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Posts tagged ‘friendship’


Here’s my heart

It’s a Wednesday evening.  (Two more days until the weekend.)

I am exhausted from a long day of teaching, and it’s late right now.  I didn’t eat dinner (I forgot to), and I’m sitting here writing because, I am committed to the WordPress Post a Day challenge for 2011.  I have made a promise to myself to write every day until the clock strikes 2012.

I won’t try to convince you that it’s been an easy challenge because it’s not at all easy, but it’s never drudgery.  That’s because I love blogging.

As a result of signing up for this Post a Day challenge, WordPress sends bloggers different ideas about topics to write about.  Since I never had a problem deciding what to write about, I didn’t need the suggestions – I wrote about the Caylee Anthony murder for nearly three years and there was always something to write about!

A day or so ago WordPress sent out a suggestion for a post that I liked.   The  suggestion was to write a post about why we became bloggers and why we gave our blog its name.

Image Credit: Saper Galleries

The main reason I started this blog was to prove to myself that I could really do it, first of all.   And secondly, because I really really needed to vent about the Caylee Anthony case.  I never thought anyone would read my blog.  I didn’t think it would become anything other than a place for me to rant about the Anthony case.   I called the blog “only dreamin”  because it was my dream to begin a blog, I was only dreaming about anyone “liking” the blog.

It took a while for me to figure out what I was doing, and how to do it. It also took some time for me to figure out what my “voice” was on the blog.

My first blog post was July 11, 2009.  I had no idea what I was doing; no idea how to blog, or how anything worked on WordPress.  I didn’t know what “tags” were, I didn’t know anything and had no idea about “hits” either.  (Hits refer to people “hitting” or landing on your blog.)

I’ve always wanted to start a blog, but didn’t think I could write anything people would read.  In short, I never expected much, but my dreams were bigger than my doubts.

And then, I began to meet and chat with other bloggers, and friendships started in this little community of ours.  We all have grown to respect and like one another, too.

It was Sherry who was the very first commenter on my blog.  And when I read what she’d written it nearly made me cry, and I prayed she’d come back often.  She did!   One of the sweetest notes she wrote to me was:

God bless you in all of your endeavors! May all your dreams come true and when they do may you say, Am I dreamin’?

By the time I decided to commit to the Post a day challenge for 2011, so many new people began to visit and leave notes!    That has been the real blessing.

So, that is how this blog was born!  I thought it was a dream on the one hand, and on the other hand, it was an avenue for me to discuss my dreams (about happiness, gratitude, justice, and many more things).

I love blogging.  There is nothing more satisfying than to finish a post and press that “publish” button!  My heart stops every time I press that button.

I have not missed a single night of writing a post!  The grand total of posts for 2011, after this post is published, is a total of  222 posts.  (Yup, we are 222 days into 2011 already!)

I think this is a good time to tell my fellow-bloggers how much they mean to me.

It was in 2008 when I met Kitt in a chat-room about the Anthony case.  When Kitt came to visit for the first time, I couldn’t believe it!  I always learn something from Kitt. (Heart out to you, Kitt.)

Weezie aka Louise, has been so kind from very early on, when I first started the blog.  I have grown so fond of Weezie, and I delight in the support she constantly gives me. (Heart out to you, Weezie.)

Hilde, dear Hilde was one of the very first to visit.  Always so kind and supportive, and I love it when she “vents,” because her passion is divine.  (Heart out to you, Hilde.)

Knight Owl and Louie have been visiting for a while now, too.  No cat can hold a candle to Louie!  And Knight Owl has always brought so much knowledge and insight.  (Heart out to you, Knight Owl & Louie).

Jon is old faithful, but I think he’s so bummed about the verdict that he’s given up on blogging, and I miss him.  Jon has made me laugh so much!  (Heart out to you, Jon.)

Off-the-cuff is has incredible insight and analytical skills.  OTC tells it like it is, no holes barred, which I appreciate so much.  (Heart out to you, OTC.)

Rob is another old faithful and is another one with great insight.  Rob writes thought provoking comments – he’s pretty funny, too.  (Heart out to you, Rob.)

I love it when Venice visits, although she has a busy life, she pops in on occasion to make us laugh.  (Heart out to you, Venice.)

Kim, dearest Kim.  She has a blog, too, listed in my Blogroll.  Kim has the best spirit and more courage than I think I could muster.  My dear friend, Kim is always there.  (Heart out to you, Kim.)

EDRN and Kim and I became buddies when we tried to hula-hoop.  I never did it very well, but EDRN got pretty good at it.  Miss you, EDRN.  (Heart out to you, EDRN.)

CptKD, my dear friend, another Kim.  What a writer she is!  CptKD wrote a post for me, too.  That was a lot of fun, and a good learning experience for both of us. CptKD is another very courageous soul; and she brings an LE insight, too, which we love. (Heart out to you, CptKD.)

The fact that Dee visits and leaves such wonderful insight from a lawyers perspective is incredibly valuable and enlightening.  Dee is very generous about sharing her knowledge, and I am so grateful for that!  (Heart out to you, Dee.)

There is no better cheerleader than RahRah!  A loving and generous soul who has so much to share. Love her insight into the case.  (Heart out to you,  RahRah.)

Mainstreamfair, dear heart, has her own wonderful blog, too.  It’s on my blogroll.  If you’ve not visited her blog, you’ll love it.  Thank you for your support, Mainstreamfair.  (Heart out to you.)

Marinade Dave is someone I am honored to call friend.  What a writer!  He has been so generous with his vast knowledge about the Anthony case, and about Orlando.  We were all so pleased that Dave was hired by Orlando Magazine to cover the trial.  He did an incredible job, too. (Heart out to you, Dave.)

Nan11 doesn’t have a blog of her own (I don’t think), but she’s a wonderful writer.  Maybe she’ll start a blog, too – hint hint!  (Heart out to you, Nan.)

Humble Opinion’s blog was the very first blog I ever read on the Casey Anthony case. What a great job she does and has done, to record the events leading up to the trial in the Anthony case.  I don’t always have the time to visit her blog, but love it when I do. (Heart out to you, Humble.)

Damaged Pets is a writer who has great insight about the Anthony case, especially.  I get blown away nearly every time a comment is left because you get right to the core issue, Damaged Pets. (Heart out to you.)

Although I don’t always agree with GasCanGeorge, the comments give me a different perspective to consider, a different point of view.  The beauty of living is that we all think differently.  How boring it would be if there were no diversity of thought!  (Heart out to you.)

Faith is very kind and  knowledgeable and I always look forward to hearing from her!  Like her name, her faith is so great.  She is a true believer. (Heart out to you, Faith.)

Shyloh has been following the Anthony case, like most of us had, since day one, and her insight is rich, too.  I love the name “Shyloh” too!  (Heart out to you, Shyloh.)

And Lona1 is hysterical and always finds the best You Tube videos to share!  I love to laugh with Lona!  (Heart out to you, Lona1.)

Whistler’smother is another blogger with terrific insight who I love to hear from.  Thank you for all the time you visit!  (Heart out to you, Whistlersmother.)

KatyDid always has something kind and thoughtful to share…. I enjoy her visits so much!  (Heart out to you, KatyDid.)

Linda, NancyB, Colleen, Addie, Another Andrea, Darlene, Michael D, Marcie, Margaret, Brandon Bob…. You continue to teach me so much….. (Heart out to all of you.)

And lastly, Sherry, who I mentioned earlier as one of the first to visit and write lovely and encouraging things to me, has been such a dear friend to me.  Sherry, I think the world of you and I thank you for all you’ve given to support me these last couple of years.  (Heart out to you, Sherry.)

I am sure I have forgotten to list so many….  It’s not that I forgot you, it’s just that I am bleary eyed and my mind is mush, mashed mush to be exact.

In closing, I’m not only dreamin’ any longer because so many lovely people have jumped into my heart and filled it right up!


counting the counties

Casey Anthony’s right to a fair trial includes her right to have a jury of her peer’s to sit in judgment of the crimes she is charged with.

I have always assumed that the phrase a jury of one’s peers was part of the Sixth Amendment “Right to a Fair Trial”.

Nope. Not there.

So, I then figured it must be in the Fifth Amendment, “Rights in Criminal Cases”.

Nope. Not there, either.

So, now I’m curious.  I went in search of answers.  A number of different sources proclaimed that the ideal of “a jury of one’s own peers” is from long ago, reaching back to the 12th century.

I did learn that it was not until 1967 that the Supreme Court decided that this right will be part of the Fourteenth Amendment.  Therefore, it is the Fourteenth Amendment that assures one the right to a jury of “peers and equals” without exclusion.

There is a website dedicated to the US Constitution that contains a page titled: “Things that are Not in the U.S. Constitution”, written by Steve Mount.

He writes:

Today, the American ideal dictates that we are all peers of one another, that regardless of gender, race, religion, social status, or any other division (except age), we are all equal. In this ideal, since we are all peers, a guarantee of a jury of ones peers would be redundant. While some argue with this ideal, it is the most democratic way to approach the subject. Juries need only be impartial, and not made up of one’s peers, else the jury system would be unworkable.

I must say, I very much like that logic and that ideal.  However, Judge Perry, one would think, would have to consider a jury of Casey’s peers, lest he be called out on an appellate issue after the fact.

So, with an ideal in mind of a jury of peers, let’s discuss where Casey’s jurors might come from.

The Case of the Mystery County

Out of pure curiosity, and a love of putting together puzzles, I decided to look at all of the  67 counties in Florida, in terms of demographics, to try and figure out what county would provide a jury of Casey’s peers for her trial.

I am attempting to put together some sort of reasoning around “Jury of One’s Own Peers” and see what I could come up with.   However, it’s anyone’s guess what criteria Judge Perry might be considering when he determines where the Jury for the Casey Anthony case will come from.  One can only assume that he would look at counties with similarities to Orange County demographics.

What similarities will Judge Perry measure?

Chances are he will look at how certain demographics match up.

It seems reasonable that population demographics would come into play. I decided to use district size.   And I will use the Census Bureau’s  demographic information about “Median household income,” and “White persons, non Hispanic” as standards to match and measure.

First, however, I matched counties that meet the district size of Orange County, which has 6 districts. Therefore, I looked at how many out of those 67 counties have at least 6 districts. There are six.

Orange County has 6 Districts

  • Broward has 9,
  • Duval has 14,
  • Hillsborough has 7,
  • Miami-Dade has 13,
  • Palm Beach has 7, and
  • Pinellas has 7.

Next I looked at Median Income from 2009 Census Bureau data (I also included the County seat so you’ll recognize each county).

Orange County’s Median household income is $50, 674

  • Broward County: $51,594 / County seat: Ft. Lauderdale
  • Duval: $50, 660 / County seat: Jacksonville
  • Hillsborough: $49,762 / County seat: Tampa
  • Miami-Dade: $43,921 / County seat: Miami
  • Palm Beach County: $52,807 / County seat: Palm Beach
  • Pinellas:  $45,899 / County seat: Clearwater

Next I looked at the percentages of “white persons, not Hispanic” from Census Bureau data.

Orange County’s White persons not Hispanic: 48.9%

  • Duval:  58.7%
  • Broward: 46.2%
  • Hillsborough: 56.0%
  • Miami-Dade: 17.6%
  • Palm Beach County: 62.1%
  • Pinellas:  77.8%

Based on these six counties, it appears that Broward County is the closest match, followed by Duval or Hillsborough.

Again, it’s not known what criteria that Hon. Judge Belvin Perry will use.

The truth, however, is exactly what Blogger Sherry said about finding a jury of Casey’s peers: “Well, that narrows it down to none – there is no “equal” to Casey that isn’t locked up!”

Oh, ain’t that the truth!


What I am thankful for…

Oh, my Thanksgiving eyes see thankfulness and joy in everything.  I have so much to be thankful for; so many people to be thankful for….

I have a blessed life and want for nothing.

I work at a great University.  I have a close-knit family (I say a prayer of thanks for my mom everyday). There is unspeakable joy in that.

I have a brother, Sister-in-Law, and niece who live in close proximity to me.  I live for the joy my five year old niece brings me.

Children are walking wonders – miracles.

Last Saturday, as I do many weekends, I babysat for my five year old niece, Elizabeth, and I asked her the same question she asked me.  “What was your “high” today, Elizabeth?’  She answered, “You, Andrea!”   To which I silently gasped with joy.  And my Sister-in-Law said, “Andrea, when she knows you are coming to babysit, she starts talking about it in the morning and asks us over and over, “When is Andrea coming, is it soon?”

I cried inside when I heard that.  I cry now to recall it.  Oh, the greatest gift of all is the love of a child.

I am blessed and blessed and blessed some more!

I am blessed to have you, my dear friends who are reading this.

I am blessed and thankful to have been given an ability to write, and a love of writing.

I am blessed and thankful to have been given the gift of creativity.  The art of creating is akin to touching God.

God is perfection – there is joy in creating that perfect and lovely sentence, or that perfect photo, or that perfect story.

On this Thanksgiving, I am thankful for so much.  I am honored to be alive and honored to have so much joy in my life.

Thank you to God and to each and every Higher Power in this rich universe for putting me right here. Right now. Right where I should be.

Thank YOU dear reader.

If the only prayer you say in your life is “thank you, ” that will suffice.  ~ Meister Eckhart



Life changes every minute of every day. You lose friends. You gain friends. You realize your friend wasn’t ever really your friend. And that person you used to hate can make a really good friend. You look for love. You find love. You lose love. You realize that all along you’ve been loved. You laugh. You cry. You laugh so hard that you cry. You do this. You do that. You really wish you hadn’t done that. You learn from that and are glad that you did. You have your ups. You have your downs. You see good movies. You see bad movies. You look at others and wish you were them. You then realize who they are and are glad that you’re you. You love life. You hate life. In the end, you just find yourself to be living life no matter what’s thrown at you.
~ Source: x3bbycakes


mirror images

You were the mirror image of me when we were kind enough to have patience.

Without patience is life barren?  Oh, that’s contradictory, isn’t it?  Without patience, life becomes overgrown with gray spiny weeds, trees that break and bristle to the touch, and sand spurs that draw blood.  Mirror images in tranquil repose look toward each other for peace and solace and perhaps live like these two butterflies do.  In a separate but equal space, in peace.  And though the wind, should it roar, these two could be swallowed up in a millisecond, it is patience that holds them steady through the rowdy wind.  Mirror images find strength in the other.


Oh, this is pure eye candy!

Oh, this is pure eye candy! I am honored to have talented friends who give freely of both their friendship and photography! Janice Sisk, like me, is someone who is both a lover of nature and a photography enthusiast.  These are her flowers – grown in her backyard garden. Janice lives in a part of the country where Cardinals and other lovelies frequent.  (Her shot of the Cardinal is a major delight!) I know that you will enjoy her work.  I am thrilled to have the opportunity … Read More

via Loving Jazz Photo Blog


do it anyway & the paradoxical commandments

These lovely inspirational words were written on the wall in Mother Teresa’s home for children, in Calcutta.  (Thank you to my friend, Weezie, for sharing this.)

Do it Anyway…

People are often unreasonable, irrational, and self-centered.
Forgive them anyway.
If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives.
Be kind anyway.
If you are successful, you will win some unfaithful friends and some genuine enemies.
Succeed anyway.
If you are honest and sincere people may deceive you.
Be honest and sincere anyway.
What you spend years creating, others could destroy overnight.
Create anyway.
If you find serenity and happiness, some may be jealous.
Be happy anyway.
The good you do today, will often be forgotten.
Do good anyway.
Give the best you have, and it will never be enough.
Give your best anyway.
In the final analysis, it is between you and God.
It was never between you and them anyway.

The words by Mother Teresa seem to mirror what was written in 1968 by Dr. Kent M. Keith.  It is unclear at this time which was written first.   Regardless, I do hope you like these inspirational messages as much as I do.

The Paradoxical Commandments

1. People are illogical, unreasonable, and self-centered.
Love them anyway.

2. If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives.
Do good anyway.

3. If you are successful, you win false friends and true enemies.
Succeed anyway.

4. The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow.
Do good anyway.

5. Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable.
Be honest and frank anyway.

6. The biggest men and women with the biggest ideas can be shot down by the smallest men and women with the smallest minds.
Think big anyway.

7. People favor underdogs but follow only top dogs.
Fight for a few underdogs anyway.

8. What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight.
Build anyway.

9. People really need help but may attack you if you do help them.
Help people anyway.

10. Give the world the best you have and you’ll get kicked in the teeth.
Give the world the best you have anyway.

Source: The prayerfoundation


inspiration made of sand and stone

Sand and Stone

This story tells of two friends who were walking through the desert. During some point of their journey, they had an argument, and one friend slapped the other one in the face.

The one who got slapped was hurt, but without saying anything, she wrote in the sand:


They kept on walking, until they found an oasis, where they decided to take a bath.

The one who had been slapped got stuck in the mire and started drowning, but her friend saved her.

After she recovered from the near drowning, she wrote on a stone:


The friend, who had slapped and saved her best friend, asked her, “After I hurt you, you wrote in the sand, and now, you write on a stone, why?”

The other friend replied: “When someone hurts us, we should write it down in sand, where the winds of forgiveness can erase it, but when someone does something good for us, we must engrave it in stone, so no wind can ever erase it.”

(Learn to write your hurts in the sand and carve your blessings in stone.)

Author Unknown


my to-do list

go to bed early

go to bed early

go to bed early

sleep well after thanking the universe for sending me friends that grace my life with their joy and their love; their kindnesses and their warmth.

go to bed early

in the evenings, collect random happiness-es and thread them like a string of pearls… I will string moments of joys together, on pretty ribbon, so at the end of the day, I can hold the joy necklace that I have made like a rosary, and count my blessings one by one.

go to bed early

eat right

love more

tell my friends that I love them

tell myself I love me – mean it and believe it,  and oh yes

go to bed early


oh my farmer friends

celebrating together

celebrating together

I have been farming with my friends. 

Friendships thrive where things grow and where happiness is harvested.  

The group:  Deb, Sookie, Lil-Andrea (aka Mafia Princess), Fancy, Sheila, Jen, and Karen have become cherished, dear friends.  We are one another’s support group, and friendships have grown, in some cases, into true friendships, beyond the one dimensional “internet” friendship dynamic.    

We all originally met and became online buddies in a drama-filled chat room about the Casey Anthony saga.  When the Anthony case moved off of the front page of the news, what followed was chat room antics and cyber-bullying that got bizarre and hateful.  That is when the group found Farm Town, on Face Book.  

What started as a silly place for farming, fun and sharing has grown into a community that allowed us to mouse-click our way into each others hearts. (By the way, if you have not yet discovered Face Book, do yourself a favor and check it out. It’s a wonderful medium for staying in touch with loved ones and friends.)

Farm Town is a highly interactive online game in which groups of friends work on each others virtual farms – in real time.  There’s a chat functionality, too, which makes it completely enjoyable. 

The object of the game: to plow, plant, harvest, and sell farm crops that you “farm” on a colorful piece of virtual land.  The seeds literally grow and mature into fruits and vegetables to be sold in the virtual Farm Town marketplace.  There’s even a real estate office where you can “buy” additional land.  (Pictured here is an example of the avatar/farmer-characters that players of Farm Town virtually embody.)

Strong bonds have developed.  We are cheerleader’s for each other’s big and small victories.  We are a lovely bunch of coconuts…. nuts for each other.

We are from all corners of the United States: California, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Indiana, Alabama, Florida, and Rhode Island, yet the internet has brought us together like close neighbors and dear friends.  And now we have learned to do voice chat (VOIP) and some have learned how to video chat, too, which strengthens our bond even further.

My farmer friends, I love you all unconditionally.  We are farmers and harvesters of everything postive, fun and crazy!   

From the bottom of my heart I thank you all for your friendship.  ((((Hugs))))


The Desiderata of Forgiveness

I have come to realize that there are some people so angry with life that the idea of embracing even the concept of forgiveness would be akin to a two year old learning to speak Latin.  In fact, “Desiderata” is Latin and means “desired things” ….  Max Ehrmann wrote this as his ode, his “desiderata for achieving happiness”  in the mid 1920’s; it will speak to us perennially, or so it should.   

The “Desiderata of Happiness” makes a perfect case for forgiveness, for kindness, honesty, and certainly for acceptance.  It says so much about the need for dreams, aspirations, and a peaceful heart….   This excerpt, these few lines,  have special meaning in this discussion:

“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….. if you compare yourself with others, you may become vain or bitter, for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself…Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself.  You are a child of the universe no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here.  And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.  Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be.  And, whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace in your soul.  With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world.  Be cheerful.  Strive to be happy.”

I secretly hope that you, reader of this blog who may be so stuck in your ways, immoveable or unwilling to accept an apology from someone who has broken your heart –  I hope that you will read this and at least remember that we are all only human, after all.  We are all we have – we only have one another; we only have forgiveness, or so it seems to me. 

I spoke honestly to a friend recently and was shunned, dropped and stepped on.  My “friend”  of course, was never really a friend, I know that now, but she wore the cloak of kindness for a time.  In reality, I was being used and the  friendship was merely a mirage on top of a façade, to be conjured up when convenient, dismissed conveniently, too.

After begging for forgiveness, though I had nothing to apologize for, and being rebuked over and over, I finally began to see, finally, clearly, with the left side of my brain, that though I was placing the blame on myself out of desperation to win back a friendship (which was really never a friendship to begin with), it was nothing I did or said.  And then, I looked at myself and saw something I didn’t much like….I began to see my desperation for acceptance.  Almost a fervent yearning to continue to believe in a friendship that never was.

It is just a terrible way to feel… It feels demeaning to beg for forgiveness simply because I didn’t quite know what else to do or say.    

I was not being honest with myself, that became finally clear. 

I am grateful for this experience now because it has shown me that I need a little retuning in the self esteem / self worth arena… a realignment!   Gravitating toward positive and loving people is much more fun, anyway! People that know how to shower kindness just because they embody it.  Now, that’s good for the soul.

 I will let this teacher – this experience – move out from under that corner of dread in my waking hours now.  (Thank you, my dear friend Michelle, for always reminding me of this: “when the student learns his lesson, the teacher disappears” ….)

 Michelle also tells me at every turn that we must choose gratitude and happiness.  She says: “Nature never reveals its secrets, it just responds to methods of questioning.”

 Nature did not automatically reveal its secrets to me…. But, I am now questioning and the answers are moving into focus, thanks to wise friends like Michelle.

For a full read of Max Ehrmann’s “Desiderata” just Google the title, or click here:

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