Friday, December 7, 2012


     The time before Christmas is called Advent which means a coming. We have to wait in lines to buy presents. Children have to wait to open them. Stores have to wait to see sales' profits.
     The word Christmas is taken from two words: Christ and mass. It refers to the mass that is held on Christmas Day. The Baby Jesus is put into the manger set that day. The Wise Men statues are still far off because they really didn't arrive until several months later.
     My reflection on Advent is called  "Journey to Bethlehem" from my book Small White Hearts. Here is what I envisioned: 

I see Mary and Joseph walking to Bethlehem.
Mary is riding sidesaddle and is feeling the jolts
Of the bumpy, rut-filled road, but she doesn’t complain. 
Her pregnancy may have delayed them in getting a room.

 Advent is a waiting period.

 Mary and Joseph waited for the birth.
They are far from home and family.
Certainly this is not what the young mother  
Expected for her First Born.

The shepherds heard songs and waited
To sing them to the new parents.
Their songs were not for the world
But for Mary and Joseph’s reassurance.

The animals waited patiently to give loving heat
With their breath to the Newborn
Including the tired donkey Mary rode on.

The Wise Men waited every day.
As they got closer to their destination,
They prayed that the expectancy in their hearts
Would be fulfilled upon seeing Him.


Sunday, November 4, 2012


What fun we had at a neighbors' house in Mecedora Estates last Thursday. It was All Soul's Day when we, as Catholics, honor the dead. The Valdez's opened their home so friends could light candles to honor those who passed away, mostly during the past year.

We had many to remember from the destruction of Hurricane Sandy which devastated much of the East Coast this past week. There were some neighborhood friends who passed also.

I read from my book, Small White Hearts, a poem called "Be Comforted":

My Children, love and be comforted.
Be comforted and be a comfort to those who are closest to you.
Love them with My Love. Be with them in their needs as they are needy.

Be comforted and be a comfort to those you love who are far away.
Those you do not speak with every day, those whose voices you seldom hear.
Keep them in your prayer.

Be comforted and be a comfort to those you love who have passed from this world.
Know that they are in My Care, under My Protection, with Me.
They know the joy of eternal life. This will be your reward when you meet Me.

I love the way this is written in three parts. First, the Lord addresses those who are closest. Second, we see those who are far away. Last, we find those who have passed away. What a joy to know those who have gone before us are with God in Heaven, celebrating with Him and reaping the rewards of following Him. He promises that we shall have that reward, also.

Sunday, October 14, 2012


Some of you have asked me to post portions of your favorite poems from Small White Hearts on my blog then make additional comments on the poem: so here goes!

"Everything", is well-loved by many readers. It says that "everything is in your hands and flowing through your fingertips to the ends of the earth." This means that you are in control of your life and your destiny has a purpose. "Through the Gifts you have been given, you have been set free." Note that Gifts is capitalized and in the plural.

In the book, St. Paul's Gifts of the Holy Spirit have been listed. You choose what you want and need. "You need not be held captive in your house, heart, or soul." You have the option to go forth in this world and make some powerful decisions to live in happiness and joy. "Just reach out and give away the Gifts. Take the love and give it away. Take the peace and joy and be happy. Laugh and giggle and be free."

There are times when my friend Helen and I laughed so hard over lunch that the waitress got infected.

"You can go wherever you want to go, do whatever you want to do, be whatever you want to be."

How far can you stretch your imagination? You can take that class, trip, learn a new hobby. "The Lord loves you, He is your Saviour and your God." He watches over you.

Respect Him for all He does in your life and acknowledge Him for it. Every day say, "Thank You, Lord, a hundred times."

Wednesday, September 12, 2012


 My good friend, Janet Weir, asked me to explain the phrase "Die to self" in my poem "I Fly With You". Here's my response.

Die to self means you stop thinking about yourself and your problems and think about others' needs, putting those people first. Night, sin, darkness, evil, distress, fear are all bad for you. Remember when there was only darkness in the world? Then the Light came (beginning of Genesis and Gospel of John). Jesus is the light. Dawn, sun, Son, first are all positive and full of God qualities. The temptation is to put yourself before Him and what He asks us to do for Him.

My song "Nicky and the Blind Man" shows the dark and light, also. The Shekinah Glory is what Moses saw, turned from, and had shining all over him.

The Gospel of John is full of light/darkness, love/hate. Nicky (John 3:1) went to Jesus at night - in sin, in secret because he didn't want anyone to know he was starting to believe in Jesus. John 19:39 has Nicky taking 100 pounds of spices to bury Jesus. Very much like the Egyptians did to hide the smell and to keep the cloths together. They had only three hours to carry, place, pour and rub the oil, wrap, etc. before sundown. It was Sabbath and no one could walk, cook, do anything until Sunday morning. Amazing.

When I first went to prayer group, I found out my mom had a brain tumor and I was really upset the Lord could do that to me! Later as we were lifting up people who needed prayer, someone mentioned a 3-year-old boy who had a brain tumor. I said, "Ok Lord at least I've had my mom for 50 years and she's done a lot of good for others." This is a classic example of stop thinking of yourself and focus on others.

Janet, does that shed any light? You do this often in putting aside the problems you have and finding positive things to share in your emails.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012


How can the emotion of someone reading what I wrote affect all in a room? Yesterday I attended a birthday party for a friend at Armory Park. One of the presents was a copy of my book Small White Hearts personally signed by me.

Arlene Lopez who was at the party read the poem "Your Interests". Almost all who were there had to wipe tears from eyes, including me. Arlene said it touched her immensely and asked for two copies to give as presents to relatives.

A few days ago my friend, Janet Weir, emailed that the book is so typically me; very down-to-earth. She enjoyed reading about the guidance of meditation and the hints on the prayer corner.

When I was at Sacred Heart Church in Tucson, a man who has cancer got a copy of the book and has been touched by several messages of hope.

An up and coming event I will be participating in is the Blessed Kateri Fiesta September 8 and 9 with much food, music, and games. A table will be set up for Small White Hearts. Stop by and say hi. See you there!

Thursday, August 2, 2012


This week had several exciting events. The biggest was a Mecedora Country Club signing party for yours truly. Invites were sent out and wonderful food and conversation was shared.

Several people at the party who already had a copy of Small White Hearts told what letters or meditations they liked best. Christina read from my poem "Everything" that talks about the opportunities available in this world to do and be whatever you want to be.

Phil shared that he likes the calming, peaceful feeling he gets while reading and meditating.

We all are looking forward to seeing the next issue of the New Vision, the Southern Arizona Catholic newspaper, which will carry a picture of the book and a comment by an excited reader who says this is a must-read for those who need to find serenity in their lives. The New Vision reaches an audience from Tucson to Yuma, Nogales, Bisbee, and Casa Grande. It covers issues pertinent to the Catholic community as well as those affected by its outreach.

Saturday, July 21, 2012


Many new places are going to show my new book, Small White Hearts. That is so exciting.

Most Holy Trinity Church in Tucson has allowed me to have a table after all services on Saturday, July 21, and Sunday, July 22. I will have a chance to visit with people I haven't seen for a while.

My daughters Suzanne Morrison and Beth Carrillo will be helping me out.  They have been excellent cheerleaders. They will also be helping me out when I am at Our Lady of Fatima Church in Tucson on August 4 and 5.

The third place I will be is at Sacred Heart Church in Tucson on August 11 and 12. Also on the 11th, I will be at Mostly Books, 6208 E. Speedway Blvd, Tucson, from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. at a signing table. Everyone is welcome to all events and encouraged to bring a friend.

On the last blog, I shared that my 96-year-old Aunt Elsie Santos from Taunton, MA, was greatly enjoying my book. Now there are 3 more 90-year-olds reading Sweet White Hearts. The youngest reader is my 16 year-old granddaughter.

How wonderful to see such a wide range of interest. The Lord said this is to spread to all corners of the

Saturday, July 7, 2012


My 96-year-old Aunt Elsie Santos from Taunton, MA, is greatly enjoying my book, Small White Hearts.  She said sometimes she feels I am speaking to her directly when she is reading one of the love letters.

Elsie ordered two signed copies - one for a friend and one for my cousin Elaine and her husband Harold. She is also a die-hard Boston Red Sox fan. I try not to call her when the game is on as she gets so totally involved in the game that she is talking to me and the screen at the same time.

Also this week I turned in a blurb for the bulletin at my local church, Most Holy Trinity Parish in Tucson. In three weeks the pastor will let me have a table after services so people can look at, and, hopefully, acquire a copy so they will be spiritually refreshed. The blurb has my activities at the church, which is being Eucharistic Minister, a member of the Soup Patrol, and a volunteer at their Cooling Center. 

The Soup Patrol takes soup, bread, and hot chocolate to the homeless during the winter months. The Cooling Center is open in the summer at  nearby church and 35 people have a chance to get out of the sun from noon to four every day but Sunday.

Monday, July 2, 2012


Great stuff happened this week! I was approved by the Arizona Corporation Commission for Small White Hearts as a business. The next step is to get this advertised in the newspaper three times. I did that this morning and should hear back from them soon.

There are so many little steps to put all this together. My daughters, Suzanne Morrison, and Beth Carillo came over for lunch on Saturday and helped me with a few more steps. The new bookmarks came in from Guy Rovella our printer. He made them from the material of the book and put the Small White Hearts love letter on the back. They are really beautiful.

I have had some wonderful compliments from different people. Frances and Jim said: The poems give us so much to stop and reflect on what is important in our lives.

Ana said: I love the Prayer Corner and how you taught me to set it up. I have already begun to arrange mine.

Sunday, June 24, 2012


What a surprise to see these wonderful comments on my blob.

That was my daughter, Suzanne Morrison, of Cult of the Greyhound fame, posting some great photos and comments. As a professional photographer at Backcountry Photography Az, she was just delighted to keep snapping all evening as the clouds and scenery kept changing.

The book is now in the hands of many who have been calling and posting on Facebook with interesting notes on what they have found to touch their hearts personally.

I also have been mailing some out of state and have received calls and emails on their delight while reading these poems and prayers.

My sister, Janet Custer of Taunton, MA, took it to work but wouldn't let it out of her hands, and sold a couple of copies to those who wanted to read it.

This is supposed to reach to the ends of the earth. I can't wait to blog when I hear that happens.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012


This is Suzanne, Norma's daughter, hijacking Mom's blog for the evening.

I took a few photos at Mom's book signing party and thought to post them for her and without her knowledge. :) (Boy she's going to be surprised the next time she posts to the blog.)

We had a wonderful time at the book signing party for Small White Hearts. There was a great turn out; lots of friends and lots of book buying and signing. (Thanks lots of friends.) The weather turned out perfect due to an unusual storm rolling in during the late afternoon; cooling down temperatures, washing everything clean, and providing cloud cover for a spectacular sunset. We had perfect views of city, mountains and monsoon from our dear friend Katherine's house.

Katherine was the ultimate hostess, opening her home to many people and doing it with class, grace and much food. Family, friends, loved ones all together on a stunningly beautiful Tucson evening celebrating Mom's success. It was a night to be remembered. Thank you all for attending.

Maria and Mom.

John, Jana and Mom

Denise, Mom and Debbie

Mom and the tasty cake!

Mom and Lisa, my sister and the queen of photo bombing.

Katherine (hiding behind the camera) the ultimate hostess, Lisa, and Mom.

Brad, Greg, Geoff, Lisa, Mom, Guy and Libby. And, yes, those are sparklers on the cake.

Alex, favorite-ist  granddaughter in all the world, and Grandma.

Sunset from Katherine's back porch and a dove winging by.The Holy Spirit was with us, too.

Monday, June 18, 2012


We had a wonderful Signing Party in the Foothills at a home with the most fantastic view.

Earlier in the day we had some unexpected monsoon rain catching all of us off guard. The temperature on my car thermometer gauge said 102 degrees about 1:00 p.m. The clouds started rolling in and by 2:00 p.m. huge drops of cold rain started pelting my windshield.

The wind started blowing and the washes started flooding. The temperature gauge went down to 70 degrees.  Typical for Tucson everything cleared up shortly to give the most spectacular viewing of clouds, mountains, a rainbow, then an absolutely gorgeous sunset.

The books were finished for us to have people take them home and start reading their own copies. All this time it's been mostly me reading my stuff along with a few people I have shared with at prayer group.

Now others had an opportunity to understand the impact the Lord's Word will have on the world; yes, many people say this will go around the world, yea.

I especially want to thank my daughters for all the work they did both before and after the party.

Suzanne Morrison of Backcountry Photography  and Beth Carrillo for their copy editing skills. Also Lisa Marie Morrison of Sirocco Design who creates such beautiful works of silver-crafted jewelry and took the photos for the cover.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012


Guy Rovella of Aardvark Printing in Tucson is being very creative today in designing a really neat bookmark for me to give out with each book ordered.

I told him to be creative so he has Tim Arbon's inspirational dove on the front and the love letter which inspired the book title called Small White Hearts on the back. Both men will be at the Book Signing party on Saturday.

I am delighted that so many other people want a copy without seeing the inside.

My granddaughter, who is a sweetheart, wrote a touching message on my Facebook page which she helped set up. She also did some copy editing for the book.

Monday, June 11, 2012


Guy Rovella from Aardvark Printing of Tucson just sent me a final proof. It looks really good and should go to press today or tomorrow.

That means it will be ready for the Book Signing Party my girls have planned for Saturday, June 16, 2012. Much food and many fun people will be there.

Monday, May 28, 2012


Welcome to my blog!

I am so excited that I am finally entering the blogging world.

It all started with the soon to be publication of my new book, Small White Hearts. The final manuscript went to the printer's this past week.

My daughter showed me the world of blogging and I am looking forward to being part of that world.

Please follow me and check back often for updates and snippets of my current book, plus the one in the works, and daily meditations and thoughts.