Archive for General

A New Focus…

Time is certainly and as predicted moving right along. It is not infrequently that we notice it is also doing that just way too fast. There is a poem/verse in the Special Acknowledgment toward the end of To Dance in the Rain – A Mother and Daughter’s Journey of Hope and Healing. 

Time is too slow for those who wait,

Too swift for those who fear,

Too long for those who grieve,

Too short for those who rejoice…

But to those who love,

Time is Eternity.

                                                                                       ~ Henry Van Dyke ~

No matter where you are in life and how you experience the passing of time, one thing is for sure… Life is most times anyway, too short. My goal is to just accept that and enjoy every minute of it while the going is good.

To Dance in the Rain – A Mother and Daughter’s Journey of Hope and Healing was published just over a year ago. So many exciting moments have happened in direct relation to the book and the writing of it, as well as it’s production and promotion. New friendships forged, countless enjoyable moments, mulling, creating and then conveying the story to individuals and groups. Alicia’s life is changing too, as she continues to progress and look ahead to the future with new hopes and dreams.

To Dance in the Rain, the book and in fact the concept, are evolving. The book continues to be purchased, read and loved. I believe it offers elements of understanding and appreciation for life and it’s blessings. It provides yet another example of how even within sadness and adversity, joy, love and hope can be found. Sometimes the realization of that alone can be cause for celebration.

As ‘To Dance in the Rain’ establishes itself as a concept that the title was meant to convey, a new phase will take shape within the writings of this website. Looking ahead we switch gears, we refocus and will at times express that in a new way. Upcoming blogs will also be touching on how in life we, you, all of us continue to ‘Dance in the Rain’.

I will still keep you updated on Alicia and events and circumstances involving the book. I specifically point out this transition as I begin to write my next book. The spark of expression continues to burn and it’s intensity has lately been calling. It has had to patiently smolder at times going ignored for one project after another. Patience which incidentally is not a strong point in my personality, has allowed the welling of creativity to build within me forming a new resolve, a new excitement. …. So onward!!

My newest project, no make that passion, is… “A Year as a Gift”


: )



ARCHANGEL AIRBORNE is about to set off on Mission XVII. The operation of each mission depends on private donations, so we could use your help in a variety of ways. We have reviewed previous clinic activity and have identified conditions most frequently seen at the clinics in the north and south. We have also made a list of the medications that we need to provide for those ailments and illnesses. The following is a list of medications that we need for our upcoming mission. Any meds that we are unable to collect and bring with us will need to be purchased in Haiti.

We would appreciate any donations of the following OTC meds:

Topical anti-fungals, vitamins for adults and children, vaginal antifungal creams (monistat), saline eye drops, topical cortisone creams, Tylenol for adults and liquid for children, antihistamines (Benadryl) capsules and liquid, anti-diarrheals (Imodium) and antibiotic ointments.

We could also use some: band-aids, steri-strips thermometers and crazy glue (medical duct tape)

Medications and supplies can be left in collection boxes in Stu’s office (St. Mary’s ED) as well as in Yellow Pod back room in St. Mary’s ED. Any monetary donations would also be greatly appreciated and help us defray the costs of our mission operations. Thank you so much.

You may also contact me and I would be more than happy to pick up any items that you may have to donate, either in the Waterbury or Litchfield County areas. Feel free to send a message in the FB inbox to make arrangements with me. Thanks! (Meci anpil!!)


Journey of Hope and Healing…

GivingIt is during November, the Thanksgiving month, that many of us become aware in a special way of all that we have to be thankful for. It is within this state of gratitude that we recall how our lives have been transformed by the love, generosity and hope given to us by others in our life.

Many of us are called to ‘give back’ when faced with this realization. Let’s face it, love is something that is not that hard to give away. As anyone who knows, who has given of themselves to another, you most times get back more than you give. We all touch each other’s lives daily and in a variety of ways. Each interaction becomes a means of passing on care, concern and hope.

In 2002 when my family was faced with quite a dose of adversity, our lives were also touched by the love, support and generosity of others on a daily basis. To Dance in the Rain – A Mother and Daughter’s Journey of Hope and Healing is full of instances when countless individuals and groups showed what it means to take care of one another. This is the message that many of us have learned within the faiths in which we worship, but is also, I believe, a natural human calling – to love and care for one another.

Scan 5

I have recently become involved in an extraordinary organization that brings care, love and hope to countless individuals internationally as well as here in the US. ARCHANGEL AIRBORNE is the 1st Humanitarian Special Operations group/AIR LAND SEA – Expeditionary Mission Team (AA-1st HSOG/ALS-EMT) that is dedicated to serving men, women and children living in conditions of extreme poverty and situations of disaster, social injustice and oppression through its four-pillared approach of Rescue, Sustain, Train and Liberate. I encourage you to take a look at the vital work that Archangel Airborne has done and is dedicated to continue in the future.

I will have the privilege of joining ARCHANGEL AIRBORNE on its 14th Mission Team Deployment as we travel to Haiti next week. Our team will be utilizing two mission aircraft and land vehicles to provide medical care and training in several locations on the island, working in clinic settings in destitute and remote areas in the south as well as more populated yet equally as poverty stricken ones in the north serving upwards of 2,000 people. We will also be involved in the distribution of water filtration systems. These simple yet effective bucket/filtration systems will assist many with a means to provide disease free water for their families. There are thousands of families in Haiti who still have no access to clean water on a daily basis. The official motto of the team is “In Servitium Ad Omnes” – In Service to All.

As a nurse I am very excited to be able to use my medical skills to touch lives there. I also expect to be transformed by each individual I have contact with on this mission. I believe that within each human interaction we give as well as receive.

This past weekend members of the ARCHANGEL AIRBORNE team met in Eastern PA for a comprehensive briefing and orientation to the mission. We also took part in orientation to flight operations at the briefing and will continue to receive training and briefings on team skills and crew responsibilities in order to enhance safety and successful mission outcomes.

.IMG_1515Most of us who had only previously had contact during conference calls on our Saturday morning briefings over the last month and a half, finally got to meet some of the other members of the team. What a pleasure it was to finally meet; new friendships rapidly formed. We are all looking forward to meeting again in Haiti next week in order to carry out our mission. There will be 11 team members on this mission.


I was introduced to this organization/mission through my boss, Stuart D. Hirsch, who is the Director of Operations for the Department of Emergency Services at St. Mary’s Hospital in Waterbury. He is the founder, president and CEO of ARCHANGEL AIRBORNE as well as the Chief Mission Officer in Command for all deployments. He created this 1st Humanitarian Special Operations Group in 2010 following the devastating Earthquake in Haiti after over a decade of planning and infrastructure building. He has been an professional aviator and instructor pilot for many years and an has an extensive background in EMS, involved in emergency and disaster response as a firefighter and water rescue scuba diver, as well as serving as an airborne rescue and helicopter medevac operations specialist.

IMG_1551He has also worked extensively in the area of Emergency Services as a consultant nationally and at the director level, using strategic and tactical approaches to transform teams and ensure higher performance and successful mission completion. He has brought all of his passions together within his organization, making it a smooth running, efficiently structured and highly effective, tactical means of providing care, compassion, hope and support to thousands around the world in the last four years. I am grateful and excited to be involved with ARCHANGEL AIRBORNE.

I would ask you all to keep us in your thoughts and prayers as we head south in the upcoming days. I also encourage anyone who would like to contribute to this worthy cause to do so on the ARCHANGEL AIRBORNE site.

Your financial support would be greatly appreciated; 100% of all donations go directly to mission operations.

It’s about the journey…

IMG_3073_3I had the pleasure of spending Thursday afternoon with the Sinclair family, as they moved forward with preparations to hike the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT)

Kirk Sinclair (the Humanity Hiker) was the amazingly thorough and talented line editor as well as proofreader of To Dance in the Rain; I’m forever grateful!

He and his wife Cindy with their daughter Charissa will set out on the six month trek to hike the PCT on June 18th. The logistics involved with this type of endeavor are staggering. While visiting to discuss the particulars of driving Charissa’s car from Olympia, WA to San Diego in early September, Kirk roped me into a couple of hours of repacking boxed food items for more efficient storage and transport for the journey. What an enjoyable afternoon!

The Sinclair home is filled with love, laughter, joy and hope; every minute is a celebration of life.

Cindy was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s last fall. This was truly a devastating find, although an answer at long last to her unexplained deterioration over the past several years.

This unprecedented journey will add to Cindy’s current distinction among the ranks of thru-hikers. She was the first woman to successfully thru-hike the continental divide in 1985. She is truly the “expedition woman”, as her family calls her. Having already hiked over 11,000 miles to date, completing the PCT will take that number close to 14K. This is something that she has always wanted to do, and will now become another item to be checked off of her ‘Bucket List’. Carrying out activities of daily living has already become a challenge for Cindy, so this will add to the energy expended by both Kirk and Charissa.

I would encourage all FB friends, on my personal site as well as on the To Dance in the Rain site to keep this courageous family in your thoughts and prayers. This historic trek will also become a means to raise awareness and funds for Alzheimer’s research, and invite you to consider donating to the research being done at the University of Maryland. The link to The Exercise for Brain Health Research Fund is

While Kirk, Cindy and Charissa are hiking, it is also possible to send off some treats, baked goods (extra points for chocolate) or even a note of encouragement as they make their way south through Washington State, Oregon and California along the PCT.

I will be posting a schedule of points along the route where a treat for body, mind or spirit may be sent. You can also check out more specifics at

Thank you to all of my friends, and Godspeed to Kirk, Cindy and Charissa!

Sunday’s Special

Sunday has always been a special day in our house. Growing up it was a family day, one that always started with going to mass followed by a special meal. My dad always cooked on Sunday, full apron on and singing as he whipped up a wonderful steak dinner with mashed spuds, turnip (seriously never liked them) green beans and mouthwatering steak with home made gravy.

steak dinner 2

This was always a relaxing family day and many Sundays after our midday dinner we would go and visit family friends, celebrating all that was going on in our lives and taking a whole day to just BE.

I’d like to incorporate a Sunday’s Special to the website too. Any purchase of To Dance in the Rain – A Mother and Daughter’s Journey of Hope and Healing made on any Sunday, will be discounted 20%. I know, it’s only 20% but it’s better than 0% and if you’re going to buy it anyway, you may as well do it on sunday and join us in making it just a little more special : )

Also, many people have been asking about how to purchase the book.

* The easiest way may be the website for many. Just click on the book in the right sidebar and it will take you to the shopping cart.

* On Sunday though, you can send me your email address to our email – and I’ll send you a paypal invoice with the 20% discount.

* As of yesterday To Dance in the Rain is also available at Proclaim His Name Bookstore at 615 Highland Ave in Waterbury. Please call for store hours though … (203) 573-1773

I would love to hear about your special Sunday memories of years gone by too….


Have a great Sunday! Did you notice the ‘double entendre/contractions can be fun thing’ going on in the title? No?! ok, fine…have a nice day anyway : )

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