Celebrate Louise Hay’s birthday with a fabulous SALE!

Happy Birthday Louise Hay!

You are one of my favorite role models and I am delighted to share your special day and offer with my readers 🙂
ONE DAY ONLY – in celebration of Louise’s birthday today, October 8th (until 11:59 Pacific Time), visit this page and get 50% off any of the products there when you order before the day ends on the west coast.
NOTE:  I am an affiliate for Louise Hay books, cds, all products and when you make a purchase from following my link, I may earn a commission. How wonderful is that? You get a book or product you love, we celebrate the birthday of one of the world’s most inspirational women and I earn a percentage of the sale.

Mother in dire need of help after years of abusive attacks by her own children.

Weak from emotional and physical abuse and the previous wounds inflicted over the past several decades, M.E. is fighting to survive the latest and most brutal attack by her own children. On April 20th, she collapsed during an explosive episode that severed an artery which caused massive hemorrhaging.

She is now under the constant watch of teams of professionals who are monitoring her healing process and are most concerned with the extensive and long-term effects the trauma will have on other vital body functions.

During their initial unsuccessful attempts to close the wound and stop the bleeding, she began to convulse so severely that smaller arteries ruptured which triggered even more convulsions so strong that her entire body began to shatter and quake in an effort to realign her own bones and organs to help repair the damage. Experts fear that her tears may turn into giant cleansing tsumani waves as her blood supply continues to drain, dark and sticky, coating every cell or organism that must have its vital nourishment to sustain any living functions.

Mother Earth is speaking loudly.

She is a live, pulsing, vibrating host for all of humanity and like a human body, her parts (oceans, mountains, rivers, lakes, trees, plants, rocks, dirt, minerals, diamonds, gold, boiling volcanic lava, coal, oil and more ) are all connected and vital for a healthy, vibrant planet.

Are we listening?

What will we do?

Visit: Hands Across The Sand and come out to your favorite beach on Saturday, June 26th. Your mere presence IS a statement of support for Mother Earth (M.E.)

Hands Across The Sand on Facebook:

What is Hands Across the Sand?

Hands Across the Sand is a movement made of people of all walks of life and crosses political affiliations. This movement is not about politics; it is about protection of our coastal economies, oceans, marine wildlife, fishing industry and coastal military missions. Let us share our knowledge, energies and passion for protecting all of the above from the devastating effects of oil drilling.

For more information about Hands Across the Sand, visit the international website:

A beautiful day in nature unless you were the turtle

Shark Valley April 2010 Blue Heron detail -photo: Debra Cortese

Finally got around to taking a few hours away from my cave (home office/studio) and went biking with friends in Shark Valley in Florida’s Everglades. Shark Valley has a wide, paved 15 mile loop through some of the most spectacular river of grass that you can find in the Everglades. It is home and mating and nesting grounds to all kinds of birds, reptiles, plants, flowers, trees, butterfiles, bees, turtles, and I’m sure more that I’ve yet to see.
My friends were focused on getting endorphins revved up and I knew I was there to breathe in as much of nature’s energy as I could take and get as many photos as possible. Consequently, in the time they rode the 15 mile loop and circled back to find me (I baked cupcakes and they were in my car, reassurance that my friends would not abandon me, considering their fondness for cupcakes;-) I had only progressed to mile marker 4. But, I had over a hundred shots. Absolutely entrancing to me to feel the sun on my face, hear the bird calls, what sounded like 20 pound bull frogs and see so many beautiful creatures in their natural habitat (although I always think how tame they are and it must be because they are accustomed to seeing humans on a daily basis).

Shark Valley Everglades "turtle about to be dinner" - photo: Debra Cortese

I got to see, and photograph, woodstorks up much closer than I’d ever seen them before. Wasn’t really sure what they were at first. Looked like ancient creatures, big, bearded birds. And lots of herons or that’s what I’m calling them until I do a bit more research. I’m including a detail of one blue heron and will be posting full, edited images within a few weeks. But, the end of the day was definitely the ultimate photo op…. I stopped for one last picture (or 7 or more) of some birds starting to nest in a tree very near to the parking lots. There was a very large alligator below the birds and near the edge of the path so I started to shoot a picture of the gator and after the first click, I heard a LOUD CRUNCH SLAP sound and while my mouth was dropping open kept shooting as the gator chomped down on a very large turtle. This all happened in just a few seconds. Think I’m still a bit shaky from being so close and witnessing what I usually only see on nature tv shows. I was shooting with a new to me, but very old camera, so the quality is not what I’d hoped for but these certainly show the action.

Shark Valley Everglades "Turtle Bite 1" - photo: Debra Cortese

Shark Valley Everglades "Turtle Bite 2" - photo: Debra Cortese

Shark Valley Everglades "Turtle Dinner" - photo: Debra Cortese

Do visit our incredible nature areas, national parks, and preserves, but please remember, even though the alligators appear to be tame or friendly looking, they are wild, free creatures and are very capable of snapping a big turtle into pieces with one swift chomp!

Shark Valley Everglades "Thistle, Bees and Nature's Energy" -photo: Debra Cortese


UPDATE: You can now share this story and photos on your wall!
“Turtle’s Bad Day” is available in an open edition, signed, archival print.
Matted size is 18 x 24″.  Price:  $90.00

shipped flat in sturdy packaging.

Woodstock Festival: 40 Years Ago…





Woodstock 40th Anniversary Purple Peace Sign, Dalmatian, and Dove

Woodstock 40th Anniversary Purple Peace Sign, Dalmatian, and Dove


Were you there at the original Woodstock Festival in August of 1969? Can you believe it’s been FORTY years? Seems like just a few years ago and, a few lifetimes ago as well.

I lived in Narrowsburg, a small town only about 20 minutes from Bethel, New York which is where the Woodstock Festival actually happened. I think the organizers realized that the topography and size of the village of Woodstock, NY couldn’t handle even 50 thousand people and consequently,Max Yasgur’s farm in Bethel (now the home of the Museum at Bethel Woods)was chosen but the name stayed ‘Woodstock’. I clearly remember my father standing in the living room and saying in his usual stern, don’t-even-think-about-questioning-me, tone, “I’d better not catch you even thinking of going anywhere near that place!” and as soon as he was out of sight, I was on my way there with several friends. It was after the rains, and even though most of the traffic jams were subdued, we had to walk for what seemed like hours just to get to the main site. And what a sight it was! A sea of mud-covered people, dancing, sleeping, playing, mostly stoned, mostly happy, sharing food, drinks and of course there was a haze of pot smoke to mellow everyone out, smoking or not.

It was not the most pleasant place to be… toilet facilities were almost non-existent, so basic human functions and the ‘organic’ nature of the entire event led to a not-so-charming guy releaving himself right on the back of my boyfriend’s pants! Grossed me out, but I was only 16 and this was just the beginning of a crazy new world. This was Sunday afternoon, think I heard Joe Cocker, several others, but it’s pretty much a blur between what I actually heard and saw and what I remember from seeing the movie. (Time to see it again too!) I think it was more real for me because with a few months in between, I could comprehend more of what had actually taken place. It was an entire city where before there was only farmland. It happened within the course of one week… a small upstate New York town was overtaken, all stores for miles around sold out of food supplies, basic necessities and ice. I vaguely remember people selling water and ice for outrageous prices. No one was prepared to feed the almost half a million people that swarmed over the beautiful rolling farm lands. It was and is still amazing that for several days MUSIC, people and their basic needs were the focus of this muddy, magical city. Peacefulness and sharing prevailed and it worked on many levels. I also remember going there a week or two after the event, and acres and acres of those beautiful hills were a mess. People were still there, many helping with the cleanup, many just staying because it had been such an incredible experience and they didn’t want it to end.


Wavy Gravy of the Hog Farm, Woodstock preservation org photo
Wavy Gravy of the Hog Farm,
Woodstock preservation org photo

“What we have in mind is
breakfast in bed for 400,000”

NOTE: photo removed? link to image may still work.


A few weeks after the festival, I heard that people from the hog farm had started a commune just across the river from Narrowsburg (named because of the location on the narrows of the Delaware River). And a few days after that, my sister and I were invited to visit the farm. Another new experience, an old farmhouse full of very colorful hippies, with many VW’s, paisley painted buses, and cars around the yard, dogs and kids everywhere, open doors, all sorts of people coming and going, all friendly and many hanging around looking very high. Someone offered us a glass of koolaid and I remember how quickly my protective, big sister genes kicked in. I’d heard about that stuff, electric koolaid spiked with hallucinogenic LSD or some other mysterious stuff. No thank you. We were young and we knew better, then got older and didn’t know much at all! The commune was the talk of the town for many months. Small towns, I was to learn, often have restrictive, concentric attitudes. People are comfortable within their own spaces and are quickly threatened, and fearful of change. Things did change and quickly. I left my small town the next year, and soon after headed south to Coconut Grove where we would hang out in a place called Peacock Park. Hari Krishnas chanted while handing out organic foods, bought a beautiful little white shepard puppy from some kids there, stayed about 6 months and it took me over 30 years to find my way back. Grove is different now, but still has something magical, like the village of Woodstock (lived there for a few years), and the original festival. For me, the magic is the arts connection, if you pay attention to how you feel, the creativity energy is flowing everywhere, in the streets, along the shore, in shops and restaurants, in the music, art, poetry, theatre. It’s a small town, but certainly not limited or restrictive, always active, creative. The times are always changing and that makes me happy and hopeful.

Woodstock 40 Years Commemorative Design with Purple Peace Sign, Dalmatian, Dove and Peace (marijuana) Branch

Woodstock 40 Years Commemorative Design with Purple Peace Sign, Dalmatian, Dove and Peace (marijuana) Branch

Visit the Woodstock Anniversary page at my CafePress Shop for Woodstock 40th Anniversary 1969 – 2009 Commemorative Designs – the Purple Peace Sign with Dalmatian, Dove and Peace Branch and the Peace Sign with a Red/Green Caladium nature’s energy reflection design, both available on over 2 dozen products. Prices start at less than $5.

Sharing the energy – Inauguration 09 at Miami Arsht Center

video of Miami gathering at Arsht Performing Arts Center to celebrate USAs 44th Presidential inauguration

video of Miami gathering at Arsht Performing Arts Center to celebrate USA's 44th Presidential inauguration

Happy that I could be at Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts in Miami)
with 4000 + equally joyful, hopeful people watching the inaguration ceremony of our 44th President, Barack Obama, and Vice President Joe Biden.

Paula and I sharing a hug of hope, joy and new energy during the celebration of the inauguration of Barack Obama, the 44th President of the United States of America at Adrienne Arsht Performing Arts Center in Miami

Paula and I sharing a hug of hope, joy and new energy during the celebration of the inauguration of Barack Obama, the 44th President of the United States of America at Adrienne Arsht Performing Arts Center in Miami


President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama

President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama

from live telecast at Arsht Center in Miami during inauguration ceremony



Everyone was cheering, hugging and sharing this exciting time and energy!

Paula Lancaster and Debra Cortese cheering and sharing the energy of change!

Paula Lancaster and Debra Cortese cheering and sharing the energy of change!

Sweet 16

Today is my youngest daughter’s 16th birthday. When I think about this it seems surreal that 16 years have zipped by… and what have I been doing that keeps me so unaware of the passage of time?  Guess I’m enjoying life and creating art and LIVING!  very Sweet indeed 🙂1994 Vermont Jenna & Lena our Dalmatian Puppy - Debra Cortese image

First image/artwork of Jenna and our dalmatian puppy, Lena looking out at the spring snow in Vermont 1994. next photo: Here she (Jenna) is this morning, opening gifts (made by oldest daughter, artist, Erin Inglis). and 3rd: Jen’s wearing the birthday cake earrings today!
Jenna 16 today  Jenna opening birthday gifts early this morning














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The Garden Project

The Garden Project broccoli bed and gardener pic:Broccoli Bed and Gardener
Little River Bend Garden Project 2008

I first met Linda McGlathery at Imagine Miami Summit and was instantly curious to learn more about The Garden Project. Had the pleasure of visiting the Little River Bend Gardens recently and the energy of nature there is beyond magical! The manatees visit daily, like water guardians and friends to the residents; the gardeners are interacting, learning and producing some of their own food.
Definitely looking forward to future Garden Projects and their inherent Magic!
SEE THE GARDEN PROJECT video clip here!

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A glorious morning filled with the energy of endless possibilities

 Something clicked yesterday. I was able to let go of a tiny piece of ego and could immediately imagine new possibilities. This morning, instead of my usual solitary, coffee and pets walk around the yard, I carried my camera so I could share a bit of what I know to be the magical energy of nature. Hope this very basic little movie can convey some of the joy, peacefulness and creativity that comes from ‘presence’. Take a few deep breaths and see Morning Joy on my website.

Hope it inspires you!