Monthly Archives: April 2012

Nothing so soon reconciles us to the thought of our own death, as the prospect of one friend after another dropping around us. Seneca.

My parents were Stoics.  I’m not kidding.  I didn’t realize it until I became a student of philosophy.  I am not a fan of the European Philosophers – with the heavy religious overtones; I’m an “Ancients” girl.  I have lots of heroes… but my #1 Hero is Socrates, and second (IMHO)  enter Seneca … and his words of wisdom…

Let no man presume to give advice to others that has not first given good counsel to himself.
Seneca.

The origin of all mankind was the same: it is only a clear and a good conscience that makes a man noble, for that is derived from heaven itself. It was the saying of a great man that, if we could trace our descents, we should find all slaves to come from princes, and all princes from slaves; and fortune has turned all things topsy-turvy in a long series of revolutions: beside, for a man to spend his life in pursuit of a trifle that serves only when he dies to furnish out an epitaph, is below a wise man’s business.
Seneca.

If anger is not restrained, it is frequently more hurtful to us than the injury that provokes it.
Seneca.

We are at best but stewards of what we falsely call our own; yet avarice is so insatiable that it is not in the power of liberality to content it.
Seneca.

It is another’s fault if he be ungrateful; but it is mine if I do not give. To find one thankful man, I will oblige many that are not so.
Seneca.

Nothing so soon reconciles us to the thought of our own death, as the prospect of one friend after another dropping around us.
Seneca.

The body being only the covering of the soul, at its dissolution we shall discover the secrets of nature—the darkness shall be dispelled, and our souls irradiated with light and glory; a glory without a shadow, a glory that shall surround us; and from whence we shall look down, and see day and night beneath us: and as now we cannot lift up our eyes towards the sun without dazzling, what shall we do when we behold the divine light in its illustrious original?
Seneca.

What is death but a ceasing to be what we were before? we are kindled and put out, we die, daily: nature that begot us expels us, and a better and a safer place is provided for us.
Seneca.

What must be shall be; and that which is a necessity to him that struggles is little more than choice to him that is willing.
Seneca.

As fate is inexorable, and not to be moved either with tears or reproaches an excess of sorrow is as foolish as profuse laughter; while, on the other hand, not to mourn at all is insensibility.
Seneca.

We are sure to get the better of Fortune if we do but grapple with her.
Seneca.

The greatest loss of time is delay and expectation, which depends upon the future. We let go the present, which we have in our power, and look forward to that which depends upon chance,—and so quit a certainty for an uncertainty.
Seneca.

He that does good to another man does also good to himself; not only in the consequence, but in the very act of doing it; for the conscience of well-doing is an ample reward.
Seneca.
Let no man presume to give advice to others that has not first given good counsel to himself.
Seneca.

1

The origin of all mankind was the same: it is only a clear and a good conscience that makes a man noble, for that is derived from heaven itself. It was the saying of a great man that, if we could trace our descents, we should find all slaves to come from princes, and all princes from slaves; and fortune has turned all things topsy-turvy in a long series of revolutions: beside, for a man to spend his life in pursuit of a trifle that serves only when he dies to furnish out an epitaph, is below a wise man’s business.
Seneca.

2

If anger is not restrained, it is frequently more hurtful to us than the injury that provokes it.
Seneca.

3

We are at best but stewards of what we falsely call our own; yet avarice is so insatiable that it is not in the power of liberality to content it.
Seneca.

4

It is another’s fault if he be ungrateful; but it is mine if I do not give. To find one thankful man, I will oblige many that are not so.
Seneca.

5

Nothing so soon reconciles us to the thought of our own death, as the prospect of one friend after another dropping around us.
Seneca.

6

The body being only the covering of the soul, at its dissolution we shall discover the secrets of nature—the darkness shall be dispelled, and our souls irradiated with light and glory; a glory without a shadow, a glory that shall surround us; and from whence we shall look down, and see day and night beneath us: and as now we cannot lift up our eyes towards the sun without dazzling, what shall we do when we behold the divine light in its illustrious original?
Seneca.

7

What is death but a ceasing to be what we were before? we are kindled and put out, we die, daily: nature that begot us expels us, and a better and a safer place is provided for us.
Seneca.

8

What must be shall be; and that which is a necessity to him that struggles is little more than choice to him that is willing.
Seneca.

9

As fate is inexorable, and not to be moved either with tears or reproaches an excess of sorrow is as foolish as profuse laughter; while, on the other hand, not to mourn at all is insensibility.
Seneca.

10

We are sure to get the better of Fortune if we do but grapple with her.
Seneca.

11

The greatest loss of time is delay and expectation, which depends upon the future. We let go the present, which we have in our power, and look forward to that which depends upon chance,—and so quit a certainty for an uncertainty.
Seneca.

12

He that does good to another man does also good to himself; not only in the consequence, but in the very act of doing it; for the conscience of well-doing is an ample reward.
Seneca.

Extended Learning Curve of Life…

Know what I mean?  I have just realized that I have been on a continual learning curve since my body *learned* to breath in the air of life.  At no point has it stopped.  Every day I can identify something I have learned *new*.  Some of it serves no purpose other than expanding my knowledge base.  That’s okay.  I measure stuff by how much i have learned.  I’ve learned about submarines, aircraft and ships through my husband.  It has also given me an endless source of gift ideas — (love that).  We have very different interests and some absolutely mutual interests that give us room for our own personal interests, and joined interests.  I think I wrote a long time ago on facebook that my husband will look at me sometimes with a caption above him that says “gee, honey, I love you so much but you are so weird at times.”   In the beginning, I think my husband thought my relationship with plants, animals and creatures of all types that cross my path… was a little odd… until he discovered how much he was the same way, but never felt comfortable in expressing it.  Now he and I are equally weird and our neighbors can attest to it.  Some like it, others don’t.  We’ve decided to extend our involvement into the community.  We’ve decided that instead of indulging in the holidays (as in nucleus family) that we want to do something for the VFW or Legion or Wounded Warriors above and beyond our annual contributions.   We want to volunteer in the kitchen or as waitstaff … or whatever is needed.  We think it will be fun – and informative.

I’m doing well learning the web design and formatting though I am so far from mastering it is almost laughable.  I do look forward to getting good at it … at some point.  It has given me a HUGE (as in mega) appreciation for the web work Valerie has done for me over the years, and clients.  She is a brilliant artist and gifted.

But I am enjoying learning — even if I have to get up and walk away when I can’t understand what the hell I am reading … and it’s the 4th time I’ve read the same sentence.  I always wonder whether I will experience the Peter Principle.  Are you familiar with it?  The Peter Principle in a nutshell is when a person reaches their level of incompetence.  Read it again.  A bridge too far.  When I had that fantastic gig for Green Mountain Coffee Roasters … at a point I remember thinking “is this a bridge too far?” because of the complexity and intricacy that was needed.   I put in a gazillion hours because of the details, and how things were changing almost on a daily basis.  However, it was my experience that was invaluable – and I will always love Timeplex for giving me countless opportunities throughout 13 years.  I will always be a cheerleader for that company – and the people that worked there.

To me, as long as I am learning something brandy new… I’m still a child.  Knowledge is not without its pain.  That is why “Ignorance is bliss”.   You can’t be sad because you don’t have something … if you don’t know what that something is. Likewise, once you have knowledge of something … you own it.   If you have knowledge of someone injuring another, or an animal, or the environment … and you turn your eyes away… that is an absence of ethics and is gross indifference.   Knowledge brings responsibility.  The quest of knowledge is a good thing – and made better when we do something positive with it.

Earth signs in major configuration

This is a post I received this morning from ElsaP, one of the clearest and most *understandable* astrology sources.  She lets me know what I need to know, in short, concise, words.  The best way to learn a little about astrology is what the planets rule, like Mercury, 3rd house, communications, short travel, brothers and sisters… etc.  I’ve decided to start publishing some of my mothers *stuff* — for the astrology classes she taught in Ramapo, Clarkstown and Orangetown over the years.  She provided great handouts for basic overview and introduction of planets and forces.  In the meantime, here is Elsa’s headsup for the coming week underway.  My comments will be in BOLD print.

“The Sun leaves Aries for Taurus on Thursday, forming a grand trine in Earth with Mars in Virgo and Pluto in Capricorn.  Jupiter is also in Taurus and if you don’t like the Earth signs, you best hide under the bed through the weekend, because there is more to come.

Friday is prelude to the New Moon in Taurus which takes place just after midnight on Saturday morning. If you’re out Friday night, I’d be scouting for opportunity.

 
Some think of Taurus as a boring sign. If you’re bored by love, money and self-esteem, then I see your point. Personally, I like this very stable sign and if you want to better understand Taurus under this new moon, think about the Charging Bull on Wall Street.   There is something reassuring about that bull. He represents wealth and solid self-esteem which are things that just don’t go out of style.

[Sidebar: My brother was a Taurus.  He had a love and appreciation for the finer things in life; art, music, pomp and ceremony, literature.  My aunt nurtured his love by taking him to the finest galleries in the NY-Tri-State area (I was in tow).  My father introduced us to classical music.  Daddy had his prize collection of vinyls (I have a few to this day, including Carmen), and Thomas and I used to rake leaves and sift dirt to Saint Saens, Grieg, Wagner, Rachmaninoff, and Tchaikovsky.  My father would put the speakers up to the windows in the living room and pipe the music out … LOUDLY.   My mother would say “Tommy, can you turn down the volume? and if that didn’t start an argument… Daddy would answer, I can, but to really appreciate it, you need to be able to hear it.  (and that usually started the argument).  As a result of our music appreciation upbringing, I too developed a love of the classics – and Thomas went on to the really heavy masters (that I didn’t have an appreciation for, i.e. baroque and monastic).

Taurus is ruled by Bacchus… indulgence in food, wine, lavishness.   The Bacchanal is a musical interpretation of Bacchanal worship, who is also known as Dionysus.  For your listening pleasure, here is a link to the Bacchanal from San Saens “Samson and Delilah.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GPsYHmyKEBw.


Sunday, the love fest in the earth signs continues but at this point you’ll probably notice the brilliance in the air.  This is because on Monday, Mercury and Uranus form an exact conjunction in Aries (see Mouths and Minds on Fire).  Mars (Aries) in Mercury’s sign (Virgo) aspects the conjunction so we are really going to see some fresh ideas out of this.  Most definitely jot down what comes to mind because the ideas will be fast and also fleeting.
 
To understand this energy, imagine playing Jeopardy on crack. It’s mental stress but some people love it. It’s via an aspect like this that we get crackpot ideas; stuff like electricity or the Internet or the audacity to think you can land on the Moon.
 
We have a grand trine in earth on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday so people will be calm. We’ve got plenty of chaos ahead, so enjoy the peace while you have it.  
If you want to talk about these issues or anything else, please schedule a phone appointment or contact me for an email consult.
 
I am now offering Lunar Return reports for less than $5 each if you buy the whole year.  I also have a variety of astrology reports for just $10.  Check them out here.
 
Thanks and best wishes for a great week,
Elsa P

In Search of Level 5 Leadership … still

In 2001 and again in 2005, Jim Collins wrote about the attributes and characteristics of what makes for great leadership.  In his book Good to Great, he articulates the 5 levels of leadership, culminating with the absolute top being the individuals who could take companies, turn them around, and bring them to a position of market leaders.  I had initially intended to write about this on my business blog (because it is worth repeating and referencing over again), and then as I was reviewing my notes, etc., it occurred to me that I want that exact same caliber in the President of the United States.  Nothing less.   Here are the 5 levels of leadership as defined by Collins.

1. Highly Capable Individual:  Makes productive contributions through talent, knowledge, skills and good work habits,

2. Contributing Team Member: Contributes to the achievement of group objectives; works effectively with others in a   group setting,

3.Competent Manager: Organizes people and resources toward the effective and efficient pursuit of predetermined objectives,

4. Effective Leader: Catalyzes commitment to and vigorous pursuit of a clear and compelling vision; stimulates the group to a high performance standards,

5. Executive: Builds enduring greatess through a paradoxical combination of personal humility plus professional will.

Got it?  Personal humility plus professional will.

So I am going to write about the political landscape right now.  For instance, Newt Gingrich.  IMHO Newt Gingrich suffers from extreme conceit and hubris.  Regardless of the fact he may have some really good ideas… one has to cut through the arrogance to get to any quality material.  His appeal lessened as his arrogance, condescension and hubris increased (or became visible).  Big turnoff.

“The great irony is that the animus and personal ambition that often drives people to become a Level 4 Leader stands at odds with the humility required to rise to Level 5.”  (HBR, 2005)

I expect my president to be a Level 5.  I want that personal humility coupled with some damn good business sense and a set of interpersonal skills that permits you to successfully imbue your constituents with a sense of confidence.  That has not happened for me in many years.  Enough with the on-the-job-training.  Where’s the meat?

I know it distresses some folk that I am not a fan of Obama, despite the fact that I have very liberal leanings.  Why would I? He does not possess – for me – the qualities that I am looking for in a President … of the United States …or in business.  I have worked with and for – a lot of executives over the years. Some were so full of themselves that they had no room for anything else.  Their arrogance and conceit was staggering.  I would watch these *leaders* proclaim their value, their significance and their importance.  I also watched their replacement say the same thing. (ahem).

In fact, in 13 years, I had 15 different *executive managers* … who got their jobs mostly because they were part of the *new deal* and were friends of someone in a high authority.  We used to joking use a fill-in-the-blank.  Meet ___ ____ “friend of ______” whoever was at the helm.  Of the 15 executive managers I worked with and for, only a handful had the ethics that I thought was truly admirable, and I felt honored to learn from and work with, them.  None of them were President of the United States material.

Now let’s talk about Obama.  He is quick to regurgitate the ills of the previous administration (now in his 4th year) and how they all contributed to the problems we are experiencing TODAY.  Not him, not his decisions, it’s always the other guys fault.  He may possess the sparkling repartee to be what some might consider witty when he is questioned about something… but in these 4 years I have gone from hoping for the best to sick of the SOS.  I turn him off now, just like I did Bush.  He isn’t a businessman and possesses no real knowledge (first hand) of what it takes to make a business work.  He was a community organizer.  I felt he was a lightweight to start (and I am going to be doing a deep dive into his practical experience.  Meaning, he has experience first hand.  In many ways, he reminds me of a conversation I had with my own mom.  We were talking about the traits, characteristics, talent that is passed down through the generations – and I said “Ma, how come when I do something great its because I got that from this relative or that from another relative but when I screw up, that’s all mine?
In other words — Obama using the haunt that our current day ills are hangovers from 5 years ago… that doesn’t say much for the change that has been made.  The fact that he would close his eyes to global wrongs that are taking place and put a floodlight on others of lesser significance, shocks me.  I expect my president to be able to say IMHO – as President – your actions are wrong.  If he can’t  then he needs to get another job.  But most important – of what I do know about Obama and path to the White House, nothing made him qualified as Illinois Senatorial candidate in 2004 to President of the United States – in 4 years.  He must have one helluva angel on his shoulder – or he had really good help.

I am sick and tired of dealing with BS artists – in business and in politics.  I have heard more succession speeches that I care to.  I have seen rotational mgmt. teams as a result of poor performance — that are just compounded by much of the same.  When they are all standing *center stage* what they say sounds good.  It includes all the right things.  Their speech has been worked and reworked with key words and triggers to evoke the response they desire.  It always sounds rehearsed because it is rehearsed.

There is no way Obama gained enough knowledge to be a great (or even good) president.  4 years?  Who decided to start grooming this young man?  Who decided that he would change the playing field? Someone did.  He went from being a Senatorial Candidate to President in 4 years. He had no experience other than limited in a community organizer capacity. I need to believe it was something other than his being a man of color that made him a *potential* candidate material.  I feel Obama was part of the DNC succession planning, vetting of potential *high performers* (just like the RNC is already looking at their future prospects and *high performers*).  I believe he was selected early on, groomed and promoted as the acronym for change.  I do not feel he has been a good president and certainly do not feel he possess the characteristics that a Level 5 Leader has.

But not to make this about just Obama… I did not care for Rick Santorium (sp?), I haven’t even considered Romney as of this writing, though I  did like – initially – Herman Cain – because of what I did know, I felt he had his hand on the pulse.  Unfotunately he was in to taking the pulse of others too.  Bad.  Just plain ol bad.  Here’s my two cents advice to current candidates and future candidates.  If you even suspect SLIGHTLY that you may want to run for public office… understand that your life – your actions, your decisions or non-decisions – will be examined (as they should be).  The Presidency is something of a fabulous thing we have.  We’re giving someone the opportunity to do what is in OUR BEST INTEREST.  Not drive it into the ground like so many Level 4 Leaders who destroy companies with bad management decisions and an over inflated sense of importance.  ENOUGH.

I personally feel that anyone who serves more than 1 term in any position becomes a politician.  Not a democrat, not a republican… a politician as in the days of antiquity.  Career politicians – living off the people… who have kept them in the lifestyle they have grown accustomed to.

Cooperation Between Enemies Against Public Enemy #1

 

 

Hawks and crows have a well known antagonistic relationship. Crows will pack together to bait – literally – a hawk to the point of response.  Hawks prey on young crows – and all crows have as a defense against hawks… is intelligence.

I wrote about the mating of our Coopers Hawks yesterday, and this morning Isaboe and mate were absolutely frantic giving their “too close to nest/danger” call (go to Cornell’s All About Birds and you can hear their distinctive calls).  At the same time, the crows were starting to behave raucously.  I had my coffee and observed what was taking place.  Who were the aggressors, what was their behavior, blah blah.   It became apparent that something was uniting the efforts of the hawks and crows into bombarding the tall palm (about 60 ft. in air) and I quickly retrieved my binoculars (I have three pair – upstairs, back and front of house).

Sure enough, there on the palm was the Great Horned Owl that predates on young hawks, crows, skunks… and anything else it fancies.  In the bird world… I think Owls are the Edward G. Robinson of the bird world… Public Enemy #1.  Now you figure I’m about 300 feet from the palm, that is about 55′ tall… and this kid is BIG.  Usually during the day he/she retreats to the denser foliage of some local pine and waits out the day.  This morning, he/she was where the Barn Owls used to have a nest (and raised a couple of broods).  Haven’t heard them lately so I hope nothing bad happened and they just sought nicer digs.  I have seen them with flashlight in hand at night, but I heard them more than I ever saw them (they would fly past the window upstairs at night.  I think their call very eerie (http://www.allaboutbirds.org/Page.aspx?pid=1189)

I have witnessed this behavior many times before when a common enemy comes into their community.  Red Shoulders and Red Tails are received with equal hostility.

In closing, the efforts were successful, and when the owl decided enough is enough… it took off (huge wing span) – with hawks and crows en mass on tail – harassing it loudly and zipping about to intimidate (sort of).

Then all became quiet…. and once again peace came to the land.

The Divine Sense of Humor…

Just witnessed Isaboe and her stud muffin mating. I wrote years ago that I know that *the divine* has a warped sense of humor and it isn’t just because of the Platypus.  I moved to a resort environment, that stays green pretty well all year long.  I have the green and trees that I need to feel *healthy* (I cannot be in a city environment too long… it gives me a headache)… and a broad variety of magnificent song birds.  I live in a paradise (for me).   Then smack dab in the middle of it, about 8 years ago, Isaboe (that’s what I call her after the movie LadyHawke) (sp?) moved in and decided to become an active and contributing member of our society and community by having very successful breedingings (UGH). We have contributed at least 16 new cooper hawks (more if all survived, 16 if only two survived per brood).  Oh wow… she just flew in for a bath…)

anyway…

How am I able to write this real-time?  I’m in my home office, creating and writing some pieces for my business blog and my client’s marketing, and my desk looks out over the commons.  The window is 6′ wide so I have an unobstructed view of the commons… and the hills behind it.  There are a couple of tall liquid ambers and syacamores that the hawks favor for hunting (no surprise there) but this is the first time in 13 years I have actually seen the ritual start to finish.  This also means I will, once again, watch the little ones with the training-wheel wings and listen to their totally irritating *squeal* that affects me like nails on a chalkboard.  Every time they accomplish something new, it’s like hearing “look ma, no wings…” and they get all excited.  Then there is the distinct hysteria that surrounds feedings.  I always know when Isaboe has brought food to the table.  (sigh).  She has her favorite trees for the actual nest.  Eucalyptus.  We have some very large canopy Eucalyptus… and I can watch her with binoculars as she builds her next.

I am not one of those who settles for the “it’s nature”, when something is killed.  I hate the process.  One time (in the early days) my new husband said to me (after something that distressed me with animals) “It’s nature so you have to accept it.” and I responded ” no i don’t.  Who said?   My personal motto is muddle where possible.  If I can save a dove, or a spider, or a snake or a lizard or a canary… I will.  That’s my role.  And as for “accepting it”, I don’t.  It sucks, and when I cross over, if there is an afterlife, and whoever is in charge of wildlife and the b.s. survival of the fittest… I am going to walk up to them as said “what were you thinking?” (and a slap on the side of the head).”

When people are surprised at my level of emotion, and to the extent I will go to help animals, wildlife and domestic, for some crazy reason they feel free to let me know that they think it is wee bit obsessive, overly-emotional, and one-foot in eccentric… and that it is almost a liability in their eyes.  They don’t necessarily say it in words.  They use the facial and physical expressions to convey their opinions too.  Personally I can’t understand them at all, or anyone who doesn’t feel this way.  I’m interested and emotionally involved with everything – whether it directly affects me or not.  If I am given the chance to intervene, I will.  I do not like, approve or want to witness the predator/prey dramas on TV or in real-life. It’s downright horrifying to me; my glasses are rose-colored.  I am equally passionate about trees and plants.   I had a HOA board member say to me, after my furor over the unnecessary cutting of healthy trees (that were not doing any harm whatsoever to anyone or anything) that my response was, in her opinion, obsessive – and they are just trees  and I responded “really –  then it shouldn’t surprise you that I think you are as shallow as a thimble.  That shocked her.  Hmmmm.

My husband is no longer surprised at some of the stuff that I get *me/him/us* involved in.  (Poor sweet adorable guy).  He says “You don’t surprise me, amaze, yes, surprise, no”.  I also have said for years that if I am ever injured or killed on a roadway, you can bet your sweet ass an animal had something to do with it.  Not so long ago, we were returning home, and in the distance I saw a small black dog who appeared (to me) to be unfamiliar or confused on the side of the road.  As we were riding by, I said “stop the car” (several fast times) … and as he slowed down (much to my husband’s horror) I jumped out… ran back and just as the dog was starting to walk into the roadway … I swept her up — (and yes, cars were coming on both on amaya and water sts. and I had a window of opportunity so I took it without hesitation). Dangerous – yeah – if that dog had been aggressive, I might have been hurt – but it wasn’t and we eventually found it’s owners and yes, it had been lost from quite a distance away while it was being cared for by a family member.  But the fact is, something has guided me my whole life.

This is all part of this divine inner voice that Socrates spoke of.  He said “… and it has stopped me in the very act of doing something if it was not for my greater good.”  — likewise, for me, if I don’t listen to it, the results are almost always bad.  I have come to respect the divine inner voice.  I have spent a lifetime of being in positions of doing something or doing nothing – where I had to make a choice – and I opted on behalf of animals, plants and sometimes, even people.  So far, so good.

This is my Story…

This is where it all began for me… Derfus Lane.  These pictures where taken, I believe, 1n 1949 during the construction.  It was one of the first developments in Orangetown, located directly across from Rockland State Hospital for the criminally insane.  Yep.  True.  A stones throw.  A beautiful facility in terms of construction.  Almost a small city.  But I digress… anyway, here is our first home in Blauvelt, New York.

I think it was #26 but I’m not sure until I come across something with the correct address.  I do have one thing that my father recorded all of our addresses (up until his death), so I will be able to verify the actual address…

Anyway, this is where I made my appearance on July 15, 1954.  According to my mother, it was the hottest G-D July on record, and when she was in labor at Royal Hospital on the Grand Concourse, she understood why there were bars on the windows… (ahem….).  The day of my birth there was a severe electric storm and she said she watched the strikes against the George Washington Bridge.

She was in labor for over 40 hours… and according to family lore, I expired.   I had difficulty in the canal… and I expired due to whatever.  Dr. Rosenstein delivered the bad news and they were preparing my mother for a Cesarean section.  I couldn’t break whatever sac I was supposed to, was too far down the canal, and they could cut whatever because of whatever and I gave up. (please pardon the lack of proper terms for child birthing – but the fact is I know nothing about it.  )  Hours had passed without a heartbeat, according to story, and my mother was in danger as well.  She wrote a card to Thomas if anything should happen to her… (as one would expect), and my mother asked for a few minutes by herself.  She took out her prayer to St. Jude, and according to her, when it came to the part *the petition*, she said she wanted this baby, she wanted to go home, and she wanted everything to be okay.  And suddenly she got a kick in the ass, her water broke, and she yelled for my father to help her into the emergency room (down the hall), she got up on the table – herself – and I came out kicking and screaming.  Dr. Rosenstein and staff where absolutely taken all yelling – in a very jewish accent *Its a gurl, it’s a gurl*.

My mother loved Rosenstein.  He was our family physician until moving to Rockland.  He had cared for both my grandparents, and everyone in the family.  He was considered family.  Anyway… Fast forward – when I turned 16 my mother brought me to Dr. Rosenstein so I could personally thank him for my being alive.  (It was *accepted* that I just went into a very deep sleep for those many hours from exhaustion…) So there you have it.  I made my appearance at 6:30 p.m.  Astrology: Sun in Cancer, Mercury in Cancer, Jupiter in Cancer, Uranus in Cancer, Part of Fortune in Cancer, South Node in Cancer.  In astrological terms, I had a loaded 7th house in Water.  Thank the gods, on the opposite side of my chart, I was saved by Mars on the Ascendant in Saggitarius and a cool moon in Capricorn in the first house.  (but later for that).

Here is a picture of me at my Christening dinner (sp?) November 15, 1954 and on July 9, 1955 with my precious aunt – aka Julia Mary Elizabeth Agnes McCann Drewry, Julie-baby and Sister.  I adored my aunt who was my very best friend for 29 years.  She was simply elegant.  She was beautiful in every sense and I was very lucky.

My world was complete – and I was truly a little happy child.  Here is a wonderful picture of my “nucleus” family.  My mother’s parents were dead, so I had the incredible good fortune of my grandmother’s sisters – Eileen and Marion (spelled with an *o*), and my great uncles to make me feel special.  I am three years old in these pictures – and I so treasure these pictures because in a snapshot I see them all…

And just about this time, I was beginning to realize I had a brother too.  Thomas and I were incredibly close as brother and sister go.  Fought like cats and dogs… but we truly enjoyed each other.  Thomas was a huge part of my life – and not a day goes by that I don’t miss him.   But in the early years… he was my buddy… and my champion.