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Healing and Empowerment for Women

Category Archives: Feminism

Fifty three years ago, I was a senior at Bladensburg Senior High School in Maryland. I was a rising star in the science world and in the science fair world. I was Photography Editor of the yearbook.

Susan w butterfly necklace

I had been a scientist, in my soul, since childhood. I came from a family of photographers and had worked in the darkroom since I was 7. My dad was the Medical Photographer at George Washington University Medical School in DC and I had gone to work with him often, on Saturdays, all through grade school. I had hung out with medical scientists when I was there.

susan joe poppy

My success and my gender were apparently too much for my high school Physics teacher and the Photography teacher. Sadly, their classrooms were across the hall from one another and  they were best buddies. This allowed them to gang up on me more.

I was the only girl in my “Double Physics” class. Back in the day (1964-65) we didn’t have AP classes. Serious science students could sign up for classes like Double Chemistry, a two hour class which I had taken the year before. Now I was in Double Physics, another two hour class, this one with a total of 12 students.

The Physics teacher would have been fired the same day if I’d had an iPhone and had recorded his daily, sexist, misogynist remarks to me. “There is only one thing a woman can do that a man cannot do, and she needs a man to help her do it,” he said one day.

By some miracle of grace, I paid him little attention in these attacks. I was there to continue my science education by learning Physics.

Only two of us in the class took the Science Talent Search exam. Only one of us was named to the Honors Group. That would be me.

Only one of us would earn a slot in the International Science and Engineering Fair. That would be me.

The Photography teacher was the yearbook advisor I had to work with. And of course, I had to use his darkroom, right across from the Physics classroom. I had worked in darkrooms since I was seven. I really had no questions for the Photography teacher, I knew what I was doing and did it quickly and efficiently.

The Photography teacher was actively hostile to me, every day, for no reason. The two teachers were “best buds.” Neither touched me. They just tried to shame and discourage me.

It didn’t work. I was respectful to both of the teachers, and held myself aloof from their cruelty.

I was able to exact revenge on the Physics teacher twice.

The Maryland Academy of Sciences chose to honor me at a special dinner in Baltimore, 38 miles away. Your science teacher was to accompany you. I told my Physics teacher of this requirement. He suggested that my old Chemistry teacher do it instead. I replied that they wanted him to be there. I could have asked my Chemistry teacher, who had moved to another school. He would have been glad to support me, but I wanted my Physics teacher to have to drive me there and back, and to sit beside me and watch me be honored.

The second “revenge” came twelve years later. I knew that the Physics teacher had always wanted to go to medical school and had not been able to get in.

When I graduated medical school, I had already earned a MS in Human Physiology, I learned that my Physics teacher had retired. I called the office at the Prince George’s County School Board and spoke to the woman who sent out the checks to retired teachers. “Oh,” I said, “he will be so thrilled for me. If I mail you a copy of my graduation announcement, would you mail it to him for me.” She readily agreed. I sent it.

Of course, I never heard from him.

I am writing this today because I read an article in the Washington Post about a math teacher who tried to tear down female students. I am here to say that teachers like that have tried to tear us down for a very long time.

It is my understanding that both of my former teachers are deceased. I leave their names off out of respect for their families. I am sure that both men did good in their lives, although not to me.

An organization, Stop Sexual Assault in Schools, created the hashtag that leads this post.

Here is the link to today’s WP article:

*The portrait of me was taken by my brother, Stephen C. Delaney, who was the photographer for the EPA for its first 25 years. The second photo was taken by my dad. I am standing with my uncle and grandfather.

Susan Delphine Delaney MD, MS

Doctor Delaney was honored by the Prince George’s County Regional Science Fair; The Westinghouse Science Talent Search; the International Science and Engineering Fair; The Washington Academy of Sciences: The Maryland Academy of Sciences. She is a 1969 Graduate of the University of Maryland in Chemistry, in an American Chemical Society accredited program. She worked as a Chemist, wrote operating systems for large scientific computers and did hospital data processing. She earned a MS in Human Physiology in 1974 from the University of Wisconsin. She earned her MD from the University of Wisconsin in 1977. She is a 1981 graduate of the Menninger School of Psychiatry. She was a Staff Psychiatrist at the Menninger Hospital and taught in the Menninger School of Psychiatry. She is the author of two books. The first won a Gold Medal for Health Communication from the American Association of Medical Writers. She is the author of two nationally distributed columns and many magazine articles. She has given presentations at the UTSW Medical School and at several Dallas area colleges.


enso brushstroke red black

In 1969, when working as an Adhesives Chemist, a male co-worker was resentful that as a degreed chemist, I made more money than he.

One day I found a huge p*nis made of black mastic lying in the crease of my lab notebook. Mastic is a black putty-like adhesive, still used to fix down linoleum floor tiles.

I pulled off the tip of the p*nis and fashioned a tiny p*nis from it and laid the tiny one in the crease of his lab notebook.

I laid the mutilated one beside his notebook.

That was the end of that.

He never bullied me again.

0004 pussy hat

Our individual snowflakes, our pushbacks, have become an AVALANCHE of justice for women.

Good on us!


(Note: the painting at the top of this page is one of mine.)



I wept when I saw this photo on Facebook today. I weep as I write this. Science Fair was my salvation!

I was a teen when my family hit really hard times.

Fortunately, I was a kid who was a native of Washington DC. Four generations of my family had nourished our minds and souls at the Smithsonian Museums.

When I was a girl, Mother would pack me a sack lunch and pin two streetcar tokens to my blouse and off I would go to spend the day at the museums on the Washington Mall.

Natural History was my favorite one, especially the Hall of Minerals. I loved crystals.

Later, my science fair project would be about crystals. I grew crystals in a strong electrostatic field and observed the changes in their behavior under the influence of that field.

Even as my family was collapsing around me, I continued with my project. I did well in the school fairs and the regional fair. When I was a senior in high school, I won first Grand Prize in the Regional Science Fair and won a trip to the International Science and Engineering Fair in St. Louis.

As a result, I won enough scholarships that I could attend college. I completed my BS in Chemistry in 3 1/2 years.

Later, I would earn an MS in Human Physiology.

And later, my MD.

All because of Science Fair.

When my daughter started first grade I started volunteering to judge school, district and regional science fairs. I did so for 16 years. I judged twice at International.

My daughter was a science fair kid, too.

I coached her science fair classes starting when she was in 9th grade.

I taught the science fair kids to watch three movies:

* October Sky, because science fair CAN be your ticket “out”.

* Space Monkeys, because sometimes the judges give it to the monkeys.

* Cool Runnings, because, “If you are not OK before you win the gold medal, you won’t be OK after you win it.”

I am happy to say that science fair taught my wonderful daughter poise and grace under fire from science fair judges. She’s an alumna of the International Science and Engineering fair, too. She’s a PA and holds her own BS and MS.

So, you see, I wept when I saw the photo at the top of this blog. Because of science fair, I have three degrees. Because of science fair I’ve written two books, three columns for national magazines, many articles for national magazines and now this blog.

Thank you, Science Fair!

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A bead artist in one of my Facebook groups was bemoaning her cracked fingertips. I will share what I wrote to her, in case you are suffering as well.

I am a doctor/artist and I wrote a comprehensive health care guide for women who do crafts. It won a Gold Medal for Health Communication and was a Main Selection of the Doubleday Cooking and Crafts club.

One whole chapter of my book is on the fingers.

Here is what I am doing this winter for my cracked fingertips. Every night I put a teaspoon of sugar in my palm and pour in about a teaspoon of olive oil. I scrub down my hands, the backs, palms and fingertips. I rub my fingertips in my palms in the sugar scrub to burnish off dead skin and to stimulate the blood vessels.

Then I wash off the sugar with water under the tap, then most of the oil with hand soap.

I keep my fingernails very short so that the skin on the tips is uniformly tough, so that it resists cracking.

At bedtime I put 1/2 teaspoon of sweet almond oil in my palm and I massage it into my hands, especially my nail beds and fingertips. The massage not only delivers the oil to my skin but opens up the capillary beds so that maximum sturdiness of the skin develops.

If you want my book, many Amazon Booksellers have it for 1 cent plus $3.99 shipping (this keeps me humble; if you buy from Amazon Booksellers I won’t make even that one cent, which is fine).

If you need it today you can get it from C&T Publishing as an e-book. There’s a hot link to the C&T listing on my author website

BTW, C&T was the best publisher a gal could dream of!

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Are you feeling at the end of your rope?

My dear, late friend Fr. Al Durrance used to say this: God can always be found at the end of your rope.

Al had been in the healing ministry for 56 years when he passed last July. He brought me into that ministry in 1994 and I have been privileged to see many miracles because he “got” me that day at the National meeting in Ft. Worth. He waived the “entrance” requirements for the Oder of St. Luke the Physician and inducted me on the spot. I think he knew that I would do all of the required things. I did. In fact, I have taught the course on the healing miracles of Jesus eight times already.

I made these earrings from translucent polymer clay that I kissed gently with silver/granite clay and bronze clay. Only the tiniest bit of each.

I made the silicone molds from a statue of St. Francis of Assisi. The mold for the back is just folds of his habit. See below.

I painted the recesses of the clay ovals with a silver paint and the high points with a gleaming micaceous paint.

They are gorgeous. Below you can see the “back” of one on the left.


They are available in my Etsy shop as a special order. I can do them with hints of silver, pale gold, gold, copper or bronze in the clay. I can put in gray mica or gleaming colorless mica. Or both. I can paint the recesses with silver, gold, copper or bronze. I can paint the high spots with a super thin layer of mica in red, orange, blue, green or violet. I can use wires and lever backs to match the metallic color you have chosen to tint the clay body.

I’d be glad to make a pair for you. I can have them ready to ship within three days.

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Yesterday I was photographing some of the lush, female figures that I offer as earring components in my Etsy shop at

I found my tongue planted firmly in my cheek.

I have a brick that has MEXICO stamped into it, so I decided to use it as a prop and to place the ladies at famous Mexican beaches.

I call these glorious goddesses Purple Squirrels at Playa Norte. Swirls of my blue-violet opal clay jostle with translucent violet and opaque violet clays.

A Purple Squirrel is a unique individual with the education, experience and qualifications to fill a very special job opening. I placed the Purple Squirrel at one of Mexico’s famous beaches.


Anke at Acapulco, a pair of goddesses swirled with shades of Dutch blue.

Some of my customers carry a goddess as a pocket goddess.


Underwater at Puerta Vallarta. Earrings in which subtle teal swirls with ivory opal clay, palest gold translucent clay and ivory pearl clay. The faceted stones are Adventurine.

If you visit my Etsy shop you can see other beach goddesses. And narwal tusks!



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Art Bead Scene ( issued a very bright challenge this month, bursting with oranges and other bright colors. I gently marbled together some golds and oranges to create these earrings, Creamsickle. They are available in my Etsy shop

Here is the painting we had for a prompt:

jan 2015 - hundertwasser palette

Imagine Tomorrow’s World, an environmental poster by Friendensreich Hundertwasser. Did I mention that it was bright?



I also created Ruby Begonia, a pair of earrings with lush, female forms in shades of translucent ruby from the painting. I topped them with genuine raw rubies. You can find Ruby in my shop.

Art Bead Scene has a new challenge: create Art Beads based on the painting. I created two:


Volcano goddesses.


Sunshine and Buttercups.

All are available in my Etsy Shop.

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