Sneek a Peek into my sketchbook – Elephant’s have their day

Elephants have always been one of my most favorite animals in THE WHOLE WIDE WORLD.   I follow the blog Sunshine & Chaos and todays post is about World Elephant Day, August 12th!  

Click HERE and read Maureen’s really  informative post about elephants and World Elephant Day 

Scan Scan 1 Scan Scan 1_3

For years and YEARS now I’ve been collaborating with Ramesh Sood on the unlikely tale of  Elephant & Ant.  (would love to publish but have not been able to figure out how!) Above are a few of  my preliminary sketches for the heart-throb male “lead”.

Elephant & Ant preview posts:

and Ramesh’s blog:  A Little More Than Ordinary


It’s Dwali Time!

If I EVER get the opportunity to travel to India I want to go for the Festival of Dwali.  Here’s why!

“Diwali is one of the biggest festival of Hindus, celebrated with great enthusiasm and happiness in India. The festival is celebrated for five continuous days, Different colorful varieties of fireworks are always associated with this festival. On this auspicious day, people light up diyas and candles all around their house. They perform Laxmi Puja in the evening and seek divine blessings of Goddess of Wealth. The festival of Diwali is never complete without exchange of gifts. (I like it already!) People present diwali gifts to all near and dear ones.

From A little More Than Ordinary

Stars Shine in Silence

by Ramesh Sood


Stars shine in silence

celebrating joy of Earth;
Festival of lights..

Festival of lights;
rhythmic Earth dances to the
beats of cosmic heart

Beats of cosmic heart;
none struggles to choose joy on
festival of lights..

Festival of lights
illuminated earth turns
a decked-up bride.

The name “Diwali” is a contraction of “Deepavali” (Sanskrit: दीपावली Dīpāvalī), which translates into “row of lamps”.[5] Diwali involves the lighting of small clay lamps (diyas or dīpas) in Sanskrit: दीप) filled with oil to signify the triumph of good over evil. (Now that is GOOD )During Diwali, all the celebrants wear new clothes (more good) and share sweets and snacks (Getting even better) with family members and friends.”

Preparing firecrackers

“On the first day of Diwali, housewives consider it auspicious to spring clean the home (not so sure about this one) and shop for gold (Excellent!) or kitchen utensils. (“OR” kitchen utensils?  I know what I’d be shopping for)

  • On the second day, people decorate their homes with clay lamps or diyas and create design patterns called rangoli on the floor using colored powders or sand.
  • The third day is the main day of the festival when families gather together for Lakshmi puja, a prayer to Goddess Lakshmi followed by mouth-watering feasts and firework festivities.
  • The fourth day is the first day of the new year when friends and relatives visit with gifts and best wishes for the season.
  • On the last day of Diwali, brothers visit their married sisters who welcome them with love and a lavish meal.

“Even today in this modern world it projects the rich and glorious past of  India and teaches us to uphold the true values of life. “

Blessings to you and your family Ramesh

Happy Dawali!

Elephant & Ant

Elephant & Ant

Eleph and Ant are STARS

Don’t you ever forget it

Because Ant said so

          Improbable tale

          Created by Ramesh Sood

       With a wink of eye.

Here’s a tiny taste

Haiku with a twist and turn

with much more to come!


Bundles of Blessings

Life begins on a right note

Happy Eleph and Ant

Mooning and spooning

It’s time for honeymooning

Dear Ant wants to walk


Hand in trunk, both are

Oblivious to the world

Moving verrrrry, slow


Eleph inches along.

 Charming her mate with her gait,

Cute elfin walks tall.


Elephant stumbles.

Whoa whoa, I’m under your toe!

Ant besides him screams


Stayed tuned to see if Ant get squashed by Eleph!

  • Haiku is Japanese poetry form that has three meaningful lines which are complete and reflecting nature.
  • Haiku have syllabic limitations as well. Syllables and words aren’t the same thing. For e.g. the single word “traditional” would have four syllables since it’s pronounced “tra-di-tio-nal”.
  • A haiku is more showing than telling. It brings the meaning to you without actually expressing it.
  • A haiku has under, or at most, 17 syllables. If you wish to follow a rigid structure for your haiku, you can use a 5-7-5 syllable form, or a 3-5-3 syllable form.
  • You can write either a haiku, senryu (haiku related to emotions), haiga (haiku on picture) or haibun (story with haiku).

Thanks to Leo of Haiku-Heights for the explanation!

Check it out and  join in with you own haiku or read some wonderful haiku from other’s links.

Warning: “You’ll cry in a good way”

Elephant & Ant

Slowly, slowly I’ve been working on Ramesh Sood’s haiku tale of the love story between Elephant & Ant. I love elephants.

When I saw the story of Shirley and Jenny  on Sunshine and Chaos Maureen Ryan’s excellent blog I cried, just as Maureen had predicted “. . . in a good way”.

When you look at this remarkable film  you’ll love elephants too.

Argo Films  won 2 Emmys for the documentary The Urban Elephant. It was produced for Pbs and National Geographic.

XXXXXX to you Maureen Sunshine and Chaos

Sing a Song of Inspiration

Everyone knows that EXpirations – like sneezes – spread germs.  

Here’s an example of how INspirations are contagious.

Max and I just got back from our morning prayer walk.  I was singing to God while Max, well, Max was sniffing to the max.

A huge raven swooped by, landing just ahead on a light post.  It was sleek, shiny black and started calling loudly for other ravens to join him.  I wondered if that raven was the patriarch or just some young whippersnapper with a rousing call to action.

  • I wondered how you tell the age of a bird.  No tell-tail  (sorry couldn’t resist) age spots or wrinkles.
  • My mind flashed on a brilliant comment about God that Ramesh Sood had made – something about wrinkles – which I couldn’t precisely remember but I remember thinking, “How brilliant” at the time I read it.
  • When we got home I was inspired to re-read his comment and poem.
  • Ramesh was inspired to spontaneously write his poem in response to the post I wrote How to Appear Younger than You Are.
  • I was inspired to write that How to Appear Younger than You Are by that darling baby boy who came to visit me at my office.
  • And the baby was inspired by EVERYTHING!
“What an inspiring post this… yes, I have often prayed..May God never let my thoughts get wrinkled…May I continue to exude youthful energy and exuberance…And Judy, if one has to go by Photos on your page don’t look 67..touch wood…let me try:”

A song waits to be written
And to be Sung
It’s so happy and joyous
To always stay young

Doesn’t matter if body belies
Let mind think fresh thoughts
Let heart with happier ones clung

 A song waits to be written
And to be sung

Be cheery always, have fun
Talk to Moon, stars and flowers
Taste the rising sun on your tongue
A song that waited to be written
I know you have just sung

Hey, stay happy and stay young..

“Judy this song didn’t exist just ten minutes back.. . . .that’s the power of inspiration.” Ramesh Sood, (author of Elephant & Ant, coming soon to a computer near you).  A Little More Than Ordinary.. 

INhale deeply where ever you are today.

I hope you catch an INspiration!

Happy Test Revisited. Important Questions to Ask Yourself

At the risk of being much too serious and fracturing your image of me, I invite you to read some wonderfully thought-provoking comments from the post yesterday on the “Satisfaction with your Life Test”.    Take a look at three comments.  I believe that each person brought up what is essential to how we view and experience this thing called “our life”

I’ve posted some questions for you to ponder after each.  

I wonder Judy. I remember having written recently.. if there is pain in my heart doesn’t mean I am not happy.. so is it with satisfaction… does dissatisfaction mean unhappiness… I am not sure.. and one more thing.. the moment I sit to do a test to check if I am happy means that I am not…indeed that’s my perception..and I am no make a statement.. I am just a simple student of moments..and what feelings those moments bring….. well I am at this moment feeling happy to be here…on your page. Posted by Ramesh Sood

  • If you carry pain about some loss does that mean you can’t be happy?
  • How are your dissatisfaction about specific things in your life affect your happiness?

Hi Judith,
Given the title of the test; “how happy are you”, implies to me that happiness is something that can be measured by degrees. I disagree with that premise. Happiness is a state of being, perfect unto itself. I am happy because I am happy and nothing added would make me any happier…regardless of what is added, I will still be happy. Since happiness is a state of being, it can not have an opposite. A person can’t be unhappy. He can be sad, upset, angry, disappointed, etc. but any of those feelings, thoughts and emotions do not make for an “un” status.

The universe, however it was created, is a positive reality. An “un” positive reality can not exist in the same realm. I’ll avoid the question of “G-D” as a factor and just go with any theory for the beginning of life. If the big bang happened, it happened. It didn’t “un”happen. If we evolved from slime, then we evolved not “un”evolved. I’m making this point and opening it to discussion.
posted by Rabbi Dr. Dan S.Wiko

  • Do you think about your own happiness as a state of being rather than something that you measure?
  • If your happiness is a state of being what do you do to fully experience it?  
  • What do you do to deny your own state of happiness?

“When human’s are happy there is no impetus for personal growth, change or bettering the world.”
This is a statement which is fundamentally flawed and as it is foundational to the proposition, we can’t help but get faulty answers.
To illustrate, I am an extremely happy person – happier than most anyone I know, and my happiness comes from learning, growing, challenging what is considered normal, challenging my own thoughts and beliefs and actions and seeking to better the world through bettering myself.
Now if you were to use “satisfied” or “content” instead of happy…
I can still be happy while not being satisfied. I’m not satisfied with my financial situation but since money does not govern my happiness – I am happy.
I also agree with The Rabbi – happiness is a state of being which comes from within, and not from external factors.
Posted by John H.

  • Do you think satisfied/content on the same continuum as happy  (Satisfied____________Happy______________Ecstatic)?  or
  • A state of being not connected to other emotions?
  • Do you experience your happiness coming from internal or external factors?

Elephant & Ant – Will the Real Eleph Please Stand Up!!!

Been working on some preliminary doodle-sketches for Ramesh’s Poem about the Love Affair Between an Elephant and an Ant.

Ramesh is so creative (and wonderfully quirky) to have dreamt up a relationship between such disparate souls!  But his charming haiku and poem about this unlikely pair captured my attention and my heart.

Here’s a sample of the poetry prelude to Elephant and ANT to whet your taste for more!

Elephant & Ant
by Ramesh Sood
A little More than Ordinary . . .
PreludeBefore Ant
Before marrying his Ant

Preliminary Sketch of Rattie!

Our dear hero Elephant
Had fallen for a Female Rat
Oh, don’t ask how could be that
Shocked to see the monolith
Rattie thought it really fit
to talk before taking the bait.
So happily she agreed for a date

What’s your vote? Should Elph be Green, Blue, Orange or . . . .?

Do Your Tears Dilute Pain?

As I read Ramesh’s poem, I reflected on my own experience with tears.  Tears for me do dilute pain.  Tears also signal truth.  

My first experience of tears and truth was when I was in therapy over 30 years ago.  Whenever my therapist made a comment that was a truth I hadn’t consciously known or acknowledged I would unexpectedly, spontaneously burst into tears.   Tears that welled from the core of my being.

To this day, tears are a barometer of both my pain and my truth.   Perhaps my pain and truth are one in the same?

by Ramesh Sood

White sheet of paper
And the poet in me 
Got tempted
As the thoughts 
From the heart
Started flowing,
I scribbled
“Presence of pain 
In my heart doesn’t mean 
I am not happy……”
Suddenly, a lump in throat 
And a tear from the eye
Rolled out and fell 
On the paper
The word ‘Pain ’ got
Scattered and diluted 
. . .      . . .
And hey, haven’t I

Found a truth here:
Tears indeed dilute pain…

Thank you Ramesh for a beautiful and thought-provoking poem,