April is National Poetry Month. Therefore, I have resolved to post a poem a day here on my blog. These are in no way to be construed the BEST list of poetry but rather thirty of my favorite poems. Since I am sure I have more than the thirty necessary for the month I may be doing this exercise for years to come.
Fire and Ice
Some say the world will end in fire,
Some say in ice.
From what I’ve tasted of desire
I hold with those who favor fire.
But if it had to perish twice,
I think I know enough of hate
To say that for destruction ice
Is also great
And would suffice.
Go Red for Women
Tomorrow February 1 is designated “Go Red for Women”. Heart disease is the number one killer of women. One in every three deaths of women in 2013 will be caused by heart disease. It is said that this is approximately one woman every minute.
Those of you who know me well are aware that on November 17, 2008 I suffered a massive heart attack. Within the next week, I also suffered three strokes caused by complications from the heart attack. I thank God that my husband over my protests called EMS immediately so that I received the care I needed quickly and efficiently. At first, the first time responders thought I had the worst case of flu they had seen so far, it became apparent to them when they took the EKG in the ambulance that I needed to get to MetroHealth ASAP.
I suffered the heart attack and the strokes in the hospital, and therefore, received the care I needed immediately. Even though this was the case, I lost 21 days of my life due to the severity of my condition. My family and friends were told that there was little if any chance for survival. Almost sixty days later, I walked out of MetroHealth on my own two feet. There had been some doubt as to whether I would ever have the use of my legs or my left hand again.
Today, I am grateful to say that I am still getting stronger every day. Because of my own heart journey and for those who have lost their struggle with heart disease I am asking my friends and loved ones to PLEASE WEAR RED on February 1.
Please help raise the awareness of the severity of heart disease in women. Make sure the women you love get regular checkups and know the warning signs of a heart attack. Please understand that women often do not get the classic heart attack symptoms. For instance, the classic “it feels like an elephant on my chest” may be a nagging back ache that just won’t go away. Many women experience EXTREME fatigue for as much as two weeks before a heart attack or flulike symptoms that instead of getting better get worse.
The other day I created a Rhapsody playlist of my favorite Christmas songs. It wasn’t long before I realized that some of my favorites came to me through my mom and dad. Dad’s favorite was “I’ll Be Home For Christmas”. When the strains of that song were hummed and sung each day, I knew that Christmas was right around the corner.
Today, my mother’s favorite “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day” by Kate Smith is my topic. I knew the song was based on a poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow what I didn’t know was that the poem was written during the Civil War. The popular song was based on five stanzas of the poem, not the original seven with two that refer specifically to The Civil War.
What a coincidence that both songs were penned during wars. War is war whether it happened in the 1860’s on our own soil or today in a land faraway that makes it surreal rather than the harsh reality it is. War is violent, and lately, we have experienced an act of unspeakable horror in a town in Connecticut that turned violence on 10 small children and six of their teachers who will never sit down to Christmas dinner again with their loved ones.
Today, the SEVEN stanzas of this poem seem appropriate. Against the harsh reality of war, we again hear God’s promise of “Peace on Earth Good will To Men” Here is the original poem with all seven stanzas.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
I heard the bells on Christmas Day
Their old familiar carols play,
And wild and sweet
The words repeat
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!
And thought how, as the day had come,
The belfries of all Christendom
Had rolled along
The unbroken song
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!
Till, ringing, singing on its way,
The world revolved from night to day,
A voice, a chime
A chant sublime
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!
Then from each black accursed mouth
The cannon thundered in the South,
And with the sound
The carols drowned
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!
It was as if an earthquake rent
The hearth-stones of a continent,
And made forlorn
The households born
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!
And in despair I bowed my head;
"There is no peace on earth," I said;
"For hate is strong,
And mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!"
Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
"God is not dead; nor doth he sleep!
The Wrong shall fail,
The Right prevail,
With peace on earth, good-will to men!"
My Christmas wish to all of you:
the faith to know that some day this will be.
Today, my mind keeps wandering to Christmas Eves of my childhood when we gathered at Grandma and Grandpa Shearer’s for dinner, a gift exchange, and best of all, the Christmas Eve Candlelight service at Saint John’s Lutheran Church in McZena Ohio or as my cousin Jack earlier today reminded me “Dogtown USA”.
With full stomachs, wearing new gloves and scarves, clutching toys or whatever we were given during the gift exchange we set off on foot to walk up the hill to the church. When we arrived, many of the adults with us joined the choir at the front of the church. I remember the quiet, the smell of pine, and the beautiful candles in the windows.
When the service was ended, the little ones were carried on shoulders while those of us big enough to walk began the long, silent trek home through the starlit night. Sometimes, moonlight glistened on the Christmas snow, but most times it was just cold. Suddenly, the silence would be broken when someone broke into song. We sang for warmth and to remember the beautiful Story of the Nativity comfortable in the promise of “Peace on Earth, Goodwill To Men”.
Many years have passed since those Christmas Eves of long ago, but tonight, Tim and I will venture out into the snow to attend Christmas Eve Mass at the Cathedral of Saint John the Evangelist. I believe for me this tradition began long ago when my Grandma Shearer made it an essential part of every family Christmas celebration. I am so thankful for her example of what is important during the Christmas season.
Join your neighbors at St. Barbara’s Church at 1505 Denison on December 17th at 6:30 pm to discuss the remediation and renovation of W.C. Reed Park. Previously, there had been series of meetings concerning the renovation and upgrading of the park. Plans were made to create a walking trail, upgrade the playing fields, add a community garden for the Foster Point residents and the neighbors in close proximity, to move the baseball fields,and to eliminate the tennis courts although tennis is making a come back as a quality exercise.
Those of us who have lived in Brooklyn Centre are well aware that the park is landfill. Many years ago, a ravine and stream were covered with debris from the Cleveland Transit System which owned the land. I believe that resident’s of Barbarowa have said that when the Jennings freeway was constructed, the area was used for debris.
Certainly sounds to me that as a community we should be concerned with how this project and remediation will be handled since schoolchildren are in close proximity each day as are many of our neighbors plus we all know how the winds in this area pick up the dust so prevalent here and then, swirl around us.
Please attend this important meeting. Continue to show how we all care about the health of our community.
http://www.oldbrooklyn.com/OBN/12DecOBN.pdf is where you can see the *.PDF of this article. We got copies of the paper just yesterday. This is the text of the entire article.
Mention a community activity which
includes Brooklyn Centre, and it’s likely that
Gloria Ferris is/has been involved in it. The
Brooklyn Centre resident is active with Friends
of Big Creek; Brooklyn Centre Naturalists;
Stockyard Clark-Fulton & Brooklyn Centre
Community Development Organization;
Garden Walk Cleveland; and Old Brooklyn
Community Development Corporation’s
Green Space Committee. She is also a regular
contributor to the Old Brooklyn News.
Originally from Shreve, Ohio (a rural
community outside of Wooster), Gloria arrived
in Cleveland in 1973 to teach junior high
school and work as librarian at West High
School (now Joseph M. Gallagher High
After that, Gloria became the Campaign
Administrator for State Senator Charlie Butts;
a later job was taking care of national railroad
accounts at BP America for twelve years.
Before settling in Brooklyn Centre in
1981, Gloria lived in several places in Greater
Cleveland — the Detroit Shoreway neighborhood,
Cleveland Heights and Lakewood.
When asked why she moved to Brooklyn
Centre and why she and Tim, her husband of
twenty-eight years, have stayed, Gloria replied,
“the people, convenience, transportation
options and amenities like the Zoo and
Brookside Reservation. And I love the small-town
feel we have here.”
Gloria’s involvement in all things green
started with creating a Backyard Habitat at her
own home. The goal of the National Wildlife
Federation (www.nwf.org) certification program
is to provide food, water and cover for
wildlife. Through it, Gloria connected with
people in Friends of Big Creek and the
Cleveland Metroparks who were already working
on similar initiatives.
As Gloria forged even stronger links with
like-minded residents in both the Brooklyn
Centre and Old Brooklyn neighborhoods,
Brooklyn Centre Naturalists was born. Among
other things, they have been working to make
the 44109 zip code a registered National
Wildlife Community since 2008.
In 2011, Gloria and the Brooklyn Centre
Naturalists collaborated with employees of
Cleveland Metroparks Zoo and members of the
Greater Cleveland Chapter of the American
Association of Zoo Keepers to plant a Polar
Plot at the W. 36th Street Commons Park.
Polar Plots is a program in which participants
plant trees and native plants in local communities
to help educate the public about how the
presence of trees counteracts a warming climate.
Brooklyn Centre Naturalists also received
a Neighborhood Connections grant for a children’s
educational program which took place
in 2009 at the former Brooklyn Memorial
United Methodist Church. The program looked
at community through nature, and included
courses on gardening, backyard retreats, and
arts and crafts.
In 2012 the Brooklyn Centre Naturalists
were the impetus for getting the Old Brooklyn
and Brooklyn Centre neighborhoods included
in the second year of Garden Walk Cleveland.
Gloria’s current efforts include planting
herb and dye gardens at Art House, Inc., 3119
Denison Ave. Dye gardens incorporate plants
such as hibiscus (red, white and pink dyes),
coreopsis (yellow and orange dyes) and purple
basil because they make nice fabric and paper
dyes. She hopes to utilize the dye plants next
year for projects at Art House.
Brooklyn Centre Naturalists are now
focusing on getting the last twenty-one of the
necessary one hundred backyard habitats needed
for the National Wildlife Community certification.
More information about how to create
backyard habitats can be found at
The Brooklyn Centre Naturalists have
also compiled a cookbook using recipes from
Old Brooklyn and Brooklyn Centre residents
called A Taste for All Seasons. It will be for sale
for $10 at the Art House’s Short & Sweet
Holiday Shop, which will feature sixteen local
vendors The dates are November 30th to
December 2nd, and December 7th to
December 9th, and the hours are Fridays from
4 to 8 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays from 1
to 5 p.m. More information is can be found at
When asked how she stays so passionate
about Brooklyn Centre and the environment,
Gloria replied with a huge grin, “I don’t think
I could be anything else! I’ve always thought
that every day is an opportunity. And after my
heart attack and two-month hospital stay, I
wanted even more to keep on doing as much as
possible for as long as possible. My community
involvement has allowed me to meet so
many great people. My place now is to help
younger people find those connections and
continue this great work. At the end of the day,
it’s about people. We’re still here and change
Gloria and Tim have two daughters and
two granddaughters. Older daughter Maureen
and her husband, Geri, and granddaughters
Teagan and Maggie live in Knoxville,
Tennessee. Katie, their younger daughter, lives
outside of Philadelphia.
(Lynette Filips contributed to this article.)
When checking out John Rivera-Resto’s website today, I found this reference to friend, Steve McQuillin’s skylight in his office at Dover Farm. When attending one of Steve’s many celebrations of the seasons, I admired this skylight. I never knew the connection to talented artist John Rivera-Resto until today.
It’s a such small world, especially, in Cleveland.
Steve McQuillin’s latest project : Vermilion Institute in Hayesville.
John Rivera-Resto’s project with a Ward 14 connection.
A little less than a month ago, when I was feeling like the kitten that had cream for supper, I was jerked back to reality and had a small stroke. As usual, my knight in shining armor, Tim in case you were wondering who that could possibly be, was right there by my side not letting me fool myself into thinking that the extreme weakness in my right arm would simply go away with a good night’s rest.
My fingers were so weak I could not lift them from their position on the laptop keyboard. So off we went to the ER at MetroHealth. Sure enough, the CAT scan showed that I had a small stroke but within 24 hours I was showing a sign of returning strength, my speech was no longer halting, and the heaviness and tingling in my right leg was tolerable.
It turns out that the tripping up steps, stumbling, and the feeling of always stepping on a rock was my first clue of a stroke that I ignored. You see, when I had my strokes in 2008 I still had I had the heaviness in the leg, the constant tingling and that “stepping on a rock” feeling that has a specific name but I NEVER remember it when I was released from the rehab center About eight months ago, “the rock”, the heaviness were simply gone and the tingling was only intermittent. That Monday when I was doing the laundry walking up and down the basement stairs they all came back with a vengeance including an incredible weakness in my hip and my balance was none too good. My neurologist told me one out of two’s not bad, but in the future any CHANGE is what you look for which would have meant not ignoring symptoms that had gone away and were now right in front of me.
As usual, I lived and learned. And again, I am sharing Act F.A.S.T.: FACE- Ask the person to smile. Does one side droop? ARMS-Ask the person to lift their arms over their head. Does one arm drift downward? SPEECH-Ask the person to repeat a simple sentense. Are the words slurred? Can she/he repeat the sentence correctly?TIME- If the person has any of these symptoms. Call 911. DO NOT DRIVE yourself or have someone else drive you there. And if you are with the person having the possible stroke do not ask them if they want to go to the hospital YOU make the decision. The last person who should be decision making is the person who may be having a stroke.
I waited to post this latest health incident until after I talked to my cardiologist and the Neurologist Nurse practitioner. I am cleared for beginning to exercise again which I plan to ramp up gradually. My cardiologist and I have a plan for continuing my cholesterol numbers to continue downward because I cannot tolerate statins so it makes for more of a challenge, but it has steadily been improving even though I have been off statins for over a year. If you are wondering what caused my stroke, we do not know. It could have been any number of things or a combination of things. When the recovery from a stroke begins quickly, 40% of the people who have them do not have a definitive cause. I’m okay with that because I am extremely thankful that my symptoms are continuing to go away.
Many of you have asked me about this event so I thought I would post about this latest adventure in the continuing Health Saga of Gloria Ferris. In the words of Rosanne Roseannadanna: “It’s always somethin’.”
Earlier today, we gathered at the Wischmeyer-Busch Funeral home to say good bye to our dear friend and neighbor, Gloria Janos. Although our reason for being together was a sad one, it allowed many of us who had not seen each other for years to catch up, reminisce and mourn our friend.
Her son, Jamie asked Father Bob Andrew to officiate and asked Jim Rokakis, Tim and me to say a few words about his mother.
Here is what I said about a wondeful lady who I am proud to call “friend”.
When Rev. David Bahr replied to my email telling him of the event that has brought us all here today, he replied “what can you say about a neighborhood institution who will be missed by many?” It made me realize that words are inadequate for me to recount my years of friendship with this incredible lady.
When searching for the proper words, I found three-elegant, security, community that provide a window to the world I shared with Gloria.
Elegance-Her elegance was apparent as she walked the neighborhood with her dog Beau by her side for years or when she represented our neighborhood at city gatherings. Her home was an eclectic array of family photos, antiques, and mementos that were an open book of the four generations that called it their homestead.
Security- My first choice for this second word was safety but when I ran down the list of all the things this woman started in our neighborhood to make us feel safe and secure, I decided security described things more completely. From her founding of Archwood Denison Concerned Citizens , now called the Brooklyn Centre Community Association, BCCA for short, her relationship with Commander Baeppler, the community officers, the gang unit, and her leadership with Court Watch made it so our community knew what to do, when to do it, and how to do it effectively.
Community-Most of all, to me, Gloria embodied community. When I moved into the neighborhood she immediately welcomed me into the fold asking me to become involved in the first Christmas Candlelight Tour for the neighborhood. This would become one of our many collaborations over the years. More important, to a county girl relocated to the city were the picnics and potlucks she organized with friends and neighbors. Any occasion was a call for celebration.4th of July, Cleveland Public Theater performing at the Zoo, an out of town trip to Sandusky for a bit of architecture and history. You name it and she called oldsters, inbetweeners, and youngsters to gather together for food, a bit of drink, and a whole lot of fascinating conversation. She made Brooklyn Centre a small town in the heart of the city.
Neighbor Laura McShane may have said it best about this lady “I think the fact that my street last night included grandparents, parents, single couples and kids…sitting on their porches, reading, eating, talking and laughing…counts for something and should make the world proud of the legacy of Gloria Janos. I couldn’t agree more.
I know there is a man who called you Claude eagerly awaiting the day when you would join him again, so I am trying not to be too sad. . You both have left us with so many wonderful memories. Thank you!
Godspeed dear friend.
We hold eight domains through Network Solutions. We renew each of them annually for $37.99 apiece. When we renew, we do so on a voluntary basis, paying right before the renewal date. None of the accounts was on auto-renew. Until just now.
This morning, we received and email notice thanking us for our payment on one of the domains with a 9/23/2012 renewal date. We thought this irregular. Going online, we were amazed to find that each of our domains has been switched to auto-renew. Online, somebody from Network Solutions offered to chat, until they found I needed service. Then, they referred my to the land of perpetual hold.
When I finally reached the support person, I thought I was B’rer Rabbit, trying to engage the Tar Baby. Our conversation was oblique at best. I did extract from her the fact that I was talking to her in the Philippines. I kept repeating what I wanted; she kept repeating her canned lines. All I wanted was to know how the accounts had shifted to auto-renew and to have the money sent back to the account whence it came.
I was due a call from the Network Solutions supervisor within 1-2 hours, not later than 12:30 PM this afternoon. It is about three hours past that, so I am putting this out for public consumption.
Has anybody else had similar problems?
If so, were they ever resolved? How?
Are these unauthorized changes to the clients’ accounts fraud, or theft?
What mechanisms do we in the USA have in place to enforce honest business dealings from this sort of vendor?