A Season of Hope. Keith Richards

images-1

WESTON – In a startling development for the Rock n Roll community, world famous Rolling Stones guitarist and songwriter Keith Richards was found alive on Wednesday. Crew members said they found his animated body sitting beside an amp, picking at a guitar and murmuring some incomprehensible melody. Shocked but elated, the roadies took Richards back to the dressing rooms and covered his old broken body with designer scarves and skull rings.

rocker_richards_outlives_everybody

 

“It’s astounding” said longtime Rolling Stones roadie Steve Kruger, “to find him in this state is…well, it’s unexpected to say the least.” Richards, the grizzly-faced guitarist long thought to be the most likely person on the planet to next kick the bucket, was noodling on a 5-string fender when he was found miraculously still conscious. “At first I thought it was some 200-year old giant turtle that crawled in here, or a wrinkly sack of potatoes with somebody inside,” recalled Kruger. “But no! There he was, strumming away on a few opening chords to ‘Start Me Up.’ What I was seeing looked awful, but unmistakable. When I realized it was Keith, I thought it might be one of those holograms like they created for Michael Jackson and 2Pac at Bonnaroo music fest a few years back. But then I touched him and he screamed ‘what the hell do you want!?’, and I knew.”

c187a9623a79d9670f8f1b870ffbef82

Figuring that they might as well use him, the Stones management has decided to continue taking him on the road. “People still want to see him perform,” said Kruger. “And they’ll pay good money to see their favorite corpse up onstage, especially if he’s moving around and kind of sort of acting like it’s all still fresh and sexy. So now it’s kind of like we’re touring with some old museum piece, or your grandma’s music box, handed down from generation to generation, still spitting out a tune,” said Kruger. “And I’ll tell ya, Keith still makes a good noise.”

A Season of Hope. NEVER give up

images-1

Jennifer Smyth: Paralysed Eglinton gymnast vows ‘to help others’
27 December 2016

Jennifer Smyth was a promising young gymnast from Norther Ireland but a fall during training in September 2013 changed her life forever.
At the age of 17, Ms Smyth was left with a broken neck and became quadriplegic as a consequence.
The Eglinton teenager has since made significant progress with her injury and hopes one day to walk again.
She attended a rehabilitation centre in America over the summer.

Jennifer was a member of Shooting Starz gym for eight years
Using bionic leg devices and a pacer, Jennifer was able to walk a few lengths of the gym.
“Effectively she took her first steps in America,” her mother Pamela told BBC Radio Foyle.
“The last few years have seen a great focus on faith and determination and I have incredible admiration for her strength of character and her refusal to allow this injury to beat her.
“We’re very, very proud of her. I couldn’t be more proud,” she said.
Jennifer started studying 3D design at the University of Birmingham in September and she hopes it will give her the tools to help people with similar injuries in the future.
“I want to get back to normality again, do most things that other people can do,” she said.
“With my course I want to go on and design prosthetics and exoskeletons to help other people in my situation with the physical aspect of things, continue rehab and get back up on my feet, so hopefully that will happen.”

A Season of Hope. Message from Pope Francis.

images

Pope Francis on Sunday offered a Christmas hope for peace in a world lacerated by war and terrorism, urging people to remember migrants, refugees and those hit by economic instability caused by “idolatry of money.”

Pope Francis waves as he arrives to leads "Urbi et Orbi" (to the city and the world) message from the balcony overlooking St. Peter's Square at the Vatican

Francis, marking the fourth Christmas season since his election in 2013, also urged Palestinians and Israelis, facing renewed tension after a U.N. resolution condemning Israeli settlements on occupied land, to have the courage to put aside hate and revenge and “write a new page of history.”

His traditional “Urbi et Orbi” (to the city and the world) message was linked by a common thread of war, violence and suffering at a time that should be defined by harmony and peace symbolized by the infant Jesus.

“Peace to those who have lost a person dear to them as a result of brutal acts of terrorism, which have sown fear and death into the hearts of so many countries and cities,” he told some 40,000 people gathered in St. Peter’s Square.

Security was heightened for the Christmas weekend in Italy and at the Vatican after Italian police killed the man believed to be responsible for the Berlin market truck attack while other European cities kept forces on high alert.

“Today this message (of peace) goes out to the ends of the earth to reach all peoples, especially those scarred by war and harsh conflicts that seem stronger than the yearning for peace,” he said, speaking in Italian from the central balcony of St. Peter’s Basilica.

He called for peace in Syria, urging immediate assistance to the exhausted population of the city of Aleppo, which Syrian government forces recaptured last week after four years of devastating fighting with rebels.

“It is time for weapons to be still forever (in Syria), and the international community to actively seek a negotiated solution, so that civil co-existence can be restored in the country,” he said.

Francis, the first Latin American pope, also said Christmas should inspire everyone to help the less fortunate, including migrants, refugees and those swept up by social and economic upheavals.

“Peace to the peoples who suffer because of the economic ambitions of the few, because of the sheer greed and the idolatry of money, which leads to slavery,” he said.

At his Christmas eve Mass on Saturday, Francis said the feast had been “taken hostage” by dazzling materialism that puts God in the shadows. On Sunday, he also called for an end to “fundamentalist terrorism” in Nigeria, a reference to Boko Haram, which has killed 15,000 people and displaced more than two million during a seven-year insurgency to create an Islamic state. .

Francis further appealed for an end to tensions between the government and opposition in Venezuela, for harmony in Colombia, which recently ended a civil war with FARC guerrillas, and an end to strife on the Korean peninsula and in Myanmar.

Peace.

 

A Season of Hope. Christmas Truce

images-1

This time of year we really need to put aside our differences.

When we say “PEACE ON EARTH” remember that peace doesn’t see race, color, or religion. I truly believe that 99.9% of all people on earth want the same thing.

A roof over our head

A better life for our children

A world of peace and prosperity.

To Love and be Loved.

Lets focus on our similarities not our differences.

100 years ago- PEACE BROKE OUT.

During World War I, on and around Christmas Day 1914, the sounds of rifles firing and shells exploding faded in a number of places along the Western Front in favor of holiday celebrations in the trenches and gestures of goodwill between enemies.

On December 7, 1914, Pope Benedict XV suggested a temporary hiatus of the war for the celebration of Christmas. The warring countries refused to create any official cease-fire, but on Christmas the soldiers in the trenches declared their own unofficial truce.

On Christmas Eve, many German soldiers put up Christmas trees, decorated with candles, on the parapets of their trenches. Hundreds of Christmas trees lighted the German trenches and although British soldiers could see the lights, it took them a few minutes to figure out what they were from. Could this be a trick? British soldiers were ordered not to fire but to watch them closely. Instead of trickery, the British soldiers heard many of the Germans celebrating.

Time and again during the course of that day, the Eve of Christmas, there were wafted towards us from the trenches opposite the sounds of singing and merry-making, and occasionally the guttural tones of a German were to be heard shouting out lustily, ‘A happy Christmas to you Englishmen!’ Only too glad to show that the sentiments were reciprocated, back would go the response from a thick-set Clydesider, ‘Same to you, Fritz, but dinna o’er eat yourself wi’ they sausages!’

In other areas, the two sides exchanged Christmas carols.

They finished their carol and we thought that we ought to retaliate in some way, so we sang ‘The first Noël’, and when we finished that they all began clapping; and then they struck up another favourite of theirs, ‘ O Tannenbaum’. And so it went on. First the Germans would sing one of their carols and then we would sing one of ours, until when we started up ‘O Come All Ye Faithful’ the Germans immediately joined in singing the same hymn to the Latin words ‘ Adeste Fidéles’. And I thought, well, this was really a most extraordinary thing – two nations both singing the same carol in the middle of a war.

British and German troops meet in no man’s land. Boxing Day, 1914. Photographed by 2nd Lt Cyril Drummand, RFA.
British and German troops meet in no man’s land. Boxing Day, 1914. Photographed by 2nd Lt Cyril Drummand, RFA.

At the first light of dawn on Christmas Day, some German soldiers emerged from their trenches and approached the Allied lines across no-man’s-land, calling out “Merry Christmas” in their enemies’ native tongues. At first, the Allied soldiers feared it was a trick, but seeing the Germans unarmed they climbed out of their trenches and shook hands with the enemy soldiers. The men exchanged presents of cigarettes and plum puddings and sang carols and songs. There was even a documented case of soldiers from opposing sides playing a good-natured game of soccer.

Some soldiers used this short-lived ceasefire for a more somber task: the retrieval of the bodies of fellow combatants who had fallen within the no-man’s land between the lines.

The so-called Christmas Truce of 1914 came only five months after the outbreak of war in Europe and was one of the last examples of the outdated notion of chivalry between enemies in warfare. It was never repeated—future attempts at holiday ceasefires were quashed by officers’ threats of disciplinary action—but it served as heartening proof, however brief, that beneath the brutal clash of weapons, the soldiers’ essential humanity endured.

During World War I, the soldiers on the Western Front did not expect to celebrate on the battlefield, but even a world war could not destory the Christmas spirit.

Right now I feel many times we find a reason to have a fight and to fight a war. I think it is time we have a reason to wage peace.

Peace to All of you. Pass it on.

 

Even the SADDEST Christmas song can give you hope. Here is one of my personal favorites.

It is a song I tried to sing to my kids when they were little.

 

 

Peace.

A Season of Hope. Make the world SMALL.

images-1

I have always been curious about different languages. I like to know (and understand) a few important phrases in the language of what ever country I happen to be in. It is just respectful. My goal in life is to continue to learn languages and become fluent in a few.

Afrikaans – “Geseënde Kersfees en ‘n Voorspoedige Nuwe Jaar.”

Arabic – “I’d Miilad Said Oua Sana Saida”

Argentine – “Felices Pasquas Y felices ano Nuevo”

Armenian – “Shenoraavor Nor Dari yev Pari Gaghand”

Basque – Eguberri on

Bohemian – “Vesele Vanoce”

Breton – “Nedeleg laouen na bloavezh mat”

Bulgarian – “Tchestita Koleda; Tchestito Rojdestvo Hristovo”

Chinese – [Mandarin] – “Kung His Hsin Nien bing Chu Shen Tan”

Chinese – [Catonese] – “Saint Dan Fai Lok”

Cornish – “Nadelik looan na looan blethen noweth”

Croatian – “Sretan Bozic i Nova Godina” (Merry Christmas & Happy New Year)

Czech – “Prejeme Vam Vesele Vanoce a stastny Novy Rok”

Danish – “Glædelig Jul”

Dutch – “Vrolijk Kerstfeest en een Gelukkig Nieuwjaar”

Inupiaq Eskimo (Kotzebue area in NW Alaska)-
Quvianagli Anaiyyuniqpaliqsi suli Nakuuluni Ukiutqiutiqsi-
(Merry Christmas) (and) (Happy New Year)

English – “Merry Christmas”

Estonian – “Haid joule ja head uut aastat”

Farsi – “Cristmas-e-shoma mobarak bashad”

Filipino-“Maligayang Pasko”

Happy New Year in Filipino

“Manigong Bagong Taon”

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year in Filipino- “Maligayang Pasko at Manigong Bagong Taon”

Finnish – “Hyvaa joulua”

French – “Joyeux Noël”

German – “Froehliche Weihnachten”

Greek – “Kala Christouyenna”

Hawaiian – “Mele Kalikimaka”

Hebrew – “Mo’adim Lesimkha. Chena tova”

Hindi – “Shub Naya Baras”

Hungarian – “Kellemes Karacsonyi unnepeket”

Icelandic – “Gledileg Jol”

Indonesian – “Selamat Hari Natal”

Iraqi – “Idah Saidan Wa Sanah Jadidah”

Irish – “Nollaig Shona Dhuit”

Italian – “Buone Feste Natalizie”

Japanese -” Shinnen omedeto, kurisumasu omedeto.
The first part is translated “Happy New Year.
Kurisumasu omedeto means Merry Christmas.
Japanese people generally add the expression gozaimasu to indicate humility.

Korean – “Sung Tan Chuk Ha”

Latvian – “Prieci’gus Ziemsve’tkus un Laimi’gu Jauno Gadu”

Lithuanian – “Linksmu Kaledu”

Navajo – “Merry Keshmish”

Norwegian – “God Jul”

Pennsylvania German – “En frehlicher Grischtdaag un en hallich Nei Yaahr”

Polish – “Wesolych Swiat Bozego Narodzenia”

Portuguese – “Feliz Natal” “Boas Festas”(Good Holidays.)

Romanian – “Craciun fericit” (Merry Christmas), “Sarbatori Fericite” (Happy Holidays) Thanks Julia!

Russian – “Pozdrevlyayu s prazdnikom Rozhdestva s Novim Godom”

Serbian – “Hristos se rodi”

Slovakian – “Sretan Bozic or Vesele vianoce”

Samoan – “La Maunia Le Kilisimasi Ma Le Tausaga Fou”

Scots Gaelic – “Nollaig chridheil huibh”

Serb-Croatian – “Sretam Bozic. Vesela Nova Godina”

Slovak – “Vesele Vianoce. A stastlivy Novy Rok”

Slovene – “Vesele Bozicne. Screcno Novo Leto”

Spanish – “Feliz Navidad”

Swedish – “God Jul and (Och) Ett Gott Nytt År”

Tahitian -Merry Chrismas :” Ia orana te Noera”

and Happy new year is “Ia orana i te mata iti api”

Thai – “Sawadee Pee Mai”

Turkish – “Noeliniz Ve Yeni Yiliniz Kutlu Olsun”

Ukrainian – “Z Rizdvom Khrystovym !” – “Merry Christmas”

” Z Novym Rokom !” – “Happy New Year”

“Z Rizdvom Khrystovym i Novym Rokom !” – both greetings together.

Vietnamese – “Chuc Mung Giang Sinh”

Welsh – “Nadolig Llawen”

Yugoslavian – “Cestitamo Bozic”

“It’s a Small World” is the theme song of the attraction of the same name. It was written by the Sherman Brothers in 1963. A cover version is performed by Baha Men for the Around the World in 80 Days soundtrack.

History
“Children of the World” was the working title of the attraction Walt Disney only called “the happiest cruise that ever sailed” (and never It’s a Small World). The attraction’s tentative soundtrack design featured each national anthem, playing all at once, which resulted in a cacophonous noise. Walt demonstrated the miniature mock-up to his staff songwriters Robert B. Sherman and Richard M. Sherman. As he and the Sherman Brothers walked through Walt said, “I need one song.” A single song for the attraction which could be easily translated into many different languages and which could be played in round. The Sherman Brothers wrote “it’s a small world (after all)” in the wake of the Cuban Missile Crisis, which influenced the song’s message. They first presented “it’s a small world (after all)” to Walt by singing in counterpoint while walking through the mock-up. In the spirit of international unity, “it’s a small world (after all)” was sung and recorded in various studios around the world – by a church choir in London, TV performers in Mexico City, a school chorus in Rome, and by local children from Tokyo and California.

It is argued that this song is the single most performed and most widely translated song on earth. The song tune and lyrics are the only Disney creations never to be copyrighted, as UNICEF requested, and can be heard worldwide on musical devices ranging from keyboard demos to ice cream trucks, it remains “a gift to the children of the world.”

 

 

It’s a world of laughter, a world of tears
It’s a world of hopes and a world of fears
There’s so much that we share
That it’s time we’re aware
It’s a small world after all

There is just one moon and one golden sun
And a smile means friendship to everyone
Though the mountains divide
And the oceans are wide
It’s a small world after all

A Season of Hope. There is Beauty Out There- if you look.

The world is filled with beautiful and amazing things. You need to slow down to see slowdown and notice. It may be a flower growing in a trash filled vacant lot. It may be the white helmet volunteers in Syria. It may be a young girl with autism in Northern Ireland with the voice of an angel.

fullsizeoutput_3ec9

Girl With Autism Sings A Stunning Rendition Of ‘Hallelujah’

It’s not just good because she’s dealing with autism … It’s good because it’s good — really good.

This 10-year-old’s rendition of “Hallelujah” would have given Leonard Cohen himself chills. Turn the volume up and give it a listen.

Kaylee Rodgers, a student who has autism and ADHD, sang the solo part for the famous tune during her school choir concert at Killard House School in Donaghadee, Northern Ireland, and the performance went viral.

Rodgers’ voice is stunningly beautiful ― and she exudes confidence while she sings with her classmates.

Tracy Rodgers, Kaylee’s mother, told the BBC that Kaylee’s music teacher, Lloyd Scates, played a huge part in nurturing her special talent.

“She always loved singing, but it wasn’t until she started at Killard House School that she really came into her own,” she told BBC. “[Mr. Scates is] like her safety blanket ― he’s amazing.”

Killard House principal Colin Millar told ITV that Kaylee was very shy when she started at the school. She “wouldn’t really read out in class,” he said. So “to stand and perform in front of an audience is amazing … It takes a lot of effort on Kaylee’s part.”

Go and find beauty in the world today.

Peace.

A Season of Hope. Winter Solstice

The winter solstice has been celebrated in cultures the world over for thousands of years. As the shortest day/longest night of the year, this start of the solar year is a celebration of light and the rebirth of the Sun. We have all completed one more official journey around the Sun.

img_0342

As the Winter Solstice has arrived, it is a time to consider yin and yang, darkness and light – and the exquisite balance that exists between all things. After weeks of shortening days, we have been affected in a number of ways by the scarcity of light and the growing darkness. Though we may have experienced sadness or slowness as a result of this winter season, we must also remember that the darkness is necessary in order to experience light.

img_0354

Many of us gather with our friends, family and loved ones, and no matter what tradition we observe for this holiday season, we begin to create our own light – the light of the love we feel for those we care the most about. It’s also a time for remembering those we love that are not with us- those who are separated from us by miles or death or simply the loss of relationship.

Many of the customs, lore, symbols, and rituals associated with the Solstice have survived into the 21st century so let’s see how we can join in this ancient celebration to bring love, light, joy and meaning to this season.

ENLIVEN YOUR SURROUNDINGS with the color red. The color of the sun is energizing, and symbolic of love, courage, warmth, fire. Wear red sweaters, scarves and hats, light red candles, bring in red flowering plants (the red poinsettia is a great one). The color red has a powerful effect in the darkest days of the year to lighten your mood and create a festive, heartening atmosphere.

ADORN YOUR HOME with sacred herbs and colors. Decorate your home in holiday colors red, green, and white. Place holly, ivy, evergreen boughs, and pine cones around your home, especially in areas where socializing takes place. Hang a sprig of mistletoe above a major threshold, an evergreen wreath on the front door to symbolize the continuity of life and the wheel of the year. Bring in a Christmas tree with colored lights.

CONVEY LOVE to family, friends, and associates. At the heart of the Solstice was the custom of family and friends feasting together and exchanging presents. Continue this custom by visiting, entertaining, giving gifts, and sending greetings by mail and/or phone. Play games, enjoy children, roast chestnuts over an open fire (what fun). Consider those who are and/or have been important in your life and share appreciation.

HONOR THE NEW SOLAR YEAR WITH LIGHT. If you have an indoor fireplace or an outdoor fire circle, burn an oak log as a Yule log. Decorate the inside and/or outside of your home with electric colored lights.

PARTY HEARTY on New Years’s Eve, not just to welcome the calendar year but also to welcome the new solar year. Celebrate and remember how much the sun means to our planet earth, bringing heat, and light.

CONTRIBUTE TO THE MANIFESTATION OF MORE WELLNESS ON OUR PLANET Donate food and clothing to the poor in your area. Volunteer time at a social service agency. Put up bird feeders and keep them filled throughout the winter to supplement the diets of wild birds. Donate funds and items to non-profit groups, such as churches and environmental organizations. Meditate for world peace. Work magic for a healthier planet. Make a pledge to do some form of good works in the new solar year.

CELEBRATE As you think about setting goals for next year, take some time to write down and celebrate everything you have accomplished this year. Keep your focus on your successes. Be careful of negative self-critical thoughts coming in when you remember the goals you did not achieve. Put those on your list for next year.

CELEBRATING keeps our focus on the positive and attracts more for us to celebrate. Take this energy of celebration with you into the new year and keep it with you throughout the whole year.

However big or small the occasion, look for excuses to be in a state of celebration. You can celebrate failures too. They open doorways for something new to come in. Your positive attitude will make sure you attract more positivity and goodness.

A Season of Hope. Love

Love is one of those hard things. You need to give in order to receive. The good thing about it is giving it feels so good. With love you have hope.

Sometimes love can be one sided; Sometimes love can be awkward and unspoken – but it is still there and when you love someone you make the world a better place.

Watch the news tonight- would 1/2 the stuff you see happen if there was more love? Probably not. img_2104

Give me love
Give me love
Give me peace on earth
Give me light
Give me life
Keep me free from birth
Give me hope
Help me cope, with this heavy load
Trying to, touch and reach you with,
heart and soul

PLEASE take hold of my hand, that
I might understand you

Won’t you please
Oh won’t you

Give me love
Give me love
Give me peace on earth
Give me light
Give me life
Keep me free from birth
Give me hope
Help me cope, with this heavy load
Trying to, touch and reach you with,
heart and soul

PLEASE take hold of my hand, that
I might understand you

I am so lucky to have found the love of my life.

A Season of Hope. Giving Back

images-1

Nineteen-year-old Jourdan Duncan graduated from high school last spring and took a job working the late shift at Pro-Form Laboratories in Benicia, California, while he saved money for college. Because his job was five miles away from his home and because his car had broken down and he “didn’t want to burden anyone with a ride,” Duncan walked more than two hours each way, every day. This past fall, Corporal Kirk Keffer was on a late-night patrol in an industrial-park area of Benicia when he saw Duncan walking home. It was around midnight, and seeing a teenager in the area was a surprise. He asked Duncan if he was stranded and learned that he was not — that Duncan walked to and from work nearly five hours each day. Keffer offered Duncan a ride home. During their time together, he learned a lot about the teenager, including his dream of becoming a police officer. Inspired by their meeting, Keffer told his colleagues about Duncan and his incredible work ethic. He also told them that he wanted to help Duncan. Keffer’s colleagues wanted to help, too. The police officers chipped in and purchased Duncan a $500, brand-new mountain bike. And after Keffer presented the bicycle to a stunned Duncan outside of his work one day, the two continued their friendship. More recently, the Benicia Police Officers’ Association launched a GoFundMe page for Duncan that has raised more than $35,000 to help him save money for school.