Monday, November 26, 2012

The Power of a Thankful Heart (Part 1) & Alice Sommer Herz

Welcome dear family, friends and readers to Monday's post.

I would like to introduce you to a wonderful lady, which I recently discovered on the internet.  Her name is Alice Sommer Herz and she celebrates her 109th birthday this month.  She is the oldest living Holocaust survivor and also a renowned concert pianist.

What makes her so exceptional is that she is living proof of the "Power of a Thankful Heart".  She has lived a life of optimism, gratitude and forgiveness even in the face of unspeakable human suffering during her time in a Nazi concentration camp at Terezin.  She lost members of her family, including her husband who was sent to Dachau and died there 6 weeks before the war ended.  You can read much about her life on the internet but here are a few facts about Alice...
- She still lives alone in a flat in London and part of her routine is playing the piano for 2 to 3 hours a day.
- She has a remarkable memory in her music and in her busy schedule involving interviews with journalists, students and musicians.
- She had cancer at 83 years of age and is now a 26 year cancer survivor.
- She is the subject of a bestselling book, A Garden of Eden in Hell, recalling the events of the concentration camps.  In 2010, a film called Everything is A Present, was written and aired on the BBC in recognition of her life story.

The following are a few of her affirmations:
- She never hated the Nazi for what they did and says she never will...."HATRED EATS THE SOUL OF THE HATER, NOT THE HATED".
- She says that she has so much to learn and enjoy...."I HAVE NO SPACE NOR TIME FOR PESSIMISM AND HATE".
- She says,  "Everything we experience is a gift, a present we should cherish and pass on to those we love.... LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL, LOVE IS BEAUTIFUL, NATURE AND MUSIC ARE BEAUTIFUL".
- She says that she looks for the nice things in life.  "I know about the bad things, but I look only for the good things.  This is the reason I am so old....OPTIMISM HAS CONTRIBUTED TO MY LONGEVITY".
- She is adamant that music preserved her sanity and her life while bringing hope into the lives of countless others and likens the experience as being close to the divine...."MUSIC SAVED MY LIFE AND MUSIC SAVES ME STILL".

The above is a video interview with Alice, which was made when she was 98.  Now, fourteen years later, she is still going strong.  Alice is living proof of the power of gratitude, forgiveness and optimism in an often negative and harsh world.
You can also view link at:

There are many unsung heroes and heroines around us.  We rub shoulders with them every day as we go through our ordinary days of living.  They are the silent ones, whose personal tragedies and triumphs are only known within themselves in the their book of life as they live out each page and each chapter.  They may not be known to the world but they are known to God who counts them as stars in His patch called heaven.
"Beauty is where you find it"
 The above photo was taken several years ago in the early Spring when "Clyde Holliday Park" was flooded with spring rain.  It is a beautiful RV park located several miles from Mt. Vernon and is set up for camping and picnicking. Holliday Park has an abundance of trees which provides plenty of shade for summer comfort and much beauty to look at.  The park is close to the John Day River and on this particular morning, the river overflowed its banks causing this scene which was a photographers' delight. After the waters receded, the park returned to normal appearance with no harm done.  In this particular picture, I am reminded of God's presence in reflected beauty as it appears in varied forms in unexpected places.

I invite you to join me for Part 2 of this two part series on the Power of a Thankful Heart next Monday (Dec. 3).  Also, I hope to have another photo show regarding the diversity of what can "turn-up" in God's handiwork using the elements of nature......
Cold weather + Water sprinkler + Pasture grass & weeds =  ICE ART    

Until then, here is a whimsical riddle for you....  "My belt holds my pants up, but the belt loops hold my belt up.  Who is the real hero??"


Wednesday, November 21, 2012


WELCOME  to my very first post in this new adventure called a Blog.  It is exciting to learn something new and discover this tool to use as a way of expression for family, friends and readers. 
"Inspiration through words and photos as to the visibility of God as He 'turns-up' in His Creations, including you and me, as we connect in living patches of life."   
The caption of this blog is about TURN-UP which means to appear or become visible.... to happen unexpectedly..... to find or be found. PATCH means to reinforce, repair... a dressing or covering applied to a wound.... to join or unite pieces.... a small plot of land.

With all this being said, I dedicate this blog to Gods' Presence, who is the ultimate "Turn-up" in the patches of my life; to my family and friends who are ever faithful in "Turn-up" for me; and now to you, my readers, who just might "Turn-up" to read a post or two. 

Oh yes!  There is another kind of  Turn-up.  This one has 4 legs, a fluffy tail and goes "Meowwww".  She came to us abandoned, lost, frightened, skinny and starving.  One look at her and she entered my heart and has been my shadow ever since.  Her name is Turnup as that is exactly what happened... she turned up in my life and has been a furry friend ever since.  She found her patch with us.  You can see her at the top of the page in the header photo.

In the spirit of  Thanksgiving (or Thanks-Living), the following slideshow is also a first for me besides starting a blog.  These sky photos are put together in a presentation for your viewing.  I call it "BEAUTY OF MT. VERNON SKIES."  I often take my camera with me during my "walk-a-bouts" at the ranch.  It is a marvel to observe the colors and cloud formations which exist in sunrises, sunsets and the general vastness of sky space.  The last three frames are of the sun covered in a cloudy haze surrounded by a beautiful halo.  I have since found out that it is called a sun-dog and the halo is formed during certain atmospheric conditions.  If you look closely at the last frame, you will notice a jet stream passing through the sun-dog.  And if  you take a second look, you will see the shadow of the jet stream passing through the sky.  

I will be sharing much of Eastern Oregon (and beyond)  through photos in future posts.  Next Monday (Nov. 26),  I have some thoughts to bring to you regarding the "Power of a Thankful Heart".  See you then.... I hope you will 'turn-up'!

      "Only from the heart can you touch the sky".... Rumi

If you wish, you can click on the enlarge icon to turn it into full screen.  
You can really touch the sky in this format!                   

You can also view the above video at: