Sunday, May 31, 2009

Synchronicity Stories

I had a comment on my last post on synchronicity from Rob and Trish MacGregor. They are famous for writing the wonderful Indiana Jones novels. They are currently working on a new novel involving synchronicity. If you have a story to share, please pass it along to them. Or just visit their blog, it's very interesting, and they are very nice people.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

A Great Big Sandwich

I believe the earth is going through a transformation. It is beginning at the grass-roots level and it is spreading fast. Here is a good example of what I'm talking about. 

It's not going to be about what you do, but how you do it. It's about fulfilling your destiny. On some level, we are feeling the call to change and to prepare for what is ahead. It will require people to live their lives consciously, in an awakened state. You will have the choice between the reactive force of the ego, or the alert attention of the awakened consciousness.

I could go on and on, but let me just say, this is not an easy task, this living in an awakened state. It requires work. The ego needs regular food, and it is ravenous. For instance, we all have buttons, that when pushed exude a rash of negative thinking. Families are great at pushing those buttons, maybe coworkers, the news, and definitely other drivers. I'm learning to envision my ego eating a great big sandwich every time I feed it with thoughts of jealousy, anger, greed, envy, judging, etc. Some days it gets lots of sandwiches. It then grows and gets bigger and bigger, and harder and harder to handle. Now that I am aware of this fatso inside me, I've been vigilant at not giving it any more sandwiches than I need to. However, this heightened state of awareness is difficult. Pema Chodron, when working on the same issue, asked her teacher why everything bothered her so much, why she was so cranky, and he replied because she was now aware of her ego/thinking for the first time.  It does make you cranky, it's really hard to be mindful and not add to the negativity of the world. After all, we all like nice big sandwiches sometimes, and so does your ego.


Friday, May 29, 2009

so you think you can dance - again?

I haven't been watching much television. But I turned it on last night to the program - so you think you can dance? - and once again was entranced. What is it about watching young people, at the very top of their physical abilities, give it everything they have to win over three judges? You can tell the ones that have been classically trained, probably years and years of dance lessons, recitals, commitments from not only themselves, but parents willing and able to pay and drive. I can tell you, having a daughter that danced for many years, it's not always easy.

Then there were the dancers that you could tell had zero advantages. All they brought to the table was pure talent. A talent, and a love of movement that brought them before those three judges, made of up of some of the world's best dancers and choreographers. Then, of course, there were the ones that didn't have talent, nor did they have training, some didn't even know what they were doing. But when they finished their dance, and walked up to the judges, their faces were all the same. Vulnerable. Pure vulnerability. Would the judges see what they saw, in their mind's eye, when they danced? Could this be the big break they longed for? Could they make it on to the next round, at least?

My heart soared when the ones who had worked so hard to hone their skill, regardless of how they got there, made it. I could feel their joy, their hope, and was truly excited for them. So I'll be there next week, hooked once again, on watching all the elements that make us human in their most raw and elemental form.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Synchronicity and the Blog World

What is synchronicity? Is it selective perception? Is it the law of averages, playing itself out? What about just a coincidence, or intuition? It was a term coined by one of my favorite psychiatrists - Carl Jung - who believed synchronicity is a glimpse into the underlying universe, a term to describe the connecting principle that links mind and matter. It manifests through meaningful coincidences that can not be explained by cause and effect and occurs when a strong need arises in an individual. He believed there were three types:

  • The coinciding with a thought or feeling with an outside event.
  • A dream, vision, or premonition of something that then happens in the future.
  • A dream or vision that coincides with an event occurring at a distance.
But I see this phenomenon in the blog world. I find that I can be thinking of something, and low and behold, someone is talking about it on their blog, or I will get a comment on mine. Or maybe it will be a comment on another blog that will relate directly to something that I need to know. 

Some scientists believe synchronicity as having a theoretical grounding in quantum physics, fractal geometry and chaos theory. That the isolation and separation of objects from each other is more apparent than real, that at deeper levels, everything - atoms, cells, molecules, plants, animals, people, and blogs, participate in a flowing, connected, sensitive web of information. The great Edgar Cayce, the most celebrated psychic of all time, believed there is a type of "grid" above the world that connects us all. Whether or not you believe that, scientists have proven that at the sub-atomic level we are made up of the same material. Even more interesting, they have found that two photons, when separated, no matter how far apart, when there is a change in one - it creates a simultaneous change in the other.

So maybe we are drawn to each other for a reason. Maybe there is something in the Universe that seems to swing into place to answer an inner need that we have, and that's why we love our blogging buddies so much. What do you think?

Tuesday, May 26, 2009


I spied this little saying on the the side of Willow's blog. It was so meaningful to me, I thought I would put it on my Intention Board and share it with you:

Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates vision for tomorrow.

Melody Beattie

I believe that remaining in a grateful state of mind is the secret to happiness. It's not dependent on anything other than your frame of mind. Speaking of which, your mind cannot think more than one thought at a time. Therefore, when I'm feeling down, and it has gone on too long, I will begin to change the "mind rut" that I'm in by listing, in detail, all the things I'm grateful for. I might start with clean running water when I turn on the tap. How amazing is that? Do you realize how many people in the world do not have clean water to drink, or bathe? Start there and work your way through all the things for which you have to be grateful, and the mind will follow along. Do you have something right now that makes you feel especially grateful?

Monday, May 25, 2009

Something Yummy

I had to share the recipe for this main dish salad I made for dinner. Always appreciative of good recipes - especially those low in fat and calories, I thought you might feel the same way. Guys, if you want to wow your wife, or girlfriend, this is easy, and goes great with some crusty french bread and "J" pinot grigio, my current fav, or wine of your choice. Eating this outside makes it taste better. The basis for the recipe came from here:

Mediterranean Potato Salad with Shrimp and Feta

3 Tbl chopped fresh basil
2 Tbl fresh lemon juice
4 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1.5 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper
1/2 tsp Dijon mustard

1.5 lbs small red potatoes, quartered
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper
1 lb medium shrimp (grilled with olive oil, salt & pepper to taste)
3 Cups thinly sliced romaine lettuce
1 Cup thinly sliced red pepper
1 Cup thinly sliced yellow pepper
1 Cup thinly sliced red onion
1/2 Cup (2 oz) crumbled feta cheese
2 Tbl chopped , pitted kalamata olives
1 Tbl capers (optional)

To prepare dressing, combine first 6 ingredients, stirring well with a whisk.

To prepare salad, place potatoes in a cast iron pot if you have one, mix with some olive oil and salt and pepper, turn on the heat, cover,  and when you hear it start to sizzle add a couple of Tbl of water, replace lid, lower heat, and let steam for about 30 minutes. 

Grill shrimp and let cool.

When potatoes are done, remove lid and let cool. Add shrimp and 1 Tbl of the dressing , mix well. When ready, add all the other ingredients, the rest of the dressing, and serve. Serves four very generously.


Sunday, May 24, 2009

Memorial Day and Patsy Cline

I think I have disliked this day most of my life. For me it was never about the fallen soldiers, although we always honored them. No, the dislike started the year after my mother died. Or maybe it was the same year, now that I think of it. My dad dressed me up in my very best dress. It was all white and lacy and had ribbons that ran down the side. I remember overhearing him say it cost $50, a princely sum when he only made $1.25 per hour. It's old and musty now, discolored. But it remains packed in a box.  I have, on numerous occasions, tried to get rid of it. But for some reason I still have it. My tiny little brother also dressed in his finest, as we visited the site where my mother was laid to rest after a viscous battle with breast cancer. She was 27 years old, and she left behind a husband, a daughter, six, and a six-month-old baby boy.

Every year my dad would take us up to the cemetery to lay flowers in honor of my mother. Like I ever needed a special day to remember her. She was in my mind every day of my childhood. It always ended the same. I would cry, and my dad would feel helpless, my brother confused. 

They met my chance. My mother, from Stockton, California was visiting her parents, who for some reason, moved to Gerlach, Nevada to open a restaurant. It was my dad's hometown. Full of his big family, and life-long friends. My dad, home on leave, became the love of her life. She immediately moved to Gerlach and began a campaign to win him over, starting with his mother. By the time he was discharged, the web was complete. The dye had been cast. The handsome cowboy would be single no longer. I was born on their first anniversary.

So today I am supposed to go up to the cemetery where four generations lay in rest, close by each other. In some ways it's comforting, knowing they're all together. 

But I just don't see my parents there. I never have. I see them dancing cheek to cheek. They're young, beautiful, and healthy. A song by Patsy Cline is playing in the the background. Their parents are sitting at Bruno's Bar laughing. All the cousins and siblings are there too. My brother and I are chewing on jerky and sipping shirley temples. 

Life is good.

Saturday, May 23, 2009


Reya at Gold Puppy started me thinking about middle age this morning. And I hope that if nothing else happens in our culture and society over the next many years, it will allow women to age gracefully and with dignity. For far too long woman have been victimized into believing that their looks, body and sex appeal were their only real attributes. We have sliced, diced, dyed, and abused ourselves into believing we could somehow hang on to our youth. But it is a natural process to contract. We are a microcosm of the world and universe. We are born, we expand, maybe multiply, then we begin to contract, and eventually die. As it is with all living things. Without acceptance of this process we do not allow the richness, that is a woman in the latter part of her life, to be accepted and revered. As it should be.

Of course, the same applies to men. How many old men do you just never pay much attention to? We believe that our old people have no value because our society is obsessed with youth and beauty. I think of all the men on Viagra and other "male enhancements" to hang on to the youth and vigor that was once so easy. Can these drugs be good for you? Seriously, do you think mixing these drugs with whatever else older men have to take can "enhance" their health? And what about the beauty of an older man? He has experienced so much to get where he is in his middle to latter years. Most men have worked all their lives for their families, only to be marginalized because they no longer can keep up with people in their twenties or thirties. What about all the knowledge, history, trials and errors that he has gone through that could be of value if someone only listened? Couldn't our senior citizens have warned us of an economic blowout if they had lived through the 1930's? Why does history keep repeating itself when it comes to economic policy? Because it is run by younger men and women that are focused on self, and not the greater whole. They are in the expanding stage of their lives.

I would hope we will look at our elderly differently in the future, and not just because I am headed that way. I would hope they will be there to teach their families, including their grandchildren, what they have learned - and have it accepted as information of value. I would like people to see the beauty of an aging woman. She is the contraction of life. As much a part of the lifespan as youth. The respect should be there. Don't you think?

Friday, May 22, 2009

Be Prepared

My friend, Ex-Pat, has been kind enough to do a post on being prepared in case of an emergency. This is something that I have put off for far too long. Yet I am reminded that emergencies take place on a daily basis all over the world. The thought that somehow it would not happen here is ludicrous. The flu can hit anywhere, at any time. Being a specialist for a travel immunization program at one point in my life, I would like to suggest that everyone make sure their tetanus is up to date. That disease, found mostly in soil and rusted iron, is 100% fatal. You need the immunization every 10 years. Now I have a couple of questions for you:
  • Does anyone know anything about the best freeze-dried foods to store? We haven't back packed in a long time. Any favorites?
  • We have a year-round creek that runs right outside. It comes straight from the 8500 ft level, so we know it's clean. Not for drinking, however. Anyone know of a good water filter for potable water?
  • Do you have any suggestions for things to put into a disaster bag?
I would love any suggestions or thoughts you might have on this. Preparing for an emergency is prudent. Have a great three-day weekend!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Motorcycle Grandma?

My husband has one big crush - on his beautiful blue Harley Davidson motorcycle. We are off to take it in for a "check up" in preparation for summer fun. Or is it fun? The answer is a resounding YES for him, and a tentative maybe for me. You see, I have developed a phobia on the bike.

It happened one day while we were riding in Portland with some friends. I don't know what my husband was thinking, but we were on the freeway, and simply put, he started going way too fast. He has his excuses, none of which I have accepted. In the meantime, I forgot to open all the air holes in my helmet. So the combination of a lack of air, the 75 mph, traffic, the feeling I was going to faint and fall off the bike, the inability to get his attention because he was
intent on keeping that bike going forward at a hair-splitting speed, has left me with a damned phobia for riding in any kind of traffic!

It's crazy how phobias become so real - all it takes is one time of feeling out of control and fear takes over in a very strange way.

Anyway, I forced myself to go with him again when we lived in Minneapolis. That trip he kept going and going and going, without stops. Now if you know anything about seats, you'll know it is a very unfair situation.
His seat is much larger than mine - despite the disparity in sizes of the appendages going into said seats. Some women liken it to riding on a fence post for hours. Stops are very important! But he just couldn't make up his mind where to stop, so we drove and drove. The end result was a very crippled passenger, and one that didn't want to go again for a while. (His story may be slightly different :-)

He's had bikes since we first met. Back in the day it was a Suzuki, without even a sissy bar (a bar to hold the passenger on.) We used to motor up to the Lake (we lived in Reno), spend the day at the beach, have lunch at a favorite restaurant, head back to the movies, and be home in time to BBQ. All before children, or dogs for that matter. Next came the dog, thus we had to take our sports car, next came the children and that required a Taurus station wagon! Anyway, you get the picture. Now we are back to the motorcycle. Only I'm 30 years older. I am just not that same young, carefree girl. (Or size, for that matter.)

You can wear lots of gear to keep you safe. "Leathers". But I feel claustrophobic in them. They're heavy and hot. Add a big helmet and you might as well be going to Mars.

So, I know I'll go with him. He really
wants me to go, and I'll do it for him. But being a Motorcycle Grandma, is not all that it's cracked up to be.

Any others out there that will be hitting the road on two wheels this summer?

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

About Me? A Bit Boring..

I received this award from CrazyChris from Here, There and Everywhere, and I thank her very much! She lives in Spain and shares wonderful scenes from her part of the world.

I will admit that while I appreciate all the awards and meme's sent to me, I don't always do them. Most of the time I am just too busy to do all the cutting and pasting, or I am posting on some other subject. So, please know that I love you all - and feel lucky to have the thoughts of all of you that think of me.

So this one is "Your blog is as deer to me as cupcakes" and the rules are:
  • Respond and rework
  • Answer the questions on your blog, replace one question of your own invention
  • Add one additional question
  1. What is your current obsession? That would be blogging!
  2. Where are you right now? In my bedroom, in my favorite chair, looking out at the stream outside my window.
  3. Coffee or tea? Or something stronger?  Both. Coffee in the morning, tea in the afternoon.
  4. What is one of your favorite movies? Love Actually
  5. What is one thing you are looking forward to? My daughter's college graduation next month.
  6. Who was your childhood crush? I had many.
  7. What is your current favorite song? "Don't Blink" by Kenny Chesney - it is oh, so, true!
  8. What would you like to get rid of? That spare tire around my waist.
  9. What's your favorite book? Hard one - I have so many! Probably "Gone With The Wind".
  10. Why did you start your blog? To start writing again.
  11. If money was not an issue, what is one thing you would purchase for yourself? I have always dreamed of a house right on the lake with a dock.
  12. If you could live in a foreign country, which one would it be? At this point Victoria, BC.
  13. What is the one trait about yourself you wish you could change? Well, there are a few, but it would be anger towards what has happened in our country, and for the people I feel are responsible.
  14. Tipple of choice? That would be tequila!
  15. What is one trait about yourself that you are proud of? I usually see the beauty in people.
  16. What is your wish for the future? That everyone will begin to respect and love each other and the planet.
Now you are supposed to tag five people for the award, but I can never choose. So feel free to take this award and pass it on. Have fun with it!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

I just had to pass this picture along...

The email that was sent to me with this picture said the oil rig operator that took the picture did not know the tornado was there when he snapped the shot of the lightening.

Farrah's Story

I watched the documentary, Farrah's Story, last Friday night. It has stayed with me for days. It brought back many memories of caring for family members, not to mention facing my own mortality. If any of you watched it, I would love to hear your take on it.

Alana Stewart filmed the scenes of Farrah Fawcett going through agonizing treatments here and simultaneously in Germany. She also filmed when Farrah received bad news from her doctors. I won't go into details, but my heart broke for her. In the meantime, friend Alana is alleged to have held out for a bigger title (producer) and more money ($200,000). Long time partner, Ryan O'Neil is talking sequel. He said he could hurry it through, as he has all the tape. That's because she is now bedridden, and at the end of her life.

My question to you - do you think this type of programming is exploitative? Or is it something you feel should be on television, as part of life issues?

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Resistance & Tolle

I've been reading Eckhart Tolle's "A New Earth" and one of the parts reminded me of childbirth. I had chosen to do the "Bradley Method" with my oldest daughter. Natural childbirth, with as little pain medication as possible. Not, by the way, a method that is for everyone. But something Tolle said brought back memories, and highlighted what I think he was trying to bring to light. And that is that the human mind is incredibly resilient, and strong. Once an understanding of how it works is illuminated, you can never go back.

The Bradley Method teaches you how to go into the pain, during childbirth. Using your mind to allow your body to do what it needs to do without resistance. And I can tell you - it works. I was able to literally control the pain by controlling my thoughts. Now if I was nudged out of my intense concentration, the pain would roll over me like a steam roller, thus I needed to stay fully invested in the work at hand.

Becoming aware of the ego, and how it uses emotion and thoughts to feed dysfunction, is the basis of Tolle's book. That incessant voice that is constantly being critical of self and others, creating whole scenarios of winners and losers, judging, manipulating, controlling, and competing to the point of making us miserable. These thoughts create our reality, drawing negativity and unhappiness to us.

So how does that relate to the Bradley Method?

By becoming aware of what my ego is doing, and learning to watch it from a distance, I can then become engaged in the process of awakening to the truth within. I begin to see how it is controlling and manipulating me. It is creating resistance to the work at hand, and that is to be mindful of how I respond to those inevitably painful and tricky situations that I will encounter in my life. Thereby not drawing more pain to myself through resistance and fear and unconscious responses. For what we resist, we strengthen. If I can do it in childbirth - it's possible to do in my life as well.

Fun Facts

We took our niece to lunch last week at the Hyatt, which has a beautiful restaurant right on the lake. Afterwards we took a walk out to their floating dock where they will open a bar when the weather warms up. What struck me was all of the beach equipment out, with absolutely no one on the beach. I have certainly been on the beaches when they are empty in the winter, but never when all the beach equipment is out. Anyway, I though you might enjoy some "fun facts" about Lake Tahoe. There is no doubt this place is very spiritual, and has great power.

  • Second deepest lake in the US at 1,645 feet deep
  • 22 miles long, 12 miles wide
  • Average surface elevation at 6,225 ft above sea level
  • Sun shines at Lake Tahoe 75% of the time
  • Lake level average snow fall 125 in. per year
  • Alpine ski areas receive 600 in. per year
  • Surface temp varies between 41-68 degrees; below 600-700 ft it stays at 39 degrees
  • If you poured out Lake Tahoe it would cover California 14 inches deep.
  • There is 39 trillion gallons of water in the lake, enough to supply every person in the US with five gallons of water per day for five years.
  • Evaporation of 330 million gallons of water per day - enough to supply a city the size of LA for five years.
  • It has 63 tributaries but only one outlet - Truckee River.
What about where you live? Do you have any fun facts to share?

Saturday, May 16, 2009

A Condo Under Our Condo

I wonder who is living here. We just found this little condo, complete with upstairs and downstairs. Just like ours. Little bits and pieces of building material were borrowed - including insulation, wood, and even a nail. Obviously our remodeling sparked some creative energy in the rodent world, and they decided to build right below our deck.

If you want to read a story that will make your day - go here. We all need to see the world as a place for all creatures, and this story made me happy in a way that remains long after reading it.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Plant Filters

I have always loved plants. Taking tours of your beautiful gardens has been a treat. But did you know that houseplants are actually healthy? NASA found over 300 compounds being released into the air on one of their flights and began testing houseplants for their power to absorb pollutants. Not only do house plants convert carbon dioxide into oxygen, but many are super air "scrubbers". For instance, Philodendrons, Spider Plants and Pathos are expert at filtering formaldehyde from the air released through "off gassing." This compound is found in paints, cushions, fabrics, even shampoos. Many construction materials contain formaldehyde. The toxic FEMA trailers come to mind.

Gerber Daisies and Chrysanthemums are experts at absorbing benzene, a known carcinogen, found in plastics, synthetic rubber and dyes. For more information about plants and their ability to help clean our air, and the ones to avoid if you have animals or small children, go here.

They also will live a long time with a little love and tenderness. I have african violets that were given me when my children were born - as long as 26 years ago! They are still blooming.

So do yourself and favor and surround yourself with as many plants as possible. Not only are they aesthetic, but healthy too.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Dark Clouds

I recently read a nasty comment left on someone's blog that was devastating enough that he decided to close his blog. And I really want to take a moment to talk about all the negativity in the world right now. I can feel the energy as if it were a breathing thing, over the last couple of days. I've been swatting at my own black cloud. But I also know that the only way to combat all of the "stuff" going on is to be positive. To stay grounded and centered. Realizing that when people put themselves out there, in a blog, they are sensitive to what we leave as a comment. That's not to say that leaving a differing opinion is not welcome, it is, at least on mine. But being mindful that many people are struggling with job loss, self-esteem issues, anxiety, depression, loneliness, burn out, illness, and a host of other problems. We are going through trying times. It is often what makes our writing so soulful and life affirming.

We have a responsibility to be aware of the impact we have on the world. It has been a lack of this type of awareness that has propelled us to where we are now. And the blog world has been a place where most people are supportive and friendly. A very positive place. A life-affirming place. A wonderful place. At least it has been for me.

I think it is certainly okay to not leave a comment if it might be hurtful. Especially one of a personal nature. Just move on. It is not our responsibility to set any one straight, offering up a nasty opinion. We simply do not know the effects of what that one comment might have on the person. Because we really don't know where that person is coming from, or what they have been through. We only know snippets of a life shared. And we are all a bit vulnerable right now. Don't you agree?

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Recessional Dating

I watched Nightline last night and they had a segment on dating in the recession. I had to laugh at some of the changes, because I thought the changes were something everyone did anyway, but I guess I'm a dinosaur when it comes to dating:
  • It's gosh to put on your internet dating resume that someone making less than $150,000 need not respond. Really? People actually do that?

  • Wearing all labels for a first meet is not recommended. You may want to dig through your Chanel bags for that Tiagnello you bought on a whim.

  • Asking where they will be renting in the Hamptons this summer is rude, considering many may be experiencing "Hot Town, Summer In The City" (great song!) The dating coach and matchmaker suggested asking someone what was on their summer reading list instead.

  • Don't be a "downer". This is something that has stayed the same. Even I remember a few of those dates. People are now attracted to the the glass is half full type.

  • Men expect the "fake reach" for the purse at the end of the dinner. In other words, he doesn't expect you to pay, but appreciates the gesture. 

  • Don't automatically discount the jobless. There is a bunch of those out there.
People who are dating are now are talking about finding "partners" instead of "hook-ups". Men making the requisite $150,000 have given up trolling for the "hot" chick, and instead might be thinking about someone that values them for who they are and not their checkbook. But wouldn't they have wanted that anyway? As a man, do you really think you can have a happy life with a woman that is looking for someone who makes a certain amount of money, instead of what's in your heart? 

It reminds me of a young woman I once knew who decided she was married to someone who just didn't make enough money, nor did he have a prestigious enough job title. So she divorced him, and broke up another woman's family, to have what she felt she deserved. Because she was "hot", of course, she got what she wanted. Her new husband lost his job. Now he was no longer making the big bucks, needed heart surgery, and prestige had turned into the reality of marrying an older man. Now she has divorced again, replacing him before she even left. She leaves a total of five children in her wake.

So if this recession means that people are starting to look for partners, people who can go the course in life, then maybe we will get away from the bling and back to the substantive. We can only hope. 

Monday, May 11, 2009

Best 20 Minutes of Your Day

I have had a mental block today, with nothing of value getting through. Until this little video! I was meant to share this with all of you, because it was the best 20 minutes I have spent all day. So if you're in a hurry - come back when you can put your feet up, grab a cup of coffee or tea, and see why this little video is the sleeper hit in our classrooms.

Story of Stuff, Full Version; How Things Work, About Stuff

Not An Original Thought

It must be spring fever. Or just Monday. But for the life of me, I haven't an original thought in my head today. I have sat down several times to bring something to the surface that might be, in the least bit, interesting. But it's just not there. My brain is heading outside for the day. Time to dig in the dirt, it says. So I'll just float around reading all of your blogs. You're always a good source of inspiration. But when I leave dumb comments, you'll know - it's because the brain has left the building.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

All Kinds of Mothers

There are all kinds of mothers. One of my favorite mothers was the one we watched last spring at our home in Minnesota. A beautiful red Robin and her mate worked hard to build a nice warm nest that was quite deep. She then planted herself on that nest and stared at us in our warm house during huge wind storms and sometimes snow flurries. But she never wavered. To leave her nest even for a short time in those conditions would have meant certain death for her little eggs. I never had the good fortune to see her mate feed her, but he must have. She looked just like this artist's rendition that I found in Sisters, Oregon. The artists says there is always one more (see off to the left of the painting - a small beak?)

We were thrilled when the little baby Robins were born. She and her mate worked feverishly to feed these tiny, voracious creatures.

I had to leave Minnesota on a trip before they were all out of their nest, so my husband sent me this picture of the last one. He was taking a short rest on our porch before heading out to make a life of his own.

Mothering can be of the human variety, but also the non-human. Our animals are considered family in our home and many others. And what is more nurturing than someone who takes animals that have been neglected or abused and gives them love, warmth, and safety? They are truly mothers.

And then there is the Mother of us all - Mother Earth. She is the most caring. Despite being abused by us, she continues to love, feed, and nurture her children.

So for all out there that are Mother/Nurturers, please have a Happy Mother's Day and thank you for all that you do to make this world a better place.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Being Open

I know that as soon as I start seeking to open my heart and mind, to move forward in spirit, I will draw to me the teachers and information that I need. It has happened time and again. Lately I have read things coming from fellow bloggers that have been life changing for me. One example - a reader of another blog commented that her father told her, upon graduating law school, that having the ability to evoke emotion in writing or in the courtroom, was a gift. Now for the hundreds, possible thousands of readers of that comment it was interesting, but not necessarily meaningful. But it knocked my socks off! Why? Because I had always thought my writing to be too emotional. It never occurred to me it was a gift. It was always something I tried to suppress. I had my husband critique and proof-read one of my first papers in college. I'd worked hard on it and was fairly proud, but insecure. He said it sounded like a Hallmark Card. He was not intending to be hurtful, or mean. He was trying to let me know that my writing needed to step up a notch. He was right. Most of my college papers required a different type of writing.

But what stuck, and I know it happens to everyone, is that my writing is too emotional and therefore not good. My husband is in business, and his writing is geared toward a different audience. The part he was right about, was that you cannot always write to evoke emotion, some things need to be precise. 

But what I needed to hear was that it is okay, in certain forums, to write from the heart. And that's where that comment, made for someone else entirely, was meant for me. I needed to hear that. Because that is where I am most comfortable writing.

So, what I am trying to say, when we open ourselves to new thinking, new ideas, new challenges, stay open to your "teachers". They show up in very obscure places, and odd times. It is being open to them when they show you the way that is important. And from a personal point of view, this bloggyworld is just full of teachers for me. Thanks to every one of you!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Growth Spurt

My life feels like I'm on a hike. Most of the time my path is pretty level with beautiful scenery, and I'm comfortable with the rate at which I am traveling. But then I must climb a hill to continue the journey, and suddenly I'm connecting with parts of myself that need healing. I draw those experiences to me that enable me to grow. It's uncomfortable, and requires effort. It's slow going sometimes, and I really wish I hadn't started this hike!

But then I reach the top of the little hill and I can sit and rest.

It's this resting stage that I'm leaving.

So who knows what I'll draw to myself to help in whatever lesson I'm about to take on. But I'm excited to get going.

What about you? Are you on level ground enjoying the scenery, or heading up a hill and really exerting too much effort to talk right now? Or are you resting, pleased with the progress you've made?

Thank You!

Thanks to all my blogging buddies for all of the birthday well-wishes for my daughter yesterday! You people make my day. Is there any wonder why I would rather hang out with you all day, than do stuff not nearly so pleasant?

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

For The One I Almost Lost

Twenty-two years ago today I almost lost one of the most precious jewels I would ever know. She was born late - way too late, really. But we were busy that week. We had to put her Grandfather in the hospital for what would be one of the last times. Labor pains was not something we could pay attention to that day. My father telling me over his shoulder, as they wheeled him to his room, to go clean my Auntie's house, as he had been too sick to pick up after himself the week that he had stayed there while she was out of town. The nurse telling him that I didn't look in any shape to be cleaning anything. But, of course, I did. I would have done anything for him. Tears welled, as I stood there with my gigantic belly and my little girl's hand in mine, knowing my fifty-eight year old Dad wouldn't live to see my children grow up.

I didn't get far at the cleaning chore - and the note I left said I wasn't feeling very well. My Auntie called me the next morning at the hospital to say congratulations. Yes, she came early that morning, after a harrowing emergency C-Section. Merconium-stained, they said. She may not make it, they said. I wanted to see her, hold her. She was ten pounds four ounces - how could she die? All the other sweet babies in the neonatal unit could fit in your hand. They put sunglasses on mine and took pictures! She threw the oxygen tent off - not a norm in that unit. She responded as soon as I held her. We went home in four days, also unusual for that type of problem. She doesn't like to be without me. Until now.

Now she has her own life, and I am just a part of it. As it should be, if you do your job right. She's graduating from college in June. She is soulful and loving. She has lots of friends and a family that adores her. She's a vegetarian, and stands firmly by her principals. She has an affinity for small children and they flock to her wherever she goes. She is just superb. Happy birthday to my sweet girl. The world is a better place because you are in it.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Awards, Tags, and New Friends

I received a lovely award from star-forever-young, a very talented writer and storyteller, and would like to pass it on to all of the writers I think are so wonderful. Unfortunately, I think all of the blogs that I follow are wonderful, so feel free to take it, knowing I think you are terrific. Feel free to pass this award on to eight other bloggy friends, if you choose.

Then Expat From Hell, an excellent writer, using stories to discuss life's new rules, tagged me with the following:
  1. Tag and link back to the person who tagged you.
  2. List six (un)important things that make you happy.
  3. Tag six bloggers and let them know they're "it".
Only he added his own spin, and that was to tag only new bloggers. We both feel this blogging community to be one of inclusion, and friendship. What better way than to invite new bloggers into it?  So for my six things:
  1. A good cup of coffee in the morning - but it must be made a certain way, and delivered from my husband. Spoiled, I know, but it just doesn't taste the same when I make it.
  2. Watching the professional dancers on "Dancing With The Stars". In another life, I would be them.
  3. Seeing my grandson's face light up when he sees me.
  4. Rain
  5. Watching the stream from my window.
  6. Listening to Nora Jones.
So six new bloggers, I would like to invite you into our strangest community in the blogosphere, as explained by Expat:
  1. A View From The Fairway - Bogey is new to the blogging world, and proves to have some really great things to say. 
  2. nik's backyard - New to the blogging world, Nikina has a unique perspective on where she lives and what she does.
  3. Devils Workshop - A new blog complete with an engineering student from India.
  4. Each Day Is A Present - This blog looks like a friendly one.
  5. asweetcakes' photograph - A new blogger with a perspective from Nigeria.
  6. Susie Said I Should - A new blogger from Georgia.
Welcome, and have fun with this. There is no pressure to participate, only if you would care to. But looking for six more new bloggers could be fun...

P.S. I just visited Empty Nest Evolution and noticed this wonderful writer and photographer also tagged me for this one! Thanks, California Girl.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Happiness Bug

(pic thanks to

Here's a bug I want to catch. The British Medical Journal, using statistical analysis, has found that happiness spreads from person to person - up to three connections. So if I'm in need of a little lift in my spirits, I can get it from my friend's, friend. I don't even have to know the person to catch their bug. This is much better than swine flu!

Also, having a happy sibling live one mile from you increases your happiness level by 14%.
A nearby friend increases your happiness level by 25%.
A next door neighbor 34%.

So my question is - how much do blogging friends increase our happiness level?

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Personalize Your Space

I think we all need a place in our home that is ours to do as we please. Since downsizing, I have relearned the joy of small spaces. On my side of the bed I have created a little area that is all me. On my husband's side he has done the same. I think he is actually enjoying the activity. We both take our time, utilizing the shelves for additional space. I needed a place for my "jewels" (costume, of course), and he wanted to showcase that motorcycle all made out of wood that we found on our trip from Minnesota at Devil's Tower, in Wyoming. (Some of you may remember this from Close Encounters of a Third Kind, or in the Oregon Trail computer game.)

Anyway, on his side he likes his books mostly, but also that picture I found for him that reminded us of a heron doing exactly the same thing as this bird in a marshy area on the Oregon Coast. It was sunset, and it was so nice to sip our wine and watch this bird doing a little dining of his own. The reflection on the water was breathtaking.

He also likes the neat fossil our daughter gave him for Christmas. He uses it as a bookend. And the leather case for a pocket watch he inherited from his father. The watch doesn't work, but no matter.

I like plants, flowers, and candles, all things outlawed on his side.

I also like my little Buddha statue, and my robin picture that reminds me of the robin family we had the good fortune to follow last spring, right in front of one of our windows. I'll do a special post on that.

What about you? Do you have a little place that is all you?

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Intention Board

In the spirit of living my best life, I have once again designed an Intention Board. An Intention Board is nothing more than an area that you set aside that displays snippets of what you would like to see manifest in your life. My belief is that thoughts are energy, and when you put energy out into the world, it should be of the quality that you would like it to be. An "aware" energy, if you will.

So I am sharing my Intention Board with my husband, who has never done such a thing before. New territory for my very grounded, nothing but the facts, kind of guy. You can see his side on the right. He doesn't have anything on his side yet, other than that cute vase I found on vacation and some fresh flowers. I think he's waiting to see how I do mine, so he can use it as a template - although he would argue that point.

The bollo ties were his fathers. He passed away about a month or so ago.

My last Intention Board was just a cork board that was in our study in our last house. I had taken a picture of our house and wrote SOLD across it in red marker. It sold. The only one in the neighborhood.

I think it helps to put the board up and then look at it for a day or two and really think about what you want to happen in your life. Find a picture, or saying, that represents that intention. Think about what that sentence or picture means to you as you put it on the board. Then forget it! Just let it go...

Friday, May 1, 2009

View From A Window

Today is a rainy spring day in the Sierras. My husband is off to Sacramento to meet with my brother on a project, and I am taking the time to just look out the window. The little creek is running high as the snow melts from the higher elevations. This runoff will go directly to the Lake. Do you have a window that you look out? This perch is where I read and think about things. What about you? Care to share a view from your window?