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Happy Blogaversary To Me....!

Today marks three years to the day since I started writing alfred lives here... wowza, that really flew by, now didn't it? I hardly knew what a blog was three years ago; then we saw the movie Julie & Julia and I was inspired  to write and to learn about blogging.... and yes even Meryl Streep as Julia Child had no such impact to inspire me to cook. Blogging has, somewhat to my surprise, turned out to be a real community, and one ...

Plant-based Sugar-free, Gluten-free, Dairy-free All American Apple Pie

Most of the time the way I eat makes me very happy. I like feeling healthy and light. I never feel deprived or like I am sacrificing until the Holidays come. It gets dark early, it’s cold and temptations abound! It is only human to want a little comfort! It doesn’t take long for me to start telling myself that I have been so good for so long that just “a little sugar/gluten/dairy/etc won’t hurt”. That is kinda true (or ...

Top Reasons to Grow Borage (Starflower)

Borage officialinalis, also known as starflower or bee bush, is an edible flowering herb native to the Mediterranean region. It belongs to the same family as the forget-me-not, the Boraginaceae family. The plant can be distinguished by its hairy stems and leaves. When it blooms, from about May until October, it produces pretty blue star-shaped flowers. Not only are these flowers pretty to look at, they have many useful benefits. These are the top reasons why you should grow borage: Borage is tasty ...


So many times I sit here and wanna shut this blog down.. thinking there's no purpose no reason...I mean you never really know who's reading who's laughing , who's crying, who could care less... I mean am I touching anyone.. are these words even letting one soul out there know they are not alone? And then something like this happens.. and I sit here sobbing like a baby.. cause you really never know what your words mean to someone else..you really ...

Bogus Post Office E-Mail May Be A Virus!

The advice I got was, "If you get an e-mail from the Post Office, do not open it because it might contain a "Trojan" virus that could wreak havoc with a computer and its systems. According to the information I have been reading, the fake message informs recipients that there has been some kind of difficulty in delivering a package and that the message recipient can claim the package by going to their local post office or something similar to that. It ...

Chocolate Eclairs

Choux Pastry: 1 cup Water 8 Tbsp Unsalted Butter Pinch of Salt 1 Cup Cake Flour (not self raising) 4 large Eggs Method: In a pot, mix water, milk, butter, sugar, and salt. Bring to a boil. Once butter has completely melted, take off flame, and slowly pour in flour, stirring constantly. Put pot back on flame and continue to work it with a wooden spoon. Continue stirring until the dough comes away from the sides of the pot. Allow to cool for 10 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, ...

On Blog Writing vs Book Writing

"Julie & Julia" As I written before, my writing journey began with the death of my sister due to a domestic violence incident.  After many years of writing, putting down, changing computers from small floppy discs to CDs to current outside storage devices, I published “Act of Redemption" in 2009. With my non-cheap promotional “package,” a wordpress blog and a separate website was set up for me.  I had no idea how to blog, found the website as uninteresting as everyone else, ...

mushroom maniac...

"maniacal frenzy" that's what i'm suffering from these days. (well, not really suffering...i'm a merry maniac) with the everyday rain we've been having lately (which is highly unusual this time of year)... every time i step outside...i see MORE mushrooms... NEW mushrooms... growing to enormous size in just ONE night! and so...i can be seen...crazily running around...camera in hand... trying to battle the mosquitoes and dodge the gnats... snapping pictures, sometimes from an ant's point of view. if you're anything like me... you'll enjoy all the different shapes, sizes, textures and colors! (i ...

How to Save Seeds from Annual Flowers

Now that autumn is here and the outdoor growing season is winding down, it’s time to do some maintenance in the garden. Old annuals should be pulled out and disposed of, preferably in a compost pile. Containers should be scrubbed and put away. But before you do all of that, you should consider saving some of the seeds for next spring. Reasons to Save the Seeds it’s super easy and hardly takes any effort! cost effective; you can grow more annuals next year ...

Inspiring Warm Refreshments

It may be cold outside, but when I cuddle up on the sofa with a hot cup of tea, I’m warm and cozy! That’s why I love hot beverages. Just a few sips and you’re enveloped in warmth. In fact, I think the only thing better is an entire room that makes you feel the same way. So grab a cup of Joe and let’s have a little fun with interior design! Take a look at the following rooms and see ...

Popular Wedding Flower Trends: Billy Ball Flowers

Craspedia (Cras-PEE-dee-a) billy balls, or more commonly  known as just billy balls or billy buttons, are cheerful, bright yellow flowers that have gained popularity as wedding flowers over recent years. The round pompom flowers add texture, vibrant colour and visual interest to bouquets, boutonnieres, centerpieces and other flower arrangements. They are typically available from early spring to fall and are fairly inexpensive to purchase. If you are looking for affordable, yet elegant flowers, billy balls are perfect for you! Designing Tips: the ...

I’m being invaded…

…by roots! We returned to Portugal in Mid October and the weather was hot and dry; a balmy Indian Summer. My raised vegetable bed, which had been left to run wild in my absence, was full of weeds and in dire need of some tender loving care. I’d never grown winter vegetables before so I was keen to experiment and plant a selection – anything and everything from carrots and spinach to cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower to name a few. Well ...

Reflections: Your Heart Knows What Counts…

“Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted.” Albert Einstein Reflections: Your Heart Knows What Counts… Flowing Heart Water – Mirth and Motivation Kindness in words creates confidence. Kindness in thinking creates profoundness. Kindness in giving creates love. Lao Tzu What really matters to you? What truly counts? If all the glitz and glamor are swept away, and you must turn to what will sustain you, what will you choose? What counts for you? Kindness, Life, Love, Laughter, Longevity…? Health, Happiness, Home and ...

Flower Costumes Ideas for Halloween

It’s that time of the year again:  Halloween is just around the corner and you’re looking for costume ideas! Don’t worry, you’ve come to the right place! But of course, as a flower blog, we only have flowers on our mind! Last year we did a blog post on Fun & Creative Halloween Costume Ideas with Flowers. This year, we think you should take it to the next level and dress up as a flower for Halloween. A flower costume is ...

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Elizabeth - Mirth and Motivation

Inspiration: My Name Is Luka…

“From small acorns, mighty oak trees grow…”   Geoffrey Chaucer’sTroilus and Criseyde

Inspiration: My Name Is Luka…

Suzanne Vega – Luka

My name is Luka - Lyrics via azlyrics.com 
I live on the second floor
I live upstairs from you
Yes I think you’ve seen me before

If you hear something late at night
Some kind of trouble. some kind of fight
Just don’t ask me what it was
Just don’t ask me what it was
Just don’t ask me what it was… Contd below

25 years ago today, Suzanne Vega wrote and performed a song, My Name Is Luka, about child abuse that became a huge hit. When it came out in 1987, I listened to it incessantly. It struck a nerve with many people; child abuse survivors and advocates alike. The song was somewhat couched in careful words; just like a scared kid would do when the abuser has cautioned him/her to not say anything. When Suzanne performed the song today onSoundcheck/WNYC, it brought a flood of tears and memories of that period; a reminder that whether we are a mandated reporter, a victim of domestic violence, a product of  a dysfunctional family and more, we can all make a difference in the life of a child. We must speak up.

“Children are living beings – more living than grown-up people who have built shells of habit around themselves. Therefore it is absolutely necessary for their mental health and development that they should not have mere schools for their lessons, but a world whose guiding spirit is personal love.” Rabindranath Tagore

Inspiration: My Name Is Luka… Suzanne Vega

Intro to CDF – Children’s Defense Fund via Marian Wright Edelman

I think it’s because I’m clumsy
I try not to talk too loud
Maybe it’s because I’m crazy
I try not to act too proud

They only hit until you cry
After that you don’t ask why
You just don’t argue anymore
You just don’t argue anymore
You just don’t argue anymore… Contd below

According to the Child Welfare.Gov site, April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month. Since that first proclamation  in 1983, we have come to see April as “a time to recognize that we can each play a part in promoting the social and emotional well-being of children and families in communities.”  Even though the first Federal child protection legislation, theChild Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA), was passed in 1974, we remain a nation with growing concerns for the welfare and safety of all our children.

Every day, an innocent child dies from neglect or abuse; often at the hand of a family member. Every month, we gather to commiserate over another news media report on the subject. Every year,  the numbers of children who died from neglect and/or abuse increases. As shown below, while the numbers of fatality figures from 2009 might seem small, there is still reason to be concerned. We can act and there are tons of organizations that would appreciate our support. I’ve added several in the last paragraph of this post below…

The National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System (NCANDS) reported an estimated 1,770 child fatalities in 2009. This translates to a rate of 2.34 children per 100,000 children in the general population. NCANDS defines “child fatality” as the death of a child caused by an injury resulting from abuse or neglect, or where abuse or neglect was a contributing factor. The number and rate of fatalities have been increasing during the past few years… (Update 2010 figures) A nationally estimated  1,560 children (compared with 1,750 children for FFY 2009) died from abuse and neglect. The national fatality rate per 100,000 children in the population was 2.07 for FFY 2010 compared with a national fatality rate of 2.32 for FFY 2009.During FFY 2010, an estimated 695,000 children in the 50 States, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico were maltreated…

“It is good to realize that if love and peace can prevail on earth, and if we can teach our children to honor nature’s gifts, the joys and beauties of the outdoors will be here forever.”  Jimmy Carter

Inspiration: My Name Is Luka…

Children’s RightsSilent Voices

Yes I think I’m okay
I walked into the door again
Well, if you ask that’s what I’ll say
And it’s not your business anyway
I guess I’d like to be alone
With nothing broken, nothing thrown
Just don’t ask me how I am [X3]
My name is Luka
I live on the second floor
I live upstairs from you
Yes I think you’ve seen me before… Contd below

Even with community effort, education, and the support of organizations that advocate for children, it is important to find additional resources to create preventive programs to help families at risk. Childwelfare.gov has initiated plans for Preventing Child Abuse & Neglect. They include suggestions on; Strengthening families, building public awareness & creating supportive communities, establishing standards for Prevention programs, developing & sustaining prevention programs, maintaining anEvidence-based practice  and evaluating the overall effectiveness of prevention programs. Additionally, Childwelfare.gov is an advocate of what it calls the 6 Protective Factors: Nurturing and Attachment, Knowledge of Parenting andChild Development, Parental Resilience, Social Connections, Concrete Supports for Parents, Social and Emotional Competence of Children. For more details on the above factors/headings, visit the Child Welfare.gov site and section onprevention tools. Every child deserves a chance at life and some of this information might hit home if you or someone you know is a survivor of child abuse.  The Luka song is powerful and painful but can be cathartic if we act to help bring change.  More on organizations that help advocate for children’s rights below. More Below!

“I will fight for my children on any level so they can reach their potential as human beings and in their public duties.” Princess Diana

Inspiration: My Name Is Luka…

CDF National Conference: Invitation from Marian Wright Edelman

If you hear something late at night
Some kind of trouble, some kind of fight
Just don’t ask me what it was
Just don’t ask me what it was
Just don’t ask me what it was

And they only hit until you cry
After that, you don’t ask why
You just don’t argue anymore
You just don’t argue anymore
You just don’t argue anymore…

If you are able to volunteer or support the efforts of the many organizations that work to protect and help children in dire situations, there are many across the nation that we can support. The following are organizations that  I’m familiar with and that have been around for quite some time.  If you have others that you’d like me to include, please add their name in the comments section and I will update my post. Thank you!  Here are a few:

The Child Abuse Prevention Association/CAPA 
Children’s Rights.org
Children’s Defense Fund – Children’s Defense Fund founded by Marian Wright Edelman.
Darkness to Light/D2L 
One Stand Against Child Abuse
American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children – The American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children
International Society for the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect/ISPCAN
National CASA Association – Court Appointed Special Advocates for Children

Stay Inspired! What are your thoughts? Were you abused as a child? How did you cope and who/what has helped you? What do you suggest would help change the situation?  Do share! Thank you.

This post was inspired by a prompt from WP Daily Post: Blogging For A Cause... Combining issues that you care about with your blogging is a great way to find inspiration, new blogging buddies, and contribute to a good cause. What causes are you passionate about?

*Please bear with me as I continue to catch up on your blogs and commenting… Thank you all for your patience!

Positive Motivation Tip: Every child deserves love and protection. Every little bit counts. Help out.

PHOTO CREDITS/ATTRIBUTIONS: All Photos 1Stand.org, Suzanne Vega,Fractured RibsAbused Boy via Wikipedia. And/Or via Flickr

Until Next Time…
Ask. Believe. Receive. ©
Elizabeth Obih-Frank
Mirth and Motivation
Positive Kismet

Elizabeth - Mirth and Motivation

Motivate. Elevate. Laugh. Live Positively… I am a mother of two, sister to many and a card-carrying certified optimist. My family and friends are golden because our love and trust is unequivocal. I've traveled, I've lived, I've had my share of happiness and hurt and I remain grateful for God's grace in my life...

3 comments to Inspiration: My Name Is Luka…

  • Powerful important post. Thank you. I too listened to this song over and over. Just last night I heard a radio advertisement about a motorcycle club called Boca [I think], that are standing for and with abused children. It was a strong add. The last part stating that although they do not condone violence if that is what needs to be done to protect a child from abuse, they will do whatever that requires. I loved hearing that. I love the image of a gang of bikers taking care of an abuser.

    You know I was an adult before I really realized I had been abused. To me, the treatment was just the way it was. Not until I had someone in the field run down a list of abusive behaviors did a bell go off. I literally had an awakening of sorts where I said, to myself, out loud, I was abused. I was abused. The way I was treated was WRONG. It does lasting damage.

  • Abuse is insidious ad the scars last a lifetime. I’m sorry that you experienced such pain and I support all efforts to ensure that every child sleeps safely at night… We are far from achieving that goal.
    Thanks for your comment.

  • francisco gonçalves pereira

    Suzanne doesn’t say the word ‘clumsy’, she says something else, could you say the right word she says in this part?

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