In Memory of a Caped Crusader – by Annette Rochelle Aben


I write this after reading about the sudden death of a man I have known for nearly 30 years. When we met, we were both in our early 30’s, in charge of the businesses that employed us and had worlds to conquer. Each of us swaggered when we walked, barked when we talked and felt completely invincible. The world was ours. For many, we were superheroes!

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Spring in My Step – by Annette Rochelle Aben Editor


I love me some April. We turn the corner from winter to spring and that means fresh, green and new all around. I can see the buds on the cherry tree in the front yard, wanting to burst forth and I know that one of these mornings, I will be greeted with the glory of nature’s joy!

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Into The Mystic – by Annette Rochelle Aben


I believe in the power of fire, because I have seen what it can do to food and forests. I believe in the reality of water for I have stood in my shower early in the morning and felt it washing over my body. But what about truths that go beyond intellect? Are there some mystical, magical powers in fire or water?  Energies that we cannot see but that we sense may exist?

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March is National Music in Our Schools Month – by Annette Rochelle Aben


For as long as I can remember, music has played a significant role in my life. Not only were both my parents musically inclined but there was always some sort of music program in the schools I attended. This meant we were offered the opportunity to learn to play a musical instrument or there was a vocal music class where every student participated in learning how to sing. Having music as part of my growing experience, enriched my life beyond what mere words can convey. To this day, I have a radio in every room of my home, and a collection of recorded music that includes everything except 8-track.

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Finding the Fountain of Youth – by Annette Rochelle Aben


As I was growing up, I used to hear people say, “Well, you learn something new, every day.” Of course, it generally followed an “ah-ha” moment for them and was a pretty clever way of them owning their humility by admitting they didn’t know everything there was to know. Naturally, I didn’t appreciate any of it until I reached an age when everyone expected I should pretty much know everything. After all, what are people in my age bracket doing on this earth if not to be a reputable source of wisdom and knowledge! How happy was I, now that I had everything all figured out!

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Do You Cotton – by Annette Rochelle Aben


I recon, there’s plenty I need to cotton to in this life. Now, there’s an expression one doesn’t hear too often. To “cotton to” something means to get to know more about it, or to understand. My research tells me that this expression does reference back to the cotton industry, yet I will need to dig deeper to fully understand how or why.

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Boxing Champ – by Annette Rochelle Aben


It’s the shortest month of the year yet, there’s so much to be done in February. Don’t you feel that way? I do. I look about and see piles of trash and treasures that need to be dealt with. I see things that I swept out of view to make room for holiday decorations or I have even acquired so many new things, that I truly need to reorganize.

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FEB S.O.B. – by Annette Rochelle Aben


When I was growing up, it was never fashionable to call someone an S.O.B. In fact, it was a bloody insult!  Our mothers would wash our mouths out with soap and our fathers may have taken the strap to our tender behinds. Cursing was not acceptable and to intentionally insult another, well, that was a double whammy!

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Me So Corny – by Annette Rochelle Aben


I am an unabashed popcorn person! If there is a choice to be made between, let’s say, potato chips and popcorn or pretzels and popcorn, I will always choose the popcorn. You can use an air popper, toss a bag in the microwave, stick it in a basket and pop it over an open fire or pick it up at the store, pre-popped in a bag and I will be happy. Of course, my favorite way to make corn pop, is to put some olive oil and butter into a sauce pan, turn up the heat, add the kernels and let the magic happen!  The only way I have never had popcorn is to keep it on the cob and somehow cook that, but give me time…

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Hearts Full – by Annette Rochelle Aben


December was quite the month. Many holy days to honor and celebrate, which our family did, in fine style. It turned out to be a month of goodbyes as well. Not only to the end of the calendar year, but to physical lives of friends and family. Beginning with Christmas Day, there was phone call after phone call, alerting us to the fact that someone near and dear to us had departed. Only one of those was a family member and oddly enough, that was the only one that wasn’t a surprise.  So, here we were, with hearts filled with cheer and slowly the cheer was trying to be edged out by tears.

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Around To It – by Annette Rochelle Aben, Editor


Do you have voicemail on your phone? Do you see that calls come in and think to yourself, “Yeah, I’ll get around to returning that call, one of these days” then, you get to the end of the week, month, or year and you never got around to it?

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January is National Mentoring Month – by Annette Rochelle Aben


When you were growing up, was there someone you looked to for guidance?  Perhaps, you were simply mesmerized by a teacher and the way they were able to command the classroom. Maybe, the neighbor who knew everything there was to know about gardening, was a person you found yourself shadowing. One might say that you were mentored by these folks, intentionally or otherwise. Mentors are an important part of our culture, without them there is an incredible amount of information that would be lost. To pass along what we know how to do, to the next generation, helps to ensure that traditions can live beyond our lifespan. But it’s more than that. When someone takes another under their wing, they are not only doing so to share information but to aid the underling in the absorption, processing and utilization of said information. There are strong bonds being built through those connections.  We teach each other to value each other.

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Art for Art’s Sake – by Annette Rochelle Aben


I read a quote once that said that without ART, the earth would be nothing more than EH. That’s not the exact quote but it makes sense.  I mean, I you took the ART of out the word EARTH, then you would be left with EH.
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Yeah, I figured that you “got it” but I wanted to drive the point home.

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Spiritual Literacy Month – by Annette Rochelle Aben


What does it mean to be spiritually literate? Have you ever thought about this? I didn’t until I was checking out the handy dandy listings online of celebrations held in the month of December. While there are many National and Internationally designated days for worthy causes listed, this is what caught my eye.

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Random Acts of Glitter – by Annette Rochelle Aben


December!  The very mention of the word can strike fear into the hearts and minds of millions. Why? Because people dread having to see the end to a year in which they promised to accomplish all those things that they said they’d accomplish all those years past.  Fiddle sticks, I say!  December is getting a bad rap and I believe it’s about time we give December a break.

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Eats a Feastival – by Annette Rochelle Aben


At this time of year, many fill their larders with ingredients which they will turn into sumptuous creations upon which to feast. The traditional desserts, dinners and drinks that make the season merrier shall appear in abundance. Even our family has a rather lengthy list of that which would be conspicuous by its absence.  Every year, we maintain a festive atmosphere which includes laying out a delicious spread for family and friends. It’s what we like to do and as such, we always have a good time.

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Operation Santa Paws – by Annette Rochelle Aben


As you are putting together your shopping lists for this meal and that function, for this person and that family, here is another “family” to consider. Your local animal shelters. That’s right because 2017 is the 16th year for a project known as Operation Santa Paws. http://www.hautedogs.org/santapaws.html (pronounced  Hot Dogs, how cute is that) Originally started by Jason Rudd, in California, this auspicious time was designated to “gift” the shelters as well as the workers in honor of Christmas itself.  The campaign runs from December 1st – December 24th each year.

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