Friday, December 28, 2012

December's full Moon is also called the Long Nights Moon by some Native American it falls during the time of year that has short days and looooong nights! 

I was planning to write to everyone today requesting that you to add a few “Acts of Kindness” to your " to do" list. As you know, I usually ask for one little act but I was thinking that we could to do more this month to honor both John and Newtown. I know he would have been moved by this tragedy and would be happy that we were adding some happiness to the world.

I also wanted to suggest that one act this month could be to buy American. I KNOW for a fact that John would like this one. When the band was beginning to get popular they sold a lot of shirts and I remember an endless string of emails discussing the purchase…John was voting for made in America. He wrote a paper his freshman year in college about the Maquiladoras, which are the sweatshops located on the Mexican side of the U.S. border as a direct result of NAFTA. The professor used the research John did on that paper to convince the college to sponsor a group to visit Mexico and observe these factories. John was very passionate about buying American.

In fact, when he was able to be sponsored by a drum was American made Noble and Cooley that he chose…the oldest drum company in America. I know I told you that story and that it was the “happiest day of his life”. I think that he was happy about the drum set and proud that he was using a company that was from his home state..keeping his neighbors employed!

John didn’t have to be told how important it was to buy American..he just knew it. He was way ahead of his time on this concept…as he was with many ideas. And that is why I know he would be so happy about this months blog..26 little acts of kindness and at least one of them to keep your friend working…it would make his day! I think he would be happy if you were from another country and bought an item from that country too...he just liked to keep people working for a decent wage.

Good luck and I would love to know what everyone did…here is the link to Ann Curry’s website that may inspire you..because in the end…we are all in this world together.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Full Moon November 2012

The full moon will come during the night tonight (November 27-28, 2012) for us in North America, and it comes with some interesting features. That is, in 2012, the November full moon gives the world its smallest full moon of the year – and in North America, a subtle, penumbral eclipse of the moon before sunrise November 28. Meanwhile, those in the world’s Eastern Hemisphere – Europe, Africa, Asia, Indonesia, Australia and New Zealand – will see this penumbral lunar eclipse after sunset November 28. A penumbral eclipse is not very dramatic…just a shading of the moon.. so don’t wake up expecting to see a red moon or a big black bite taken out of it.
I remember running outside with John and Lauren when they were in grammar school to see an eclipse …but we have so many trees in our yard it was impossible…they were very cute lying in the grass trying to see it though, and we did it every single time an eclipse occurred...which brings me to my story of the month.
My parents have sold their house and moved to Florida. This move caused them to downsize and they gave away a lot of their “stuff”. My gift was not one that I would ever have chosen, rather it was chosen for me by my son years and years ago when we were all sitting around my mom’s dining room table and she asked us what we would want from her house when she moved. While everyone was pondering their wish list 13 year old John piped up with “ I want this table”. I was shocked…at his speedy response and the bold choice! I asked him why the heck would you want the table? He quickly replied that he would like the table because when he used it he would be able to remember all the fun times we had as a family. Needless to say, no one was able to top that response … but what struck me was that a little boy would …or could…come up with such insight! It was stunning and really silenced us all!
Well, that table is now sitting in my kitchen and I think of John every time I set it…the kid who knew at such an early age that the memories you create are important and matter. I hope that my grandchildren think the same of me…that I took the time to make them feel loved. I don’t think John cared about the actual food. I KNOW he didn’t give a hoot about the china or the linens…it was the love he felt, the laughs and the feeling of belonging to a group…and that is what I wish for you this holiday. I hope that you can find a way to impart that feeling to those you love…because it is a gift worth spending the time to cultivate. It is not easy, you have to adapt as life moves on…but if you keep your mission one of establishing a loving and accepting home you may be lucky enough to have someone ask for your table someday! Much love to you all and my sincere wishes that you are successful with this one!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

October 2012

October - Full Hunter’s Moon or Full Harvest Moon –This full Moon is often referred to as the Full Hunter’s Moon, Blood Moon, or Sanguine Moon. Many “moons “ ago, Native Americans named this bright moon for obvious reasons. The leaves are falling from trees, the deer are fattened, and it’s time to begin storing up meat for the long winter ahead. Because the fields were traditionally reaped in late September or early October, hunters could easily see fox and other animals that come out to glean from the fallen grains. Probably because of the threat of winter looming close, the Hunter’s Moon is generally accorded with special honor, historically serving as an important feast day in both Western Europe and among many Native American tribes.

I know I have mentioned that I would never EVER be considered for the best parent award and here is the proof.

When John was in kindergarten he was always in trouble. When I look back on his early schooling I wish I had stayed home with him…he was very sensitive to touch so when people got in his space…as little kids always do…it would send him into orbit…and sometimes he would even hit another kid…and if I saw it and called him out he would reply that they hit him first! (which ,of course, was not true but he thought that they really had hit him because his personal bubble was so huge!!) Sometimes he would hit the kid and than grab his arm with as if to say…ohhhh, I didn’t mean it! It truly was a reaction to people being too close to him…if we were in lines at say Disney..I would pick him up and hold him tight so he would feel safer. The OT who worked with him once told me that it feels like they have just had a near miss accident! Poor baby!! He did get used to living with it …at least I think he did (or he just stopped hitting other people and I interpreted that to mean he was ok…this is something I would clarify if I had the chance…)

Anyway….let’s just add that to the millions of things mom’s like me feel guilty about and move on  with the real story

…John’s kindergarten class had a little Halloween show every year…the kids would dress up and sing all the fall songs they had learned for parents and the kids in the nursery class. In order to do this the kindergarten kids stood on risers….you are probably beginning to see the problem…a bunch of little kids squished on skinny risers…and my little monkey with “touch” issues!

I don’t think that I ever went to pick him up from school when the teacher didn’t have a negative comment about his behavior on those damn risers…and as a mom you get so worked up when teachers are always complaining …they make you feel like you should be able to do something to fix it….so one day I told him if he didn’t stop causing trouble he would not be allowed to go to school on Halloween. (and I had made him a really cool Ninja Turtle costume out of a Hulk pattern and a handmade paper mache shell…he loved it and was so excited)

So, you know what was going to happen…the day before Halloween I pick him up ..the teacher bitches about him and I tell him he is not going to go to school for the party….and once it is out of my mouth…I felt I had to stick to it…so he and I stayed home…only to find out Halloween night that the kid he pushed had pushed him first!!!  (as told by his savior, best bud, and school wife…Elizabeth Potter…who always tells the truth…for good or bad) so I had punished John for no reason…and in retrospect I should have known that his behavior was really more related to his issue than begin a genuine pain in the neck!!

I have to say…I have never been able to let go of how badly I feel about my behavior in that episode …I was so sure that he would turn out to be police blotter material if I didn’t back up my threats that I didn’t’ take a minute to step back and assess what was really important … and by taking that day from him …a day he could never get back…I cost him one more day of fun in what turned out to be a very short life and probably made him trust and respect me …his Mother…a little less…all of which I can not fix….even if he were still around….the damage had been done…and it was not necessary had I really been the grown up and taken a minute to rethink what was going on.

So, my message here is to learn from my mistake and be very careful with your words … and as hard as it is sometimes…try to take a look at the whole picture as objectively as possible before you make a judgment call …you are not at your best when you are saying and doing things in the heat of the moment!  I certainly look back on that day with great sadness and shame!! (thank God I had a baby boy who was very forgiving!)

Friday, September 28, 2012

September 2012

The Full Corn Moon corresponds with the time of harvesting corn. It is also called the Barley Moon, because it is the time to harvest and thresh the ripened barley. 
This month, we also celebrate what we call a Harvest Moon, which is the full Moon nearest the autumnal equinox. It can occur in September or October and is bright enough to allow finishing all the harvest chores.
The Full Harvest Moon is different than all our other full Moons. Around this date, the Moon rises at almost the same time for a number of nights in our northern latitudes.

This month on the full moon we will be celebrating with John’s girlfriend Mary and her family because she is in a play in New York and we are going to the city to see her. We are so excited because we have not seen Mary in quite some time as she moved to the west coast.

As our plans have developed I can’t help but think back to the times we went to see her perform in Syracuse. We would meet John and Mary’s parents for a quick bite and go to see her play. It was so much fun, I love her family and spending time with them…thought I was so lucky that John picked a girl with such a terrific family. I knew they loved him as much as I did…I was sure life was going to be great for them.

John and Mary were so well suited for one another…they were very creative and each encouraged the other to develop their talents. However, Mary decided to give up her dreams when it became clear that John’s career was going to take off. I know she made this decision without discussing it. I think she decided to go to grad school for Speech Pathology so that she could be the one who was always around when John was free…she would live the nine to five life so he could be free to fulfill his dream. She told me once that he asked her, in all honesty, to promise that she would someday go back to acting…she was shocked that he didn’t know what she was doing and why.

I don’t think he could wrap his head around the fact that some people don’t get to follow their dream..some by choice and some not…

John was lucky to have had the opportunity to live a life that allowed him to spend the majority of his time on things he loved to do…music, sports, beer making etc. He died so young he didn't get a chance to make the sacrifices that parents do.…No wonder he was so happy all the time! 

And so, as we get to relive a piece of the life we thought we were going to have, I suggest you spend some time on this full moon doing something you love…something that makes you happy…so you can go out and pass that happiness to others.

Friday, August 31, 2012

August 2012

Happy Full Blue Moon!

When I did my Google search for the Indian meaning for the blue moon I came across this one which is so different from the ones I usually use…as I read it I thought…well..maybe people want a change of pace so let’s give a different perspective on second Full Moon this month!

The Blue Moon in Pisces on Friday. It is called a Blue Moon because it will be our second Full Moon of the month! (from US perspective) The Sun in Virgo brings the energies of service and healing and with the Full Moon in Pisces what seems to be emerging in people are feelings needing to be healed, old wounds being exposed and coming into our awareness so we can clear the energetic beliefs around our wounds!
Unfortunately for me, I know I will never, ever be able to stop missing John., no healing here.  I do forgive the people who killed him… no good comes from harboring hatred and John would be disappointed in us if we were all paralyzed by it.  We choose to honor him by doing the good things he was known for (although we know full well we don’t have the gift he had for touching people…but we do try)

As I have said before, John was very good at picking friends and I have another success story to tell about some of them! When John went to Syracuse he was in band was with a great and very talented group of kids..they had a several names…Sweaty Pants among them (you get the gist…freshman in college..what can I say) He played both guitar and drums…and I think he was so happy with the group because they encouraged him to try out his music and were talented enough to actually preform  the songs that were in his head!  They played a lot of Frat parties. It didn’t take them long to figure that the frat boys did not really want or need additional men at the parties and playing music for them was a very good way to get their foot in the door and have some fun! John was way too inclusive to ever consider joining a frat but would never say no to a good party!!

I don’t know exactly why his friend Adam first decided that he needed to add a gimmick to the band but he did…I remember John telling me that he was serving waffles at the events they played…I don’t even remember if John was still in the band at that time…but I clearly remember how impressed John was with the idea…and how excited he was when Adam and Kyle wrote and were awarded a grant from the college to open a restaurant that would feature sweet and savory waffles! John just thought that was the coolest thing ever and was so proud of his friends!

The boys worked so hard to make “Funk and Waffles” a success and it is! This week, Guy Feri from the Food Network came to visit and is featuring them in an upcoming show!! (here is the clip of him talking to the local news about it : ) It is unbelievable that a couple of kids could make a go of it in the highly competitive restaurant business …especially when they don’t have a liquor license! It is just plain incredible! Improbable!! But true!

I was thinking when I watched the video that John would be so proud…he was always happy for others while playing down his own accomplishments.  I really wished he was here so we could talk about it…it would be so much more fun to have him here to celebrate with. He would be on cloud nine!

This got me to thinking that I get so happy when great things happen to John’s friends.  I think this happens because I am able to imagine about how proud he would be of his friends and I also feel how lucky I am that they still stay in contact with me so I can live vicariously through them! I always thought that John’s music would be a hobby, never a way he could actually make money at… I mean who do you actually know anyone who makes it in that industry! I still have the contract from Virgin Atlantic that was to be signed two weeks after he died…something I think that he had trouble wrapping his head around too! But it was such a wonderful period in his life…so happy and hopeful. I love that other people (especially young kids) get to have accomplishments to be proud about…we don’t get nearly enough of them….Then I thought to myself…wouldn’t it be great if people could set aside jealously and be truly happy for others…when someone else gets a piece of good fortune we would celebrate with them… John was able to be so enthusiastic when his friends had something to rejoice about and it is part of the reason that people gravitated to him…so …that is what I am suggesting this month….just try to be happy when you hear good news about others and let them know that you celebrate their good fortune! 

Wednesday, August 1, 2012


Full Sturgeon Moon –The fishing tribes are given credit for the naming of this Moon, since sturgeon, a large fish of the Great Lakes and other major bodies of water, were most readily caught during this month. A few tribes knew it as the Full Red Moon because, as the Moon rises, it appears reddish through any sultry haze. It was also called the Green Corn Moon or Grain Moon.

Thank you to the Olympic Committee for choosing London for the site this year because without this I would have nothing to say this month (impossible to believe for those who know me but it is true)!

John always loved to travel because he found everything and everyone so interesting. I think that was one of the biggest selling points in his decision to join the band in the first place. He was smiling in almost every single picture taken of him while they traveled around the country.  He loved it so much that once he mentioned that he would love to travel to different regions and sample the foods… linking it to different kinds of beers (I know, that exact show is now on TV…he was always ahead of his time).

Clearly thought, the highlight of his career was when they went to London. I think that is when he realized that he was REALLY talented. In fact, when he was applying for his visa he asked me what he should write in the space provided for occupation. I suggested the obvious choice (musician) and he replied “Really?” When I told him that was what he was doing over there he quietly thought about it for a minute and I think it was the first time that he began to get where his life was going. This is probably why he was so loved by the people who came to see him…he never thought he was going to be a superstar; he was just the kid having fun….and people appreciated that about him.

We really wanted to go with him. My husband hates to fly but he was all for this trip. I researched hotels and flights but when we got John’s schedule we realized that we were only going to be able to spend one day together at most because they had to be back in NY to play almost immediately after the last show. I would have done it but the more I thought of it I decided that our presence may add a lot of stress to his trip. He was a kid who would have taken the time to be with us even if he had to loose sleep to do it…John wasn’t a good juggler of time so I just thought I should back off and let him have his own experience … I stupidly thought that there would be other trips to England …we would go next time when he had the lay of the land. I had to settle for his description of the trip…had to envision the sight when he told me that he had “goosebumbs” when he played at a club called Koko’s (Charlie Chaplin played there and I think he told me that it was the biggest venue they ever played) My heart broke when I found out that he didn’t go with the band to talk to record companies about the deals that they would get…he choose to tour London by himself…I couldn’t believe that he was all alone taking pictures of all the noteworthy sites! (Being a speech pathologist I have always enjoyed the family discussions that go with new experiences…almost cried that he was not able to do that because I know how much it adds to the trip) When he sat with us to show us the photos we all told him we were going next time so he had to make sure the booking agent left time at the end of the tour for US!  We really truly thought that would happen…that there would be TIME for that….

So, my message for you this month is to take the bulls by the horns when you can…experience everything offered to you in life.. especially when it involves people you love…because you have no guaranties. I have so much trouble looking at all the shots of London…wanting so much to remember what John would have said about it all…trying to recall every word he said about the trip…I KNOW I would have remembered better if I had been there with him…and I would give anything to have that memory.