Rita the Hippo

Location: United States

I have a great laugh that makes most people smile.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006


When we cultivate our minds and selves, we will wish for and seek simplicity. When our minds or souls have not been properly fed or watered (or even sought cultivation), we will seek ornamentation.

After 365 days of unhappiness, I quit my job today. Strangely, the cat hasn't purred for a year and this is the first time the gentle breeze has blown in 12 months. I'm glad the cardinals have flown in for the springtime. Perhaps that's what has made my cat so happy. Maybe she just didn't see them last year. Guess if that darned breeze had been here it would have sent the birds our way. Glad I was here to see it happen. Would have been a shame to have missed this glorious afternoon.

What will tomorrow bring?

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Free Yourself

So they took away the stone from the tomb. And Jesus looked upward and said,
"Father, I thank you for having heard me. I knew that
you always hear me, but I have said this for the sake of the
crowd standing here, so that they may believe that you sent
me." When he had said this, he cried with a loud voice,
"Lazarus, come out!" The dead man came out, his hands
and feet bound with strips of cloth, and his face wrapped in
a cloth. Jesus said to them, "Unbind him and let him go free." Many of the Jews therefore, who had come with Mary and had seen what Jesus did, believed in him.

This lenten season, in the 40 days leading up to Easter, regardless of your religion, take a moment to reflect upon what it is that YOU would like to be "unbound" from?

During these 40 days, give pennance, pray, fast, seek forgiveness, or forgive someone. Do whatever is meaningful to you so you may be unbound from whatever it is that keeps you from feeling the freedom of spirit that you deserve.

Be well.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

My 33rd Birthday

February 13, 2006 will be the first birthday I won't hear my Big, Bad Dad's deep baritone voice sing "Happy Birthday" to me. I miss my best friend. I miss my Daddy. I feel like a little girl. The pain is so pure and so natural. Not hateful and not at all full of anger. Just a longing, empty, sadness that nothing but his hug and his voice could fill. I am thankful for the 32 wonderful years I had with my father. I am thankful for all of the life lessons he has taught me. I am thankful for our relationship-it is a friendship which will never die as long as I am alive.

"You have been my friend. That in itself is a tremendous thing. I wove my webs for you because I liked you. After all, what's a life, anyway? We're born, we live a little while, we die. A spider's life can't help being something of a mess, with all this trapping and eating flies. By helping you, perhaps I was trying to lift up my life a trifle. Heaven knows anyone's life can stand a little of that." Charlotte, Charlotte's Web

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Say When

Growing up in an Italian family, Ma would ask for each person's dinner plate where she would dole out mountainous spoonsful of food. Upon picking up her oversized spoon, even before the shoveling would ensue, she would say, "Say when."

Regardless of when anyone said "when" (or waived a checkered flag or sounded an air horn, etc., etc.), Ma would inevitably heap one last mound of food onto the plate.

So, regardless of how much food you wanted, or didn't, you were better off to "say when" even before she began, to ensure you only received a manageable portion.

Dear God,

Thursday, January 05, 2006


What a great webite. If you haven't found this yet, check it out. Matt Margolis is such a talented writer, fellow Catholic, and cat lover.

"When it comes to Jack Abramoff, Democrats have tried to paint it as a Republican scandal, but as the investigation continues, more and more Democrats are being revealed to have their own connections to the embattled lobbyist, including Byron Dorgan, Harry Reid, Max Baucus, even Nancy Pelosi..."


Wednesday, December 28, 2005

My Presidential Address

Moving Day 1996: Sitting in my convertible in my parents driveway in Maryland, I put the top down to accommodate all of my possessions and dreams. I'd just been accepted to graduate school at the University of Kentucky and would be leaving months earlier than expected as mother had kicked me out of the house following one of her "episodes."

I was scared, but wouldn't dare let that fear show because of a greater fear. I didn't know how to get to Kentucky or where I would stay, but I had to go due to scholarship money for a program of study I chose for reasons I can't recall.

My Dad and I kissed goodbye and I headed south...but first, I made a pitstop in my favorite city-Washington D.C. At this time, motorists could still drive on Pennsylvania Avenue. I remember thinking how I would love to work there one day.

To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream; not only plan, but also believe. ~Anatole France

I arrived in Kentucky and saw a free apartment guide in someone's office...just below a photo of Ronald Reagan. It was a good sign. I could throw away the atlas. I was on the right track.

A beautiful woman in the office (who was also in the picture with President Reagan and several congressional photos) helped me. I said "What do you do?" She said, "I'm a lobbyist." The idea of becoming a lobbyist has tickled and nagged at my soul every day since I met this nameless woman and learned what she did (does) for a living. FYI-I moved to a street named Lincoln Avenue.

White House 2000:I joined the Americorps National Service while living in Kentucky, and had the opportunity to visit the White House in 2000 for an award ceremony following the completion of my service. As I walked up the steps, I just wanted to say "Hello, old friend! I told you I'd come back!"

Kentucky, Spring 2001: I decided to take a chance, follow my heart, and take a government course at UK "for fun." It was in this class that I met my husband-by following my heart, I met the man of my dreams.

Ten Years After Moving Day 1996: I am married to a supportive, politically savvy, smart, handsome man, I have been accepted to graduate school to study in the College of Government, Law and International Affairs and will complete my degree in 3 short semesters, and I am right on track to realize my dreams. Oh, and we live in Kentucky on a street named Jefferson. Of course we do!

I called my husband today to let him know that the obscure little movie theatre in our quaint artsy little Kentucky river town will be showing the black and white classic "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington." One of my favorite movies of all time. How in the world did the universe know to send this movie to me at this time in my life when I needed it most? At this time when my heart is once again filled with hope? Just like Mr. Smith. Perhaps I, too, will go to Washington again. Perhaps? No. It is only a matter of time until we meet again my love.

When I was a child, my father would take me to the Nation's Capitol. We would always go at Christmas to see the 50 different trees decorated to reflect each of the states. And the burning yule log and the reindeer. Oh, it was magical. I have tears in my eyes thinking about it. This is America to me. Dad would tell me about his childhood when the White House lawn was an open public park for everyone to play in, and as a child, he and his family would spread a blanket and have lunch and fly kites.

Well, although much has changed, so much remains the same. Dignity, respect and reverence for the process of our judicial system, which is second to none in the world. Something I aspire to be a part of and something that I have worked very hard toward for many years.

I am so happy to see this dream come to fruition and I will not let anything stand in my way. I only wish my Dad were here to share in this moment with me. But somehow, Dad, I feel that you are. It's like I said at your funeral mass, "death may have ended your life, but it will never end our relationship." I love you Big, Bad, Dad. Be with me. I'm going in to another great unknown.

Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genuis, power and magic in it. ~Johann von Goethe

Tuesday, December 27, 2005


I have learned silence from the talkative, toleration from the intolerant, and kindness from the unkind; yet, strangely, I am ungrateful to these teachers. ~Kahlil Gibran