Winter 2005

Hello Friends,

Did you make a New Year's Resolution? I vow to do more yoga, more walking and less cogitating. The tradition of making resolutions dates back to the early Babylonians. Back then, the most popular resolution was to return borrowed farm equipment.

New Year's Smooch: The kiss at the stroke of midnight is derived from masked balls. As tradition has it, the masks symbolize evil spirits from the old year and the kiss is to purify the new.

Kelly's Resolution: "This year I resolve to rekindle old friendships, whether it's a distant relative, an old friend from high school or Theta sisters from college. I plan to contact at least one person each month. Somehow the busyness of life gets in the way and we don't take the time to let people know how much they have touched our lives."

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Titillating New Books on My Shelf:
. Azores: The Bradt Travel Guide by David Sayers
. Japanese Women Don't Get Old or Fat by Naomi Moriyama
. From Onions to Pearls by Satyam Nadeen (I've read it twice.)
. Perfect Brilliant Stillness by David Carse (more Advaita)
. Brain & Belief  by John J. McGraw (Do we have a soul?)

Jennifer's Insight: I asked my svelte, red-headed friend Jennifer about her New Year's Resolution and she said, “I don't believe in personal growth, becoming a better person, teaching others to become better, and making the world a better place."
     "I obviously do, I write self-help books," I said. "How long have you been thinking this way?"
     "Since I learned that the belief that humans are defective and need to be fixed is hardwired into us," she said, taking a sip of her mocha latte.
     "Hardwired?" I said."No way."
    "Yes, hardwired," she said, "and the idea that the world is in bad shape, that our present point in history is pivotal, and that something should done about it, is as old as the human mind. Actually, everything is in perfect balance. The world never gets better or worse.
     "But what if there were no world-improvers?" I asked.
     "There will always be world-improvers. They are part of the perfection," she said. "What if there were no destroyers? And what about world-improvers who make things worse?"
     "You've obviously thought deeply about this."
     "Yes, because I want to see the big picture, to get real, to stop living in la-la-land."
      Could Jennifer be right? Is the world in a state of perfect balance? Will things never get better or worse? Oddly, I feel safer, calmer and less defective when I allow myself to think like she does.

Delectable Beet Soup: Combine onions, beets, carrots, celery, tomatoes, greens (add later), apple cider vinegar, salt and pepper. Garnish with a dollop of yogurt or sour cream. Puree some of it.

In December, we spent an enjoyable week on the Big Island. We stayed at the Volcano House on the rim of the Kilauea Volcano and marveled at outpourings of steam and red-hot lava. Dave sent two large boxes of stunning orchids home; he ties them to trees. Our next trip will be to Sausalito in February. I'm looking forward to café-chatting with my Bay Area galpals.

Have a happy, happy New Year!

Best Wishes,



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