Dear Mom

May 11, 2014

I have the privilege of knowing some pretty neat women and their moms are every bit as much worth celebrating as the daughters.  Happy Mothers Day to these incredible women:


Dear Mom [The Stories I Meet]“I love my mom because of how she cares for me. How she’s the one person on this earth that is guaranteed to care about the minutia of my day that no one else does. I love my mom for how much we’re able to be friends as adults, and how much I desperately feel the need to get her approval -on most things. I love her for who she was to me as a child, the selfless service and things sacrificed…and I love her now for giving me an example of how to be a successful wife and mother.” – Brittney Cannizzaro
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Short Cuts

March 1, 2014

In fourth grade I learned that short cuts are rarely that, and the easy way out often leaves you with the heaviest burden. Pride very much does come before the fall; humility gets you back up again.Short Cuts // Stories I Meet

It wasn’t necessarily the fact that KoKo possessed an exceptionally tall frame, over 16 hands with a power house build. And I held no grudge against her for running away with me, and dumping my four year old self on the road. The only damage suffered that of a severely bruised bum, a testament to the fact that children bounce well at a young age.

It was actually a treat of sorts to be upon her back, she was my momma’s prized possession, and my little heart swelled with pride that she had let me ride her, with only my friend Jake for company that afternoon. I was very grown up, you see.

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Your Life Will Not Go Unnoticed

February 2, 2014


To be loved is to be seen.

There are scenes that stick with you, scenes that play with perfect clarity in your mind’s eye years later. This one came from a movie of no consequence, in a story that I don’t recall any particular attachment to—except for this scene. Susan Sarandon describes her reasons for marriage and the unspoken vows whispered at the altar—a vow that from this day forward, you will be seen.

“Your life will not go unnoticed because I will notice it. Your life will not go unwitnessed because I will be your witness.”

And the simplicity of it steals your breath; the power of it resonates deep within your being.

What a sweet dream it would be to hear those words fall on your ears, you who have felt altogether unseen. And you realize you’re not alone in this.

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Run The One

November 26, 2013

They ran.

Arroyo Grande Hotshot Firefighters ran Highway 1 from Half Moon bay to Morro Bay last weekend  –  some running fifty miles in a day, others running their first full marathon.  And still others biking the entire route of over 200 miles. They ran for someone else, they biked for their friend, and they made the trek for children in Africa that they have never met.


And they ran because some things can’t be beaten with a wallet alone, some things demand much more of us, some demand our time.

Because we can’t get more of it, and we can’t save it – it’s our most valuable commodity and the most powerful gift.  Money facilitates a change of situation, but time changes the innermost parts of a person.

To give it to another is to whisper something that echoes for years – “You’re worth my time” – this is what alters lives, this is what restores hope, and shines a light into the darkest places.

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The Flag

October 28, 2013

American Flag

The following comments were made in regard to a Home Décor piece written by A CUP OF JO

Kara 11:25 AM

“ugh. American flag decor? Spells conservative republican to me”

Sian 6:58 PM

“Hate it, sorry. From a British person, the flag in American homes to me says racist/republican – or slavish trend follower. The union jack in American homes says pretentious (in British homes either unimaginative or racist type again]. Both countries have done some pretty horrible things while wavng those flags.”

We can’t agree on much these days but in all my naiveté, I thought we still had that thing that united us.  That one thing that held us all together, the common ground, the smoother of the edges.  That this single truth could breach all the divides.  That the rivers of culture, history, and political trends which cut deep winding ravines throughout our country – had a bridge.  That we are all Americans.

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Carstens Fire

July 22, 2013


We ran to hook up the trailer after receiving the call.  They didn’t have enough transportation, and desperately needed help evacuating.  In the chaos of the last few days created by the raging flames consuming hundreds of acres by the day – the need to get people evacuated and livestock out of the area was immediate.

The truck crawled up the steep grade, towards Triangle Road – where the fire was reportedly heading.  We passed the fairgrounds, a riot of red engines, and green wildland vehicles, with first responders amidst them in organized urgency.  Continuing out of town the road was dotted with increasingly more fire engines, and sheriff’s deputies.

I brushed aside the lack of smoke on the horizon.  Only yesterday, we had watched an ominous plume of dark grey smoke billow towards the sky, appearing to be just over the hill from our house.  I’d seen photos from friends’ homes, where visible flames licked up everything in its path.  The presence of Dad’s fire gear, and emergency bag in the backseat, remnants of his 25 year career as a firefighter, did nothing to calm the knot in my stomach.  I wanted to help.  I wanted to do something tangible amidst all the fear, and nerves that permeated the Mariposa air. The frantic call had come from an elderly couple.  An elderly couple that had purchased my first FFA project steer back when I was in High School.  The thought of them being scared, incapable of evacuating their livestock, heightened the urgency to get there.
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The Loveliest Things: Katie Marchetti

May 10, 2013

The Loveliest ThingsToday I’m sharing about things I find particularly lovely at The Lipstick Gospel. Happy Friday!

1. Riding Horses

Ronald Reagan said “I’ve often said there is nothing better for the inside of a man, as the outside of a horse.” And I couldn’t agree with him more.  As a little kid I was horseback before I was stable on my own two feet. Horses have been associated with hot, dusty work with my dad, and the heady rush of freedom flying across pastures at reckless speeds.  It’s learning another language, and increased awareness, growing confidence, and trust in action.  The lessons saddle learned, and life applied. Most of all being horseback was a way to set my world back on its axis when life overwhelmed.  It’s the loveliest place, I’ve found – being horseback.

2. The Elderly

The elderly lives intertwined with ours.  Their faces, their hands, a testament to how they lived and the lives they’ve touched.  The old men who meet for their morning coffee and tell stories over the top of each other.  The old women calling you sweetheart with boxes of handwritten recipes. Their forgetfulness in regards to the day to day, but startling clarity when naming faces in black and white photos.  The wisdom and deep chuckles that draw you in.  The grumpiness that overwhelms you with the desire to hug them happy.  The remarkable beauty in a feminine face that exudes a life of compassion, a life of service, and joy on the far side of struggle.  It’s the old man’s hands, strong and calloused – a testament to a life of hard work, a life of providing for those dear to him.  Those who have overcome the need to smooth wrinkles, who understand that to erase the passage of time is to erase a life.
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The Hallway

May 6, 2013


Buzz words are used to describe where we are in life: in the transitional phase, beginning of the journey, in the focused phase, me time. Well I’ve been in the hallway.  A corridor full of closed doors, and I’ve stood there, and waited. I’ve prayed unceasingly for specific doors to open, and then for any door to be open.  I know where I am by the rib prodding truth of quotes like “Until God opens the next door, praise Him in the hallway.” My hallway all too often appears stark, devoid of praise for the Almighty. Without charm, decorated with wallpaper of frustration, and a dark molding of worry.

When the lighting is just right, it splashes the walls with hope.  You think you can almost see a door knob turn; you try to still your racing heart, poised like a runner to get there before it shuts again. Then nothing. You finally avert your gaze, the disappointments bleeding into full blown tantrums.
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