"The Goodstuff"

“The good stuff" was my husband's  favorite fun phrase.   It may have been a take on the book/movie title,  "The Right Stuff" about early super-aero and NASA breakthroughs.  But it was more than fanship - he used it a lot: according to him, The Good Stuff was a classification and praise from the heart - for his people, his class, his scouts, his USACE/Black Diamonds team, his Wellcome team, the good wine and good friends, at a good table,  and ...me. 

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Believe! - A Christmas in August story !

It was 1996 - returning to my hometown fixed a broken heart.   After twenty years ,  most did not even know me.  I'd been beautifully raised there, married, off with corporate life and love - parenting, then early and suddenly widowed and empty-nested.  Our children and I worked hard on our grief and won the Triumph! But too soon, I was injured in an accident, while  hot-flashing with menopause, and response work burnout.     

And so it was Christmas 1996.  Till my disability setup was complete, I was Staying at the shelter I had helped before the disability, still helping with things, and doing up alterations of gifted clothing for others, for their job interviews, cultural enrichment,  including music and arts.  And I was able to help with computer training: and  even night watch, which was there for the men's but not the women's floor (but that's another story).

Memories of forty years of bountiful Christmases helped a lot, to buffer the suffering at the shelter, and I was able to generate some Holiday for me and the half dozen "mates" there.  But then another family death took even that bit of cheer from my heart.   I did not even have money for a few Christmas Cards - let alone the hundreds I was used to, since childhood.  My emotions were getting a bit scary.   "ACT ! "  "DO something" , , . I thought !  

As painful as it was, a walk to town was one block away and I went to the art shop where I'd purchased my first artists' mannequin as a girl, and found the thing I needed !   The spark rekindled on the spot !   I purchased it and limped back to the shelter, supper.  Then I found a tv table and a seat in the hall - making Christmas Cards with a stamp pad and Mary Englebreit's Santa image on the stamp, captioned,  in large letters  


yes "Believe" I thought , as I set to it.
Soon, I smiled as the memory of a family movie trip, the very funny  Indiana Jones Library stamp scene came to mind.    I turned that thought as loose as I dared.   With each stamp to card, the message of cheer and the word "BELIEVE"  banged at my dulled consciousness - I was not on medications, but so battered emotionally , but this "Believe" stamp project was working -  and so I did more - and more,  now repeating the message to ME and the others in the shelter - 


Grasp the stamp:   "Thud"  to the stamp pad - "BANG" to card.    
Again and again and again and again - till the murky emotions let up and "normal" was within reach and I marveled at how a thing COULD help.   My mates reacted with holiday cheer and encouragement - YES - injured myself, I was still being a good redcrosslady.

NO it was not over for me:  there were "complications", to my own redemption,  but a bit later, my rescue came, correct care, mybungalow for business and pleasure - and my work at the White House!   "Pretty good believing, no?"    More than I dreamed !

YES I still have the kit and cards and have not needed to repeat the performance with them.  But I keep them handy - I may need them or need to share them with someone who needs to get their inner lights restored.


you can get this online still - usually used at eBay but my ancient one still works, even if the rubber has petrified a bit...only a bit  Believe :-D This Christmas in August story is for Nora and Bernie Gadomski, whose "Christmas in August" invention became famous in the houses of healing in Connecticut USA - the story:  one of the rest home clients was much loved but not likely to make it till December, so the family and Nora's Crew at Elm Hill Manor got busy and created the holiday in August with all the bells and whistles!   Santa brought gifts, the resident's family and  children were invited and there was music and lots of food and treats and carol singing and a grand day for the grand person and his beloved folk, who maybe grieved a bit less , when he passed away, for having worked to make the happy Christmas in August. In following years it was re-done for the memory and some fundraising, I think.  Since it was a small private  Victorian Mansion, in the historic district,  the picture perfect Christmas in August became very popular. And more than once, shared the final holiday with other residents there.

you can get this online still - usually used at eBay but my ancient one still works, even if the rubber has petrified a bit...only a bit  Believe :-D

This Christmas in August story is for Nora and Bernie Gadomski, whose "Christmas in August" invention became famous in the houses of healing in Connecticut USA - the story:  one of the rest home clients was much loved but not likely to make it till December, so the family and Nora's Crew at Elm Hill Manor got busy and created the holiday in August with all the bells and whistles!   Santa brought gifts, the resident's family and  children were invited and there was music and lots of food and treats and carol singing and a grand day for the grand person and his beloved folk, who maybe grieved a bit less , when he passed away, for having worked to make the happy Christmas in August.

In following years it was re-done for the memory and some fundraising, I think.  Since it was a small private  Victorian Mansion, in the historic district,  the picture perfect Christmas in August became very popular. And more than once, shared the final holiday with other residents there.

Summer Reading

But this is about biographies - a huge thank you!    Since girlhood I seem to reach for biographical reading whenever I am "in a brown study" over things, wanting a job or project, grieving, sluggish for emotional or physical reasons, in flux and lost.  Somehow Biographies do the trick, when I must be still,  my heroes swashbuckle for me ... (more)

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Food - Crave Creamy? Plain Greek 0%fat YOGHURT wins !

With  little or no sin against YOU afterward. Nearly half your daily protein need!   Greek nofat plain yoghurt lets you flavor it to substitute for almost everything creamy in your diet:

  • With Fruit for breakfast
  • with salad at lunch
  • creamy meat sauces at dinner
  • dessert with a sweet liqueur on top 

Once you get started exploring with it in your diet, you will wonder "where have you been all my life? "        Here are a few that light up my dieter's menu :


 My fun with it is to mix to taste, varying the proportions, flavorings and toppings - mix in tangerine segments or berries if guests arrive - doubles the volume AND the flavor fun.   Drizzle  a sweet liqueur you might think a good match.   Even a failed experiment is fun.   I used plain vanilla with cherries and drizzled with Cassis- ( at 80 calories/ounce, a tablespoon of the liqueur is fine for even a tough diet ) the currant berry liqueur -wow!   Enjoy it for an hourrrrrr if you like - A really small spoon to savor the flavor...yum.


The richness of Chocolate mousse at under 100 calories per serving.  Prep time:  ten minutes. Ingredients in bold.

  • 0% fat Plain Greek Yogurt  -  one cup in a small mixing bowl
  • vanilla extract - one teaspoon - stir in first -  this makes it thin for a moment
  • 100% powdered cacao unsweetened chocolate -  3 or more Tablespoons
  • salt - just a dash
  • sweetener of your choice - Sweeten to taste -  I do not recommend Stevia for it - it may bite.   Gently blend ingredients.  DONE -
  • I make mine at serving time, since it is nearly instant -  turn into three or four dessert dishes and top with
  • fresh orange zest and serve cool or at room temp.

The blend of flavors is rich - serve with a small spoon to savor the flavor!  So sweet and tangy - the cacao / yoghurt / zest sounds like it might be TOO tangy, but it is not, somehow , especially with a bit of sweetener - or a lot of sweetener, if you need it.   IT is very exciting and tasty as dessert,  with a bit of black coffee or tea alongside - like water for chocolate indeed. An elegant evening thing, I think - when it is time to relax and enjoy -  alone or with friends, it creates a special moment.   And even with sugar as a sweetener, not too many calories per serving!  An "all of the fun - none of the guilt " item.




  • Ranch or other white creamy dressing for salads or things like cucumber - sweeten or salt it lightly,  to take the edge off.
  • Instead of sour cream in almost everything that calls for sour cream - I stir it in last, at serving time , to avoid killing the cultures from heat/cold.
  • Instead of gluten-y flour or cornstarch to thicken a winter soup - again, stir it in last, at serving time, to minimize damage to cultures from heat/cold
  • I have not tried to make my own frozen yoghurt, but will - it's probably amazing in cakes etc., too...have not tried it , thinking it would kill the cultures.
  • The puddings are amazing!   And the fun of the creating new combinations is an extra!  

AND FINALLY:  food for thought -   I TRANSLATE favorite recipes with the yoghurt,  for the way I eat to stay fit and feisty at "ahemm...upper midlife" :-D   LIke this one.....
Cookiesandcups.com shares this yummy version
But for me, it's too much guilt for not enough fun...so I do this:
to start I rename it from pumpkin dump cake to "Pumpkin Jump Cake" to put some rescue from the rocking chair into the title. You may need the comfort title but I do not. 

Then: I substitute NOTHING for the pumpkin - Pumpkin is right,  at any age.
but I trade off all the fattening ingredients for ones that are sugar, fat and gluten-free.....easy to do and works in most recipes.

Then, substitute the ice cream they serve on top,  for a huge dollop of 0% fat , plain GREEK supercreamy yogurt , zero-calorie sweetener, and flavored with any thing you like, sugar free or not, because , with all that calorie and heart-smart stuff, you can afford to top it with Anything - the caramel sauce in the original recipe... ORRRRR....more likely it would be a heart-smart splash of orange zest and/or my favorite Liqueur, or vanilla or the pumpkin pie spice mixes.   Yes, if you like liqueurs on things, there are caramel liqueurs...or plain kahlua? cranberry? currant, elderberry...
Wildly good treat -  All of the fun / none of the guilt and five extra quality years for you, too. 

ONE IMPORTANT - "SAFETY FIRST" note:   Try your ideas alone, before serving them to family and friends.   
ANOTHER IMPORTANT "SAFETY FIRST" note:    Experimenting?   I put a dollop of the greek yoghurt - fat free - along side things - repeat,  ALONGSIDE things, so you can try it and see how it tastes FIRST before stirring into an entire recipe.  

That's it for the yoghurt news - sharing my "find" simply because it made me that happy!



Other diet notes:   once you get into a positive diet mind, it's like a lottery win, the health, weight loss AND tasty eating experiences , with the self-



This is not really a diet item, but an approach to making your diet WORK - Whatever it is, just halve the quantity of  it - not till you can make it a happy thing - if your mind is not pleased with the idea it's too hard to stay with it.

Do not halve it all at once, but pick a starting point - right in front of you - and just start out cutting all you eat in half - if you normally eat two of a thing, eat one instead.    And this includes sides and condiments - not just the main items and desserts.  Example:  at the 120 calories a tablespoon of butter or oil, use a teaspoon of it instead and WIN.  If you usually have two burgers have one - with tasty beef as low fat as possible and stick to fresh veggies for toppings and watch the mayo - if you must have some, just use half of what you'd normally do.     0% FAT GREEK YOGURT works like crazy, for anything creamy - sweeten it or spice it , or turn it into a blancmange, but it works and is probiotic at  100calories a cup....a few tablespoons with chives or other herbs for your salad is almost calorie-free and yet realy tasty and supercreamy.

It's so easy - you can charm yourself into  half the calories in this pleasurable way, you will lose weight and be able to keep it off.   Of course a diet diary is smart, if you it works for you - it can make new dieters a bit crazy - a casual, but honest, mental tally might be easier at frst;  make notes till you are into your stride in it about the food and the exercise:  
NOTE:   Increasing mobility is key and that way you feel better immediately and so are likely to stay with your plan.  



Keep water handy - plain, filtered, or add a squirt of lemon juice - just a bit so that when you taste it you do not want it sweetened.   My carafe is old and hold exactly one quart, so I know what I have taken.  A dieting body will lose some overeating urges with the waters, and it helps slough off the waste produced when we diet.  Since you may be exercising more, the key to success is sipping a bit of water every few minutes.




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one of my things was part of  The White House State Easter Egg Display in 2007 - definitely NOT my usual watercolor or show. This fine honor has a story and pictures - click here.
















For My Midlife Children at Mothers Day

I know I won't see you this year, so I will send the good wish to you here and  now.  

Best wishes and thank you for the gift of yourselves to my life for so many years of uninterrupted love and laughter, on easy days and not-so easy ones.  They can't take that away from me!  I learned that one very well - that there is triumph in every scenario that ever had good days to it , even if it ends, and even if it ends with difficulty !     As people realize that they must put it away and get on with things, right where they are today, there is, often by surprise, the "Great day in the morning!"    The good of the good days returns once the pain of separation is done and it is gold!    This was true of your Father's early passing and true of your empty-nesting.    I delight in it all !    Like found money, but better!    


This topic, "Children"  needs a separate blog.  Nothing is more important than survival and our children are its basic element.  I will make pages with  stories, linked from this one.

It seems just a moment ago that I saw my husband-to-be and both our children in my "mind's-eye", and  full or love and gratitude and commitment to them when they were the dream come true in my life.      And yet, they are born, raised , empty-nested, and now married and preparing for children of their own and I am glad I started young - it saved me when thing got "interesting".   They live distant from me, and  I miss them very much, but am able to be busy and happy in my own pathway.  


At this Mothers Day,   this one is a love-note for my own children and all those in  children's groups I was blessed to help in cultural enrichment, arts and crafts, swim club, junior olympics,  BSA and GSA scouts,  and endless response in good moments and challenging ones - now with their own children and some grey hair.     Not possible!  

Smile, children:  I am still running around and coloring my hair down, senior fitness keeps me sparkly and wrinkle-fixers disappear them and lift the sags.
I am still "yours in a heartbeat" to talk all night long if you like, but nice to see you do not need much, and when there is the moment, you seem to figure it out just fine!

I am still so proud of you!

Stay young.  Growth to adulthood and decline to our passing are naturally  GRACEFUL  - with the human complications to keep it lively all along the timeline.

You have no right to say 'old' - that is the business of your life drive and  whatever you call the source of all life.

I still say, "Life is easy- pay attention"  We don't, you know, and then we claim "complications".

Encourage your aging parents to stay young.  In a minute that will be YOU needing to hear that one. And it can make a real difference.  Again , you have no right to age yourself - it's a sin.    No one has the right to undermine the life of another or of themselves.  

I see that my aging is arriving almost 20 years later than it did for my parents - thanks to my parents, in many of its specifics - health, fitness, money, creativity, spirituality, and personal powers.  My thoughts are satisfying - I have not ruled the world, so far, but put my hand to all I could do and I have done some things really well, so far, and have the drive to do more. Choose the good things for health and energy and ...yes...laughter and love are still the best!

See the miracles at later life - some things are forbidden by youth in its passions, and obligations and immaturities , but they get golden later in life.   Since we are able to enjoy much better health, for many more years,  we can do more.   Factoid:  Each year more are living to be one hundred years old, and that fact makes us realize that retiring from things too soon is unwise and even silly.  Picture you in a rocker in a corner at 40-something, and STAYING like that for sixty more  years. Silly.

At "upper midlife" you and I may be doing the best life ever, making the most money, and enjoying new things beyond our earlier dreams.      
Whether that be for a day or for many years to come:  never think "old".  

For all things, there is a time to pass, and when it is my time,  I pray  that I can co-operate to make a fine day of it, for all involved.  I want To leave with a blessing, not a curse, with loved ones near for a moment and then on again - love empowers.   

 "Love is a Freedom Song" 

The Mommy Stories will be here as links to entertain you and some password protected , to protect the privacy, and keep it "entre nous" - you know who you are - find me for the password......elle

Easter Alleluja !

 like ours from those days and so charming!

 like ours from those days and so charming!

Best wishes for Easter / Spring 2017

O Radiant Dawn!     Splendor of Eternal Life!    Sun of Justice!     Shine on those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of Death !       - I love this one of the famous  "O Antiphons" - my favorite.

Easter falls on the first Sunday after the first Full Moon after the Vernal or Spring Equinox - to keep it in tune with nature and with Source of all nature, however you exprience it.  Spring is a miracle, but can be capricious and laughs, as it defies Man's attempts at structure - with a blizzard and a record high in the first thirty days of this year's season in America's Northeast.

I love my present life and I believe it is powerful to visit the past and bring some of the best of it to the present and share it round for the future - a treasure to leave my busy children to enjoy later, when they like.  And so this memory for you.

There had been grand life energies in my parents' large families that triumphed over wars, recession and even death.  And having endure they truly rejoiced at " the Radiant Dawn"; they enjoyed in those years: beauty , love, prosperity, property, good work, love marriage and children - they sang and danced through their days and helped the others and were helped as life calls us to do.  

 And , oh, the holidays!   It did not take much money to make it the best and done with youth and energy and hearts full of love and gratitude, they seemed always ambitious to share the good glow!   I grew up thinking everyone did the same and many did.  Hundreds of cards at Christmas and visits that took till New Years to complete.  Gifts and cozy warm things and fun in the snow and all tucked up safe and sound in work and love.

And Easter brought the same wonderful feelings, although , until I was older, I remember finding the Birth of a Baby easier to understand than Redemption and Resurrection -  my own shortfall did not daunt me - and I  just enjoyed the renewal of the seasons - Spring!     

Mornings smelled alive with new life and the wonderful New England soil - as soon as I could, I planted my first little garden and aunties and uncles smiled an told me lots about flowers and trees, so I would know a bit about what I was doing - they liked my many questions.  And later the fun of sketching and painting them - and making photos with my own first camera. Yes.

My Dad was musical and a tecchie - his record collection would be worth a small fortune today and some of it was saved, including the wonderful Easter music, still sung today - "Here comes Peter Cottontail!" , "Poor Floppy"  and others to make the days a happy dance.  

 There seemed to be Jellybeans and chickies and bunnies and Easter eggs everywhere!   The large sugar ones with hollow centers filled with dioramas to enoy thru a peep window at one end!   For me - already interested - there were Instructions for the crafts - coloring the eggs!  

Who would guess in in 1957 that that one day one fancy egg of mine would be viewed by a First Lady of the United States of America at the White House - but my happy heart on the subject is a fine thing to enjoy - a thing that no one can daunt.    I see the proud faces of my relatives, though I lived distant from them at the time and joyful phone calls had to be enough.  

It was the delight in doing up the simple little happy colored eggs that inspired and the Mommies who showed us how it was done.  Boiled and colored and served to many guests with the fancy beets and horseradish sauce that won over the flatness of egg and brought bright pink to the table, with the Easter ham, and irish bread and Polish borscht for spring with the special spring sausage!  The kitchen was boiled to shining before, during and after - and even Mother's new range was pink with pushbuttons!  

Then, since it was all about Jesus somehow - and very sad, but then happy again - we would take some of the food in a basket to church for the Priests' blessings, so that all from the kitchen would be good and blessed, and always with new happiness, too!  

And Spring meant putting the winter things away - all the fine and not so fine would be done till after Autumn when the weather chilled again.   For now it was Spring and joyfully running about with Mother and friends for the gay spring things for home and wardrobe - plenty of the light wools  often in lilac - including the lilac blossom-clustered hats that were popular at the time.  We love to look our best and win the respect of the women and the  affections charming our men - then and now!

Such happy bustle and  prayer at end of day - thanking God for the good grace!  Odd -  somehow my own love and work does not feel the same as those endless glowing days as a child in that world. And  yet,  I know I did similarly with  our own son and daughter later on with extra to spare for all the other children near us, so grateful to have that example to pass on.  They are married and I hope they will want to make their own version of it all to share with children of their own, but if not, at least they have that good in them from us.

Those bunnies!   Chocolate ones in pretty baskets woven and full of fun green grass and cellophane - or bunny cakes or the wonderful huggy ones, small and huge later on for fun!  But most of all , one year there were real bunnies, as we scampered at our parents' call one Easter morning to enjoy the living room egg hunt before church - out from behind Dad's lounge chair they came, to make us catch our breath - the thrill!   "Lippety, lippety !   lippety, lippety !"  two tiny marvels  to pet and feed and love.   Soon we had proper  lessons in their care and Dad built a hutch in the back yard for them and finally trained them to enjoy the back yard and then on their own in our wooded yard with brook nearby.  

And someone's baby bunnies showed up the next year!  I share the story to share pure pleasure and inspiration. All these years later, I remember and it feeds me - a life thing!   Not only our own family circle but Easter at the homes of friends and family living distant dance again in my mind - one did the ancient egg crafting with the waxes and dyes.  Another did up an Easter Egg Tree, and another lived in the garden feeding the lilacs and planting for the warm months to come.   And instead of a teddy bear, a musical stuffed lamb was mine - of real sheeps wool - I was sad to outgrow him but at that point someone "disappeared" him and yet I guessed it was time.  Growing up is fun and we must not be babies. 

Especially not at Easter !  
The Church music and Handel's Halleluja Chorus or Leonard Cohen's  -  the world sings - the air sings with rains and breezes and our hearts sing, every time we're not looking , especially!  

Winter and War may have their way - but I am Spring and I win!  

May it be, for you and yours always.
If you would like to share a thing here, please feel welcome.   

Happy Easter!


Safety and Escape Technology - Planes & buildings

In spite of the fact that most third graders could understand the technology needed to make these upgrades, to which we have RIGHTS  ,as we have rights to life, we are told it cannot be done.  The thing for buildings is even cheap - easy - and could be in progress in a year.  The one for the planes of course, is harder; it involved some basic restructuring and lots of safety tests before the ejection enabled cabins could be in use. But it is surely the way and we can do it and should. NOW.

Please do a little research online on this topic and  you will see - then email your leaders to ACT - it is shameful that this issue has been so long neglected.

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Purpose - Splendid Torch - G.B.Shaw


January Capricornian Earth tones - bookmark on canvas in fixed water media - ellefagan'13  (price on request)

January Capricornian Earth tones - bookmark on canvas in fixed water media - ellefagan'13  (price on request)

If we are clamoring to make America Great Again , we need to look, first, in the mirror, and not always rant at the government or family or other loved ones on the topic.  It is so wonderful to simply realize that there is, quite likely, one small thing each of us can actually DO to be worthy of our citizenship in a government of, for, and by the people ( i.e., us - you and I)  The famous G.B. Shaw wrote this one and its lines are true and helpful to beat "the Januaries". 

The first time these words [by G.B.Shaw] were printed was in an article entitled 'Art and Public Money', published in the Sussex Daily News (7 March 1907).   *

Also named  "A Splendid Torch"  or, "Purpose" -  this is A New Years Inspiration for everyone!  A vitamin of a sort,  from George Bernard Shaw, one of my least favorite persons, but most favorite storytellers.  It is reprinted everywhere under several titles.   I hope you enjoy the easy read!  Elle


This is the true joy in life,

the being used for a purpose

recognized by yourself as a mighty one;

the being a force of nature

instead of a feverish, selfish little clod of

ailments and grievances

complaining that the world will not

devote itself to making you happy.

I am of the opinion that

my life belongs

to the whole community,

and as long as I live

it is my privilege

to do for it whatever I can.

I want to be thoroughly used up when I die,

for the harder I work the more I live.

I rejoice in life for its own sake.

Life is no “brief candle” for me.

It is a sort of splendid torch

which I have got hold of

for the moment,

and I want to

make it burn as brightly as possible

before handing it on to future generations.




** p.s. thank you to Prof. Martin who found the exact source for this famous writing at


Gustavo A. Rodríguez Martín

Dpto. de Filología Inglesa
Fac. de Filosofía y Letras
Universidad de Extremadura
Campus Universitario, s/n
Cáceres, 10003 - ESPAÑA



The Bernard Shaw Quotations Page


George Bernard Shaw (GBS) Youtube Channel

Posted in ArtInspirational storyspiritwritingGeorge Bernard Shaw


tagged with writingStorytrue storyFamous Writerinspirational storyPurposeElle Smith Fagan










Ekphrasis Prize Poem "In the Woods"

"Ekphrasis" - a segment of the Art-stravaganza of Open Studio Hartford, extols images from its group show in song and dance and poetry. This year - it's eleventh - I am honored to say that Poetess Susan Mardinly made the poem "In the Woods" about my painting of the same namehere. Comment Welcome. Thank you at Thanksgiving to Susan and her beautiful verse!  


In the Woods

Light shines upon the forest stream,

facets dancing upon rocks and pebbles,

singing to us, knowing we also are fashioned of light,

magnetic, electric, fused, 

particles, forms, waves, 

of dreams, of unperceived matter,

of fundamental knowing,

but always drawn light unto light.


Prisms of cumulus rainbows, 

flashing through the eye of winter snow,

reflecting upon limbs and branches,

illuminating watery paths above and below,

a recipe made of hydrogen and oxygen,

metamorphosis beyond human ken,

in sound streaming, in heat dancing, 

or scattering in luminescent flow.


Far beyond reason or logic,

inspired by these miracles,

we become trained to see with other eyes: 

smaller worlds that dwell enlightened:

tree roots wriggling in shimmering growth,

caravans of ants as they scurry to bring food,

flowers in unencumbered rest far beneath the sparkle,

new life about to emerge from joyful winter dens.


Taking this wild journey in the woods,

shimmering insight burns away dross

radiant within the light that imbibes us:

in optical duality, in mirrors upon mirrors 

our inner blaze transforming,

listening to the speed of creations’ flashes,

to the scent of fire’s kindle, the taste of luminous fruit,

of healing love that light sustains.  


copyright © 2016 susanj mardinly 


Dies Irae - Presidential Election Day Nov 8, 2016

Politics has NOTHING to do with good government and yet we take it that way every time for the esprit - our lives and the lives of our children are at stake and we "mostly show up and make noise".   It's such a poor show that if we fail, it will most likey be about audience disinterest.    We are government of, for and by the people - for good and ill.   We can bring a government to life and we can kill.     This particular election has been a "first" for me - FEARful.  After the way it has evolved, I think you should "vote for Elle" as they said in Legally Blonde 2.   THIS Elle, though.   


Why vote for ELLE SMITH FAGAN  -  she is America.

Born of parents with classic, romantic and sociologically key backgrounds, her upbringing was trained for something - the best of character and priniciple and she soared and prospered.  She was red cross during VietNam and pioneer and charter member and startup crew for most of the  headliners of the seventies.  Some classified things.  Then came death and the recession and she suffered brutally, while saving her children and a few others in response works. She understands and got her self to war and to the homelessshelters helping from her strong Red Cross experience  AND to the White House with her Artisanal Jewelled egg from her strong Arts background and education....and the underlying passion for America and Compassion/Intellect in balance carried her in fine health to this day. So vote for Elle is not so far off an idea.

Her platform?   Clean and Green - honesty and disclosure. Thinking out of the box to optimize the box.   Breakthroughs she would win, in a few basics that should have won thru a long time ago in the following areas just to start:

WORLD PEACE - Wars can be reduced and even eliminated by strengthening the power of negotiations and agreements.  And we won't do it.    KEVLAR and other top equipment for ALL our soldiers under fire.  The number of casualties can be greatly reduced by better safety provisions for our fighters;  I think it a monstrous thing that our heroes are NOT equipped by the military for lifesaving needs. Instead, they must buy their own bulletproofing!  How  Wildly wrong of us!  And, even then,  much of what is offered them is sub-standard - not really topstuff.  They are laying their lives on the line for us and we fail them!   We will pay - ARE paying - whether we know it or not.  

TECHNOLOGICAL LIFESAVING - seatbelts on trains and busses and safe paths and train tracks and my top banner?  Occupant Safety and Escape tech:   Nineleven did not need to happen - we bought it.  If intelligence could not prevent it, responsible Occupant Safety and Escape Technology would have done two things:   ONE:  it would have allowed for safe escape and almost zero loss of innocent life.   It was promised over 50 years ago and easy tech today.  But Architecture and Aeronautics squelch the topic and bribe media and government to leave them alone on the subject !   And, though thousands die needlessly, you won't see even a story about it on tv or in the papers.   TWO:  with the safe egress of the peopel guaranteed, the terrorists would have NOT been interested in them as a target - why? No one would be hurt, and so no motive.    The mechanics are easy today and affordable and able to be installed in existing structures.

MONEY -  Our issues can be resolved and our national debt honestly reduced to zero or near so, like any honest production.  And we won't do it.  HOW?  A simple list that WORKS for other nations and would work for us easily if we were not determined to be blockheads on the subject:  

1. OWN the casinos - adds a lot of money and subtracts a lot of crime in that realm 

2.  All prisoners in our jails and prisons EARN their keep and a bit to put by - that makes the prison system self-supporting and NOT a tax burden or addition to the national debt; it keeps the prisoners growing in work ethic character and not crime-ethic ways; it allows us to imprison as fully as we should instead of letting them loose to commit more crime and learn nothing to help them become honest citizens.  Do not tell me it cannot be done. It is easier than ever.  

3. Call in our debts - government in our country thinks it is a country club and the suggestion that people pay us what they owe strikes them as bizarre, when it is a basic to decency , honesty and NOTfraud.    

4. WINNING by EARNING the right to become American:  I am not sure of this one, but it at least shows thought:  to cut down on the influx of aliens, allow the green cards if they subscribe to becoming American with a subscription fee, payable from earnings. They must not be unemployed.  The prison concept updates helps here since, if prisoners must work and earn while in prison and the prisons are self-supporting, then we can incarcerate vagrants / unemployed illegals and let them earn it, if they want it here.  Most of us had to EARN the good things we enjoy and yet these people just pile in and bully everyone and we are supposed to let them do this? no.  The prison idea works because the drug and crime re: illegals are minimized and good character growth improved within prison walls.   Of course one would not imprison these with hardened felons.

REGAINING LOST HUMANITY IN EVERYDAY LIFE IN AMERICA -  we have been amazing in our response to the population explosion, and two-career households - provided thousands of paths to adequately provide goods and services for all these people!     But we really lost it at first and it still shows.  So let's take a breath and center a bit and put on a more civilized show now:    the little things that mean a LOT :  Simply saying "children" instead of "kids" so much would give people what they say they want.    Wearing a suit at work time, a gown at the evening event and recreation wear and casual wear more and much less overuse of  jeans.   Small things like that make a big difference in the human midset.    Regaining balance and putting the sex and violence back in perspective with the whole of human experience in every place in society:   media, like our tv and film and literature and music and schools and churches and social scenarios.     We can also do a few things that empower our compassionate response  and minimize costs and margin for error and increase the effectiveness of the many helping groups.


WE CAN FIX things because of our wonderful empowering and adaptable Constitution.  Still, We buy our issues with both hands and then expect respect when we merely react to them like hysterics and refuse to simply "set it back to rights" .

We need to continue in equal rights on the basis of any criteria, including age and we will be doing it right:  we  lean on youthful members of society too  hard because at least nature makes them see life as easily do-able, though they lack the sense of experience and care, and  wisdom and right-minded use of power that only comes with age.  We need to mix it up better and lovingly and it gets better.   NO entitlement or bullying - that is not rights - that is "might makes right" illegal. One bully is the same as another.

Our nation, The United States of America, was and is the best every dreamt of, bled for and won!   We have no right to neglect her to death!   Vote for Elle and at least that much will be better.



Squarespace Lady

"We are sorry, there is no such site."

Displayed when I asked for MY arts site of fourteen years -  ellefagan.com.  IN the following days, more and more website functionality issues tumbled onto my desk,  with my formerly-beloved web host,  Aplus.net.   The Aplus super Customer service had been grand in helping set up, upgrade and fix issues,  and get right back to work for years. 

 NOT THIS TIME - not only were there repeated issues with Aplus, that worsened -  the customer service people became malicious.   It became a bad dream for me with Aplus hosting and that resulted in a complete site crash at end 2014. 

What happened: The checkbook company,  Deluxe For Business, or DFB,  had bought out Aplus, and I thought that might be grand!  Their ownership should not have upset my pages.  But it did, very much!   Site visitors dropped from really  nice, for a small private site, to almost zero.  Normally, even while disabled, nice extra Holiday sales would help make a Happy Holiday to share.  NOT this year!   

Time for me to leave them.  Things were disintegrating.  They keep archives of websites in case of crashes or power-outs, but they would NOT give me a copy of my site, and a nice goodbye,  so I had to go to my FTP pathway and haul ten years of files from their files to my desktop - which fried the computer - a trusty iMac that had two more years of NORMAL use to it.  

Worse:  Aplus' people also simply cut me off from MY domain name <ellefagan.com> and used it for their ads!   I was able to get the law at them immediately .  They stopped exploiting my domain name.  But they would NOT transfer it back to my domain name store, so I could use it at the new web host's .  That was December 2014.  Domain names renew each year at the same time as the date they were first purchased.   And since <ellefagan.com> would renew again in February, I watched it at the domain name company and bought it back at renewal time with a forwarding command to the new domain I had by then.  Yikes!  

The old pages would have to be redone and updated, anyway, or at least transferred manually to the new site.  And the COST to me in equipment, stress and missed holiday sales was NO joke.  My old attorney had retired and the new one needed a larger retainer than I could afford.  Cry if you need to. Then, Pray and get to work.

Still technically disabled, but "fine" now, that website <ellefagan.com> had contributed to my survival daily and was key to regaining financialy "fine" as well.   So  I ran to see if I could find a DECENT new web host.    I still think it was an angel - suddenly, I"just found"  them - "Squarespace",  a fine and popular company, with , actually much more to offer for my needs, and for nice decent money.  I Googled them and the stories about Squarespace were encouraging.   Anddddd they are arts-friendly and so, I thought,  maybe this find was going to bea left-handed blessing - to cheer my Christmas.

But Winter Holiday 2014, I spent  pre-Christmas sale time, crying, working to fix the issues, settling and doing up the new site... often missing the rapport of those years when I'd chat with Ivan Vachovsky, Aplus' genius entrepreneur, and the site folk, for one thing or another and it always had gone so nicely - and for years- so I was hurt to lose them.   NOT a good Christmas!

I used a small immediate lawsuit win/chargeback - from Aplus,  to buy the Squarespace site, at the end of November 2014 . Rocking from the upsetting farewell from my old world, it was now 2015, and I had a new world online to get to know.   And, with Aplus hurting my domain name <ellefagan.com>, my part of cyberspace would be injured - maybe for good.  I had to use my name in full <elleSMITHfagan.com> for the new site. 

I smiled.  I am like John Hancock, on the Declaration of Independence,  now with a huge big name....<ELLESMITHFAGAN.COM>.   I reacted: "ok, demons from hell, if you hated <ellefagan.com> you may have <ellesmithfagan.com> and like it.     So there!   I smiled a little bit for the first time in weeks. 

Still, it would have been nicer to skip the issues.  To stay out of trouble in the first place is better than rescue in the second place.

It is two Christmas Seasons coming now and I am thrilled with Squarespace and my life is normal again. A few months ago , I even did my first big upgrade with them.  Their staff is ALL English-speaking and maybe that is a help in tech issues galore with a nice content-rich  site like mine. Andddd....their templates save more time than I can believe. Super!     I have no perception of the online/offline issues - all my famly are tech-comfy.  I did my first data things in 1969.

I am fine and hope you will enjoy your visits to my  wonderful Squarespace site as much as I enjoy making them for you!

Hallowe'en Stories of a Sort

Do not let the cheery pumpkins fool you - I have scary stories to share at Halloween at this true stories blog.  But should they be shared at all?  Grownup scary stories are not pretty. 

Mayborn, my life has been a blessing, and very normal;  these stories only a fraction of my generally happy life.   More -  these stories  enjoyed happy endings,  but I certainly do have my moments - and then I realize most folks do.

  Life is not "Trick or Treat" but Trick AND Treat ! 

A list of my scary stories - details on request

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Golden Autumn !

I think I am lucky - raised well with "the good lights" and a family who passed on their love of nature and life in all forms - here it is Autumn and the time of Harvest and taking stock, and being sure that all is set safely till Spring.   Winter in Connecticut can be grand and a fairy treat,  sparkling with cold or a long dreary trek, but Autumn if done well,  makes all the difference. 

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Art With Heart

  • ART WITH HEART at Elle Fagan Art  makes   OUTRIGHT DONATIONS OF ARTWORK FOR YOUR FUNDRAISER, CHARITY OR CAUSE.  I am lifelong arts, but also used to do response and compassionate and pioneer work and now, I donate art outright for full or part benefit.

  • Art With Heartdoes happy 50/50s with charitable events for top images, for a good cause - Contact for details.

  • Art With Hearthelps you to own the painting you want here, AND help your favorite cause, as well.

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October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month -

Today the testing is easy and liberally covered by insurances and almost required, because it saves lives, and that might have included mine in 2009 - but did NOT.  And my happiness and insights made it necessary for me get active about helping with Awareness every October and I love it!  It's an honor to share the good news we enjoy toay - IF.....

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