Blog masonry

How to raise a good man. [Guest Blog by Hubby]

I was recently asked by a friend, who also happens to be a professor and well-known education, tech and media consultant, how I managed to raise such a great family of outstanding young men. It wasn’t just a polite or shallow question based on a one-time get together. He knows them well and has spent a great deal of time listening and interacting with them…not just viewing their online media persona.

Mmmmmm…how did that happen?

I married their mother. Good move.

* The second most important decision you will ever make is the decision about who you marry. I say second, because the first is, “where will you acquire your values?” I recommend you marry someone who shares your core values, beliefs and philosophy of life, especially when it comes to raising and educating children. Shared values is what helps hold you together when facing the storms of life. Embrace it together.

2. We tried to instill the right values in them.

* Everyone of us draw our values from someone, whether parents, teachers, books or the internet. Who are you getting yours from, and why?

Values and convictions are meant to protect and maintain the most important relationships in your life. If you are a husband and father, that should be your wife and children. Your values will help determine all of your decisions about life. Of course, actually living by these convictions, may cause you to lose some less important relationships because you make that choice.

Culture is produced by values, vision and conviction—chaos is produced by a lack of them.

Before you make the choice, examine the outcome of the lives, families and nations of those you intend to emulate. Why would you want to imitate the lifestyle of people you don’t want to end up like?

3. I taught them to think for themselves.

* Even when you grow up thinking something is right, there is nothing wrong with questioning and examining what you think you know, or why. Just because you were taught something doesn’t mean its true. Of course, it doesn’t mean it isn’t either. I have found that some values are eternal, some are merely traditional and cultural. Truth will only get brighter and stronger under cross-examination. Ideas are powerful things.

The way to communicate ideas, especially to children is to read them the right books. We read to them, and made them read and write continually. Teach your children to think for themselves without turning them loose into a minefield of poison and noxious ideologies they are not mature enough to navigate. After all, they are your children, not someone else’s…or the states. Don’t feed them to the crocodile of secular humanism or the leviathan of religious buffoonery. They should be able to articulate and defend their own convictions and values, and look you in the eye as they do.

4. I trained them and I trust them.

If you have trained your children well, they will be kind, generous, open to honest dialogue and not intimidated by anyone. Teach them the value of hard work, compassion for others, sacrifice, and most importantly the value of real covenant relationship…with God and each other. Then, there’s only one thing left to do—trust them.

Psalm 45:16 – “Your sons will take the place of your fathers; you will make them princes throughout the land.”  (2017 Gregory Mira)

Forget your smart phone.

My morning was crowned by a gourmet, from-scratch birthday breakfast in honor of our thirdborn son. (For the foodies among us: His wife went all out with fresh pineapple and blackberries, glorious, layered luscious Eggs Benedict topped with creamy hollandaise served with sides of thick cut bacon, fried potatoes and mimosas to sip. All prepared with so much love.<3)

After breakfast and some rousing convo, hubby and I headed out so we could all get back to work. I’d planned to walk in order to sneak in some exercise and take advantage of the sunshine-y winter day and bright blue skies. Helpful Hint for your New Year: I’ve been trying to change my ‘default drive’ thinking, adjust my schedule and tuck in a walk whenever I can before or after appointments so as to keep this body moving (yesterday’s blog) so I sent all my paraphernalia with hubs (all that useful stuff we women drag around with us) adjusted my earphones, stuffed a little cash into my pocket and hit the pavement. (No excuses if it’s too far, you don’t have a driving hubby, you carry too much junk, etc., you can always walk ‘there’ and Uber it home. Uber is a cheap ‘gym’ fee and carrying crap is like a weight lifting session. You can’t imagine what I’ve hauled home on my power walks. That’s info for another blog. Hashtag crazy lady LOL.)

As I reached down to turn on my daily audio reading, I froze….no iPhone! Oops, sent it home with hubs. Hmmm….my mental Rolodex presented several options…chase down his vehicle shouting (which I have been known to do)…ask the stranger in front of me if I could use his phone to call hubby…run back to the kids and have them call him…or, just go without. I suspicion that smart phones have become appendages. Sigh.

I decided to walk untethered. You know, without that nagging chain pulling on my psyche with constant distractions of what perfect picture I needed to capture, whose text just dinged, that call coming in, the temptation to check my email, check the weather, check Facebook, check breaking news headlines. After about 6 blocks I was set free, baby.

I took new routes, noticed beauty I’d never taken the time to ponder, found jaw dropping architecture and landscaping, heard every sound, noticed so much color, counted my blessings, said my prayers, smiled so big I almost blinded myself…THIS, this is what we’re missing. I didn’t have Google to direct me so I darted and dashed to my delight, stopping for an on-sale kombucha at my fav overpriced market, chatted with strangers, smiled some more and 90 minutes and a few miles later found my front door, and found myself physically, mentally, and spiritually refreshed. One more Helpful Hint for the New Year: Choose some blocks of time to forget your smart phone.

Never a victim. No excuses.


Yes, I make a green smoothie like the one I’m sipping in this video, pretty much every day, rain or shine, like it or not. I consider it my medicine, so to speak, because I know it’s going to energize me, balance my hormones (which also balances my emotions which is a big deal for us humans), heal me, enhance my complexion, feed every cell in my body, combat inflammation which is a huge issue related to illness, help me fit into my jeans, you get the picture. It’s definitely not dessert, this I know – but regardless of the flavor 🙂 I can’t deny the benefits I’ve experienced by making this a habit in my life. Here’s what’s in it and I always use organic if possible-measurements are approximate:

1 cup berries-always blueberries, sometimes assorted

1 cup celery diced

2+ cups power greens, spinach, kale etc.

1 tablespoon chia seeds

1/4 fresh lemon including rind

1 chunk fresh ginger (amount as desired I use a lot!)

1 cup pure water and organic stevia if desired

…sometimes a banana, organic protein powder, maca, wilting cucumber, avocado, melon, romaine whatever is organic and fresh!

I’ve used a Bullet, a Ninja, a good ole blender and now a Vitamix my kids surprised me with at Mother’s Day (lucky mama!) and it beautifully mutilates everything so that it’s smooth and easy to consume. But use what you have and choke it down if necessary. You’ll be glad you did!

I’ve also juiced for periods of time over the years, but I don’t have the grace for that at the moment. It’s extremely time consuming for me as much as I love it and believe in it and I’m sure I’ll go back to juicing at some point but for now, my green smoothie is my go-to super-powered health blast.

Let’s drink to 2017 for greater health and happiness!

Thank YOU!

Thank YOU!
You made my whole day.
Out of nowhere came shining light, giving me hope and strength, enabling me to be better, reach farther, comfort others, dream some more.

How, you ask?
With a couple of thoughtful sentences spoken from your heart, then typed on a keypad and sent to encourage me about the good you see in me.
‘Life and death are in the power of the tongue’ and you spoke LIFE. Living breathing organic words.
No small thing.

Lots of people think bright thoughts of others, but busyness, apathy, and fear steal their potential expression, extinguishing the flame meant to be shared. How much inspiration, confirmation, love, compassion, is wasted in the graves of timid souls who won’t break the atmosphere to insert their life-giving words?!

But not YOU. I’ll be thinking of you all day as this newfound spring in my step propels me forward…..MWAH!

My best advice for the new year.

If there’s one thing I KNOW after all these years of living life, it’s this. Determine NOW that no one. NO ONE is responsible for your happiness. In your own mind, relieve every human being from the responsibility to make you happy, content, loved, adored, etc. Your future is not determined by other’s choices. You are not the victim-EVER. Ponder the ramifications of this principle. I believe you’ll find freedom. Less drama. Peace and joy. #irefusetolivesmall #noexpectationsfromhumans #happy2017

Here’s to 2017. Realz.


Scrolling through my Facebook feed on this New Year’s weekend, glimpsing all the festive toasts with grinning people, claiming bliss, holding bubbling champagne, partying, hugging, kissing – from Mexico to Australia to South Africa to the East and West Coasts of the U.S. was a kick!
I went to bed at 9, so I missed the champagne and fireworks. Dang. #midlife

“Happy New Year” ad nauseam! What exactly is a ‘Happy New Year’?! Shouldn’t we know what we are proposing, wishing, longing for? Is it perfection? excitement? adventure? money? progress? pleasure? peace? joy? love? All with zero pain, loss, struggle, lack? Hmmmm. That would be ideal. That would be a fantasy.


Just consider the tabloids. Everyone you thought had achieved ‘perfect’ suddenly not-so-much. Crazy. (I thought I wanted what they had, right?!?!) We all love perfection, don’t we? Glossy pics. Blinding smiles with pearly whites lined up straight. No wrinkles for goodness’ sake. Wedded bliss. Fashionable dress, coordinated – as in Yep. All agree these are a definitive thumbs up? Umhuh.

I just had a photo shoot yesterday. #awkwardsmile — Funny how we sense our desperate insecurities welling up at times. I wasn’t really looking forward to getting these pics taken as much as I love my photographer. She’s watched me age over decades…ahhh. I recently chopped off all my hair from very long, luscious looking locks to boy-cut pixie. I am fully embracing my new-do. But…I didn’t realize how much I could hide behind that hair. It took up a lot of space and could camouflage some serious crap. Goldilocks, Rapunzel, Barbie, Victoria’s Secret.

Obviously, hair matters. I didn’t realize it, really, until it was time to present it to a REAL camera. Most of my waking hours are spent in a much less public format…prepping food, cooking, scrubbing toilets, planning, answering emails, paying bills, organizing, discoursing with hubby, babysitting, poopy diapers, arguing with Comcast, meeting wth people, writing, jogging, playing tennis, diffusing essential oils, ordering supplements, making green smoothies, feeding the lonely, serving the HOA Board, setting mouse traps in the garage. You know. The stuff of life.

So…when I got a peek at the the first sample pics I was – UGH – squeamish. I was painfully naked without that hair. Sigh. This is real. This is me. Yep, she captured exactly who I am

I don’t think we like the real ‘me.’ I think we prefer the airbrushed life. Botox on those wrinkles. Photoshop on that shadow….sigh. But REAL is exactly what my life is.

My marriage, my kids, my grands, my career, my pain…not always perfect but absolutely real is what I promise you. No apologies. Some tears. Lots of self-questioning. Confession.

It’s not always pretty, but it’s honest. Hope you’ll join me on the ride.
2017 here we come! (Any leftover champagne?!)