanship at Waterman Conservation Center

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“We step into nature,
Our hearts open wide,
We see all before us,
Of all that’s inside.

Above and below us,
Reflected around,
In treetops and water,
God’s love is abound.”

Lisa Ann Carucci Lash

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“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for Good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”

Ephesians 2:10

 

 

 

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“When perfect balance is achieved, all pathways are full of joyous adventure that make one’s heart sing!”

Connie Andrea Marchell

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“If by chance you caught a glimpse; Of dancing lights and fragrant sights; Might you glance upon the trees; Speaking ever softly in the autumn breeze.”

L.D. Marchell

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“Art is the accomplice of Love.”

Remy de Gourmont

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“For when awakening rushes through your very being, all else ceases to exist; For you become melded with All That Is.”

L.D. Marchell

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” Tread gingerly upon Gaia’s sacred ground; Ever mindful of her greatest gifts she so richly displays; Her magnitude graciously abounds.”

Connie Andrea Marchell

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“Sing of colors bright and exhilarating sites; Of  expansive moments saturated with a heavenly lights.”

L.D. Marchell

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“For it is the parent which nurtures the child; Such is the womb of Gaia showering Her Everlasting Love.  Be ever in a state of gratitude for Her great gift to us; For through Her, God Speaks ever softly to our hearts.”

L.D. Marchell

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“May your heart be always full of joy; Embracing the precious gift of Life!”

L.D. Marchell

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“For in the woods I wander for solace, insight and understanding; As the dwellings of wildlife convey, our true home is where our heart is.”

L.D. Marchell

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“As if to say a splendid day, which warms the heart and enliven’s the soul; Such are hours spent in Nature’s glorious enchanting thorough!”

L.D. Marchell

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“Care no more for the opinion of others, for their voices.  Do the hardest thing for you.  Act for yourself and face your Truth.”

Katherine Mansfiled

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“Yesterday’s memories of a lifetime bring forth glowing present moments to cherish; Life is a gift-embrace it with all of your heart!”

L.D. Marchell

As some of you know, I survived a car accident, which gifted me the opportunity to a glimpse of crossing over (NDE) while I was in a coma. It’s the chances that you don’t take which make one complacent, as home is blissful, surreal, saturation of rapturous, joyous, unconditional Love. Promise yourself to stretch your comfort zone every day, this could be your only today, so make it the most meaningful experience of your life!

L.D. Marchell

©Loriginal Designs

©Connie Andrea Marchell

©Lisa Ann Carucci Lash

©Katherine Mansfield

©Remy de Gourmont

©Bible

Playful Practice Around Conklin Parks!

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“Throughout our lives, laughter and playfulness heal our mind, body and soul.”

L.D. Marchell

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“Unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.”

Matthew 18:3

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“Allow the child within to come out and play!”

L.D. Marchell

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“Alfred the Golden Doodle”

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“The hush of heaven holds our hearts today.”

A Course in Miracles

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“Teamwork and foundations are built on integrity of the heart.”

L.D. Marchell

“Go placidly amid the noise and the haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence.  As far as possible, without surrender, be on good terms with all persons.  Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even to the dull and ignorant; they too have their story.”

Max Ehrmann, Desiderata

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“For it is knowledge which teaches wisdom, wisdom which teaches truth and the truth will set you free.”

©Loriginal Designs

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On Hawkins Pond

 

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“If one advances confidently in the direction of  his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.”

Henry David Thoreau

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“We need the tonic of wilderness…At the same time that we are earnest to explore and learn all things, we require that all things be mysterious and unexplorable, that land and sea be indefinitely wild, unsurveyed and unfathomed by us because unfathomable.  We can never have enough of nature.”

Henry David Thoreau

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“If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be.  Now put the foundations under them.”

Henry David Thoreau

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“Heaven is under our feet as well as over our heads.”

Henry David Thoreau

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“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.”

Henry David Thoreau

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“We must learn to reawaken and keep ourselves awake, not by mechanical aids, but by an infinite expectation of the dawn.”

Henry David Thoreau

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“All men want, not something to do with, but something to do, or rather something to be.”

Henry David Thoreau

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“Live in each season as it passes; breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit, and resign yourself to the influence of the earth.”

Henry David Thoreau

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©Loriginal Designs

©Henry David Thoreau – Walden Pond

A Golden Opportunity!!!

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“You are a child of the Universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here.”

Max Ehrmann

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OK, so the joke about this cover photograph has to do with the beginning of sharing the original manuscript with friends and family, with the first draft completed September 2010. My good friend, Debbie Standard, arrived at Arrowhead Parable Christian Center with her first copy of the story in manuscript format and traded it in for the published book! You gotta love it!

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My cousin, Michelle Michalek, arrived early for her copy of Chert’s story. The book signing had a tremendous outpouring of my extended family which warmed my heart and soul! So very thankful for their encouragement and support in this labor of love!

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So here is the real “synchronicity” about the dress I am wearing. The top beaded neckline of the dress that I made is taken from a party dress of my Grandmother Marge’s. She was my first editor of the manuscript. As a word lady and Scrabble, Upwords and Crossword Wiz, she also had the married name from her first husband of Margaret Mitchell, the author at the time of “Gone With The Wind.” Her use of words has been a strong influence in the building of becoming an author in my life. Thank you, Grandma! Ya Ti Muc Muc Muc Lubiem!!!

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As Aunt Kathy Stolarcyk walked in and saw me, she smiled ear to ear and asked me if that was Grandma Marge’s dress, as I told her it was the collar from her dress. The beaded dress is what Grandma Marge wore to Aunt Kathy and Uncle Mike’s wedding! I could feel wedding energy in the dress, and now know where exactly she had worn it!

Rabbee Hummingbird
Quilted Painting of Hummingbird with beadwork

As some of you have seen from a previous posting, I painted a hummingbird on the yellow dress of my Grandmother Marge’s and utilized all the beadwork from the hemline of that dress to frame the picture. Interestingly enough, my hummingbirds have been coming back around to the feeder this week and I am reminded of my beloved Grandmother Marge whose first anniversary is on the Blessed Mother’s Assumption. Ironically, my Grandmother Susie Marchell also passed on that sacred day as well, with Mom’s anniversary being Easter Sunday, so I have been very blessed with such spiritually strong, powerful and loving women figures in my life!

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“The color PINK represents caring, compassion, unconditional love and understanding.”

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“The color YELLOW symbolizes friendliness, warmth and honesty; displaying light, hope and encouragement.”

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My cousin Michelle Stolarcyk arrived as we shared our stories about Grandpa Stolarcyk and his crazy wild pants that he would wear as well as Chert’s love of Battaglini Bread from my Uncle Joe and Aunt Carol’s bakery, where no dogs are allowed!

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Now here is another “synchronicity” story about Becky Tinker, a previous co-worker with my Mom who happened to move across the street from me a few years ago! We have great fun together and always feel my Mom’ Joyous Spirit hovering around us when we go for our walks around the neighborhood! I offered Becky the manuscript, but she wanted to book instead!

Thank you to Craig Hall at Arrowhead Parable Christian Store, to all the people who came to visit and hear about Chert’s story and purchase a book for themselves or family and friends! I hope that Chert’s story warms their hearts and gives them some insight into the short and purposeful lives of angels in furry clothing!

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“My Father’s Greatest Gift: Life Lessons from a Black English Labrador Retriever” is available online through Barnes and Noble, Amazon, etc., as well as my website:

http://loridmarchell.com/

©Loriginal Desgins

Spiedie Festival & Balloon Rally 2017!!!

“It’s kind of fun to do the impossible.”

Walt Disney

The 33rd Annual Spiedie Festival & Balloon Rally held at Otsiningo Park, Binghamton, NY was held on August 4 – 6, 2017.  With countless vendors, amusement park rides, face painting, music, volleyball, 5K run and balloon rides just to name a few of the festivities, this event has grown tremendously throughout the years.  For those of you who are not familiar with the word ‘spiedie,’ it is cubed chicken, pork, lamb, veal, venison or beef marinated in a spiedie sauce then placed on metal skewers over a charcoal pit.  Once cooked, they are eaten on a fresh piece of Italian bread.  Developed by Camillo Iacovelli, Agostino Iacovelli and Peter Sharak from the Southern Tier of New York State from 1939 on, their popularity has expanded nation-wide.  Today there are countless deviations to the original recipe at the annual spiedie cook-off held at the festival every year.  There are several spiedie marinate companies available for purchasing spiedie marinade sauce online.  For those of you who do eat meat (I am a vegetarian), here are a few local distributors.  Enjoy!

https://www.spiedies.com

http://www.spiedie.com

 “Cast your cares on the Lord and He will sustain you; He will never let the righteous fall.”

Psalm 55:22

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“The fruit of the Spirit is Love, Joy and Peace.”

Galatians 5:22

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“…For God is always ready to give a bountiful supply of wisdom to all who ask Him…Ask in Faith.”

James 1:5 – 6

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“Yet God has revealed this wisdom to us through the Spirit.”

1 Corinthians 2:10

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“Love is not enough.  You can’t exist as the reflection of someone’s love.”

John Powell, S.J.

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“Now it is characteristic of play that one plays without reason and there must be no reason for it.  Play is its own good reason.”

Lin Yutang

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“If we treat people as they are, they will stay as they are.  But if we treat them for what they might be, and might become, they will become their better selves.”

G.T. Smith

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“A life lived in love will never be dull.”

L.F.B.

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“A Happy Elephant Doing a Handstand!”

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© 2017 Spiedie Festival and Balloon Rally Expo, Inc.

©Loriginal Designs

 

 

 

17th Annual All Paws for a Cause Dog Walk Sunday, July 23, 2017

“My Father’s Greatest Gift:  Life Lessons From A Black English Labrador Retriever”

Chert Dog’s Tent!

Upcoming WBNG TV Interview with Kara Conrad on Friday, August 11 at 12:15 pm

Book signing at Arrowhead Parable Christian Store on Saturday, August 12 at 11 am – 2 pm

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Willow’s Wings

A non profit animal sanctuary and rescue, devoted to caring for all animals large and small, many of which have been left abandoned, neglected and abused.  Our saying here is, “They may be old, sick or disabled, but their lives matter too.”

Donations can be sent to:  http://www.paypal.me/WillowsWings

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Willow’s Wings

Animal Sanctuary and Rescue

http://www.WillowsWings.com

Willow6226@gmail.com

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http://www.wbng.com/story/35921275/15th-annual-all-paws-for-a-cause-dog-walk?autoStart=true&topVideoCatNo=default&clipId=13505241

©Loriginal Designs

©Willow’s Wings

©WBNG TV Kara Conrad

©YWCA Broome County

 

 

 

On Patient Perfection Personified

“The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; upon those who dwelt in the land of gloom a light has shone.  You have brought them abundant joy and great rejoicing.”

Isaiah 9:1-2

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The past few days have been remarkable in the phenomenon of nature, be it in the gathering of hundreds of bees, the singing of birds in the trees, the brilliant colors exhibited in the sky, one must simply wonder and ask the Universe “why?”  The humor in this rhyme is my featured Jaco Kitty, who has a habit of talking extremely loud and oftentimes sounds like he is asking the question, “why?”  He also squeaks with a cadence sounding similar to the goldfinch chirp!  As he welcomes in the morning light, his wonderment of the day to unfold is greeted with joyous anticipation, as if to say “why not?!”  The lessons that he teaches me about patience and the perfection in timing cannot be overly stated.  I do believe as I have referenced in my first book, “My Father’s Greatest Gift:  Life Lessons From A Black English Labrador Retriever” that Chert Dog sent me Jaco Kitty to teach me the necessary next lessons in my life in order to learn how to take quantum leaps of faith to soar and fly.  Jaco is one of my greatest teachers as his present moment involvement in all that surrounds him shows me to take in everything as it is a gift.  When Jaco took a leap of faith from an oak tree to the lower branch the year I found him, he taught me about trust, joy and patience that day.  I hope that we can be open to these small, daily reminders every day about how very short our time is here.  Let us be reminded continually to take in what is most valuable in our lives and embrace it!

“Now remain these three things:  Faith, Hope and Love; and the greatest of these is Love.”

1 Corinthians 13:13

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“Adapt the pace of nature.  Her secret is patience.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson

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“Live in each season as it passes; breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit, and resign yourself to the influence of the earth.”

Henry David Thoreau

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“The setting sun, and music at the close, as the last taste of sweets, is sweetest last, writ in remembrance more than things long past.”

William Shakespeare

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“Music is the universal language of mankind.”

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

©Loriginal Designs Photography

©Matt Redman

L. D. Marchell’s New Book “My Father’s Greatest Gift: Life Lessons from a Black English Labrador Retriever”

From Chert Dog’s perspective, “Doghead is pretty easy to learn, you just have to speak from your heart.” This velvety Black with Chocolate accents English Labrador Retriever came…

Source: Chert Dog’s Book: “My Father’s Greatest Gift: Life Lessons from a Black English Labrador Retriever

My Father’s Greatest Gift

Life Lessons from a Black English Labrador Retriever

L.D. Marchell (pseudonym)

My Father’s Greatest Gift

Each chapter begins with noted scripture verses to read from the Bible in relation to the context of each chapter.  This is a true story, as narrated through the eyes of a Black English Labrador Retriever named Chert whose purpose is revealed in the story.  In his own words, throughout his fourteen years of life, Chert Dog comments that “…doghead is pretty easy to learn, you just have to speak from your heart.”  This velvety black, with chocolate accents, English Labrador Retriever came into my father’s life a few months after the unexpected death of my mother.  It touches on the Slovak ethnic background of our family, hence his name Chert, which means devil!  He shares his triumphs and escapades, as well as his life’s mission.  With a “doghead” slant on wisdom and his purpose, the story’s main theme is about the power of unconditional love and forgiveness.

This newly release book can be found on Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Google, as well as http://www.loridmarchell.com/ “My Father’s Greatest Gift”online.  A link has been provided.

 

 

 

 

 

Amazing Love!!!

“Hope in God!  For I shall again be thanking Him; in the presence of My Savior and my God!”

Psalm 43:5

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“And He will…make you shine like the sun, and hold you in the palm of his Hand.”

Michael Joncas

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“Who gave Himself for our sins, to rescue us from the present evil age, as our God and Father willed – to Him be Glory for Endless Ages!”

Galatians 1:4

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“It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.”

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

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“Doghead is easy to learn, you just have to speak from the heart.”

L.D. Marchell

As some of you may know, through the tragic loss of my Mom, Chert Dog saved not only my Father’s heart, but my brother, John’s and mine too!  There is something about unconditional love from an animal, so altruistic, pure, peaceful and kind.  Angels brought to us in various forms, to be embraced and cherished or relinquished forever as we are all given that chance to choose the highest and best for all concerned.

It is during these most tremulous times that we are being given the opportunity to make new consciously aware and awakened choices with our most precious gift of life.  Allow for your new preferences to include:

“…Whatever is true, whatever is kind, whatever is lovely, and if there be anything worthy of praise, think then on these things.”

Philippians 4:8

https://youtu.be/nwjTT2bqKk0

©Loriginal Designs Photography

©Bible

©Newsboys “Amazing Love”

On Eagle’s Wings!!!

“You who dwell in the shelter of the Lord, Who abide in His shadow for life,  Say to the Lord, ‘My Refuge,’ My Rock in Whom I trust.  And He will raise you up on eagle’s wings, Bear you on the breath of dawn, Make you to shine like the sun, And hold you in the palm of His Hand.”

On Eagles Wings by Michael Joncas (Psalm 91)

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This is the last in The Three-part Romeo Series of oil paintings inspired by Tofino Photography.  My eternal gratitude for the empowering photographic compositions which bring one to a place of such beauty, tranquility and peace!

As I took a break from painting the second layer of oils onto the canvas yesterday, I went outside to walk barefoot in the lush, soft grass.  As I walked around my prolific blooming garden, I knelt in the grass next to my Sacred Heart of Jesus Statue that I have placed in front of my white with pink-tipped flowering Peony plant, whose buds are just beginning to form.  The statue is with Jesus dressed in his white robe with the red over shawl, as some of you have seen in my photographic image of the setting sun in my posting entitled Jesus Walks Among Us.  If you look into the setting sun over Highland Lake, you see an image of what appears to be an individual wearing a white robe with a red shawl.  It also appears that this image has an individual alongside him as the red material seems to be wrapped out around another image. When my Dad was alive, I recall him sharing with me a dream he had which impacted him for the rest of his life.  It was a vision of Jesus, shining in his glory in a purple glowing cloak with his ethereal eyes gleaming compassionately to envelope ones soul with peace. So I ended up repainting the Sacred Heart of Jesus Statue’s heart and his wounds in red and the cross, chain and shield in gold and the collar of his cloak in gold.

I do believe that the Romeo Eclipse is an important message for us all, that we are to be living heaven on earth now, and that the lion shall finally lie down with the lamb.

“Let there be a world to see, Let it be of Inspiration, Let there be a world to be, Let it be of God’s Creation.”

John V. Marchell (My Dad)

“The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the suffering and afflicted.  He has sent me to comfort the broken-hearted…Beauty for ashes; Joy instead of mourning; Praise instead of heaviness.”

Psalm 61: 1, 3

©Loriginals Designs Oil Painting

©Tofino Photography, Eagle Eclipse April 6, 2017

https://tofinophotography.wordpress.com/

This is the Day!!!

“The transcendental state of Being lies beyond all seeing, hearing, touching, smelling, and tasting – beyond all thinking and beyond all feeling.”

Maharishi Mahesh Yogi

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There are sacred moments in time where all the senses are so attuned that you feel saturated in the love of the Universe! It is places like Highland Lake which have brought that sense of awareness in timelessness. Prior to having internet and cell service there, it seemed to magically bring you to a place of peacefulness, wonderment and awe as moments seemed to span lifetimes!

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There is a glorious Willow Tree named “The Lady of the Lake” whose graceful limbs with lacey leaves reach towards the heavens! Her hour glass womanly figure-shaped trunk has weathered many a winter’s wind and basked in the summer’s vibrant glory! An earlier limb was used for children to swing out into the lake as they would splash cheerfully into the water! Through the years, she had to relinquish this part of herself to the past, full of memories of her lifetime!

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On the pathway walking around Highland Lake there is a stoic moss covered tree known as “The Lord of the Forest” whose stately presence breathes embodiment to all of nature.

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Further along the pathway around the lake, there is a section where the stream and pond flow out into the lake. Oftentimes you will see turtles and bullfrogs, together with dragonflies and you may even encounter a fairy or two!

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As you continue along the pathway, the senses of sight, taste, smell, hearing, feeling and knowing are awakened in the freshness of the fragrant, soothing air. It is moments like this which span our awareness of time and we become one with all that is around us and within us. This bliss full state of consciousness allows for incredible insights as the mind drops into sacred heart-centered alignment and inner knowing. You may see a spiritual rainbow cone, or even an orb or two!

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Peaceful mornings and throughout the day, the lake transforms her appearance into something new! There is much to be learned from her deep lesson of inner knowing.

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Cloud formations pass throughout the day, bringing colorful rainbows, angelic wisps of glistening crystals, as the sunlight reflects brilliantly off the textured glassy water.

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And so after a splendid sunset, the campfires begin to emerge surrounding the water’s edge. Oftentimes, the fireflies will gather around the sloping hills as the crickets and peepers and tree frogs begin their harmonic evening melodies which accompany the sparkling starts lighting up the gradually darkening vast evening sky.

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Sunfish Sailboats sport around Highland Lake with moments of gusty winds and other peaceful doldrums. There is a gentleman who has configured a way to sail his rainbow colored sailboat around the lake using just the one arm that he has – remarkable the ingenuity of the power of invention, determination and necessity!

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Then there is the early morning choir of birds singing, as the stillness of the morning air and water invigorates the soul. Timelessness revisited.

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Various boating activities and music festivals as well as floatilla competition are just some of the many activities at Highland Lake. Not to mention the fireworks! They simply begin on the Fourth of July weekend and continue throughout the season!

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And so our lives are to be lived to their fullest, richest, reaching for the stars, pressed down and flowing over! As my Mom would say, “Keep Joy in your life, Jesus wants it that way!” and as Grandma Marge would say, “Happy, Happy, Happy!!! Joy, Joy, Joy!!!”

“Rejoice in the Lord always! And again I say, rejoice!”

Philippians 4:4

©Loriginal Designs Photography

The Yellow Brick Road Pathway

“In quietness and confidence shall be your strength.”

Isaiah 3:15

Yellow, one of the three primary colors in an artists’ palette, it is often used as the color of sunshine, optimism, enlightenment of creativity and symbolizes spring.  It communicates our third chakra’s empowerment and is the center of our very being.  Being a Pilates and Yoga Instructor and Creative Coach, this is where all our emotional health and wellness, confidence and ability to believe in one self centers from.  As a pianist, it resonates to the letter “E” of the scale and uses sight and fire to create confidence within as music can sooth the soul.

It’s luminosity has actually changed the yellow hues of our planetary sun into a brilliant diamond of crystal prisms of dazzling white light. Yellow was my Mom’s favorite color, and ironically it symbolizes that angels are in our presence.

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“Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.”

Hebrews 13:2

In memory of Connie A. Mitchell Marchell whose anniversary will be this Easter, and ironically she passed on Easter 22 years ago.  Who many have called an earth angel, whose unconditional love, generosity, pure, open heart and sparkling smile radiated God’s Love, Joy and Peace and touched everyone on her Yellow Brick Road Pathway.  She would oftentimes say to me that “Sometimes God allows our hearts to be broken so that He can beautify our souls.”   Sunflowers are one of the many things which remind me of her essence and presence in my life.  I do believe that these flowers cry tears of joy, too.

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“All in good time and measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over.”

Luke 6:38

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“For the Lord sees not as man sees; man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.”

1 Samuel 15:17

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“Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any virtue and excellence and anything praiseworthy, meditate on these things.”

Philippians 4:8

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“Love requires sharing; Sharing requires struggle; Struggle requires faith; and Faith requires Love.”

Connie A. Mitchell Marchell

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“The Lord shall open unto thee His good treasure.”

Deuteronomy 28:12

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“If you love something, set it free; If it comes back it’s yours.  if it doesn’t, it never was.”

Richard Bach

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“When Jesus had taken the wine, he said, ‘It is finished.’

And bowing His head, He handed over His Spirit.”

John 19:30

©Photography Loriginal Designs

Biblical References

Two Hearts Breathe As One

Nature is our truest guide in learning regarding matters of the heart.

“…Love is very patient and kind, never jealous or envious, never boastful or proud…
It does not hold grudges, and will not notice when others do it wrong…it rejoices whenever truth wins out…”

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The seasons teach us the various wonders of our own symphony of life.

“…When you love someone, you will be loyal to him no matter what the cost.  You will always believe in him, always expect the best of him, and always stand your ground in defending him…”

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Bleeding love into its very essence, blooming into a joyous rhapsody.

“…Now all that I know is hazy and blurred, but then I will see everything clearly, just as clearly as God sees into my heart right now…”

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Delicately displayed, the heart is either embraced or crushed, so let us love and forgive one another in order to live in joy and peace.

“…There are three things that remain – Faith, Hope and Love – and the greatest of these is Love.”

 

©Photography and Quotes by Loriginal Designs

1 Corinthians 13 excerpts

 

Love, Compassion and Forgiveness

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Highland Lake, PA

“Now it is time for you to forgive *(him/her) and comfort *him.  Otherwise *he may become so bitter and discouraged that *he won’t be able to recover.  Please show *him now that you still do love *him very much.”

2 Corinthians 2:7

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Have you ever wondered why certain lessons keep appearing in your life, especially when you have done all the clearing out, cleansing, releasing, burning and letting go rituals?  Might you take a new perspective on this message that keeps appearing from the messenger – these “thorns in your side” are very well the weaknesses which will make you strong.  The apostle Paul spoke of this as he pleaded to be removed from these deeply intense challenges placed upon him during his ministry.  Yet, through these weaknesses he rejoiced, for it is through being on his knees he opened himself up to receive strength within from the Spirit that gives us life.

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Everything surrounding us desires to be loved, nurtured and embraced, especially the briars with which we may be become entangled in our lives.  At these times on our journey, it is wise to pause and reflect on how these spindles need to be welcomed into our realm of forgiveness within ourselves.  A close friend of mine told me that sometimes all an individual has left to give are snakes (i.e. hurtful things because that person is hurting and that’s all they have left to give).  Everyone is doing the best that they can given the circumstances presented to them (i.e., you don’t know the burdens of another unless you walk a mile in their shoes).  That is why it is so very important to have compassion towards others and encourage and support one another.  It then makes the journey full of Light radiating from within. For to love and to be loved is to feel the sun from both sides.

“Forgiveness is my function as the light of the world.”

Lesson 62, A Course in Miracles

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© Loriginal Designs

Chapter 2: Smelting (excerpt)

“My Father’s Greatest Gift:  Life Lessons from a Black English Labrador Retriever”

My Father’s Greatest Gift

…Later that day as the sun began to sit low in the sky it reflected
its brilliant hues of orange, pink, yellow and purple. That is when
many people of all ages, shapes and sizes began arriving to Salmon
Creek. They had long nets and wore funny boots that stretched all the
way up to their waist! People began to build campfires on the stony
banks of the creek. There were also other kinds of Dogheads there. I
spoke out in my excitement! Soon, the sun had gone to sleep and the
sparkles of stars in the sky began to appear with a big yellowish-white
moon rising against the darkening sky. Lanterns began to turn on as
the people began to wade into the creek with their long nets as they
scooped up the silvery-blue colored smelt from the rushing waters.
Soon, Salmon Creek was filled with the lights of the lanterns and it
appeared to be BRIGHTER than the stars in the sky!…

Chapter 1: Puppy Number 8 (excerpt)

“My Father’s Greatest Gift:  Life Lessons from a Black English Labrador Retriever”

My Father’s Greatest Gift

Ah, Doghead here. Let me begin by saying that from my
vantage point, things are really warm and toasty! I kept it that way
as long as I could to be a gentleman and let my brothers and sisters
go before me. And then my turn arrived. All of a sudden, I felt a
large tongue licking me and heard a lot of noises that were new to
me. Then, my eyes were opened and I could see my Mother, Parisian,
with all of my brothers and sisters! Wow, we were out and making
noises that I had never heard before! My Father wasn’t there, but his
name was Broadway Bound and I inherited his dancing abilities as
I’ve been often told!

One by one I had to say good-bye to my brothers and sisters as
they left our home to live with their new families. I wished them well.
I stayed with my Mother and her owner, who happened to be my new
Master’s nephew! They were similar in some ways – they both had
been athletes and they could speak both Slovak and Doghead (more
on that further into my story). My Mother, Paris, was very lucky to
have such a kind and dog-friendly master who seemed to always have
special things for us to learn. I think I especially enjoyed the rides in
the cart behind his tractor. Going for rides in the truck is still one of
my most favorite pastimes!

My most exciting moment was when I met my Master,
whose name is John! John is a handsome, stoic man whose firm,
commanding voice gave way to the most endearing soul I could ever
wish to have – we were best of friends from the start! John’s son has a
very similar compassionate soul – a dog’s heaven on earth, to be sure!…

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Chapter 10: Tomatoes, Sunflowers and Roses (excerpt from Chert Dog)

“My Father’s Greatest Gift:  Life Lessons from a Black English Labrador Retriever”

My Father’s Greatest Gift

John had a heart of gold and would do anything for you.
His loves were his beloved wife, Connie and her father, his son and
daughter, his brother and parents, in-laws, family, neighbors and
friends. But his most special gift was that of loving wildlife and
gardening, and did he ever grow amazing tomatoes whose “stalks”
stretched alongside the backyard garage to almost the rooftop! The
sunflowers had enormous flowers of which all the birds would flock to
for a feast! His lawn was the lushest and greenest in the neighborhood.
And I had heard from many that when Connie was alive, the rose
garden’s beauty and fragrance had a surreal appeal. You might say
he was blessed with a “green thumb” as many referred to him as a
Master Gardener. One could also note that it was his education and
training at Cornell’s Agricultural Program. A neighboring retired
veterinarian would often comment that it was the Japanese Quail
droppings. I personally say that is was his complete and selfless love
of planting, watering, nurturing and talking to the many plants, trees
and flowers that he gave his unconditional love to. I know that for a
fact because the minute I met John, I could see immediately through
his outer gruffness when he smiled at me with a twinkle in his eye
and spoke to me with words filled with an altruistic appreciation for
Dogheads like me. There seemed to be a release in his demeanor
the day that we met, as if to say that he had found a fresh start and
relief to his tired and grieving heart. I loved him from the start. He
gave me discipline, to make me a better person-I mean Doghead! He
showed me many wonderful places and exciting people to expand my
horizons. My most favorite times with him were being co-pilot when
we went for drives and sleeping on his pillow on his couch.

It was in his brokenness that God healed his spirit thought the
love of his children, the kindness and many homemade-meals from
his mother-in-law, family and friends and the many adventures that
both he and I had throughout his life. I was there to see two weddings
as he became a father to yet another son and daughter that brought
in many new family members. This brought much change for him
to deal with at first, and though reluctant and stubborn, he seemed
to adapt graciously until he had a sense of pure knowing about
him…

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Chapter 3: Ice Skating (excerpt)

“My Father’s Greatest Gift:  Life Lessons from a Black English Labrador Retriever”

My Father’s Greatest Gift

John has a daughter, Lori, who came to live with us. It’s funny
because she’s not at all like us guys. I overheard her talking to her
brother about me saying that she was most curious about me! She got
bundled up on a cold, snowy night to take me out for a walk. Little
did she know what I had in store for her! The minute we stepped
out of the front door, I was away running while pulling her along
behind me on my leash. As I ran, she went sliding along behind me
across the ice glazed street! I think she would have done better had
she clad her cross-country skis, but who am I to say? I think I’ll keep
her as my human girlfriend because she has a compassionate heart
just like her Brother and their Father. I hear that their Mom was a
really fun, loving and joyous woman. I have a lot of work to do to fill
her shoes! I mean, I have four paws, but you get the picture. My job
here is to bring some love, fun and memorable experiences into this
family’s life because it has been so broken by her loss. God has big
plans for me. I hope that He will give me direction because I want
to do the best that I can to help and as you know, us Dogheads don’t
have many years here, so we have to work extra hard at our jobs.
Sometimes, I ask my Master’s wife to give me some suggestions and
I am beginning to feel like she is helping me out here.

Chapter 4: Quail Eggs (excerpt from Chert Dog)

“My Father’s Greatest Gift:  Life Lessons from a Black English Labrador Retriever”

My Father’s Greatest Gift

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…John has found a new use for his business as a hatchery for
Japanese Quail. Those crazy birds sure can make a lot of noise –
they are lucky that they are in cages otherwise I would just have to
chase them, being the bird dog that I am! No, I would not eat them –
yuck! And remember, unless it’s covered with tomato sauce, I am
pretty much a vegetarian. Anyhow, John sells their molted purple-blue
speckled eggs to Japanese restaurants in New York City. A big
D’Artagnan truck drives up on Fridays to pick up the quail eggs.
I’ve never been to New York City, but I think it would be fun to take
a ride there. I’ve seen on television these bright red double-decker
tour buses that are in the city. I would ride on top of one of those and
see all of the sights! I think I would like best to go for the Macy’s
Thanksgiving Day Parade with all of the floats, big balloons and
music during the day, then at night for all the beautiful holiday lights!

But back to the birds…as I said, John graduated from Cornell’s
Agricultural School and has recently been working with them in the
business of quail-raising. Sometimes we go for rides up to Cornell
to pick up more quail. John has a machine that gets very hot and it
hatches the quail eggs. He keeps the females while the males end up
going back to Cornell. He started this operation in the basement of
the house that we live in, but it outgrew that space, so he moved it to
his business property.

John takes such joy in creating Easter egg baskets for friends
and family using the molted bluish-purple speckled quail eggs in
little tiny baskets. Unique, that is for sure! Can’t say I ever tried a
quail egg, though – I guess they are cooked then pickled and served
in Japanese restaurants as a delicacy. If people could see a “behind
the scenes” of the life of a quail, they might have seconds thoughts
about terming it as a “delicacy” as their lives are not any different
from that of a chicken – the chickens just lay bigger eggs…

 

Chapter 5: Co-Pilot (excerpt from Chert Dog)

“My Father’s Greatest Gift:  Life Lessons from a Black English Labrador Retriever”

My Father’s Greatest Gift

On a ride out to the countryside, John’s vehicle broke down.
We had to walk for a while and my paws started to bleed, so my
beloved Master carried me until we found help at the in-law’s family
auto dealership. I guess I am very heavy because he was having a
difficult time. He is sooooo good to me; I wish I could take away that
empty place inside his soul. I smile and carry his quilted flannel shirt
everywhere we go and wag my tail and even bark to bring him out
of himself. Sometimes he’ll grin and laugh and say that I am the best
dog he ever had. But deep down I know that no matter how much love
I give to him, he is missing the woman who made him feel complete
even despite himself. So I guess I’ll just keep taking his shirts down
off of their hangers and bite off all of the buttons and run away when
he lets me outside without a leash to help him transfer some of his
emotion into dealing with me! Ha! Ha! Ha!

There are so many different colors, shapes and sizes of
vehicles at the dealership! Some have soft cloth tops, some have really
big wheels with white sidewall tires, rims and back seats that open up
on the outside of the vehicle which are called rumble seats! The newer
vehicles have common names such as Chevrolet, GMC or Pontiac.
Others from the antique and classic collection have unusual names
like Studebaker, Auburn, Rolls-Royce and Lincoln just to name a
few. John has one called a Packard that is black with a rumble seat
and was made in 1935, the year he was born. I would love to ride in
it someday! I would wear my dark goggles and flashy scarf and feel
the breeze running through my ears – it sure would beat putting my
head sideways out the window all of the time!

I guess before my time John’s step father-in-law owned this
dealership and was quite a character, or so I have been told. He
always wore really wild colored pants that had prints and plaids
on them and you could see him coming at you a mile away! He
absolutely LOVED collecting cars, ALL makes and models and
would travel across the country with a traveling car club. They had
a chance to participate in a movie that required antique cars and
went to big parties. Oftentimes, he would buy another vehicle while
traveling and either had someone drive back to get it or he would
drive it back himself and have his wife drive the other vehicle. When
they moved to spend their winters in Florida, he would drive his
1957 Packard convertible that had bright pink interior and a white,
pink and black exterior with a license plate which read “Pink Pet.” I
never thought of a vehicle as a pet before, but I guess everyone has
their passion! He would drive to the donut shop every morning to get
coffee and donuts (us Dogheads call them “doghnuts”)! My Master
gives me white powdered sugar-coated ones when he has coffee in
the morning. I get covered with the white fluff, but they are tasty! I
think that his relative loved cars just about as much as I love PIZZA!…

Chapter 6: Happy Family (excerpt from Chert Dog)

“My Father’s Greatest Gift:  Life Lessons from a Black English Labrador Retriever”

My Father’s Greatest Gift

John and I went to a party and I got to meet another Doghead
named Lad. He had longer white hair with liver-colored spots and
hair wings off the back of his legs, ears and tail. I had never seen
a dog with hair wings before! Talk about energetic! He ran circles
around me! I’ll bet he drinks espresso coffee or something. There
were lots of people there, new faces and familiar faces. It was a
beautiful day and I went for lots of walks in the woods behind the
house. I think this is the home of Lori’s fiancé. His parents are really
fun people and they want me to call them Papa and Bobci. They’re
cool because they have a Doghead, too. Lad likes to swim and dive
for rocks! He actually dives under water from their boat and picks up
the heavy rocks in his mouth. The poor guy really does need to go
to the dentist for some dentures or something! Except he would need
super glue to hold the dentures in if he continued to pick up rocks, so
I guess it’s best for him to just keep what is left of his teeth!

 

Chapter 7: Twice The Treats (excerpt from Chert Dog)

“My Father’s Greatest Gift:  Life Lessons from a Black English Labrador Retriever”

My Father’s Greatest Gift

Now with two new families through marriage our lives are
really getting busier! More toys and treats for me! John is adjusting
well to all of the visits from his growing family with invitations to
visit and many activities. He seems to be softening up on the inside
as well as the outside, too. He laughs more and is excited about his
garden preparations for this year with many little plants started in the
sun room alongside the living room. He is quite a horticulturist with
his special lights, mixtures of soils and deliveries of unique seeds
and tiny plants.

As the weather began to get a bit warmer (and muddier), John
made greenhouse covers alongside the back garage to keep the tiny
transplanted plants warm and protected from any early spring frost.
He made them from recycled tanning bed covers. So his homemade
greenhouses kept the tiny plants warm and healthy as the weather
began to get warmer.

2000

Chapter 9: Thanksgiving (excerpt from Chert Dog)

“My Father’s Greatest Gift:  Life Lessons from a Black English Labrador Retriever”

My Father’s Greatest Gift

I, personally, got to pose with all my little “cousins” for a
family photo shoot. They even allowed for me to assist in some of
the present unwrapping festivities, of which I gladly partook. Out of
all of the holiday seasons that I have experienced with John, this one
seemed to be the most cherished. It is memorable for me in knowing
that my purpose and contract was nearing completion for John and
knowing deep within that he had put to rest all that had troubled
him throughout his life. He had finally reached his true, inner being
releasing all that no longer served him and was finally at peace.

Chapter 8: Snow Plowing (excerpt from Chert Dog)

My Father’s Greatest Gift:  Life Lessons from a Black English Labrador Retriever”

My Father’s Greatest Gift

Snow, snow, snow!!! How I LOVE SNOW! Whenever I can,
I put my head through the light, fluffy stuff then roll over and make
doggy angels! Sometimes, the snow gets hard and icy, then it is no
longer fun for snow plowing! I will sit outside in the snow for hours,
catching the flakes on my tongue – tasty! The way the shadows of
blue and silver sparkle like diamonds on the snow are my favorite
thing this time of year! Everything has a fresh newness to it and you
feel revitalized with the crisp air. I could sit in the snow for hours – it
is one of my most favorite pastimes!

It is football season – and John just LOVES football and his
favorite NFL team is the New York Giants! He is so knowledgeable
about the game, he could talk about it for hours with other football
fanatics – and he often does! Back in his younger years, if you played
professional football, you also had a full-time job in the off-season as
the pay was not that good. There was a feeling of camaraderie among
both the coaches and the players and you were a family. You did it
because you loved it, not for the money because it really didn’t pay
that much back then. Boy, how times have changed. Anyhow, he still
loves football and enjoys the announcer’s enthusiasm and background
information about the players.

Chapter 10: Tomatoes, Sunflowers and Roses (excerpt from Chert Dog)

“My Father’s Greatest Gift:  Life Lessons from a Black English Labrador Retriever”

My Father’s Greatest Gift

On a bright and sunny day, while basking in the afternoon
sun on the cool-grassy yard, a few goldfinches and cardinals flew to
the bird feeders as a soft, soothing breeze ruffled my fur. Chris and
Lori unloaded the truck to reveal oodles of red, juicy tomatoes that
they had picked from John’s garden. Even though he was no longer
with us, his garden was producing an incredible crop – his generous
heart was still giving to us from beyond. He taught me through his
patient process of germination to his bountiful plants bearing fruit
how important it is to give things their appointed time to flourish.
No two plants are the same; I am pretty certain that can be said for
Dogheads and people, too…

carlsen-01

 

 

Chapter 11: Mr. Svelte at Taughannock Falls (excerpt from Chert Dog)

“My Father’s Greatest Gift:  Life Lessons from a Black English Labrador Retriever”

My Father’s Greatest Gift

Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy! We all went on a family vacation
together and I got to stay overnight in a rustic wooden cabin in the
wooded-camping area of Taughannock Falls overlooking Cayuga
Lake. There were walks up the wide tree-lined pathway towards
waterfalls and we even got to go into the creek bed so I could swim
for a little bit. There were these deep sink-holes which made for a
refreshing experience. Several people of all shapes and sizes were at
the campsite, some had little children and Dogheads, too!

When it approached dusk, they tried to lock me up in the
cabin by myself, but it did not interest me in the least to rest inside
when I could be exploring new sights with them. So, we all piled
into the car and drove to a restaurant situated a few miles from the
campsite. They parked the vehicle very close to a window to the
restaurant so that they could see me from the inside. And you guessed
it – NO DOGS ALLOWED in the restaurant! I was very reluctant
with the situation at first, and continued to comment as they kept
coming out to talk to me and let me know that they would be bringing
me something to eat when they were finished with the meal. Well,
why didn’t they just TELL ME they were going to bring me some
eats? After that, I laid down in the back seat awaiting my delicious
treat that would be on its way.

Later that evening, they built a campfire which smoldered a bit
at first due to the wood being damp. After a while, the flames began
to crackle across the dried kiln and there was a toasty fire glowing in
the darkness of the night. They toasted some marshmallows skewed
on tree twigs over the flames and I tried one, but it was really hot
and sticky. I much prefer the uncooked version! Other campers had
fire pits snap-crackle-popping while the crickets created a cadence
of sounds that went along with the soft sound of the waves lapping
at the shoreline below. Since it was a moonless night, the orangey-yellow
light from the campsites brought warmth to the chill in the air.
Have you ever just looked into the flames, their colors ranging from
yellow to orange to red to purple to blue – as if it were a of rainbow
of sorts? Observing the burning piles of dried wood seems to be the
most mesmerizing experience I have ever had in my life. It seems to
take you either deep within yourself or very much out of yourself. But
wherever that cosmic place of serenity is, the flames seem to ignite
that knowing place in your soul.

taughannockpark

Chapter 13: Swimming, Boating and Walking with the Pack (excerpt from Chert Dog)

“My Father’s Greatest Gift:  Life Lessons from a Black English Labrador Retriever”

My Father’s Greatest Gift

My extent of boating experiences has been sitting in the
middle of the canoe as we take our time circling around the small
lake. I have also sat on the back of the two-seated paddle-boat, but
find this not quite as comfortable. Even though I have not gone out
on the small sailboat, I have been on the front of the one-man yellow
kayak, which I have found to be the most comfortable ride on the
water by far. I can lie down and rest my head and even take a nap
and let Chris do all of the work. I find all of these experiences very
restful and rejuvenating at the same time.

The family has quite a collection of boats in their fleet which
are lined-up on the tiny-pebble shoreline. The nieces and nephews
and their friends have such fun swimming, swinging over the water
from a rope attached to a shapely willow tree called “The Lady of the
Lake,” playing on the floating dock, doing a little fishing or taking the
boats out for a spin. There is always much activity when everyone is
at the cottage. Sometimes, I take a nap on the shaded slope up away
from all of the activity. I find the fresh air and scent from the wild
vegetation surrounding the area to be very intoxicating and soothing
to the soul.

nutmegandchertboating

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Chapter 14: The Christmas Tree Forest (excerpt from Chert Dog)

“My Father’s Greatest Gift:  Life Lessons from a Black English Labrador Retriever”

My Father’s Greatest Gift

We went for a ride out through the rolling countryside on a
snowy day to meet the family to get their Christmas trees, but Lori
does not cut down living trees, she is into planting them. She tells me
that trees are our best friend, because they breathe in carbon dioxide
and give off oxygen. They provide homes for wildlife and shade
on sunny days and soak-up the moisture after the rain to prevent
flooding. The way that I see it, the more trees that there are, the more
oxygen for all. That sounds like one step towards achieving a sense of
balance in the environment, what do you think? Anyhow, we have an
artificial Christmas tree that was Connie’s which takes several hours
to assemble, but once it is complete, I could just gaze at the lights and
glistening ornaments all night. It is my important job to supervise the
whole process of putting the Christmas tree together!

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Chapter 15: Cousin Dugan “My Father’s Greatest Gift” (excerpt)

“My Father’s Greatest Gift:  Life Lessons from a Black English Labrador Retriever”

My Father’s Greatest Gift

This past summer, we went up to the family cottage and I met
my new cousin, Dugan, a Wheaton Terrier. We became friends right
from the start! He was still a puppy, so he did test my nerves a bit,
but as soon as we both went into the lake and swam together, things
were great! We lounged alongside the sloping grassed bank of the
lake and took naps. Then, we went swimming again! Chris and Lori
went swimming with us, too. Then, they took me for a canoe ride.
I used to be able to sit up in the canoe and look around, but my legs
were sore, so I just laid down for the ride.

The real surprise came later that summer when the side door
to the house opened up and cousin Dugan’s family came inside with
a crate, food, treats and toys and they LEFT cousin Dugan in his
crate in the basement! Well, since I will not do those basement stairs
anymore (long story…), I waited for my family to get home. Then,
cousin Dugan was out of the cage and running around everywhere!
What was going on?! Finally, I learned that cousin Dugan was staying
over for a few days while Chris’ family visited Papa and Bobci on
the St. Lawrence River at Cape Vincent. Apparently, no dogs were
allowed there either!

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Chapter 15: Cousin Dugan (excerpt from Chert Dog)

“My Father’s Greatest Gift:  Life Lessons from a Black English Labrador Retriever”

My Father’s Greatest Gift

The next morning, Lori took me for a walk and I visited with
my Syria and had some more photos taken of me. It was a beautiful
day with the autumn leaves expressing their joyous celebration of
color as they lit up the hillside with their vivid hues. The sky was a
brilliant deep blue which brought a sense of peace to my heart. Then,
we all went for a ride, but this ride was not at all like all the other
rides I have been on in the past. I just knew something was different
about this trip. When we arrived at our destination, Lori went inside
the building and came back out to say that we were to come back in
about an hour.

Guess where we went? My most favorite place – watershed!
They helped me out of the back seat of the car and we strolled along
the pathway with the little pond nearby. Several Canadian Geese
were floating on the water and flying around the shoreline. There
was a creek on the other side of the pathway which flowed across the
many rocks in its bed. The colors on the hillside were a breathtaking
backdrop to our unexpected walk. I must say that it was truly the
most wondrous day of my life!

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Love is Patient with Jaco Kitty (excerpt)

Chert Dog’s Greatest Gift:  Quantum Leaps of Faith

One of my favorite Bible verses is taken from 1 Corinthians 13 regarding the importance of Love in our life.  If you explore the context further with use of your trusty Thesaurus, the deeper meaning of the sublimation of our ego and the imperative importance of forgiveness of both others as well as ourselves comes to light.  Contemplating these inner truths while sitting underneath my beautiful and fragrant Wine and Roses Weigela, the message of unconditional love permeates through the air, the flowers, the birds and sun.  It surrounds us and envelopes us, it molds and shapes us into becoming all that we are capable of through the collective power of Love.

With this Valentine’s Day remembering all those we have loved and continue to love, it is imperative that we look within to celebrate the joy of your inner wellspring of God/Source/Energy and to spread this love prayerfully and energetically through your gift of conscious awareness toward all of life.  It is our duty and purposeful calling to permeate and saturate the entire world with loving, joyous and peaceful thoughts towards all life.  As I am contemplative sitting underneath my colorful Weigela, I think about the love and grace that went into creating such a glorious creation and marvel at all the beauty surrounding us and within us.  That’s why I meditate so often, as it renews my spirit and allows for me to prepare for my next quantum leap of faith!

“Since the Lord is directing our steps, why try to understand everything that happens along the way?” Proverbs 21:24

UTube posting of C-13 Sonata

 

Introduction from Jaco Kitty

Chert Dog’s Greatest Gift:  Quantum Leaps of Faith

As you may have read a few days ago, after quite a long time stranded in an oak tree, Chert Dog sent along Lori to find me.  But I had to take a leap of faith from the tree to get to a lower branch so that she could climb up to get me!  My stories are all about taking leaps of faith.  If you read Hebrews 11:1 is says that “Faith is the substance of things hopes for, the evidence of things NOT YET SEEN.”  So to visualize and believe and have conviction and declare God’s victory over your life is no small task.  Believe me, I prayed, I cried out to God in my most hopeless appearing hour that I would have help.  And sure enough, I did receive help, but I HAD TO TAKE THE FIRST “LEAP” for things to change in my life.  I thank Chert Dog for coming into Lori’s dream and that she was open to listening to his message, otherwise I wouldn’t be here sharing my story, now would I?

Since Chert had several costumes and toys, Lori made me a stuffed tiger bow tie toy from one of his Halloween costumes.  Needless to say, it is my favorite toy and “security blanket” for it is because of Chert that I am here writing to you now!  I love posing for photos, and have been told that from my “ugly duckling” adolescence, I have matured into a handsome cat!  But this all has to do with the LOVE that I receive.  It encourages me and provides healthy self-worth and confidence as well as supports me in all of my “leaps of faith” that present themselves to me in lesson.  More on that to follow!

If there is anything I can share with you about my first and most important “leap of faith” it would be that the solutions arrive at the last possible moment!  I’ve tested this theory again and again with various “dark nights of the soul” and have ALWAYS arrived at the same conclusion:  The challenges already come with the solution, we just have to have FAITH that we will know WHEN TO TAKE THE NEXT LEAP OF FAITH, which is ALWAYS at the very last possible conceivable moment.  It’s is just how this new energy works.   So, every time you take that action leap, you are supported, every single time.  My first example is my being stranded in that big oak tree.  I was terrified!  But fell into loving arms that have never let me go ever since.  First confirmation.  My second example is being chased by the catbird and me chasing him!  I was still a kitten, and had never seen or heard the likes of this flying bird that sounded like a cat!  But eventually, we learned to become friends as he would perch atop the back deck umbrella while I would then run out to the back yard and he would dive bomb me!  We actually became pretty good playmates!  A third example is when Cousin Dugan came to visit!  We kept our distance as I hissed and pounced towards him in the beginning, but by the end of the visit, we became slumber party buddies sharing the same bed together!  So, these are just a few “leaps of faith” that I will share with you for now.  They all have taught me the importance of stretching my boundaries and being open to new and unusual animals to open myself up to more expansive potentials and possibilities!

 

 

 

Cousin Dugan and Jaco Kitty (excerpt)

Chert Dog’s Greatest Gift: Quantum Leaps of Faith

As you can see by the photo, I felt it safe to be on the piano bench, up higher than Cousin Dugan as I surveyed the situation at hand!  I know that Chert and Dugan were best of friends, so he has to be pretty cool even though he is a dog!  I am just not used to sharing my “space” with other animals, so this has been a lesson in loving-kindness and hospitality!  See, all of the challenges do come with a solution, you just have to sit with them and meditate on them long enough and the answer will come.  Just in its own time and on its own terms, most of the time.  This situation was different because Cousin Dugan just “arrived” at our home to stay for a few days, so this is what you call “crash course” leaps of faith!  First, I needed to know that he wasn’t going to bite me!  Second, I needed to know that he was just visiting, so it was just for a few days of adjusting to things being different.  And third, I needed to know that I was strong enough to handle this challenge and become a good and gracious host to Cousin Dugan because he was really put into quite a situation as well.  All his family was gone and he is here with me, a cat that has 22+claws to defend myself, so he was “treading lightly” around me.

After some outdoor activity, we became to bond a bit more as Cousin Dugan is a push-over when it comes to being mild-mannered and easy going!  His kind demeanor made for his visit to be an enjoyable slumber party!  So my inner challenges were once again erased and turned into new and wonderful experiences learning to share my home and get along with another animal.  We are placed in situations and need to ask what the message is being brought by the messenger.  I learned the importance of getting along with others no matter what type of animal that they are.  We are all in this together!  Thanks Cousin Dugan!