Thursday, April 30, 2009

What makes you happy?

This age old question is doing it's share of popping into conversations and blogs these days. And I am aware that happiness is certainly personal and dynamic. But my husband, who is currently reading "The Ascent of Money" by Niall Ferguson, read a few passages about the paradox of why the people living in the safest country in the world are also the most insured. Ferguson also discusses when English-speaking people began to be obsessed with buying and selling of houses. Both very interesting, and directly related to happiness, I think.

First of all, it has only been in the last few decades that people began to believe that they must own a house to be happy. Before that, people often rented their entire lives, often living in the same place. See New York City. People in Switzerland often never pay off their homes, just passing the mortgage on in their wills to their family. But our country feels that you are just not complete without the "American Dream". With that comes taxes, insurance, upkeep, etc. You are tied to that house and mortgage. And you are tied to that exact location. Believe me, I know what it is like to have a big house on the market during down times. Our last one had three people come through (other than the lookie-lous that came through during the "open house" phase), in 100 days. It was a beautiful home, in a beautiful location. But it was outside the Twin Cities area, and gas was starting to sky rocket. It was not looking good. We lucked out with a man that walked through, loved it, bought it for cash (for his summer home - the rest of the time he lived on a horse ranch in Texas), no contingencies! Great luck. But I can see a very different scenario if we were still there. What I'm trying to get to, is why do people feel compelled to own something that will take so much of their income that it will cause anxiety if circumstances change? Losing your down payment, not to mention your equity, on a house you can no longer afford is a crushing blow. But millions are going through this right now. 

Now for insurance. We have to insure everything. Yesterday the person at the checkout counter at a local sport shop wanted my husband to insure his new running shoes for a year. My husband laughed and declined, saying he would not use them for a year. He believes in good running shoes and only uses them a few months - but that's another story. The point is we have to own all this stuff and then insure it. How much of our lives, and money, is just taking care of our stuff? I have always disagreed with friends that bought houses for their children to live in while attending college. Why would you tie your children down to a house during the only free time of their lives? The fun is moving from place to place, fixing it up and making it your home. Lots of good stuff comes from that. Yet the first thing many do is help their children buy a home after graduation. Thus ensuring they will be right there, for a long time. What if they wanted to travel and see the world? Or work overseas? Or take a job across the country? Get a second degree or work in another field that may pay less? Experience life? 

So, I guess I would pose the question - do we really think about what makes us happy? Really looking at what makes our day? Or do we assume our happiness must look like a programed set of values that may or may not fit what we actually like to do? And why do we have to own everything? Does it make us happier?

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Fingerprints and Blogging

Have you ever noticed that everyone's blog roll is different? Even very like-minded people have blog rolls that express their individuality. Yours may be more heavily into children and babies, like my daughters, or music, or poetry, or art. But all of them seem to have an exclusive fingerprint, expressing that person's desire for friendship, understanding, faith, caring, and education. We run to the ones that are our teachers when we feel down, and to the ones that make us laugh when we need a good one. We reach out to those that we feel might need a friend, and gladly accept the hand of friendship from others. We revel in the good fortunes of our blogging buddies and strive to give heartfelt advice to those going through tough times. And all through this amazing labyrinth, we find what we need and what may need to be given. One of a kind fingerprints. Possible relationships with people all over the world. People who are much more similar to us than not. Each with their own blog roll, expressing their distinctness.

The dynamic nature of such an interface is remarkable. You are free to pick and choose among an ever-expanding field of extraordinary writers. The trouble for me is finding the time to follow all the ones I want to follow. I only give a cursory glance at all of the news programs that I once followed so carefully. Books remain unread. All the while I float around cyberspace learning more in a day about a variety of topics that I never imagined even existed. 

What about you? Do you have an expanding fingerprint/blog roll?

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Stew Update #2

So last night I cooked what I thought was the final stew. I included almost all, yes all, of your suggestions. And I think it was "the stew". But it seems my husband is saying it is not the final stew due to the dumplings (new addition, and he hates all new additions of most things), soaking up too much of the liquid. Therefore he is insisting I go back, and do the same stew without the dumplings, before he gives the final thumbs up.

I'm a little worried because it is starting to warm up. I mean how long into the spring do you really want to eat stew? ?

More to follow...

Monday, April 27, 2009

Interesting Dreams

I am one of those people who very rarely remembers dreams. But I had the most vivid dream about Richard Branson. Yes, Richard Branson. Do you suppose this picture could have anything to do with it?

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Nixing the Prius

We have been in the market for a car. We gave mine to our son-in-law last fall so that he could do his job, which requires quite a bit of travel. In the meantime, I decided to go with a hybrid. We had pretty much decided on the new 2010 Prius because the batteries are designed to last the life of the car. (A car we will have for a very long time.)

As I mentioned in my last post - my Achilles heel is children and animals. And one of the animals that I love the most is the elephant. After watching this 60-Minutes segment, my husband and I have decided NOT to buy the new Prius we were going to buy this summer. In fact, we are going to do our very best not to buy anything from Japan and China due to their importation of tons and tons of ivory, causing the subsequent slaughter of elephants in Africa (up 45% this year alone). Japan continues to hunt whales, another subject I feel deeply about. Since we are not really buying much more than food these days, this shouldn't be too difficult.

At some point we need to make a stand for the creatures on our earth that cannot speak for themselves. And, for me, this is mine.

In no way do I feel negatively toward the Chinese or Japanese people (for whom I have the utmost respect and affection). It is their government's policies on these issues that I disagree with. And the only power I have is with my wallet (a constrained one at that). So, lets take a look at that new Ford Fusion hybrid...


I spent all of yesterday, in between loads of vacation laundry, to catch up on all of your blogs. What I found was a phenomenal number of blogs that are exhibiting courage right now. Courage in a variety of ways. We have an over-worked and stressed mother reaching out for a small baby in a bad home environment. It will mean taking on a family member. We all know how easy that is! We have a young woman reaching out, and actually doing something, for a young mother and her three tiny children who found themselves homeless and on the streets. A young girl in India showing up to tutor children who's only school is a dusty yard in front of a shackled building. The list goes on and on. People overcoming anxiety and other devastating illnesses to get better, and in so doing, are inspiring others to do the same.

One of those people inspired to show some courage is myself. Let me preface this by saying, my Achilles heel is children and animals. I spent years in school with the idea of becoming a family counselor. But I always knew, and my husband reinforced, that there was no way I could be objective when it came to children. A very important and necessary trait of a good therapist. So, instead I decided to take a job offer at a hospital where I was doing my internship. I worked in a wellness division and really enjoyed supervising a variety of programs. But it wasn't what I was trained to do, nor was it following the path I was meant to tread.

All the while, since working, and moving from state to state, I have had the intention of getting back to volunteer work. Specifically with needy families and children. But I kept putting it off. And I continue to put it off. 

Until last night. I had an epiphany and the light turned on. 

What I realized, is that I am protecting myself from the hurt that will come from working with children and families that are struggling. There will be those tiny faces, so at the mercy of the adults in their lives, that I will be limited in helping. And I will worry and stress and bring it home with me. I will be uncomfortable. I will be sad at times, furious in others. In other words, it's going to take courage. But if all of you can be courageous - why can't I? You have inspired me to go out tomorrow afternoon to our local Children's Cabinet and roll up my sleeves. There has never been a time that our world needed courageous, loving people, more than now. It's time, as Pema Chodron suggests "to lean into the points". Face our fears head-on, and, in the process feel the pain, but also reap the rewards.

Thank you peeps, you are the greatest!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Light, Love & Blogs

A couple of blogs I read recently are feeling the "change" that I am also feeling, in terms of a shift in energy. I learn something from all of your blogs, and I try to give back when I can. But sometimes a really good blog comes up that is especially good at lifting us up. You might want to visit Being Gemel, if you want a little spiritual lift. Beautiful blog, with lots of inspirational quotes and pictures. A love for animals. Nice things.

If any of you come across exceptionally positive blogs, I would love to know about them. Sometimes we need to focus on the positive to slog through personal stuff in our lives. It's important to draw positive energy to us, don't you think?

With that being said, I also enjoy all the other blogs out there that can be funny, sad, hopeful, irreverent, silly, and informative. That, to me, is the beauty of the blog world. And now that I'm back, I look forward to catching up...

P.S. - All those lovely spring pictures we have all been enjoying - this is what our neck of the woods looks like today. The little stream is full, though!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Nothing Like Your Own Loo

After two weeks of traveling through Bend, Portland, the Oregon coastline, and California coastline, with an overnight at my brothers' in Sacramento, we are once again in the mountains. It smells sweet and fresh, and we count our blessings. We have managed to sleep in six different beds. And for the life of me, I cannot help myself from wondering just how many people have slept in that bed, and more importantly, used that bathroom. I know it's obsessive. I'm aware it is not healthy. But I wonder anyway.

My husband calls me the "princess and the pea" because I am kind of fussy about my bed. My girls both know that they had better have fresh sheets when I visit, because I can tell. So, all in all, I loved traveling and seeing all that beautiful scenery. But there really is no place like home.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Earth Day Contemplation

My thoughts today are revolving around Earth Day. And materialism. There was something I read the other day in Pema Chodron's book "When Things Fall Apart", that just might be applicable today. She was discussing the times when we are "nailed by life" and all defenses are not working.

"Most of us do not take these situations as teachings. We automatically hate them. We run like crazy. We use all kinds of ways to escape - all addictions stem from this moment when we meet our edge and we just can't stand it. We feel we have to soften it, pad it with something, and we become addicted to whatever it is that seems to ease the pain. In fact, the rampant materialism that we see in the world stems from this moment."

Today I intend to think about how I pad these moments, because I certainly do. What about you? How do you "pad" your moments? 

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Sea Ranch

For those blogging friends from California, I'm sure you know about Sea Ranch. But for those of you unfamiliar with the California coast, Sea Ranch is a planned development between Fort Bragg and Bodega Bay. It was designed to have homes that would not take away from the beauty which surrounds them. It has about 9 miles of trail all along the ocean front, but many more miles of trails up into the forested areas across Hwy One, which is also part of the development. It is a marine reserve, so the tide pools are always full of life. And you have your choice of several beaches, often with no one on them. A more beautiful spot would be hard to find.

We have brought our family here for many years, especially when our children were young. We would pack up the car with kids, food, dogs, kites and toys and head to Sea Ranch for a week of sun, beach, walking, napping, and just being together. Our lives were hectic in those days. Kids going one way, me another, and my husband always working. This week, every other year, was our time to spend quietly, communing with some of the most beautiful nature in the world. We would rent a different house each time. Some better than others - but that was part of the adventure! Everyone had a good book, and play was encouraged. Friends were not allowed to come on this trip - only family. That way we had them all to ourselves!

They're grown now, but the memories linger. We look forward to introducing our new grandson and son-in-law to Sea Ranch someday. If you have a chance, take a few days and stay at the lodge or rent one of the hundreds of homes that rent for several days, or weeks, and treat yourself to some exercise "Sea Ranch style".

Monday, April 20, 2009

Heading Out - Looking for Adventure (and whatever comes our way!)

There has been several posts about people heading out and coming back. I guess spring is the time to flap our wings a bit, and see what's out there. Here are a couple of snapshots of the beautiful Redwood Forest in Northern California, and of course, the magnificent Pacific Ocean. Hope you are enjoying spring wherever you happen to be.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Just Thinkin'

One thing about driving along, you have plenty of time to just think. And quite frankly, I think many of you are finding yourself in "thinking mode" right along with me. (Thanks to this world-wide economic tsunami.) As I visit all of your blogs, however, I find myself becoming more and more excited about our future.

Pema Chodron, in her book "When Things Fall Apart", talks about when we are faced with the "gorilla in the mirror", i.e., all of our defenses are not working, and we are unable to manipulate the situation to make ourselves come out looking good. Now many of you are saying - "But I didn't do anything to bring on this economic mess - this doesn't fit my situation." And you are right, but just for a moment, think how the following excerpt can relate to you in any difficult personal situation you may find yourself in right now:

"It's as if you just looked at yourself in the mirror, and you saw a gorilla. The mirror's there; it's showing you, and what you see looks bad. You try to angle the mirror so you will look a little better, but no matter what you do, you still look like a gorilla. That's being nailed by life, the place where you have no choice except to embrace what's happening or push it away." She goes on to talk about other things like "leaning into the points", allowing ourselves to feel sad, mad, disappointed, embarrassed, whatever the situation calls for. But after a certain amount of time doing that, use the situation as a guide to show us where we might be stuck. Use it as an opportunity.

Could this meltdown be an opportunity? Blog after blog of talented, really talented, people are looking at themselves and asking if maybe they should make those widgets they always wanted to make, or write, or do their art, or start a company, or have an animal shelter. Maybe they won't make as much money, but maybe they don't need as much money

What do you think? Could this be an opportunity for an explosion of creativity in the marketplace? What would it look like if people were working from a place of passion? Do you have a passion for something you have always wanted to do, but never found the opportunity?

Friday, April 17, 2009

A sunny day on the Oregon Coast - Yipeee

Lucy - In the Moment - (as always) she's running so fast her ears stand up!

Age of Enightenment

Thanks everyone for all of your comments yesterday. They ranged from serious to funny to informative. I learned a few things. Always a good thing for me!

I would have to say, if the world is going to end, then I want to go out more "enlightened" than not. And I know that word evokes images of monks dressed in robes, chanting. Something unattainable for us average peeps. But for me, it is more about learning how to live day to day in a happier, less stressed, less fearful manner. Not an easy feat in today's climate (no pun intended.) So I guess I'm hoping for an "Age of Enlightenment" but I'm preparing for it to be either nothing, or the end, by working on myself. If we only have three or so years to live then I really want to make the most of it. And if I we have longer, wouldn't it make sense to learn how to enjoy it, regardless of the circumstances?

In the meantime, we need to go "green" as much as possible in a BIG way. Everyone, everywhere. We may not be able to turn the tide on global warming, but that doesn't mean we get to bury our heads and do nothing. And who knows, we may actually do some good. The human being is very resourceful and, when threatened with extinction, very motivated. 

As for being happier, less stressed, and less fearful, learning to live in the moment is truly the key. There are plenty of books out there that help you to do this, but it is really going to take a change in each of us to want to do that. To seek out that information, in whatever form, and be grateful for all the really small blessings in our lives. It takes work, and practice, but the end result is life changing, and life affirming, taking the fear out of the future.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Year 2012

The subject of "Year 2012", including a specific date - December 21, 2012 came up on one of my favorite blogs yesterday. The Gold Puppy explored whether or not people believe a cataclysmic event will occur on that date, the resetting of the Mayan calendar. Of course, I had to Wikipedia the date and look at some of the other information on the subject that is on the Internet. I came away with the following:

  • Some people believe we will experience Armageddon
  • Some people believe we may come in contact with asteroids, or other planets
  • Some people believe will will have WWIII
  • Some people believe we will experience massive climate changes, similar to the Ice Age
  • Some people believe we will enter an Enlightened Age
  • Some people believe we will have changes in our DNA
The list goes on and on. So my question to you is - have you heard of this date, and if so, what do you believe? 

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Where the Hell is Matt? (2008)

I Want His Job

You all may already know about his guy, but my daughter showed me this last night. She says she gets emotional just watching him dancing his way around the world. Probably all those musicals I would put on for her to watch as a child. As for me - I just want his job.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Eavesdropping On Your Funeral

I have been contemplating my demise. Actually, I do it all the time. My professor told me to do it.

I guess I should clarify. I really have no intention of dying, at least not any time soon. (Insert sign of the cross, knock on wood, etc.)  But most of us feel that way. Unless we know it is inevitable, and someday it will be, we try not to think about it. That's why this exercise is so weird, I admit. But if you are working on those parts of yourself that need work (or healing), this a good exercise.

Lie on your back, in a quiet room, cross your hands over your chest and pretend you are dead. Everything is over. Relax, and clear your mind. Then envision yourself at your funeral. What are the people walking by saying?

The idea behind this exercise is not to be hard on yourself - and it's not a popularity contest - it doesn't matter how many people are at your funeral. If you don't have many people in your life, then use the people you come in contact with. Be totally honest with what you might be hearing. Were you a kind person? Happy? Sad? Honest? Charitable? Are people saying how much they will miss you? That your generosity of spirit will be missed? Are people saying that it is sad you are gone, but you really weren't a very good person. You were successful, but at the expense of others. Anyway, this is your funeral - you get to pick the conversations.

The point is to really look at where you are in your life. And maybe where you want to go for the rest of it. The impact that we have on others is very real and far-reaching. It's rippling effect is powerful.

We only get one shot at living. There isn't a second act. So be the person you want to be remembered for being. A life well lived.

Monday, April 13, 2009

It Was A Hit

The reaction was exactly what I thought it might be! My grandson loved his gift of music! He's only sixteen months old, but for some reason, he loves all kinds of music and as soon as I put it on, he wanted up. He immediately put his head on my shoulder and snuggled in for some music and dancing with his grandma. Of course, if you wear out and need to pass him off, he does the exact same thing with the next person. It's like he goes into another world, and likes nothing better than to listen and be close! He never seems to tire of the exercise. Only problem is the dancer part of the exercise is the only one getting any. He's getting a bit big and feels like a warm little sack of potatoes. But, honestly, - do I really have anything better to do than dance with my grandson? Can there be anything better? And exactly how long do you think I have, before this is something he will be way too cool for?

On another note, for those of you who have heard the story of mat, liz, and madeline, they will be on Oprah today. For those of you that have not heard the story, it is a sad one. Mat and Liz had their first baby a year ago, but Liz died the next day. The blog is done by Mat as he struggled to care for his newborn and grieve for his wife. He took tons of pictures and I've followed it from day one. It is sad, happy, funny at times, and very soulful. You can't help but love Madeline and respect Mat. They have been in People Magazine and even on Rachael Ray. 
It is a "count your blessings" kind of story. 

Friday, April 10, 2009

Spring Renewal & Happy Easter

I love Easter. I love everything about it. But especially the feeling that we are on the precipice of an explosion of new growth. Soon all the trees will have beautiful leaves, flowers will bloom in abundance, showering our senses with color. The grass will turn green, and all the little creatures in the soil will come alive to help us grow our food.

Maybe, just maybe, it's true for us as well.  What do you think?


Thursday, April 9, 2009

Mission Statement

Many years ago, when I began my "spiritual search" for meaning, I wrote a little personal mission statement. It has come and gone in my consciousness over the years. But for anyone who has begun a "spiritual search", you know that you are not always on the path. You fall off and go in different directions, only to find the need to get back on the path because you don't feel so well. It usually happens when everything we work for, or believe in, becomes an illusion, or doesn't feed that part of us that needs feeding. I think that is happening on a world-wide scale. Our old ways of doing things are no longer applicable. We are destroying our earth home, consuming to feed that part of us that actually needs food of a different sort. Your path is different from mine, but one thing we have in common is our desire for a society, no matter where you live in this world, that listens, and provides, what we want and need.

So what do we want? What do we need? Now that our institutions are falling, how would you like to see them structured?

These questions are very real. Governments all over the world are needing our help. Yes, our help. The simple fact is - they really don't know how to fix all that ails. Of course we may have some ideas, but we are only small people and these are larger than life problems. Or are we?

I have found an explosion of new ideas and energy over the last couple of months. People who no longer trust institutions are taking destiny into their own hands. This creativity is coming from despair, but it's building, believe me. And you, yes you, are part of it. You are part of it because you were drawn to read this. Because you've been thinking about it. Whatever special gift you were given, and we all have one, is part of the solution.

So it's time to take your place in the scheme of things. It's time for you to start designing your world as you want it to be. Keeping in mind that "like attracts like", I would challenge you to work from a higher self, one that takes the well-being of all into consideration. Write your own mission statement. Carry it in your mind as you start designing the world you would like to see. Starting in very simple ways is okay, but everyone, everywhere, can do something to affect change. And remember, thoughts are energy, the very building block of what you want to see happen. Speaking of energy, I woke up to a little update blog entry from one of my favorite authors this morning in my e-mail. Are we on the same page or what?

Share your ideas, they may spark one in us. Blogging is a unique opportunity because it shares information instead of competing for it. How great is that?

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Blogging and Energy

Lately I have been turning off the news. I've been a news junkie. Over the last many months, since before the election, and subsequent dismantling of our economy, I was glued. And listening to all the angry voices out there, angry for good reason, I might add, I realized I couldn't overcome the the number one Spiritual Law of the Universe. "Like attracts like". Whatever you focus on returns to you. My anger was returning to me, and it wasn't pretty. The news media feeds on that anger because it sells. The only way to break the cycle was to turn off the news programs and quit visiting my many aggregate news sites, newspapers on-line, and magazines. Time to let Obama do what he is going to do, trusting that he has our back. I was like a junkie. I needed to get it under control before I needed anti-depressants, or therapy.

Like most addictions, you need a replacement. In my case it became blogging. I started out by hanging around my daughters blog. But she is in a completely different stage in life, and I kind of felt a little out of place. I will always be interested in children and families, but this blogging forum was more about new mommies who wanted to connect with other new mommies. No, what I needed was something different. So I started going to Blog of Note, and found a couple of sites there. But my biggest breakthrough was following some of the comments on those sites. The beautiful thing about blogging is that it is inclusive. You don't have to be young, old, athletic, beautiful, handsome, smart, rich or poor to be included. You just have to leave a comment. Certain rules do apply, however. Mean comments will be deleted and so will you. The blog will either become private, or all the comments will be approved before they appear on the blog. A nice little built-in hate stopper. But thoughtful comments are appreciated by everyone. 

Which brings me to energy.

I have been noticing a certain energy pattern in blogging. We are drawn to the sites that have something we need. It may be a quality that we have not yet developed, an interest we want to pursue, a need to be cheered, information, a friendly "voice" in the night. But we find them, and they find us. We are never alone, if we don't want to be. And everyone has something to offer. And I think that is the real beauty of it. You may not think what you have to say is of any interest to anyone, but rest assured someone is interested. What you have to offer is valuable. So all you new bloggers out there, keep exploring the blog world, and remember "like attracts like".

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Spring at 6500

I think spring has arrived here at 6,500 feet. It may not be lush yet, but there are certainly signs. I always love to visit blogs that show me pictures of what it is like where they live at different times of the year. So I thought you might like to see what early spring looks like at Lake Tahoe.

We took a walk that winds us around the golf course and homes that are only used for a certain part of the year. Where I live, only 30% of the people live here year-round. I guess they don't like to shovel snow. Anyway, it's quiet right now, but soon it will be bustling with tourists and the people who are only here for parts of the year.

Lucy was having a ball running on the golf course. But she will only be able to do that for a few more walks. We could already see someone preparing the course for the summer, and she is not welcome when the little golf carts start winding their way around. As you can see she is running at full tilt. We keep a close eye on her because if she hits us running like that there is no doubt you are either going down or breaking something. We don't call her Hulk Lucy for nothing. One time I was talking with a plumber in my kitchen in Minnesota, I was on one side of a high counter and he on the other. That house was large with a big open floor plan. Lucy went into "crazy lab mode" which is running as fast as she could around and around the room. She was able to get some speed up when she hit me right behind the knees. One minute I was talking to the plumber and the next I was looking up, red faced, as he peered over the counter to see if I was okay! 

You can see that the snow is fighting to keep hold on the green grass that has been buried, just waiting to take it's turn. I love the shadows on the snow and grass from the tree branches not yet in bloom.

I'm trying to visit everyone's blog that left messages. Thanks so much for your visits to mine. Have a great day!

Monday, April 6, 2009

One Person, One Change

Thank you all for your comments and wise words. One thing that jumped out at me was the universal desire for people to be treated with dignity, kindness, and equality. This came from all over the world. This one desire. Oh sure, we want our collective governments to play fair, get out of the hate game, and do right by us and the world. But the overwhelming response was for people to treat each other as equals. And no matter where you are from, there are always those that want to elevate themselves at your expense. They think they are better because they may have more money, education, status, power. But they are not better, they only have more money, education, status, and power. And we cannot change that. The only thing we have power over is ourselves.

But that power can change the world. One mind at a time. One change at a time.

I have made some changes in my mind over the last few months. I no longer accept e-mails from friends and family that are cloaked in jokes, patriotism, stories, etc., but are actually hidden hate bombs. You know the ones - they start out nice or interesting, but end with you feeling bad, or at least uneasy. They are usually against Obama, immigrants, other nations, other nationalities, other races, the poor. They always have a target. They always have an agenda. Needless to say, this has not made me popular with said family and friends. (And I get far fewer e-mails.) But I felt I needed to make a stand. Just one person, one change. 

What about you? Have you made any changes lately that you feel strongly about?

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Small World

I was thinking about how when I was a child, I thought the world to be an immense space. So large that the mind had a hard time grasping the idea of so many people, lands, cultures. Now, because of technology, we realize it is a very small globe, actually. That we are connected to the world, and it's peoples, in a very intimate way. We can communicate with individuals, not just second-hand through newspapers or journalists. We can, through blogging, reach out and touch real people.

In the US, it has changed politics forever. Between the election in 2000 and the election in 2008, the blogging world exploded. For the first time, our politicians could not lie to us, and then just keep repeating the lie, until we had no choice but to accept it. Ditto for our business leaders. The world of blogging has changed all that. U-Tube has changed all that. The truth is already out there, and you can bet someone has it on tape somewhere.  All we have to do is link to each other, share information, and the ability to pull the wool over our eyes decreases exponentially. The power goes back to the people.

In that light, I would like to ask you a few questions. I have never had the honor to be able to do such a thing, with so many people. You are reading this blog from all over the world, by the thousands! Absolutely incredible! So here goes:

Where you live, what is it like right now?

How/would you like to see change?

Thanks, and have a great day, night, whatever! 

Saturday, April 4, 2009


I have received two awards over the last few weeks that I am just now acknowledging. (Sorry.) I thank you so much for thinking of me when presenting awards to blogs that you find enjoyable. We all write, not knowing if anything we write is of any interest to others. Rest assured, that I thoroughly enjoy both of your blogs, and thank you so much. The Chic Geek and Women of a Certain Age, you are both wonderful and interesting writers. Both awards had the same text:

"This blog invests and believes in the Proximity - nearness in space, time and relationships. These blogs are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in prizes or self-aggrandizement! Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers! Deliver this award to eight bloggers who must choose eight more and include this clever-written text into the body of this award."

Please feel free to enjoy this award and to pass on if you would like to - no pressure! I am still trying to figure out how to display awards on my blog - just in case you all wonder why they haven't appeared in a pretty little row like so many more techno-savy blogs - geeesh!

Musings from the deep - sweet and soulful
Lost in Translation - trying to do it all
Goddessoftheconfluence - Nepal's friend
Kathy's campground capers - life in a campground
La rubia habla! - life as a new high school teacher
Not Rocket Science - midlife musings
Star-forever-young - moving to America

These are just a few of my favorite blogs - most of the others are well-known, and well-loved!

Blog of Note

Wow! I have no idea why I was picked as a Blog of Note - but I feel very humbled. I have read some of your comments to my last post, and I can't wait to visit your sites, as well. We are all together on this journey through life, and blogging has given me the ability to share my thoughts, and to learn from yours.

Thank you so much for visiting!

Friday, April 3, 2009

In that Moment...

I was trying to have a conversation with my daughter today while her toddler bounced around the room, either hurting himself or getting into something he shouldn't. The conversation was about trying to hang on in this economy. Her husband has a lucrative sales job that is not as lucrative as it was last year. Like most young families, she is trying to stretch herself and their resources, to make ends meet. In between picking him up to kiss an owie and tell him to get off/out of something, she sounded harried and exhausted, but also strangely happy.

I started thinking about happiness. How you can always be happy if you are in the moment. By that I mean, just taking a small second to be aware of all the good that is around you. Just right at that very moment. 

I remember finding out I had a brain tumor. I was 33 years old, with a six year old daughter, and one eighteen months. My mother had died when I was six, so this year of my daughter's life was very poignant for me. 

It came out of the blue - one minute I was just fine - swimming a mile a day in the community pool and the next I was on my way to LA for some serious surgery. I was diagnosed with an acoustic neuroma - which is a tumor wrapped around the acoustic nerve on the brainstem side. It was thought to be benign, but not in a good location, and rather large in size. In the end, I lost my hearing on one side, my face was temporarily and completely paralyzed on one side, one eye not tearing at all. I had to wear this ugly eye patch that was see-through. To say I was odd looking is an understatement! But whenever I started to feel sorry for myself, in that moment, all I could feel was incredibly lucky! Lucky to be alive, lucky to have a beautiful family, an incredible husband, to have a future. There were so many others dealing with so much more. So, because it was so easy to feel sorry for myself, and my family needed me to be strong, I tried to stay in the moment as much as possible. It really was the only way to get through it and recover. 

I sensed my daughter doing that today. She was busy, harassed, worried. But then her son would do something endearing or funny. And in that exact moment she was happy. Nothing else mattered.