Flowers in Fashion: Floral Shoes

Florals are the hottest summer trend of 2012! Floral prints are fun, flirty and feminine. They are everywhere, from dresses to shoes. It’s a print that works for women of all sizes and colours. It’s a great way to add colour and flair to your summer wardrobe. And it will make you feel so feminine and pretty! Not sure if you could pull off a floral dress? You can start with a pair of shoes in a floral print. There are ...

Weekly Photo Challenge: Selfie

“Friendship with ones self is all important, because without it one cannot be friends with anyone else in the world.” Eleanor Roosevelt Oy gevalt! , Do We Need More Of You? No, The Selfie in triplicate Do We Need More Of You? No, The Selfie i Selfie I was thoroughly amused when I saw the weekly challenge prompt and then, on second thoughts, I wasn’t. Why? I take selfies but not much and I don’t take them with my cellphone. It always strikes me ...

Weekly Photo Challenge: Between…

“In the universe, there are things that are known, and things that are unknown, and in between, there are doors.” William Blake Weekly Photo Challenge: Between... Lights. Camera. Action! Heading for the stairway between buildings Weekly Photo Challenge: Between… Bridge between worlds, between buildings.... Between life and death is everything else. I tried to capture the rest in these pictures. I hope you like them. I love William Blake’s quote above as it speaks to the doors to life that we open as ...

Weekly Photo Challenge: Wrong…

“If you would convince a man that he does wrong, do right. Men will believe what they see.” Henry David Thoreau Weekly Photo Challenge: Wrong… Backwards? How did that happen? Weekly Photo Challenge: Wrong… Mooning your fans? LMFAO! See that lady’s face… Luther Ingram – If lovin you is wrong I don’t wanna be right… This week’s challenge was a bit of a challenge for me… Wrong? Who’s to judge? Hmmm. Anyhow, the song above kept playing in my head, so I had to share two ...

It’s Dahlia Season!

Summer is one of my favourite times of the year because many of my favourite flowers will be in full bloom, like the stunning dahlia! Not only are they beautiful, in the language of flowers, the dahlia symbolizes elegance and dignity! Dahlias are known for their their breathtaking beauty and the way they seem to bring life to any garden or indoor space! They are popular ornamental plants that come in vast range of colours, sizes, and forms! And best of ...

Inspiration: The Danger of Constant Comparisons…

“Jealousy lives upon doubts. It becomes madness or ceases entirely as soon as we pass from doubt to certainty.” François de la Rochefoucauld Inspiration: The Danger of Constant Comparisons... the story of the jealous duck Inspiration: The Danger of Constant Comparisons... the swan Have you ever envied the good fortune of another person or been jealous of someone’s perceived advantage? Have you wondered how/why someone you believed had no talent got ahead? Do you constantly compare yourself to others? If we are honest ...

Humor: Ten Signs To Quit The Silly Jokes…

“Sometimes I lie awake at night, and ask, ‘Where have I gone wrong?’ Then a voice says to me, ‘This is going to take more than one night.’” Charles M. Schulz Humor: Ten Signs To Quit The Silly Jokes... The joke blows up in your face... We’ve all been to one of those parties where the jokes crossed the line for some of the attendees as Uncle Joe, drunk out of his mind, is busy making jokes about everything and everyone. Yeah, ...

Musings: What Time Is It?

“Difficult times have helped me to understand better than before, how infinitely rich and beautiful life is in every way, and that so many things that one goes worrying about are of no importance whatsoever…” Isak Dinesen Musings: What Time Is It? Recently, on the NY subway, a man turned to me and asked, “What time is it?” I looked at him, not sure if he really wanted the time or was just using an old pick up line… I guess I didn’t react ...

5 Delivery Room Survival Rules For Dads

My blogging buddy and mentor Michelle Shaeffer told me about this great, free site called Piktochart that enables non-PhotoShop mortals like me to generate cool infographics. An infographic is a graphical representation of information in a highly-visible, easily digestible format. Given that we’re about to have our third child, I thought I’d share five rules to help expectant dads survive and navigate the newborn experience. With that, here’s the world premiere of my first infographic – Baby Delivery: 101. Question: What’s a topic you’d like ...

Top-10 List: Things That Smell Better Than They Taste

The only vegetable that's served in Hell... Science has proven that our sense of smell plays an integral role in how things taste. Ironically, even though some things smell incredibly good - they actually taste neutral to downright awful. Here's a list of the Top-10 Things That Smell Better Than They Taste. 10. Flavored Coffees - these various caffeinated concoctions smell wonderful when blended by your favorite barrister; however, they taste terrible - a blend of cough syrup and motor oil. 9. Mushrooms - while cooking, ...

A Patio for Entertaining

Outdoor living spaces have always been popular, but with today’s lifestyles of long work hours, lengthy commutes and hectic family schedules, the need for a backyard retreat is greater than ever. Throw in the rising popularity of staycations, and the benefits of a backyard paradise become unmistakable. We recently designed an outdoor living space for clients that love to entertain friends and family, and wanted their patio to serve as an extension of their home. Festive furnishings in a color palette ...

All We Are Saying...

I remember sitting cross legged on the Worcester Common, with my hair frizzed out like Janice Joplin’s, and my training bra tucked inside my back pocket, while joining a massive choir of Flower Children, singing; “All we are saying, is give peace a chance.” This was the 60’s mantra, and although I was too young to really grasp the importance of the message, I remember feeling incredibly peaceful at the time. Perhaps we were naïve in thinking that we could ...

New Day, New Title, New Opening Scene

Just over a month ago I posted what I thought was the new title of my novel in progress. I was wrong. I also posted what I thought was my new opening scene. I was wrong. Will I ever learn? Apparently not, since I’m posting an even newer title and opening scene. Ah, the power of a blog. I considered not saying anything, but then there’d be a form of lie in the ether, and it feels better to admit it than to ignore ...

English Language Pronunciations

Over dinner one night during a three-day Girl Scout (Troop 1096) reunion in Ohio, we ten or so attendees had a rousing interaction about mispronounced words in the English language. Among our pet peeves–and there were so many–were mispronunciations of realtor, nuclear, and jewelry, just to name three, and lack of understanding of when to use “she and I” versus “her and me,” for example. I’m sure any reader of Yours In Books would have participated just as heartily as we ...

Trombone Arms…really?!?

I grew up in a house jammed with music. Or drums, anyway. My dad was a drummer, so these instruments were part of the living room furniture, and a part of me. In fourth grade it was finally time to join the band. My classmates and I lined up to select our weapons of choice. “But you have good, long arms – perfect for playing the trombone!” This was the best sales pitch the music teacher could muster, after informing me that too ...

Why I’ll Never, Ever Pray for Humbleness Again

Here’s a great guest post from one of my favorite online writing buddies, Jamie Kocur. She’s a gifted writer, singer and musician that I met for the first time at one of Jon Acuff’s Quitter events – needless to say she’s good people. If you’d like to write a guest post for The Daily ReTORt, check out the guidelines here: ==================================== God has a sense of humor. He’s had a few laughs at my expense. Not in a mean, bully-ish kind of way, but in ...

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Elizabeth - Mirth and Motivation
April 10, 2012, 2:59 am

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
ChildWelfare.Gov
Children’s Defense Fund – Children’s Defense Fund founded by Marian Wright Edelman.
Darkness to Light/D2L 
One Stand Against Child Abuse
ChildHelp.org
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 Ribs, Abused 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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