The Gift

celebration, Uncategorized


Dear Readers,

Often when I exhibit or sell at events, many pass my booth with a curious look that begs the question: “What does she do and what is she selling”? Admittedly, it’s not apparent for several reasons, the first being I like an exhibit with ambiance. I don’t want to “slap” a bunch of products on the table that say: “here it is folks…good prices…wanna’ try it.” Not my style and not my product line. So there are creative props on the table such as twigs from my garden or silk remnants from unfinished projects.

One woman stopped by and asked how she should wear the medallion if she made a purchase. “What medallion,” I asked. She held up one of my wordgifts with an attractive brass element attached and shouted, “This one.”

I politely informed her that it wasn’t a medallion and it wasn’t something to wear. “Well what the hell do you do with it.” I told her my products were “thought” pieces for all stages of relationships and life events. She shook her head, a bit dismayed and moved on.

Hurdlecards are gifts…aesthetically appealing but created primarily for the soul. My focus is to offer something sustaining…nothing wrong with jewelry and other nice tangibles but it’s not what I do.

This month I’ll be at Linganore in Mt Airy Md with lots of sentiments to ponder. Some will spark chuckles…others memories and even a few tears. I will have wordgifts galore.

Please stop by.

Thy Worthy Self

self-esteem, Uncategorized

It is with much certainty that no one can own his own beauty or know his self worth until there’s truth and  acceptance of one’s flaws and imperfections. There has to be ground-level  honesty  of  inner principles and belief. There has to be a reconciliation between aspiration and reality. Self worth often  puts us in a quandary because it compels us to answer questions – delicate ones – about the soul. Not an easy task. But I say this about that.

There is no greater peace than acceptance of self. Your worth is what you think you are. Sometimes it takes years. And sometimes, sadly, it never comes.

The Attitude

encouragement, Uncategorized

No matter your station in life, attitude is everything. Good things come to those whose arms and minds are open and positive. This doesn’t mean you won’t have challenges or obstacles…we all do. But the mind, the outlook, the attitude takes you out of the “ditch”  and sustains you. Just read and digest the passage below.  I’ll say it again. Attitude is everything.

One evening an old Cherokee told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside people.
He said, “My son, the battle is between two wolves inside us all.

“One is Evil – It is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.

“The other is Good – It is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith.”

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather: “Which wolf wins?”

The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.”

Mothers and more

family, Uncategorized

It’s  May and thoughts of mothers are front and center. I’ve written a few sentiments about mother-son, mother-daughter relationships. Some of it stemming from my own family life – two brothers and a sister – and other sentiments come from folks who have shared their personal history.

The thing I’ve learned – and quite late in life – is that all mothers aren’t great. Some aren’t even decent. Many don’t know the first thing about raising a child. Whether adopted or biological there are some sad sagas that have devastated the childhood of many men and women who’ve passed that devastation on to their children. A perplexing circle abounds

But there’s good news. I have met women who have embraced the gift of parenting though they themselves have not adopted or had children. They’ve seen boys and girls in need. They’ve witnessed young minds starving for guidance and structure. They know the tragedy of letting little ones raise themselves unsure about their purpose. They are mothers and more.

As this Mother’s Day approaches I celebrate these women. I’ve met a few who’ve shared their plight and their joy. They tell me about the challenges of raising children whose beginnings were filled with rejection and darkness. These women have turned lives around and  convinced the unwanted that they are, indeed, wanted and worthy.

Motherhood is a journey. You head down the road with child in hand and challenges await. No promises of a happy tomorrow. But the fact that these women still accept, still welcome the responsibility. Kudos to them all.

Your Minutes


Been thinking long and hard about life lately. You tend to do that more often after losing a loved one or watching disease uproot a lifestyle or just thinking back on your own history.

These days I think about life in terms of  “minutes”. I’ve witnessed pain, sadness and loss more often in the last few years than I can ever remember. I overhear people whining and complaining about trivial matters not realizing some folks are taking their last breath and would gladly trade places. I see young people with their ear glued to their devices, unfocused and unconcerned about their future. They laugh and shrug when I tell them about priorities, making better choices and yes “their minutes.”

When will we open our window and see that this wonderful gift of life is here now, at this very moment. But it is also passing. We have opportunity and talent and family and friends. We have passion and will. And we have minutes. I hope we use them wisely.



Quiet Rewards



So lately  I’m becoming more involved with charitable organizations. Perhaps because I’m what my friends call in “The Third Stage.” In other words, I’ve been around a long time. And when you’ve been given the precious gift of a good, healthy life, one reflects – or one should –  on those who struggle to have one.

My heart goes out to any group, organization or person supporting the disease of dementia. On all fronts it requires continued research, patience and support. From caregivers to those who help to raise funds, it is a cause well worth backing.

The Alzheimer Association’s Maryland chapter’s Memory Ball is in Baltimore in April. I’m going to spend an evening meeting people involved in this battle. I want, above all, to listen to their stories, smile with them and celebrate their journey. I want to get involved and pay back in some small private way. Perhaps you’ll feel the same and join me.

Just The Right Words


jansayin2When someone is in pain or trying to get their life back together after loss, rejection or deception, what exactly do you say? What can you do to ease the hurt and somehow let them know you understand or better still that you’re with them, no matter. Sometimes silence is the answer. Sometimes it’s expressing as few words as possible. Hurdlecards offer a variety of sentiments that cover all kinds of situations.

It’s such a delicate matter trying to bring comfort to those who grieve. You want to find those special words to help friends in pain. The words in greeting cards are predictable and are filled with everyday language. That’s why the cards have such a short shelf life. Hurdlecards avoids ho-hum language.

More often than not the fewer the words, the better, especially when it involves hurt, sorrow, frustration and loss. One sentiment I’ve written – The Voice – is popular and given to many family and friends. That sentiment makes no mention of  the words grief or sorrow. It gives just the right words.

Endings and Beginnings


This is the time of year, more than any, that makes me sad but at the same time joyful. Family, friends, neighbors, students are moving on. They are graduating, heading off to college, the armed services, a new job, a new town. They are leaving one stage of life for another. Then there are the weddings…sons and daughters are beginning a new life and ending old ones. Second and third marriages are in the air with couples giving it another try with other partners…leaving those old, sometimes painful, relationships behind. Sadness for what was…happiness for what will be. May, June, July seem to be months of transition…people finding newness in relationships, jobs and yes, themselves.

They are the months of relaxation but also preparation for things to come. I am sad for loved ones who will move away but happy for their chance to make new friendships. I am sad for students I grew close to but who will soon leave for colleges far away. Yet my spirit is filled with pride knowing that they are making better lives for themselves.

Endings and beginnings…a part of daily living.


celebration, encouragement, friendship, love, Uncategorized

One of the most memorable gifts you can give are words. They are timeless and often more meaningful than traditional gifts like chocolate, dinner, clothes and pricey tangibles.

There’s no question gifts such as jewelry and expensive purses and bags will yield that  “OMG” shout out…but remember those are momentary and fleeting responses lasting only until the next gift.

I’ve written and given word gifts for the last 20 years…many still have their place on desks, countertops and night stands. It tells me that they are still valued, still meaningful, still resonating. That’s a good feeling folks.