Via Golden Light Reiki School:

inner kingdom

people who appreciate

Via Lessons Learned in Life:

speaking and hearing

Via A Peaceful Warrior: 

tell the truth

big and small

some people

I recently received a phone call from a dear sister-friend, who had been missing from my life for several years. We met when I was pregnant with my now 13-year old daughter, and I was shopping for maternity clothes at my friend’s mother’s consignment store. My friend and I have both experienced first-hand the power of the government to destroy lives and tear families apart, and we have both grown stronger and wiser through our similar experiences. Many times we have been separated, sometimes for years, but we always find each other again and somehow pick up where we left off, as if never apart – this time was no different.

I also recently received a rather nasty comment on this blog – another in a series of bitter, hateful, accusatory and derogatory attacks which continue despite my repeated attempts to make peace. There is no making peace with this person, and as if the verbal vomit directed at me wasn’t bad enough, this person has taken to dragging my younger children into the fray. I have stated before, and I will state it again – this must stop.

The most recent spate of hate took issue not only with what I have written about parents and their children’s happiness, but with my assertion that if the personal attacks don’t stop I will have attorney take up the battle on my behalf. It is only a technicality at this point that I gave birth to this commenter, and blood ties do not require me to accept any type of abuse. If I cannot convince someone to stop harassing me, and to stop harassing my children, then I see no other option but to have an attorney do the convincing.

I have told no lies about my life or my past, and there is nothing in my life I have done that I harbor such guilt or shame over that I feel I must hide it. This does not give anyone permission to attempt to publicly mar my reputation, and especially does not give anyone permission to fabricate events – most especially to my younger children – that I must spend time setting the record straight about. I hope this commenter really has “unfollowed” me – but I doubt it – it’s apparently a great source of happiness (satisfaction?) for her to stir up trouble and this blog seems to be a favorite source for contention.

At any rate, as a parent with many years’ experience, I continue to abide by the hard-won understanding that parents cannot be responsible for their children’s happiness. This doesn’t mean a parent should have no interest in their children’s happiness, it simply means that children must learn their happiness does not come from others, or things. It comes from within. My younger children have learned this, but obviously my older children haven’t. And since they were taken from me (no, I did not give them away) and I was not allowed any contact with them – I did not raise them – I really cannot claim responsibility for the fact that they were not taught to simply be happy and not fall into the trap of claiming victimhood.

As for my dear sister-friend, I am most grateful for her return to my life. Dear friends like her are priceless, and I am blessed with many wonderful friends. These are the people I choose to surround myself with, who choose also to be with me.

We all deserve to be among people who understand us and love us for who we are, and who hear us when we speak.


Naughty or Nice?

It seems as if my dear blogger friend (Santa) Ralph has been in a bit of hot water lately, first for not letting on until after the fact that the party he recently arranged was his birthday party, and then for being – as he put it – a Natural Flirt.

The only reason I thought Santa was naughty (and I told him so) was because of the birthday party, and just yesterday I had been wondering about the nature of LOVE when I received notification of a new post on Ralph’s blog inspired by a “young Lady whose husband told her that our conversations were over the top and that we had to tone it down”. Now, this was not my husband, and I am not that young Lady, but Ralph’s post inspired me to write the following comment:

Oh, Ralph – I am so sorry to hear that your natural sweetness has gotten you into any trouble at all.

I was thinking about just this sort of thing this morning, when I came across a couple of posts on other blogs about LOVE, and what that word means – what that emotion is.

Why is it acceptable for me to tell my Sis (who is not my biological sister, but is a very, very dear classmate of mine), or tell my mother-in-law or my children that “You mean the world to me”, “I love you to the moon and back”, “I love you from the depths of my heart”, or to send them e-hugs….BUT it is NOT acceptable for me to say or write those exact same things to my dearest friends who happen to be men?

Now, I know from experience there IS a (fine) line between dear friendships that may appear to be flirtatious, and relationships that have gone beyond flirtation to something more. I know from experience how painful the latter can be to a spouse, and I also know that simply not keeping secrets can keep relationships limited to the former. However, when even not-keeping-secrets causes alarm or jealousy, I believe it is due either to a deep insecurity in the relationship, or to the fact that one member of the relationship has at some point crossed that fine line between dear friendship and “something more.”

Love is very complicated, and friendships can be, but I have learned it is much better to tell someone how much you love them rather than wish you had. If you can’t do that without hurting your “significant other” then I believe something is wrong with one relationship or the other.

I love you dearly, Ralph, from the depths of my heart, to the moon and back…and that is no lie and no secret 🙂



See my post on The Social Impact of the Internet at

Of course, I happen to follow my own advice on this matter, and I keep no secrets from my husband. The difficulties in my marriage extend far beyond the complexities of flirtation vs. cheating, and I will admit that I am a spouse who remains suspicious of my husband’s e-life…however, I do not meddle in his “affairs” and I will state emphatically that my friendship with Ralph has actually inspired my husband to try to be a better man in many ways. That is a good thing!

Beyond that, my friendships both on- and off-line have led me to understand that it is not necessary to view every relationship my husband has with a woman as a potential threat to my own relationship with him. My friendships have led me to a better understanding of the world and my place in it. All my relationships have led me to a greater understanding of LOVE, if not to a constant contemplation of what “love” is (or is not).

Above all, I do know that my children are of utmost importance to me, and if it weren’t for my friendship with Santa Ralph, they would not be having much of a Christmas this year. And regardless of my “issues” with my husband, our children deserve to have us work through our differences in order for them to grown up in an unbroken home. It’s not easy, but day by day we keep it together and only time will tell whether the marriage will survive once the children have grown and flown the nest.

I’m grateful to Ralph, the Starfish Man (that’s another story) for many things, not the least of which is bringing to the forefront a discussion on what the boundaries of certain relationships ought or ought not to be. I hope that readers will check out his blog and my own post about Santa Ralph, as well as the blogs I mentioned in my comment to his post about being a Natural Flirt.

Hugs all around!


Up on the Rooftop…


Santa is real!

I told him I feel as if I’d like to shout from the rooftops the good news that the spirit of Christmas is alive and well… and he gave his permission for me to share our Christmas Story.

I would like first to share how I met Santa – he is a dear blogger friend of mine who lives in Spain and posted this to his blog: Dear Santa

My comment to the post can be found by scrolling down to where there is a picture of a red Ford truck – my comment is right after that.

If you don’t feel like looking for it, this is what I wrote:

It was encouraging to read someone else’s materialistic wishes, even if they were tongue-in-cheek…. I’ve procrastinated on even ‘liking’ this post (because it is the sort of post you cannot simply do so without adding a comment – or, in this case, a request)…because I have an awful lot of trouble asking for anything materialistic and I certainly don’t expect you to be able to grant nonmaterial wishes. So, the encouragement has led me to wish for this: the set of things my youngest children (the ones who live with me) have asked for that I cannot provide for Christmas… the camera my second-oldest daughter asked for, the new pair of ice skates my third oldest daughter asked for, the marching band jacket my oldest daughter asked for, and the archery set my son asked for. I am thankful for your post, as it gave me the opportunity to even just think what it might be like to grant their wishes, even if all that happens is you can wish for them to have these things, too.

Hugs to you, Santa Ralph 🙂


The day after I commented, I received this e-mail: How can I help Lyann ? There must be some way that I can get these things for your children on your behalf. I have a Paypal account. Just say what sites and what items. Hugs. Santa Ralph xx

I just feel like I need to share the news about this wonderful man who has helped so many people.

Since I’ve known him, he’s bought a new computer for a lady in Texas who is homebound, when her old one broke down…and he’s helped others with their heating bills and items they’ve needed but couldn’t afford. He’s told me to tell him if there is anything I need he can help with, to just ask, but until his Santa Ralph post, I really couldn’t bring myself to ask.

And he still had to “order” me to make a list: “Now Lyann V—–. What am I going to do with you. I have ordered Lori —–  from Dear Mrs Migraine to go into an online shop to pick out what she needs and email me a list or I will go in there myself in 10 hours time and order an elephant instead of the crochet whatevers. Now what about you and your kids. I will not accept NO. You are all too proud. I have some loose change and I want to help you. There are shops all over the internet. You have 10 hours as well to email me your shopping list and that’s an order from Santa Ralph……………………9hrs 59min 50 secs…….get cracking.

(Dear Mrs Migraine is another blog, by a blogger I now know, because of Dear Santa Ralph – she can be found here:

So, I made a list of items and sent them to Santa Ralph, and this morning he e-mailed me the shipping info from Amazon. Each child’s wish is being fulfilled – except Trin is getting an MP3 player instead of a marching band jacket, as the band ordered the jackets weeks ago. Rane is getting a camera, Zack is getting an archery set, and Eva is getting her skates.

Of course, Santa Ralph is such a dear, he wrote to me again:

Are all the orders okay for your children inc. pink guards J What about yourself ? I got Lori her elephant………no hooky thingies. Ralph x

(The “pink guards” are blade guards…and Ralph must really be Santa since he somehow knew not only that Eva would need new guards to go with new skates, but  that Eva’s favorite color is pink )

And the conversation continued:

Dear Santa,

The orders are wonderful – I think the archery set+ is amazing, and Eva’s favorite color is pink. I know Trin will love the MP3 player, and Rane will be joyous over the camera. All the children will be so very happy!

If you insist

…I happen to love elephants, and particularly Ganesha. I have often thought I would like a statue of Ganesha, as I have only a framed picture of him now.

My coach e-mailed me right after I got your e-mail about the order with the skates – Eva wears a shoe size 8, and the general rule is to wear skates a shoe size smaller…but Coach said she thinks Eva needs her actual shoe size. Will there be a problem if the size needs to be changed on the order? Coach said the model we ordered was perfect.

Actually, I just now received another e-mail from Coach, and she said the 7 should work: “Hope the 7s fit ok. Think it should work.” I love our coach!

What hookie thingie did Lori ask for? That sounds intriguing 🙂

Hi Lyann. This is Lori’s Post. The Crochet Dude item has a link to her hookie thingies. I don’t know the technical term. Where can I get Ganesha from. Will Amazon have one ? I know I’ll google it. I said I’d buy an elephant but it was for the wrong person. Let me know if you find one that you would like me to get you. I hope the shoes will be okay. I expect you should be able to change them. I expect the paperwork that comes with the skates will tell you.

I am pleased as punch for your children. Enjoy !!

Dear Santa,

I suspected the hookie things were crochet hooks! That’s cool there’s a special design to make crocheting easier on the hands. You are just amazing, Ralph! There is a very nice Ganesha site called Ganesh Mall at: and there are Ganesha statues on Amazon, too

For quite some time I have liked one particular statue that I have just never had the money to buy…if you insist upon getting me one it can be another. The one I’ve been looking at is: Colorful Ganesh Statue on a Base, 12 Inches High Item # : WCSGE095GM at

I hope you are having a wonderful day, Santa Ralph!



Ganesh mall does not have an overseas payment facility only US/Canada drop down boxes. Have a look at the Amazon link

and see if there is anything there you like. I know Amazon works


From: Lyann V

To: Ralph W

You are going to make me cry again today, aren’t you?

Thank you so very much for the blessings you have bestowed, not only for my family but for so many others I know there are who could thank you.

You are truly a blessing to the world, Ralph and I am blessed to have you as a friend.

I wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, too – you certainly deserve both 🙂


You are very welcome. Enjoy it. Ralph x

If you would like to choose. Ralph x

Companies have no right to complain that Amazon has monopolized internet shopping, when those same companies are not universally user-friendly 🙂

From: Lyann V

To: Ralph W

Subject: Re: Your Order with

Yep, you made me cry. But, it is very nice to be crying tears of joy!

Thank you, Santa Ralph…there is a special place on a table in my living room awaiting the arrival of a brightly colored Ganesha, which will henceforth always remind me of you 🙂

Hugs, Hugs, Hugs


Hi Lyann. You are making me cry now ! I have really done nothing. The love between all members of your family are worth a million dollars than 5 minutes in PayPal. Gifts are just a cherry on the cake that you are blessed with. I have done nothing. Have a wonderful time and the anticipation for the children is a touch of happiness for them. Ralph x


I wrote a blog post to thank Santa, and if you’d like to see that, it’s here:


The conversation continued after that post, when I wrote to Ralph expressing my desire to tell the world about him:

I really don’t mind you doing a post or leaving a comment in Dear Ralph or whichever way you want to play it. I also don’t mind if you use my name. I did a post a few weeks called I HURT !! I really thought that I shouldn’t do it but I had that pushing feeling that I had to do it. I bought a computer for Elisa who was very ill and her computer was dead. Because of it I since learned that other people spurred on by my post had bought items for others in need, such as a girl going to university whose computer died days before she really needed one and got an email to go to her local shop and buy  herself one and he would pay. People copy each other and being the season of good joy I don’t mind others copying what I did. Even one person is fantastic. Love and hugs. Ralph x

Thank you for letting me know that, Ralph – it will make it less stressful trying to thank Santa!
I’ll admit, I already told my coach all about you – I just had to let someone know who you are and how wonderful you are 🙂 I’m happy to know that it’s okay to share with the world the fact that it really is so much brighter with people like you…and with people who might be inspired by you to share the spirit of Christmas in some fashion.
Every little bit helps, and you helped my family a lot! And my coach said “it is the sweetest thing I ever heard.” You made her cry, too, dear Ralph. Well, I did, I guess, since I told her about you and Santa Ralph.
I remember the post you mentioned, and I also remember other people saying your actions spurred them to do something similar. This is a beautiful thing, but I wanted to make certain that spreading the news occurs on Santa’s terms, not my own 🙂
Again, you are a beautiful, wonderful, amazing person, Ralph….Santa Ralph….Genie Ralph….Dearest Ralph :x lovestruck
Hugs all around!

The Social Impact of the Internet

My final paper for an elective I took, about the 1960’s:

[Note: I wrote this before I realized I do not want to pursue a graduate degree in legal studies]

The Internet

Aside from my own birth, only one event in the 1960s causes me to wonder what life would have been like if it had not occurred: the birth of the Internet. More than any other invention, the Internet has revolutionized the world; the stage may have been set by the invention of the telegraph, telephone, radio, and computer, but it is the Internet which is simultaneously a global broadcasting entity, a mechanism for the dissemination of information, and a medium for collaboration and interaction between individuals and their computers without regard for geographic location” (Brief History of the Internet). The Internet enables people to communicate and share interests as never before, and as the Internet has become ubiquitous, ever-faster, and increasingly accessible, social networking and collaborative services have grown rapidly; sites like Facebook, Twitter, Linked-In, YouTube, Flickr, and Pinterest, as well as blogs and wikis, enable people of all ages to instantaneously (and continuously) share their interests of the moment with others everywhere (History of the Internet Timeline, 2011).

The early internet was used by computer experts, engineers, scientists, and librarians; there was nothing friendly about it. The first proposal for a global network of computers came from J.C.R. Licklider of M.I.T., who relocated to the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) in late 1962 to head the work to develop it. Lawrence Roberts, also of MIT, connected a Massachusetts computer with a California computer in 1965 over dial-up telephone lines; this showed the feasibility of wide area networking. Roberts moved over to DARPA in 1966 and developed his plan for ARPANET. The first information packets were sent on ARPANet on Oct 29, 1969, by Charley Kline at UCLA. As Kline tried to connect to Stanford Research Institute, the system crashed as he reached the G in LOGIN. E-mail was adapted for ARPANET by Ray Tomlinson of BBN in 1972; he chose the @ symbol from the available symbols on his teletype to link the username and address. (Howe, 2012).

The Internet was initially funded by the government and was limited to research, education, and government uses. Commercial use was prohibited unless such use directly served research and education; this policy continued until the early 1990s, when independent commercial networks began to grow. In May 1995, all “pretense of limitations on commercial use disappeared…when the National Science Foundation ended its sponsorship of the Internet backbone” (Howe, 2012). The entry of Microsoft in the browser, server, and Internet Service Provider market marked beginning of a shift to a commercially based Internet, and the release of Windows 98 in June of 1998 completed the major shift to a commercialized Internet (Howe, 2012). The benefits of sustained investment and commitment to research are represented by the Internet and the development of an information infrastructure. (Brief History of the Internet).

The Social and Economic Impact of the Internet

My life today would be much different without the internet, although this has become apparent to me only recently. I have no doubt that without the Internet I would not have returned to college a year ago, and I certainly would not be nearing completion of my Bachelor’s Degree as I am now. The Internet has made education available to countless people like me, who are unable or unwilling to travel any distance to attend classes, and online education is available to students at every level, from elementary school to graduate degree programs. Even M.I.T. has realized the value of the Internet as a tool for education of “the masses” and offers all of its courses for free over the Internet; while completing online courses from M.I.T. will not lead to completion of a college degree, the value of the availability of the education cannot be understated. Even Harvard, Stanford, Princeton, the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Michigan are beginning to offer open online learning projects. Those who complete online coursework from these elite universities will not earn official credit, but will earn a certificate of mastery; the internet has opened “vast new learning opportunities for students around the world” (Lewin, 2012).

Without the Internet, the work I do now would not be possible, and I am certain the same could be said about untold numbers of other people around the world. Only a decade and a half ago, while living in Denver, I wrote articles for the Journal of the Colorado Academy of Family Physicians with the aid of a computer, but without the Internet my submissions all had to be hand-delivered on floppy disk to my editor. Research was performed at the library, and interviews were a time-consuming chore for a person like me who relied on public transportation (or my bicycle) to get me anywhere away from home. My home was cluttered with stacks of books, newspapers, and periodicals, and I was endlessly frustrated by searching for materials my (well-meaning) family had either tossed into the trash or returned to the library. With the Internet to assist me nowadays, not only can I perform research via the Internet and interviews via Skype, but my home is no longer filled with stacks of papers and magazines collecting dust, and I don’t waste much time looking for books my family has misplaced; nearly everything I need to read is available over the Internet. Better yet, all my submissions to my editor (now the newsletter for the Kaplan Chapter of the Golden Key International Honour Society) are easily transmitted via the Internet.

When I moved from Colorado to Oklahoma just over a decade ago, the Internet was still in its infancy, and while I did not realize then how my life was hampered by the lack of the Internet, I certainly realize now how my life is – and could have been – enhanced by use of the Internet. While living in Denver I earned extra money by transcribing micro tapes of interviews performed as part of a study on Parkinson’s Disease at the University of Colorado (C.U.); when I moved to Oklahoma I continued to transcribe the tapes until the logistics became too frustrating and I had to concede that the work could be more easily performed by someone still in Colorado. For several months, C.U. would mail tapes to me, I would transcribe them using my computer and a special tape player, and then I would mail the transcriptions and tapes back to Colorado. If the Internet had been in wide use as it is now, the audio of interviews could have been transmitted to me, and I could have transcribed the interviews and e-mailed the completed transcriptions. Without the Internet, I lost not only a stream of income, but a working relationship that was dear enough to me to endeavor to continue even long-distance. If the Internet had never been developed, I would not have been able to develop the network of personal and professional relationships which replaced those I lost.

Without the Internet, there would not be Facebook, Twitter, or blogs – all of which have proved to be not only entertaining but useful to promote worthy causes and to join others around the world with interests akin to my own. Without the Internet, it is not likely I would have discovered what Hinduism really is (it’s not Buddhism in India), and I would not have become part of a formal internet study group comprised of Hindus from around the world. And, without the Internet, and especially Facebook, my marriage would not have suffered what has become known as cyber-cheating and the bane of many modern marriages. While I have found the Internet to be immeasurably useful for academic study and networking with others to promote worthy social causes, my husband found the Internet to be useful for studying scantily clad women and networking with women whose only social cause was the promotion of promiscuity. At the very least, it seems the Internet might have proved useful in making it more likely that an adulterous relationship will be discovered by a faithful spouse than it would have been if the Internet had not ever been invented. It might also be said that perhaps the Internet forces honesty and openness into relationships like never before.

If the Internet had never been developed, I doubt first that I would have decided to complete my Bachelor’s Degree and second that I would have chosen my current course of study; I doubt that I would have been able to participate in causes which interest me to the extent that I can with the aid of the Internet, and I doubt I would ever have had the good fortune to meet such people as I have the pleasure of interacting with on a daily basis now. A number of personal experiences led me to choose Legal Studies as my major and to plan to attend law school. The growing acceptance of the Internet as a viable alternative to traditional schools from elementary through college has made it increasingly likely that I will be able to attend (and afford) law school online. The fact that there are not presently any online law schools which have the proper accreditation for me to ultimately practice law anywhere but in California has led me to alter my education plan and delay attending law school; while I still intend to study law with the hopes of helping others, I have decided instead to pursue an online Master’s Degree in Applied Legal Research. I believe it is safe to say that when the time comes that online law schools are accredited by the American Bar Association, students of law will not be the only ones benefitted – it will be society as a whole (but that’s another story).

The Internet and its many tools – Facebook, Twitter, blogs – are proving as useful to me in working toward helping others as I ever thought a law degree would, and maybe more so. Online studies lead me to the knowledge (and credentials) I need; online tools lead me to the people I need to help and the people I need to work with. Countless numbers of other people certainly view the Internet as one of the most useful tools in their personal and professional lives. Without the Internet, the quality of my own life, and my ability to have a positive impact on the lives of others, would be greatly reduced; without the Internet, the quality of lives around the world would be substantially lessened, and the task of people working together toward improving the quality of life for those less fortunate would be much more daunting.


Update 12/14/2012: related posts…the links will take you there in a new window 🙂

It’s Official, I am a Flirt !! on Bluefish Way

Sprinkle: Saying I Love You on Sprinklin Thoughts

Love: Quantifying the Unquantifiable   on Brandy Desiree Collins – Living, Dreaming, Waking, Seeing, Becoming




History of the Internet Timeline. (2011, August 26). Retrieved May 19, 2012, from

Brief History of the Internet. (n.d.). Retrieved May 18, 2012, from

Howe, W. (2012, May 3). A Brief History of the Internet.   Retrieved May 18, 2012, from

Lewin, T. (2012, May 5). Harvard and M.I.T. Offer Free   Online Courses. Retrieved May 6, 2012, from

Vedder, R. (2012, May 6). The Promise of Lower Costs and   Quality Education. Retrieved May 8, 2012, from