Tuesday, January 20, 2009

A New Start for the USA!

Despite being cozy and warm watching today's celebrations in Washington D.C. on my TV this morning, I felt compelled to clear the snow off my car and drive to downtown Stamford and join fellow citizens at the public library where the inauguration ceremony was being shown on the auditorium movie screen.
The room was full--standing room only and everyone appeared moved by the event. We listened in attentive silence, clapped and cheered as history shifted its axis, then stood and sang the national anthem together as the ceremony came to a close. It was a wonderful way to experience this day. Several shared their story with me and enjoyed hearing a snippet of mine as we recognized how clearly we come from such diverse backgrounds yet all our heart's desire peace, opportunity and community. God bless President Obama and give us all the courage and wisdom to work together toward needed changes that will heal our nation.

By the time the ceremony was over, the snow had melted off this statue of Abraham Lincoln which stands in downtown Stamford's Veteran's Park. It is a replica of a statue by artist Borghlum which was donated to the city over 20 years ago. It represents the quiet moments President Lincoln was known to spend sitting alone in his garden after reading the lists of fallen/wounded soldiers during the war. When the statue was presented to Stamford, I was invited to sing at the press conference gathered for the unveiling. I sang "The Battle Hymn of the Republic" and then "God Bless America" as the statue was revealed.

Very special moments. Who knew then that this day would really come? Thank you God!

Monday, January 12, 2009


Since I received several cards today with roses for my birthday, wanted to share a colored pencil rose I drew many years ago. I was laid up on my stomache at the time, recovering from a car accident, and decided to draw the rose I'd received that day. Painting kept my mind focused on beauty instead of the pain and brought back memories of the hours my sister's and I had spent in childhood drawing pictures with crayons and colored pencils. Treasured memories.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Embracing 2009

"Seeds of Promise" glazed, fired, ceramic tile 6"x6"
(C) 2009 Olenka Designs - AK Philippas

This moment's full of promise
exploding from within;
rejoicing in potential
no matter where we've been.

Rejoice in all the goodness
that's found in every day;
be glad, for we're just passing
along Life's endless way.

Happy New Year!