I Would like to Present a Song for a Summer Sunday Afternoon


Young Avery is six years old and this is a video of him playing an  old favorite song from my youth.  My long ago youth. It was the sixties and this song is Wipeout  by the Sarfaris. I have to admit to listening to this song many times that summer. I really loved it. It was #2 on the charts. This young man does it justice. What a gift he has and I wanted to introduce Avery to my readers. I have nothing profound to say except that I hope you enjoy this talented young man. Blues skies and sunshine to everyone.  Barbara

The Ecological Self

Black Mountain NC. Photograph copyrighted by Barbara Mattio 2010

Black Mountain NC. Photograph copyrighted by Barbara Mattio 2010

The United States President, Barak Obama has gone on the record that he is against the Keystone Pipeline if it will hurt the environment. I was waiting for this announcement and knew he would come out on the side of Mother Earth.

Politics right now in Washington stink. Congress was elected by their states to represent the will and wishes of the people. They aren’t. Out of 365 days, they have worked 126. They are doing this without censor from the party leaders. If you or I showed up to work a third of the days we were supposed to work, we would be fired. If you don’t believe me, try it and please let me know if your boss pats you on the back and tells you not to worry about it.

The ecological self, like any notion of selfhood, is simply a metaphor, but it is a dynamic one. It involves choice. We can choose at different moments to identify to different aspects of our interrelated existence. We each can choose whether we care about those who hunt whales or not. We can care about homeless human beings or not. We can choose to participate in the long-standing rape of Mother Earth or we can choose to care. We can choose to recycle, support politicians who care about Mother Earth and whose voting record proves it.

“Look deeply, I arrive in every second
to be a bud on a spring branch,
to be a tiny bird, with wings still fragile,
learning to sing in my new nest,
to be a caterpillar in the heart of a flower
to be a jewel hiding itself in a stone…
Please call me by my true names,
so I can wake up.
and so the door of my heart can be left open,
the door of compassion.”
—–Thich Nhat Hanh

Dolphins breaking water

Dolphins breaking water

A Friday for Gratitude

Ashville botanical gardens Photograph and copyright by Barbara Mattio 2013

Ashville botanical gardens
Photograph and copyright by Barbara Mattio 2013

I love flowering trees Photograph and copyright by Barbara Mattio 2013

I love flowering trees
Photograph and copyright by Barbara Mattio 2013

href=”https://idealisticrebel.wordpress.com/?attachment_id=3471″ rel=”attachment wpatt-3471″>Kite flying on the beach  Photograph taken and copyrighted by Barbara Mattio 2013 Kite flying on the beach
Photograph taken and copyrighted by Barbara Mattio 2013[/caption]

I think they look so peaceful. Photograph and copyright by Barbara Mattio 2013

I think they look so peaceful. Photograph and copyright by Barbara Mattio 2013

Blue Ridge Mountain  Photograph and copyright by Barbara Mattio 2013

Blue Ridge Mountain
Photograph and copyright by Barbara Mattio 2013

woodland stream. Photograph and copyright by Barbara Mattio 2012

woodland stream. Photograph and copyright by Barbara Mattio 2012


I dedicated my day today to gratitude. I have been listing in my head all I have to be grateful for and I have smiled all day. I think it may have made some people nervous. LOL. Actually, I try to be always grateful but I kept my gratitude in the forefront of my mind. Sometimes we just need to change things around a bit. It is wonderful to be more aware of what is going on around you. And to make sure you have a calm and peaceful center.


Sometimes it is good to look at an old recipe and to see it with fresh ideas. You can turn that old favorite into a tremendous dish. It works the same for family and friends. We love them and they are always there but it is a form of meditation to look at them with new eyes. To really contemplate all they mean to you each and every day.


I encourage you to try a dedicated day for gratitude and see if it isn’t a loving, eye opening experience. I hope you enjoy your day and find yourself smiling at the world also.





It’s Getting Hotter in the Kitchen

Southern American Cook, Paula Dean

Southern American Cook, Paula Dean

Here in America we have a plethera of celebrity chefs. I am sure that most countries do also. We have television channels devoted to cooking. One of the celebrity chefs is Paula Dean on the Food Channel.

I will be up front and say I am not a fan, though I love to cook. Her recipes are very fat- and cholesterol-laden, in my opinion. I, myself prefer a more sophisticated palate.

But I digress. Paula Dean has been in the news recently because she has given us a glimpse of Paula Dean the human being. I am afraid it is not a pretty picture. I normally would not even mention my opinion of a celebrity, but Ms. Dean has let a bit of her true personality out. She used a racial slur. She called someone a n…..

Now she says it was a slip of the tongue. Perhaps she means like when a man calls a woman a bitch. In all my years, I have not heard anyone have a slur “slip” out. It has never come out of my mouth.

I fear that Paula Dean, like many others in the world are “closet racists.” With a President of color in the White House, I believe many are attempting to be more careful with their language.The first time our President Barak Obama was elected, I thought we had actually moved into the twenty-first century. I am disappointed to find that many have carried their hatred into the shadows to avoid the glare of the light.

I admire the fact that Ms. Dean’s sons have defended her, however, I think it would have been better to remain quiet. The Food Channel has fired her and I feel with good reason. The fact that sales of her cookbooks have risen tells me we have many more closet racists.

If you are not a racist, I believe it is wise to send a message to those who discriminate and not to add to their coffers. Buying her books and assisting in making her wealthy is not a good message to send to the young people and children.

Behavior like this should not be rewarded. Now Ms. Dean is not the first celebrity to open their mouth and have a racial slur “accidentally” drop out of their mouths. They have been called to task and have lost jobs and endorsements.

We are one beautiful human race. Our bodies work the same and our brains all have the same neurons. It is all about how we use what we have been given. Racists are misusing the wonderful gift of their hearts and minds.

Hair color, race, religion, culture, intelligence are all superficial. Whether you are a Jew, an Italian, a Korean, a Buddhist, a vegetarian or a pacifist, is all skimming the depths of what we are. What kind of person are we in the deep dark recesses of our hearts and souls?

There is just one World, one Love and one Divinity. We were all created equal and in equality and love we must live together on this one planet, Mother Earth.

Paula Dean

Paula Dean

One of my Sheroes…Adrienne Rich

Adriene Rich

Adrienne Rich

Adrienne Rich is a prolific writer. She has written prose, poems, and feminist thoughts. One of my favorites is Twenty-one love poems. One of her feminist pieces is Of Woman Born. It was originally printed in 1977 but remains relative to the lives of women now,  in 2013. When she began to write on this subject she had become aware of the new politicization of women. We were in the middle in of the second Feminist Movement. One subject not addressed was women as mothers.

The devaluation of women spurred her on to write and examine women’s lives; even mothers. The Women’s Movement has had detractors but we really did want to work to raise the value of women; whether she was an at-home mom or she was in the work force. As the movement began, many women stayed home and when given the opportunity to go out into the work world, chose it instead. Some women did both. The media put much pressure on women to be “super women.” This was not the intention of the movement. We simply wanted women to have a  choice and the right to make the choices that were the best for her. Therefore, this book is an exercise in examining motherhood for all women and also for Adrienne. Maternity deserved to be examined. It is an American institution.

There were attempts to show the patriarchy the value of women in the work place and well as in the home. Equal pay for equal work came into the light and also the value of the work women did in the home was also spotlighted. Every woman has a job description and a monetary value was given to each job task she performed. When all was said and done, most at home wives and mothers couldn’t be afforded by their husbands except for the very well-to-do.

Rich brought into the light the fact that women are as intrinsically human as any man.  The ability to control her reproductive health is vital for women to be equal. This is why it goads so many non-feminist citizens. Most work on this planet is done by women. In all countries, women have the children, feed them, raise and clothe them. They work in factories and sweatshops, clean the house and make coffee in the office. Procreative choice is as important as a legally limited work day.

All human life on the planet is born of women. Being born is the one unifying, incontrovertible experience that men and women share. Young human beings spend more years needing the nurturing of a mother  than other mammals.  Some sociologists believe that part of the discrimination against women is the discomfort many men feel knowing they were dependent on a woman for nine months. Rich raised three sons and was married. So I recommend that you look into Rich’s work and see what you think about what the Feminist author has to say.

Sketch of Adrienne Rich

Sketch of Adrienne Rich


New Worlds

New Worlds

The Heat is in Miami



       As Memorial Day passes, summer is almost here. It always gets hot in Miami around this time of year, but this year, it is ESPECIALLY hot. Just eleven months ago, LeBron James led the Miami Heat to a national championship (his first). Now, James and company have a tied series on their hands at 2-2 with the Indiana Pacers. However, this is only the Eastern Conference Finals, not the National Championship. Meanwhile, the old-but-lethal San-Antonio Spurs will have close to two weeks to prepare for their next opponent, whether it be Indiana or Miami. If the Heat do indeed find a way to muddle through this series with two wins against Eddie George and the Pacers, they will still have to face the red-hot Spurs for the national title.

       The Pacers are a tough, solid team that dominates the boards…

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Creative drawing

Creative drawing

My best friend just introduced my to a new form of creative drawing. It is called Zentangle. It is created from a collection of patterns not meant to represent anything. It speaks from the heart of the artist and the observer can find within the pattern whatever s/he can see.

The pattern is small but intricate in detail. I have found that I like pen and ink for these exercises. This form of creative drawing allows the artist to become comfortable letting his/her instincts take over and guide us. For a creative person, this is essential to the creative process. But the results of the process also allow us to develop a trust in our gut feelings and our inner guidance. I like that several results are possible. Practicing Zentangle allows one to look at your work and/or life from many angles and to trust “what you know.”

Following a plan in art and life is often a good thing but to spontaneously follow the inner voice allows us to open up and experience some of the alternatives available to us in life. For a creative person, the plan is not always the right way for us. We need to also follow what we know to be true.  Opening yourself to unplanned discovery is an easy way to walk down your path in life and determine which fork in the road is right for you.

The lack of plans and the tangles allow room for the unexpected to occur. This is true in your art and also in life. Without expectations you can see what you receive from your heart. The unexpected is allowed to bloom and to flourish. This is what leads us to greatness. Living in accord with the needs of your own soul instead of with what others want from you is precisely the beginning of the authentic life; the life you and all of us were meant to live on this plane. So I encourage you to open yourself up and see what is within your heart and soul. Relax and enjoy. You may actually be more creative than you would have ever thought was possible.

Be authentic and walk your truth.

Be authentic and walk your truth.

Education Should Not Exclude Ethics

Meditating on ethics can bring peace to the world.

Meditating on ethics can bring peace to the world.

The recipe is to add positive energy to the negativity you find.

In Australia, there is a quiet revolution taking place in education. Quiet because I suspect that the government doesn’t want to have to explain its position on the fact that they are limiting information and the ability of free thinking. I am talking about the governments, I said ethics classes. So immoral and degenerate that they have raised the hackles of government officials. Australian newspapers are reporting on the sad state of affairs.
Ethics and free thinking seem to be something the government does not want its people to be doing. Yet this is, I believe, the basis of the corruption, hatred and spite in our world.

The government is informing parents of religious classes and only when parents decline having their child participate in religious education are they informed of the availability of ethics classes. In 2010, the right of school districts to offer ethics as well as religious class was made into law. I really don’t see why this is an issue which needed the government to pass a law.

In our world, morals and ethics have become something to be circumvented in many situations in life. Big business, Wall Street and officials of almost every country are demonstrating their aversion to ethical behavior. During my career, I have seen a lack of ethics even in the non-profit world. I also believe that we need to teach ethics to the young. They need an ethical compass because humans beings have demonstrated over and over how unethical we can be. How much devastation and pain we are capable of inflicting upon each other demonstrates our ability to act without scruples or ethics. I think we could add ethics classes in elementary schools. Children need to know how to make the right and ethical decision and parents have been shirking ethical training in many cases. To know how to decide how to make an ethical choice is an important part of growing up. There is a difference between doing what you have been told is the thing to do and making ethical decisions. I hope this trend in Australia does not spread to other countries in the world.

” Real education should educate us out of self  into something far finer; into a selflessness which links us with all humanity.”
——-Nancy Astor

Blue Ridge Mountain sunset. Photo and copyright by Barbara Mattio

Blue Ridge Mountain sunset. Photo and copyright by Barbara Mattio 2013

Father’s Day in Jamaica: June 16, 2013

Wonderful thoughts from Jamaica

Petchary's Blog

The heat in Kingston this week has been a dictator, beating us all into submission. I have spent the week cowering at home (two inches away from the fan) or hiding in air-conditioned cafés.

And it’s only June. As one Twitter friend just observed: “This rain need fi fall an dun.”  (translation for non-Jamaicans: “This rain needs to fall and get it over with.”)

Shock and horror: Friday night frolics for many Jamaicans were somewhat overshadowed by the disturbing news that one of our athletic heroines, Veronica Campbell Brown, tested positive for a banned substance, a diuretic called Lasix (furosemide). Ms. Campbell Brown has won gold medals and broken all kinds of records, and Jamaica has been justifiably enormously proud of her over the past few years. Now, many are in denial, believing that it must be an error, a “set-up” even. Others are pointing at the big…

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