Archive for February, 2009

Hey, if anyone has seen the March issue of South Shore Living magazine they might notice, on page 10, in the story titled All Under One Roof mention of my work. O.k., so I’m not mentioned by name nor is my business, BUT, it does say in this story, “handmade sea glass jewelry” is one of the things you will find at the store. You will and it is mine!

So, I’m proud and glad to be a part of a women’s cooperative boutique http://www.thehinghamcoop.com/ which is the focus of the story. It’s a tough economy but these are brave and smart business women as well as creative souls and mothers. I love being part of The Coop if only as a vendor.

Anyhow, another vendor is mentioned in a different article and she is a role model. She’s on page 20 and she has the company “Emotional Armor” http://www.emotionalarmor.com/ and donates ALL profits! She sells her stuff at Mamas on the Move in Norwell and at other places and is so cool. Anyhow, it’s wonderful to see powerful and brave and entrepreneurial women right on the South Shore.

Catch of the Day: Feisty Woman mixing parenting and professionalism and creativity and money-making.


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Sea Glass: The Ultimate Survivor

Once, from a source, each piece of sea glass belonged to a bigger whole. Each one has a mystery history but brokenness is central to every story. It matters little if the original glass was once a fancy pink pitcher pouring lemonade at the table of a beach side cottage. The glass may have been stolen by a violent storm rising and waters pouring herself into homes reckless and taking prisoners back with the tide. Some bottles may have been cracked in anger, in fits or fights between lovers of soldiers, and flown into the air as witnesses unable to report crimes. Others were Coke bottles left behind by a distracted child after a lengthy family picnic on  a warm and beauriful day. Perhaps children played in tidal pools and make drip castles as parents left imprints of their feet in the sand not concerned with the tide which would wash over and erase them.

The history of sea glass can be guessed at but each piece is a discarded refugee ripped from what was once home. Each piece is forced to travel alone and does not get to say, “Break me here. I want to occupy this shape and size.” No sea glass can envision the shape or texture it will become. If it could, it would know the original shape to be temporary and we aren’t made to know the future.

Those shattered pieces at first are sharp and fragile, dangerous to bare feet and unused to the cold new home of icy water. They must survive currents taking them into choppy waters, to depths and distances unknown. Others are left on shore baking in the sun because the water can’t retrieve them. They are dumped on shore as if shipwrecked passengers waiting for rescue and dying of thirst.

But none are left alone as mystical magic transforms. Mother Nature files rough edges and Father Time makes the glass grow a new thick “skin” with a protective hardiness and frost. Each broken shard returns to a new wholeness. These holy gems are my symbol of transformation. Even the pieces discarded or thrown away as litter or trash will become a touchstone. Pieces, once disowned by accident or intention, become valuable again. In new shape and size, unrecognizable, they become sought after, appreciated and treasured.

Each piece is an old soul newborn. Sea glass is the ultimate survivor.

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There are two things I want to note:

1)There is an incredible event coming up in March for those close to Boston. A FORCE FOR CHANGE: Boston’s Women Immigrant Leaders (an event for international women’s day sponsored by www.iiboston.org ) The organizer gave me permission to post info. about the event here so if you rally your friends for an early morning celebration of women, please do! Info. about the women and the event is included below.

Please join us as these remarkable women discuss the challenges they have overcome to be a force for positive change in Boston. Our guest panelists are immigrant women whose accomplishments in their fields and lifetime of dedication and service to their communities is an inspiration to women everywhere. The International Institute, founded in 1924, assists over 7,000 immigrants and refugees annually with services that are tailored to meet the individual needs of its clients. It provides refugee resettlement support, legal support, treatment  for survivors of torture, employment training, literacy instruction and economic development and microfinance programs.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

7:30 a.m. registration and continental breakfast

8–10 a.m. presentation and discussion

$50 donation, deductible as allowed by law

Purchase tickets directly on our website www.iiboston.org  or register online at rsvp@iiboston.org. Questions?

Call 617.695.9990 and ask for Kathy Le or contact event chair Annmarie Sasdi at AnnmarieSasdi@aol.com.

Here’s info. about these AMAZING WOMEN:






Sister Lena Deevy is the Executive Director of the Boston Irish Immigration Centerand has been a member of an international order of Catholic women for over thirty years. In collaboration with other community immigrant groups, the IIC works for the rights of immigrants of all races. Many international solidarity efforts have benefited from Sr. Deevy’s involvement including efforts supporting justice and peace in Nicaragua, El Salvador, South Africa and the Philippines. Lena has twenty years of experience in community organizing of poor neighborhoods in Ireland and a Master’s from the Harvard School of Education. 

Marcela Del Carmen, M.D. Marcela del Carmen, MDn is the winnder of numerous awards for her outstanding performance as a surgeon and teacher. Most recently, she is the recipient of the MGH Clinician-Teacher Development Award, an career development award sponsored by MAO, the President’s Office and MGPO, for Dr. del Carmen to embark in an educational and community project to advance as a clinician-teacher at MGH and HMS. Her current research interests focus on understanding barriers to Cervical Cancer screening in the Latinapopulation being served by MGH.


Barbra Lee, ModeratorBarbara Lee, a leader in the effort to promote women’s political leadership and powerful participation in our democracy, brings energy and enthusiasm to social justice activism and the support of the arts. Ms. Lee calls the arts her passion and politics her mission and her accomplishments speak to that. A former school teacher and social worker, Lee has committed herself to helping women gain and use political power as elected officials, activists, and voters. In her hometown of Boston, she is also known as a devoted advocate for the city’s cultural life, and her leadership is helping the Boston arts community continues to make history. Boston Magazine includes her among “The 100 People Who Run This Town,” and she is listed as one of the 50 most powerful people in Boston (Boston Magazine, May 2008). She was also recognized for her grassroots activism by Women’s news as one of their “21 Leaders for the 21st Century.”

Lee is the driving force behind the groundbreaking “Governors Guidebook” series that combines original research with a nationally-distributed practical guide for women candidates seeking executive office.  The four-part Guidebook series includes: Keys to the Governor’s Office – Unlock the Door: The Guide for Women Running for Governor (2001), Speaking with Authority: From Economic Security to National Security (2002). Cracking the Code: Political Intelligence for Women Running for Governor (2004) and Positioning Women to Win: New Strategies for Turning Gender Stereotypes into Competitive Advantages (2007).

 Rep. Marie St. Fleur Representative St. Fleur was elected to the MassachusettsHouse of Representatives, representing the 5th Suffolk District on July 6th, 1999.  Gaining 77% of the vote in a hotly contested election, it is reported that the Representative is the first Haitian-American elected official in Massachusetts.  Most recently, the Representative was re-elected to her 5th term winning nearly 85% of the vote. During her first term in office, Representative St. Fleur successfully sponsored into law An Act Relative to Survivors of Homicide Victims Awareness.  As House Chair of the Joint Committee on Education, Arts and Humanities, Representative St. Fleur helped to establish the new Massachusetts Board and Department of Early Education and Care. A graduate of the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, Representative St. Fleur earned a Law Degree from Boston College Law School in 1987. After graduating from law school, Representative St. Fleur served as a Law Clerk in the Massachusetts Superior Court.  She later served as an Assistant District Attorney in Middlesex County, serving among others in the Trial Division and as the Chief of the Unemployment Fraud Division.     Rep. St. Fleur is a former trustee of the Boston Bar Foundation and the past president of the Massachusetts Black Lawyers Association.  She is also a member of the Boston College Law School Black Alumni Network.

Zeida Santos Zeida Santos is the Hotel Career Center Manager at the International Institute of Boston, Lowell and New Hampshire.  She holds a degree from the University of Massachusetts, Boston.  The International Institute assists over 7,000 immigrants and refugees annually with services that are tailored to meet the individual needs of its clients. It provides refugee resettlement support, legal representation, and advice, and assistance, treatment for survivors of torture, employment training and corporate employment partnerships, English language and literacy instruction, and economic development and microfinance programs

Rev. ChengImm Tan Rev. Cheng Imm Tan is one of Chinatown’s multi-tasking crusaders. Blending spirituality with her experiences as an immigrant and Asian woman, she has built her career by encouraging others to realize their inner strengths and potential. Tan is an ordained Unitarian Universalist minister, yet she speaks from a much larger pulpit. “What I do in my community is my ministry,” she says.  It was Tan’s tireless work in Boston’s Asian community which led to her appointment the as Director of the Mayor’s Office of New Bostonians. For the past seven years, the Malaysian-born Tan has assisted immigrants in becoming full participants of the Boston community by providing a variety of resources and information. Tan began her career working in a battered women’s shelter. She realized many Asian women were reluctant to leave abusive relationships because language barriers prevented them from getting the necessary help. In 1987, she founded ATASK. The Asian Task Force Against Domestic Violence remains New England’s only multilingual emergency shelter and center for Asian victims of domestic abuse.

For centuries, only men were allowed to learn and perform lion and dragon dance, but Tan felt it was the ideal way to showcase feminine power and creativity. “Gund Kwok is Cantonese for heroine. It makes the statement that we are strong,” she says. “When I began, I recruited ten of my friends. Today, we have 20 women. We are the only independent female troupe in North America.”

THANK YOU B for inviting me to this event!!!!!!!!!!! You are an incredible woman as well!

2)the Hingham Coop (where I sell my sea glass jewelry) made the Globe South section of The Boston Globe and it’s great to read about professional women who are mothers who are entrepreneurial and creating community (for kids and adults) and business at the same time! Here’s the link to the article: http://www.boston.com/news/local/articles/2009/02/26/theyre_going_to_work_on_their_own_terms/















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I saw this passage in a book I borrowed from a friend entitled, Around the House and in The Garden: A Memoir of Heartbreak, Healing and Home Improvement by Dominique Browning.

Here’s the passage that I want to share here from page 99:

What is it about the lure of a house on the water? Within an hour of arriving there, no matter what I am leaving behind, I feel a tranquility that I can find nowhere else. The lull of the tides, the silver of the sun on the ruffles of waves, the slick, oozy, slimy, gelatinous sea creatures, the long view, the play of the wind, even the subtle threat of the inky depths. To make  home or plant a garden near the water is to choose to live constantly in the presence of a force greater, more mysterious, more beautiful, and more alive than any one of us can ever be – it puts us in our places. How wonderful, then, when we turn our places into a celebration of such brute force. We nestle seaside and are reminded of something important.

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My Sea Glass Will Be For Sale!

Saturday, February 21, 2009, 6:15-10pm 

Weymouth Elks, 1197 Washington St, E. Weymouth

Tickets: $30

FAC celebrates Mardi Gras with “Cozy Mike nd the Three Horsemen” for a fun evening of New Orleans jazz, a silent auction, New Orleans style supper, dessert, and a Cash Bar

for tickets, contact: 1-800-230-7555

email: fineartschorale@aol.com

web: fineartschorale.org

The tickets are only for sale until Tuesday, Feb. 17th so order quickly if you want to enjoy a meal and music!

Masks, Beads and Costumes Encouraged!

This is a first-time evening event for me. I’m

looking forward to contributing a piece to the

silent auction, listening to live music and sharing

my creations with people I haven’t met before.

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Ocean Air

Fifty degrees in the Northeast on Feb. I ached to get to the beach. I longed for the sea air. My daughter was sick and does not have the fever for sea glass hunting. She’s young and tired of the time we spend there. She’s not feeling well so I waited. But I got there, at dusk, and by then she wanted to join me. It was twenty minutes of family time.

At dusk, there was little light but I was fine without “finding” because what I needed was to drink in the sea air and feel the rugged beach rocks under foot. It was low tide but even up at the sea wall the stones and glass were wet and moist. They feel closer to the ocean when not yet try. I let the moisture stay in my palm and hold the damp glass before putting anything in my pocket. The pieces loose, jangled in a joy song of being found and treasured.

I found six small brown pieces, some so little they look like fragments or tiny toothpicks. They aren’t thick of triangular. One has a slight hint of orange but is not bright orange or a “real” orange. Still, the light tone pleases my eye. The pure white rocks I love and I found one. My daughter is a rock girl, hearts especially, but all of them really. She loves to hold a hefty weight and to see the range of colors. When I left her with my husband to walk with a neighbor, she gave me her rocks, brown and tan, and I gave her mine. She insisted I give one to her father too so the family could all be with rock. She was too young to say, “This family rocks,” but that’s what I was thinking but it was so corny.

My husband found the “gem” of the day, a thick triangular green with a ridge at the top. It is a perfect piece for making a necklace requiring only one piece of silver wire to hold it – a piece for a purist.

I was exhausted and the air was a jolt of fresh air and perspective. I must have been a mermaid in another life and only realized it at forty. I don’t even need to be in the water but near it to feel more centered.

Catch of the Day: Gratitude for being near the coast.

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Dancing with the Beach 

This piece is also posted on the www.writingfromtheheart.wordpress.com site as the new topic is feet.

 Cissy White – Dancing with the Beach


Size 10 and triple E. Substantial. That’s me. Large as my feet are they still manage, in parts, to be bony. Though bony, they are bulbous and fleshy and easy to bruise. My pinky toe is an unwanted child squished into family photos. She plays half size just to belong but is damaged with broken nails and misshapen with the effort of trying to fit in.


Still, since age 40, I adore my feet.  At the ocean, they are exquisite dance partners. I can follow without lead. The rocks and sand underneath hold me as gingerly as a little girl with a loving Daddy who lets me step on him and then carries.


I hunt sea glass not with my hands or my eyes but my feet. My back is to the water. I feel the wind on my back and let the moisture sneak up and over my shoulders. My feet track the tide, tell me where we will hunt and I follow.


In soft soled sneakers I can feel the rocks underneath. I tend to stand still and move backwards. I look towards the shore instead of the water. I am with the salty sandy earth. Only occasionally do I let a strong wave cut in, turning my attention to the stunning sky line, the clouds hovering above in animal shapes. I try not to get distracted with the commuter boat, wondering where people are going, try not to think of wind energy with the turbine turning in Hulll. I breathe up the smell, the sea weed and fish and turn toward the ground, and walk happy with eyes cast down.


When I hunt alone I stretch and dance. I am unselfconscious of eyes in homes or people in boats. I can’t see them and am engrossed, like a practitioner doing Tai Chi. I have my own ritual. First, I stand tall and stretch up to the sun and sky. Then, I put hair in pony tail; stick Ziploc baggies in back pockets. I am an athlete in warm up.


When it is time, the music of waves, in random rhythms move me. I hinge at the waist and bend. My flat back parallel to the ground, my hands could but do not reach down. They rest on my back as my gaze floats over the ground. In this posture, I am half in meditation and half a speed skater. I never “touch down” without intention. When the sand offers up a gem that says “Rescue me,” I palm it. I rub and remove sand and holding it as if to say, “There. There,” before homing her in a bag, a guppy waiting to join the other fish in the tank.


My feet slide to the left, hop to the back, take me diagonal over rocks. I follow wherever they track. Sometimes, I go in a circle marking a boundary around a scared space knowing something waits. It is not always sea glass, a heart-shaped rock, or even pottery but an insight or a feeling. I know when I have found it as my feet will move me along.


It is not a private place. People, mostly men walk with dogs and binoculars and fishing poles come too. I do not rise to meet them. I wave, pet the dogs curious enough to bound over. I am loyal to the song and the ground. The beach, though rocky, is always solid thanks to my triple E width, size 10 feet who have helped me learn to move into stillness.


I think the ocean is also happy to see me. A less delicate looking polished set of bare foot would not hold the sturdy ocean in her toes. I, when the beach is tired, can lift her up and let her rest. When she is dirty, I pick up the litter and debris of others. I am graced with gems but will return favors. I am loving and loyal and grateful for these feet.

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Tomorrow is a holiday if you don’t know. It’s the 100th day of school for my full-day K girl. The teachers have sent home notes asking each child to bring in 100 things. Maybe 100 pennies, one hundred toy cars, one hundred stickers, 100 Popsicle sticks. My girl, she wants to bring in 100 pieces of sea glass.

I can’t wait til she is home, til she empties her vases and picks her pieces. Will she sort by color or shape or do a random count? Will she want to bring in brights and lights or tiny pieces easy to carry and hold? The children will learn about math, dividing 100 by piles of ten or of looking at how different 100 can look but still be 100.

It was her idea to bring in sea glass. “It doesn’t have to be yours Mom,” she said and after I checked that the sea glass would be coming home I said, “It can be. It’s up to you.” I may have to sift through and hide my precious pieces as I tell her to do with toys she know she won’t be able to share before she has a play date.

100 pieces of sea glass. How lucky are we to have that bounty to look at, touch, examine, divide, separate and carry? It’s a cold and snowy day and the ride home from school might be long but we’ll have cider or hot chocolate and warmth and big piles to dive into.

Catch of the day: The small pleasures

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