Comfort by Beverley Goodwin (Flickr) Jay and I love watching online kitten cams together.

The most precious of gifts: listening

My December column for the Catholic Free Press and Catholicmom.com * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * I created a video for this post with a musical backdrop and images to inspire you. You can read the text […]

640 critter room memory book featured

Give a gift of kittens to your friends while supporting a no-kill cat shelter – 20% Off on The Critter Room Memory Book!

Wondering what to give your cat-loving friend? How about giving twice with just one purchase? For a limited time during this holiday season, The Critter Room Memory Book Volume One is being offered at a 20% discount – now just $15.95 for this 68 page book chock full of: tons of color photos from Foster […]

the grace of yes with lisa feature

It’s all about the “Yes!” A review of “The Grace of Yes” by Lisa M. Hendey

I have known Lisa Hendey for many years. Her site, Catholicmom.com, hosts over 150 contributors and has won accolades and awards from grateful Catholics around the world. The site is all about the reader, a rarity on the internet today. A vibrant community thrives there as a result. I am honored to be one of […]

pope francis feature

Breaking News: Pope Francis to come to America, and he will speak in English!

And – he will be speaking in English! Here are details, courtesy of Father James Martin, SJ on Facebook: Pope Francis coming to Philadelphia. Be sure and catch his visit to the Philippines, scheduled for January where he will be speaking English in public for the first time: Pope Francis in the Philippines. Personally I […]

jesus in prayer featured

Dreading the holidays? Finding your secret quiet space in the midst of the noise and chaos

Here we go again! Daylight savings time is over, the decorations are up in the stores: the march towards Christmas begins. And there’s so much to do! from decorating our homes … to cooking, entertaining and party-hopping … to buying and wrapping gifts … and mailing them … to making out cards … and mailing […]

ray and arthur

The reviews are in! Update on the success of The Critter Room Memory Book Volume One

Thanks to all of you who have ordered The Critter Room Memory Book Volume One – so far we’ve raised over $900 for the Purrfect Pals no-kill cat shelter (exact figures – 102 books sold, $910.68 USD; £17.20 GBP; €17.28 EUR). Here are reviews from Amazon, : Purrfect fundraiser! I just wanted to let you […]

A. I. Fosters

It’s here! A scrapbook of your favorite kitten cam memories

It’s here! A scrapbook of your favorite kitten cam memories

I am pleased to present The Critter Room Memory Book  Volume One packed with all kinds of goodies! Within its 68 full color pages you will find: tons of color photos from Foster Dad John, “Mr  Ripley” (James Petts) and Tam Woods  including closeups of your favorite kittens and mama cats. Lots of Facebook screen […]

Alternative Lifestyles

Finding the mystic in me

Finding the mystic in me

Today I started reading a book entitled The Naked Now by Richard Rohr. I originally planned on reading it because a group I belong to, the Commission of Women of the Diocese of Worcester, chose this book as the one they wished to study this year. A dear friend of mine, a deacon in the […]

American History

Clash of civilizations, loss of heritage, courage to change: Review of “Flight of the Sparrow” by Amy Belding Brown

Clash of civilizations, loss of heritage, courage to change: Review of “Flight of the Sparrow” by Amy Belding Brown

Note: I love historical fiction and when Amy Belding Brown asked me to review her latest book, I jumped at the chance. Her last book, Mr. Emerson’s Wife had been a game-changing book for me. I couldn’t wait to read Flight of the Sparrow given my deep interest in spiritual matters, a lifelong residency in Massachusetts […]

Animals

Book Review: Unsaid by Neil Abramson – the moving story of a husband’s grief journey and how he honors his wife’s life and love of animals

Book Review: Unsaid by Neil Abramson – the moving story of a husband’s grief journey and how he honors his wife’s life and love of animals

Unsaid was recommended to me by a friend whom I know to be thoughtful. We are both animal lovers and she warned me to “have the tissues ready.” While the idea of reading about animals drew me in, I was also curious about the lead character’s grief journey since I have journaled extensively about my […]

Art

A gift from my sister: It’s never too late to live your passion

A gift from my sister: It’s never too late to live your passion

My older sister is a wonderful painter so I commissioned her to paint the Be As One bridge. Isn’t it beautiful? My sister has ties to this bridge just as I do. She wrote the following on her website: “The Wellesley College Bridge is iconic to me as is Wellesley College.  My family and I […]

artistic excellence

Writing lessons. Creative lessons. Living lessons from St. Paul.

Writing lessons. Creative lessons. Living lessons from St. Paul.

I love St. Paul. And I am a woman. Yes, I am fully aware of the famous passages in which he instructs wives to be “submissive to their husbands” and how they are not to speak in public. I believe these passages need to studied carefully for their true meaning for nothing is ever as […]

Autumn

Autumn at Rocky Pond in central Massachusetts

Autumn at Rocky Pond in central Massachusetts

80 degrees. No wind. A few wispy clouds. Colors popping out all over. Perfect conditions for perhaps the final kayak trip of the season. Enjoy the views. A glimpse of heaven. Join Susan Bailey’s Email List (special surprises just for you!) to subscribe to this blog. Follow Susan Bailey, Author, Speaker, Musician on Facebook and […]

Barbra Streisand

How does she do it?? Barbra Streisand at 72 with Jimmy Fallon on the Tonight Show

How does she do it?? Barbra Streisand at 72 with Jimmy Fallon on the Tonight Show

There has never been a doubt in my mind that Barbra Streisand is the greatest singer of our time. Now 72, she no longer has that incredible power in her voice but all the control and subtlety remains. Plus the heart. This woman never fails to tell a story when she sings. She has been […]

Barnes & Noble Nook

A room of one’s own: what if your “room” could be portable?

A room of one’s own: what if your “room” could be portable?

What happens when you get the urge to create? Do you retreat to a music studio to write a song? Do you go to your specially designated study to write? Do you paint your latest masterpiece in a light-filled studio? Do you shut the door when you enter your room? Why do secret hideaway places […]

Be As One

Be As One makes it into print! Now available monthly in the Catholic Free Press

Be As One makes it into print! Now available monthly in the Catholic Free Press

Be As One is now in print! Beginning this month, I will be writing a monthly column for the Catholic Free Press, the official newspaper of the Diocese of Worcester, Massachusetts (previously I had written columns in the Catholic Free Press for the Commission for Women of the Diocese of Worcester). The column is called “Be […]

Books

A Louisa May Alcott Christmas: “The Little Red Purse”

A Louisa May Alcott Christmas: “The Little Red Purse”

Originally posted on Louisa May Alcott is My Passion:
From the Christmas Tales and Stories collection (Laura Ciolkowski, editor) comes a sweet, albeit typical offering from Louisa May Alcott known as “The Little Red Purse.” Even though the essence of the story is very familiar (rich little girl learns how good it is to give…

Bringing communion to the elderly and homebound

May 18 Gospel reflection: Stepping outside of our pain

May 18 Gospel reflection: Stepping outside of our pain

  Today I have the honor of conducting my first communion service with the lovely residents of The Highlands in Westboro, MA. I used to be afraid to be with the elderly. Perhaps it reminded me too much of my own mortality which I was not ready to think about. Since my mother died 4 years […]

brothers and sisters

Who are your teachers and what “study guides” do you have?

Who are your teachers and what “study guides” do you have?

This is what I read today in Generous Faith Stories to Inspire Abundant Living, a lovely book by Sr. Bridget Haase, OSU. You remember Sr. Bridget. She’s the one I wrote about recently who is speaking at the Gather Us In 2013 women’s conference taking place on November 2. (see previous post). She’s the one […]

care fo the poor

What is it about Pope Francis that causes me to weep?

What is it about Pope Francis that causes me to weep?

“Habemus Papam! “We have a Pope!” Moments after the announcement an elderly man stepped forward, appearing a bit dazed and raising his hand in greeting. Far from a sweeping gesture to a large crowd, it was a simple “hello.” And his greeting to the crowd? “Good evening.” His face broke into a smile as he […]

Catholic Faith

Celebrating the birthday of Mary, the Mother of God

Celebrating the birthday of Mary, the Mother of God

Many Catholic and Orthodox Christians around the world will be celebrating a feast day in the Church commemorating the birthday of the Blessed Virgin Mary. I attended a lovely Vespers Service yesterday at my husband’s Melkite Catholic Church (an Eastern Catholic Church in union with the Pope and using Byzantine practices); in the Eastern and […]

Catholicmom.com

Words that Transform – God can speak to you through your library books

Words that Transform – God can speak to you through your library books

This is my monthly column for The Catholic Free Press and Catholicmom.com.  * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * Words have power. Through prayer, guidance and meditation, the Bible can change lives. While God speaks most directly through his Word, […]

Christian Music

Do you like to pray the rosary? Beautiful and prayerful music accompanied by a meditation guide available

Do you like to pray the rosary? Beautiful and prayerful music accompanied by a meditation guide available

I don’t normally use this blog to promote my music so directly but since one of my products was accepted for two print catalogs, I wanted to let you know. I am pleased to announced that the Mary, Queen of Peace Meditation Guide & Sung Rosary is now available in the print catalogs of The […]

Christian music

Original music to inspire you in your spiritual life

Original music to inspire you in your spiritual life

Music has been a very important part of my life. Although I can no longer sing as I used to, I can share my music with you through the CDs I recorded over the years. Teach Me to Love is my first CD, recorded back in 200o, meant to inspire you in your daily spiritual […]

Christmas

Merry Christmas from Be As One!

Merry Christmas from Be As One!

Click to Tweet & Share: Merry Christmas from Be As One! http://wp.me/p2D9hg-zy Would you like to learn along with Susan how to live your life in single flow? Send an email to susanwbailey@gmail.com to subscribe, and never miss a post! Follow Susan on Facebook and Twitter Listen to Susan’s music Read Susan’s blog, Louisa May […]

Church music

Thankful for simple gifts

Thankful for simple gifts

This is a teaser to my monthly column on Catholicmom.com. Some of the most wonderful gifts from God come in the form of whispers. They are the small gifts. The gifts for a particular moment, not to be grasped at, but merely accepted. And if the taker is alert and awake, the heart will swell […]

community

Gather Us In 2013 women’s conference a big success!

Gather Us In 2013 women’s conference a big success!

After two years of work by a small group of dedicated volunteers known as the Commission for Women of the Diocese of Worcester, MA, our biennial women’s conference, Gather Us In 2013 took place this past Saturday, November 2, and was a huge success! Over 350 women gathered on a beautiful autumn day at the […]

Connections

Taking advantage of the season of Lent through a notebook and a chunk of time

Taking advantage of the season of Lent through a notebook and a chunk of time

For many Christians, the late winter/early spring signifies a time of stepping back and examining how we are practicing our faith. It is a time of assessing our failings and sins: how have we strayed from God as the center of our lives? How have we forgotten the needs of family members, friends and strangers? […]

consolation and transformation

My unexpected miracle healing (part three): healing inside and out

My unexpected miracle healing (part three): healing inside and out

When I walked out of Holy Family church that Sunday after having my throat blessed (see previous post), I had no idea what to expect. Over the past four years I had come to accept that my loss of voice was permanent. That loss became a part of who I am. Yet the blessing moved […]

Daily readings

An image of peace for your Monday

An image of peace for your Monday

From today’s daily readings;  Psalm 131: “In you, O Lord, I have found my peace.” I have stilled and quieted my soul like a weaned child. Like a weaned child on its mother’s lap, so is my soul within me. (verse 2) If your world is swirling around you in chaos and busyness; if you’re […]

Daktari TV Show Fan Site

The story of Africa, U.S.A. and its proprietors, animal trainer Ralph Helfer and Daktari producer Ivan Tors

The story of Africa, U.S.A. and its proprietors, animal trainer Ralph Helfer and Daktari producer Ivan Tors

Originally posted on Daktari TV Show:
My thanks to Walter, a longtime Daktari fan from the Netherlands, for sharing this fascinating article about just what Africa, U.S.A. was all about. * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *…

Dreams

Yentl dared to dream and now, so do I

Yentl dared to dream and now, so do I

Note: This is a post I wrote nearly a year ago, right after I started this blog. It talks about dreams, and I am happy to report that some of them are already coming true. It is especially sweet for me to read this and know I have been moving forward, confident of what I […]

Emmylou Harris

Seeing Linda Ronstadt at her book signing for “Simple Dreams” in Brookline, MA

Seeing Linda Ronstadt at her book signing for “Simple Dreams” in Brookline, MA

Joni Mitchell taught me to write songs and Linda Ronstadt taught me how to sing. I emulated her voice although I never had the sustained power she had. Ronstadt has now lost her voice due to Parkinson’s and has penned a musical memoir called Simple Dreams, presenting her amazing 45 year career as a singer. […]

Faith

Remembering Jesus through a fragrant aroma–reflections on Ephesians 4

Remembering Jesus through a fragrant aroma–reflections on Ephesians 4

In looking over the readings from today’s lectionary, I just had to share this lovely excerpt from Ephesians 4: “Brothers and sisters: Be kind to one another, compassionate, forgiving one another as God has forgiven you in Christ. Be imitators of God, as beloved children, and live in love, as Christ loved us and handed […]

Family

Terrorism at the Boston Marathon: connections, reflections, evil and good

Terrorism at the Boston Marathon: connections, reflections, evil and good

Note: I am keeping this post free of images. I want the words to tell the story. The last five days have been utterly surreal. As a lifelong resident of Massachusetts now living in the central part of the state, our family has roots that go back to the Governor Winthrop fleet in 1630 when […]

Family Life

Memories … and then … Encountering the complex Native American spirituality at Mesa Verde

Memories … and then … Encountering the complex Native American spirituality at Mesa Verde

This is a reblog of one of my favorite sites, The Holy Rover blog by Lori Erikson. When I saw that her latest post was about Mesa Verde, I experienced a wave of nostalgia that made me smile. I saw this fascinating place when I was about nine but did not get out of it […]

Flowers

Accidental art: the joy of random photography

Accidental art: the joy of random photography

I am really digging photography. These days if all you have is a cheap camera, patience and a mindfulness for opportunity, you can come up with some pretty cool pictures. I am a total amateur when it comes to taking pictures. I have no idea how I get some of the results I get. Taking […]

Forgiveness

Mercy for the merciless – a guest column by my good friend, M. Regina Cram

Mercy for the merciless – a guest column by my good friend,  M. Regina Cram

I have known M. Regina Cram since high school. Her family is like my second family. The same is true for my husband. He came to know Reg first while I was friendly with her older sister Ginny first. We have all been through a lot of weddings, funerals, tragedies and births together. And all […]

Gardening

This year’s garden with a twist – a perennial that will never die!

This year’s garden with a twist – a perennial that will never die!

Let me begin by saying I do not have a green thumb. I gave up planting perennials and having them die on me. I gave up planting anything exotic; it was a death sentence for them too. And to think my mother was a biologist at Wellesley College! That gene sure passed me over. However, I […]

Good and Evil

Please pray for the Coptic Christians in Egypt and spread the word about their plight

Please pray for the Coptic Christians in Egypt and spread the word about their plight

There is a frightening series of events going on in Egypt that few know about. If you are a Christian and don’t believe there is persecution to the magnitude of the original martyrs of the Church, you must educate yourself on the plight of the Coptic Christians in Egypt. The mainstream press is not covering […]

Good Friday

Good Friday reflections in video and song

Good Friday reflections in video and song

On this Good Friday I wanted to offer several short video reflections as we pause and think about the meaning of this holy day and the glorious Easter to come. This first video takes a little over 5 minutes to view. It follows the Stations of the Cross using the Jesus Prayer as the reflection: […]

Gratitude

Step by Step

Step by Step

The temperature outside was 10 degrees with a wind chill of -11. And I still went out for  my lunch time walk. When I returned, the office manager and real estate agent on duty applauded. I felt like applauding myself. Never in a million years did I think I would ever find myself walking in […]

Healing

Healing versus a cure: There is definitely a difference!

Healing versus a cure: There is definitely a difference!

I believe in healing. Not a just a cure but a healing. Doctors provide cures; that’s their job. They note your symptoms, attempt a diagnosis and then offer treatment. It can all be rather clinical and impersonal. I don’t blame doctors; they are not trained to be counselors (though a treatment of the whole person […]

Health

Opening my eyes to winter

Opening my eyes to winter

I used to hate the winter. The cold (and the subsequent heavy clothes). The darkness. The snow. The ice. The silence. And how difficult it can be to get around. I used to hate winter. Until I read The Outermost House by Henry Beston. For now I will just elude to it because I am […]

Insects

Another bug to identify – take a guess!

Another bug to identify – take a guess!

Anyone care to identify this insect? This was submitted by a reader in Northern Wisconsin, at the entrance to her father-in-law’s garage: My son who loves insects, was able to identify it so I know what it is … do you? Take a guess! Click to Tweet & Share: Another bug to identify – take […]

Kayaking

Close encounters of the Bird kind

Close encounters of the Bird kind

Kayaking is such a great way to sneak up on birds! Here’s a couple I was able to capture in a picture. The setting is Mill Pond in Westborough, MA. This place never disappoints! Click to Tweet & Share: Close encounters of the Bird kind http://wp.me/p2D9hg-ag Would you like to learn along with Susan how […]

Lake Waban at Wellesley College

How do you live in the present moment when the present moment sucks?

How do you live in the present moment when the present moment sucks?

Not an especially eloquent way to state it but that’s what’s been going through my mind the last couple of days. It’s not that life has been especially trying, not at all. But a conversation that I had recently with a wonderful nun really got me to thinking. In preparation for my next column in […]

Life as a Creative

Guest post from The Holy Rover: With Hildegard in Bingen – 12th century mystic and woman of extraordinary accomplishments

Guest post from The Holy Rover: With Hildegard in Bingen – 12th century mystic and woman of extraordinary accomplishments

I have been dying to do a post on Hildegard von Bingen since I saw a wonderful movie on her life called Vision: From the Life of Hildegard von Bingen. If you click on the link you can see a trailer and read some reviews from Rotten Tomatoes. It does have subtitles but I had […]

Lifestyles

True unity that brings all things together

True unity that brings all things together

Unity in the Heart of God “Love unites all, whether created or uncreated …” This is the beginning of a short meditation by noted spiritual writer (and my favorite), Henri Nouwen. You can read the rest here. This short passage utterly sums up the purpose of this blog, and my life. How about you? What […]

Love

There’s nothing better at Christmas than “It’s a Wonderful Life,” especially if it’s your story!

There’s nothing better at Christmas than “It’s a Wonderful Life,”  especially if it’s your story!

Last night I had a lot of cooking to do for a dinner party and kept myself company watching “It’s a Wonderful Life” on YouTube. This truly is a Christmas classic and I got all choked up at the end when the town turned out to help George Bailey. I was flooded with strong memories […]

Mary Mother of God

“Mary of Nazareth” a wonderful film dedicated to the mother of Jesus Christ

“Mary of Nazareth” a wonderful film dedicated to the mother of Jesus Christ

“Mary of Nazareth” is the first film to seriously consider the life of the most important woman who ever lived.  The film’s website provides this summary: “The film vividly captures the essence of Mary’s profound faith and trust in God amidst the great mysteries that she lived with as the Mother of the Messiah, her […]

Music

Someone old, something new … dusting off the music in my life

Someone old, something new … dusting off the music in my life

I took a trip back in time yesterday. I had the nerve to walk into Radio Shack and ask to buy a cassette tape player. Yeah, it made me feel old (and I eventually bought it at Walmart because it was half the price) but I am so glad I bought it. Not only can […]

Nature

Birding at historic Mount Auburn Cemetery, circa 1960

Birding at historic Mount Auburn Cemetery, circa 1960

Mother’s Day in our family was always celebrated with a trip to Mount Auburn Cemetery for the Spring Warbler Migration. It’s a magnificent trip to a truly historic place awash in beautiful mature flowering shrubs and trees surrounding three different picturesque ponds. And the birds! Warblers are tiny, often colorful wonders with a wide variety […]

Noodles, Taco, Hank, Cosmo, Ramon, Spooky, Venus and Loki

What’s it like to foster kittens? Here’s an interview foster dad John from The Critter Room (reblog)

What’s it like to foster kittens? Here’s an interview foster dad John from The Critter Room (reblog)

I admit it, I am totally hooked on watching live kitty cams. It is tremendous, harmless fun. Often the comments from fellow chatters is more entertaining than even the kittens. It all started rather innocently with a text message from my son whose girlfriend alerted him to Noodles and her seven kittens. A beautiful and […]

Original Writing

Pictures, kitties and toys to fuel the imagination

Pictures, kitties and toys to fuel the imagination

What happens when technology leaves you with an unexpected gift? You grab it and go! This morning my two cats, Jenny and Rameses, started playing with toys that my mother-in-law had put in our Christmas stocking for them. Tootsie’s toys never fail to please! I watched as they inspected the toys, taking pictures with my […]

Politics

Love your enemies? Even today?

Love your enemies? Even today?

I am seriously looking for answers to a question. First, a little background. In the Catholic lectionary, today’s Gospel from Luke chapter 6 reads as follows: Jesus said to his disciples: “To you who hear I say, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those […]

Prayer

A special way to give alms this Lenten season, one woman at a time

A special way to give alms this Lenten season, one woman at a time

The season of Lent is a tradition in Christianity offering a time to turn back to God (also known as repentance). Once viewed from a strictly negative perspective (guilt over sins, giving up chocolate or some other treat during the 40 days before Easter), the very perception of Lent is being transformed into a great […]

Ripley's Kittens

“Peter” Parker, Spider Cat! (from the adventures of Ripley’s Kittens)

“Peter” Parker, Spider Cat! (from the adventures of Ripley’s Kittens)

“I gotta get outta here!” The black, grey and brown four week old tabby surveyed every rung of the white cage, eyeing the top tier with eager anticipation. “Mama goes up there all the time! I wanna see!” “Cheeerupp!” Mama Ripley flopped down on her side. It was time for a visit the milk bar. […]

Seasons

A Radical Scheme – guest post by Lori Erickson of Spiritual Travels

A Radical Scheme – guest post by Lori Erickson of Spiritual Travels

“Nature is, above all, profligate. Don’t believe them when they tell you how economical and thrifty nature is, whose leaves return to the soil. Wouldn’t it be cheaper to leave them on the tree in the first place? This deciduous business alone is a radical scheme, the brainchild of a deranged manic-depressive with limitless capital. […]

Silence

Holy Silence – from The Holy Rover blog

Holy Silence – from The Holy Rover blog

Obtaining true silence, that stillness of the heart and mind open to hearing the whisper of God from within, is one of the most challenging aspects of the spiritual life. I believe it is the most important thing we can do for if the voice of God is continually drowned out with our busy lives, […]

Spiritual Journey

Recommendation for a Spiritual Virtual Book Club

Recommendation for a Spiritual Virtual Book Club

I belong to a wonderful group of women from the Diocese of Worcester, Massachusetts known as the Commission for Women of the Diocese of Worcester. Established in 1989 by Bishop Timothy J. Harrington, the following mission statement of the commission explains its goals: “The Commission for Women shall serve as an advisory board to the […]

Tweets of the Week

Tweets of the Week (September 5, 2012)

Tweets of the Week (September 5, 2012)

Here are some great links and tweets I found this past week: From the Post Bulletin @PB_News Moonlight kayaking – I want to do this! – Post Bulletin http://www.postbulletin.com/news/stories/display.php?id=1507175 From Patheos.com @Patheos I am so blessed to have two outstanding spiritual friends – Spiritual Direction vs. Spiritual Friend http://shar.es/7V9RA From the Seattle Times @seattletimes Here’s […]

Weather

Waiting for Hurricane Sandy …

Waiting for Hurricane Sandy …

As a weather nut, Hurricane Sandy is a fascinating thing to watch even as I wait nervously for her arrival. I live in Central Massachusetts and as you can see on the chart, we are going to get hammered. Our yard is populated with oak trees and one in particular at the end of our […]

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