December 21, 2008


Words. I love them. I love where they come from, what they mean, how they sound. I especially love words that dance on the tongue. I love juicy words!

Roots! Now that is a good word. From Old English, from Old Norse, the root of root is wryt...yummy huh! Root is a noun and a verb, trees and teeth have roots, families have roots, pigs root, people root around and I bet you didn't know that the lowest tone of a chord (as C in a C minor chord) when the tones are arranged in ascending thirds is a root.

How about "Phosphatidylcholine"? Don't you just love how it plays in your mouth and gets your tongue all juiced up? I don't know why there are no children's poem or riddles with phosphatidylcholine in them. It is every bit as fun to say as Mary, Mary, quite contrary and much more interesting than a Snuffleupagus.

What about Snickerdoodle? It doesn't tickle my toes like Abaculus but it is a jolly word. Abaculus, now that word should never be spelled out in whole letters but should be written with dots, small broken pieces of letters, grout is optional.

Hamulus rhymes with abaculas but sounds better in pig latin: amulushay, but the Hook is when would you use both words in a poem?

Relinquish...anouther good sound but not an action that most of us choose freely, unless its to relinquish a hated chore or paying the bills, I would gladly relinquish my daily dose of phosphatidlycholine and finishing the abaculus with the hamulus but I absolutely will not relinquish my snickerdoodle.

Another word, a word that opens the door..and several windows...on many more juicier words and concepts is epistemology! Can you just feel the goose bumps building up your back?

Epistemology! What makes justified beliefs justified? (here come some excellent words folks....hold on). Deontological justification! Contextualist! Tripartite!

Is it possible that there is deontological justification for daily doses of phosphatidlycholine? Would that constitute deontic logic...well, maybe non-deontic logic, which is much more fun to say anyway!

A word that confuses me is tree! A very inappropriate word for such beautiful beings. The word tree is so tiny and all above the line, no g's or j's, no p's or y's! No roots or wyrt's, and the tallest letter is a t, what about the l's and f's. Tree will just not do....let us make up a new one. Not a word for boot tree or saddle tree or family tree (whew, talk about roots). Well, I'm up a tree on this one...any ideas?

Do I have a favorite word you might ask? Do you have a favorite word? A word you use in everyday conversation? What about "contemporary" or "random" or "serendipitous"? Consequently! Pursuant....eww, thats a little precocious!

Pray tell....share with us your favorite word and why!

December 07, 2008

Memories of Past Christmases

I just came back from the annual Christmas party of my husband's store. As we all sat around we shared our memories of our best or most memorable Christmas.

So many good stories and even some sad ones, all very memorable. All very touching.

My memories of Christmas as a child, my most significant memories blend together.

It's difficult for me to remember if this incident was the same year as that occurence.

I remember lots of cousins, lots of aunts and uncles, singing, dancing. I remember the Christmas tree at my grandma's and grandpa's house that went all the way up the stair way.

I always wanted a two-story house with a wrap around stairway so that I could have a big giant tree like the ones I remember there....though the other 50 weeks of the year climbing stairs has absolutely no appeal to me.....absolutely none.

There was always lots of love, people laughing, kids running around and around. I remember and still do the wonderful feeling of belonging....belonging to something significant and something bigger that me....I was a part of the whole.

December 06, 2008


My dear friend has been so sad of late. She sits in the corner at the office and stares into nothingness. When I ask what is wrong she just moves her head, slowly, from side to side. My heart tells me that her gesture is not telling me that nothing is wrong but she is telling me she just doesn't know.

Then I ask, "Is there anything I can do to help?" and she tells me she wants to lay down and never get up.

I wrap my arms around her and hold her until the next patient walks through the doors.

We go through the day, answering phones, taking blood pressures, guiding this person or that into a room. Two and three days pass and still my friend is only physically in the space, her spirit and soul have journied off....somewhere....but not here, not in this office, not with these patients and files and chores. She remains as passive and spiritless as a human can be.

She calls in the prescriptions to the pharmacists and even some of them, pausing in the routine of it, ask her what is wrong....but they can't see her head move from side to side...and she lets them return to their tasks.

One bleak morning, the fog is thick, the corners dark. Everytime the door opens the chill creeps in; grabs us. We tell our Family Nurse Practitioner that it is a full morning. Lots of patients coming in, lots! We ask her to "kind-of" expedite her visits with her patients. Oh, when will we learn?

it is 10:30, the waiting room is standing room only, and over-flow has gone into the second waiting room at the back of the clinic. Our FNP is only on her 2nd patient. the patients are starting to grumble and the coughing and sneezing is in need of an orchestra conducter with his wand to try to make some sense and order of it.

My friend jumps off her stool! Jumps! She has hardly moved in days but today she jumps. She grumbles! Grumbles! Grumbles about time and taking too long and wraps her knuckles on the door of room 2! "Time!" she calls through the door.

She briskly walks back to my office.

Suddenly, electrically, a switch from far inside her flips and with a wonderful glow in her eyes, a genuine look of surprise on her face she shouts, "I'm back!, I'm back! I don't know where I went but I'm back!"

We both laughed and danced and rejoiced!

I am secretly relieved that, as in the movies, I never had to slap her!

November 14, 2008

A Must

While Wandering and Wondering, I wandered onto another world. It truly is in the universe of Imaginarium. It's name is hydrogenballoonclown and it is truly worth the price of a ticket....oh....wait....Admission Is Free.

Ladies and Gentlemen, please place your seats in an upright position and fasten your belts.

November 08, 2008

Was that the Holy Spirit?

Something has changed in our world, it has slowly been gestating for the past 21 months. Consciously, I am ashamed to confess, I was unaware of what was happening, and, quite frankly, I am not just a little sad that I was so blind. Looking back I can recall little telltale hints and conspicuous prognostications of what was slowly growing and developing.

If I was truly aware, I would have been able to sense the beginning beats of her heart the first flutters of movement.

Though labor was extremely rough and perhaps long as we all waited through the day, some pacing, some praying and others dancing in anticipation. Millions of people were glued to televisions, radios, internet connections and each other. Many just as equally unaware of what was happening as we all awaited the outcome of the elections in the United States of America.

Tuesday evening, November 4, 2008, she was born. Many missed the moment of her first breath but the tears of her first cry were seen and felt around the world, but especially in the states. Some people were overwhelmed by the defeat of losing a long battle and in their sadness missed those precious minutes. Her birth was a monumentous moment in the history of the U.S.A. and, becuase of the the whoeness and energy of planet Earth.

Now, many missed her gestation period and even her birth, but even the blind could not miss her presence on Wednesday and Thursday and Friday. I'm not sure that she has been named yet, I'm not sure she can be named, for what name could be be worthy of her. You can see evidence of her in the softened faces of people of color. You can see her in the rounded threshholds where hard angry edges once existed.

She inspires hopes, dreams, and promises.

Obama promised change. Who knows what his challenges and successes will be or if he will be able to change anything as far as economics, education or wars are concerned but I know, in my heart of hearts that when he walked on that stage to accept his victory in the presidential election that something changed.

I witnessed it on the faces of every black man and woman in the audience and every day since then. It was a moment that we truly became brothers and sisters. My whole life I was raised by my parents to know that we were all brothers and sisters, equal, in the eyes of God, in the eyes of the law. November 4, 2008, my black brothers and sisters finally received the message.

October 31, 2008

Samhain, Halloween, All Hallow's Eve,

Don't you just love this time of year?

Crisp air...long nights.....curling up on the couch with an old soft quilt and a good book.....sipping hot tea on the patio while the wind blows leaves all around you...

...ladling a big bowl of hot homemade soup and fresh bread any time of night or day because it's been simmering on the stove or woodstove all weekend.....knitted over-sized sweaters and long skirts with cozy thermals underneath.....I Love These Days.

I can't wait for the little kiddoes to knock at my door tonight....I like to listen to their conversation as they come up the driveway, talking about the jack-0-lanterns and the leaves crunching beneath their shoes.

I love that the veil is thin and I am closer than ever to those ancestors who glazed the trail before me. I love the long, long nights....three big heavy quilts on the bed....pumpkin pies and zucchini bread....Yup, this is a good time of of the best.

October 20, 2008

...and there was joy

I'm not sure how to start this blog...seems it might appear to some to be heretic mumbo jumbo but might ring true with others. It actually feels pretty right on with me and despite my creative, juicy, somewhat mystical way of thinking I am really a very logical person.

I believe that we have a divine heritage that we so often refuse to acknowledge. In the first book of the Bible, Genesis, we are introduced to the Spirit of God. We are told how the Spirit of God manifests so many wonderful new things, the universe, raging ocean waters, day and night, plants, grain fruit. God first thinks it, then it is, and then God has Joy in it. Now logically speaking what do we know about God and the Spirit of God?

1. The Spirit of God thinks it..(..what an imagination, if I do say so myself).

2. That which God has thought is manifested.

3. God had Joy in it!

Then God said, "Let us make man in our image!"...

Hmmm, I went for the grade instead of pass/fail in my college Logics class and I got an A, with very little kissing up so I feel pretty solid in stating that this logicaly makes me believe that our divine heritage, granted to us by God is that we can think it, co-create it ("let us") and that we should have JOY in it.

Now I don't take this lightly, despite my attempt at humor. There is great responsibility in this divine inheritance. There is the responsility of thinking good positve stuff. How many times have you been so afraid, investing your emotion and imagination in something terrible only to later say, "Oh man, that's just what I was afraid of!" Then there is that "Joy" thing, which to me means that whatever I create must not be at the expense of anyone for how can you have Joy in something if it is not good for all.

Then Jesus came and he said, You are my brothers and sisters and that which I can do you can do and more.

Now, what do we do with this incredible gift?

Filling the Well and Stocking the Pond

2009 is on it's way.

Have you packed for it?

These are my ideas on what to pack:

Integrity and Good Music.

Imagination and Good Books

Open Mind and Soft Shoulder

Creativity and Spirituality

Courage and a New Bathing Suit

Crystals, a Good Pen and Chewing Gum

Door knobs (in case some doors appear closed with no apparent means of entry...always carry an extra door knob with you)

Good Wine and Good Friends

Verboten Objects ~ What to leave behind:

Maps, Whining, Bad Attitude, Brussel Sprouts, Judgemental People and unfair judgements on my part

Be On The Lookout For:

Opportunity to tell loved one:

"I Love YOU"

"You are Special"

"You are important to me"

Miracles, Angels, Sunrises, Sunsets,

Good Books, Good Music, "Good Waves, Man"

Hugs, Kisses and Macaroons,

Vintage Linens and Gin & Tonics on a hot afternoon

Crystals, Naps and Opportunities for Growth

What are you packing, what are you leaving behind and what are you going to be watching for?

Soundtrack To My Life

Art by Toni Tona

Now we can call this blog Soundtrack to my life or we can call it putting off until later what I should have accomplished this morning.....Your call

Opening Credits:
Poems, Prayers and Promises ~ John Denver

Waking Up Scene:
Its a Beautiful Morning ~ The Rascals

Car Driving Scene:
I Can't Drive 55 ~ Sammy Hagar

High School Flashback Scene:
Hooked On a Feeling ~ BJ Thomas seguey into California Dreamin' ~Mamas and Papas

Nostalgic Scene:
Time In A Bottle ~ Jim Croce

Bitter, Angry Scene:
Draw The Line ~ Aerosmith

Break-up Scene:
Hit The Road Jack ~ Ray Charles

Regret Scene:
Let It Be ~ John Denver

Nightclub/Bar Scene:
Boogie Woogie ~ Tommy Dorsey

Fight/Action Scene: Can also be used for running into the grocery store to get those special items when I haven't put make-up on or I'm wearing my sweats without bra and undies!
Mission Impossible.....helloooo!

Saturday Morning/Cleaning the House Scene:
James Taylor's Greatest Hits or Anna Nalick depends on the degree of the mess!

Lawn Mowing Scene:
Sweet Home Alabama - Lynrd Skynrd

Sad, breakdown scene:
Forever Love (Digame) ~ Anna Nalick

Death Scene:
Mil Besos ~ Patty Griffin

Funeral Scene:
Poems, Prayers and Promises and Country Roads ~ John Denver

Mellow/Pot-smoking Scene:
Summer Breeze ~ Seals & Croft

Dreaming About Someone Scene:
Dreamin' of You ~ Selena

Sex Scene:
Has been censored from the movie version but as the scene fades away Lionel Richie starts to sing Brick House!!!!!

Contemplation Scene:
Unwritten ~ Natasha Bedingfield

Chase Scene:
The Merry Minuet ~ Kingston Trio

Happy Love Scene:
Theme from Tootsie It Might Be You ~ Stephen Bishop

Happy Friend Scene:
Boney Fingers by me with my kids singing along

Closing Credits:
Brown Eyed Girl ~ Van Morrison

October 05, 2008

Magical Places

Have you ever been merrily going about your life and suddenly realized that you have happened into a magical place? Did you shiver with the beginnings of goose-bumps? Or maybe while walking down the sidewalk or having lunch with friends you look up and there, across the way, is a magical person cleverly disguised as a normal citizen?

I'm thinking I am one of the lucky people because I have found myself in magical places quite often and have met (or just spied) some pretty magical people.

I grew up in Colorado ~ a wonderland in itself so you know that the individual magical spots are extremely enchanted. There was a gully behind our house on Meade Street that captivated the young mind, turned us into pirates and explorers, King's of Mountains one-and-all.

Then there was the old swing on my grandparent's front porch. Now that portico and it's enchanted swing held magical moments for several generations! A place of first kisses and good-bye kisses, fortune tellings and joke tellings, maybe a proposal or two and talking cats. The posts of the porch helped launch one young woman (who shall remain anonymous) on many adventures as it was the most covert access to the ground and therefore, the world, from her bedroom window.

When I was a little girl I would sit on that swing between my Aunt Janice and my loving Uncle Bill. We were only blocks from the Denver Zoo, so as we rocked back and forth on the old swing in the warm dark evenings of summer we could hear the growls of the lions and tigers, the ruckus of monkies and the odd calls of the peacocks. My aunt and uncle would talk to each other about the "escaped-man-eating tiger" or a gorilla who jumped bail! All to make me shiver and scoot up closer to Uncle Bill, for surely he would scoop me up and carry me into Grandma's house if a tiger jumped out of the bushes...or at least I could scurry into the house while the tiger devoured poor my poor uncle.

Our whole family once went to Mother Cabrini Shrine in the mountains, again while I was very young. Now that place is Goose-Bump-City! Even as a little girl I knew that I was smack-dab in the middle of something magic. Even the adults were different, found out much later that the adults were in a state which we call "reverence" and if you knew my family...well, reverence is a state we don't often visit!

If you've never been to Colorado in the autumn then you have truly missed a magical time. The Rocky Mountains are pretty magical any time but when whole ranges turn to shades of gold and red and orange....and you are a young girl running through the trees with your brother and sister and cousins....well, the term magical falls short, it is purely numinous.

Henry Cowell Redwoods...
...maybe not as famous as the grand Redwood forests of Northern California but oh so mystical and enchanted. The Elementals are everywhere and if you are young and haven't learned yet that you can't see them because they "don't exist" then you are never alone. This magical land in the middle of the San Francisco Bay Area is one of the last bastions for Brownies and Fairies and Gnomes. Don't get caught feeding them your pancakes in the morning...adults get aggitated to see a half eaten pancake scampering off into the undergrowth

About 10 years ago my daughter and I were driving across the states in a big yellow rented truck with her dog and her cat. She was leaving New York City and moving back to California. We hired a couple of hunky guys from Brooklyn to load the truck and then we took off, drove to Maine to find a rocky seashore, didn't find it (but that is another blog) and then cut across New Hamshire and Vermont and headed home. Now you know we saw many places. It was really quite the journey. We saw and heard and tasted and felt many many magical things but the most magical of all....truly the most magical of all was a rest stop in Nebraska!.....I swear on a stack of bibles and Betty-Crocker was a magical place of incredible dimensions.

It was just twilight, a pretty enchanted time anyway. We stopped and let Chief, her dog, walk around a little....Nikka, her cat would not come out from under the front seat since the mishap at a toll road a couple of states earlier( again...another blog/another time). It was just a rest stop. Bathrooms, water fountain, grassy area and trees. Anyone passing it on the highway might not take a second glance but the minute we stopped and got out we were both in awe. Something very special was happening here....we looked at each other and felt those goose-bumps tickling our necks and arms and running up and down our backs.

Without discussion we laid down in the grass and watched the trees gently swaying in the wind. Who knew a little rest stop in the middle of Nebraska.....hell, who knew anything in the middle of Nebraska could be magical. Who knew how long we laid there in the soft green could have been a lifetime...or just moments.

So, the point of my story today? Be Aware! Magic is everywhere. Know that there are lands of enchantment all around you. Let the magic fill your soul and take you to your own Never-Ever Lands. You don't always have to head for the North Star and turn left to get there.

October 02, 2008

Unsheathing your sword

Paulo Coelho writes,
"Every time a sword is taken from its sheath, it must be used. It may serve to open up a path, help someone, or brush aside danger - but a sword is capricious and does not like having its blade exposed for no reason.

This is why a warrior never makes threats. He may attack, defend himself, or retreat; each of these positions is part of the combat."

I check in with Paulo Coelho's blog regularly, never failing to gain some insight from his thoughts and ideas. If you are unfamiliar with him, he is the author of The Alchemist, as well as several other wonderful books. This morning's quote from him has touched my soul.

Words are also swords. When we pull that blade from the sheath of our minds it must be used, as Paulo states, "to open up a path, to help someone or to brush aside danger." The edges of our words are razor sharp and can cut mortal wounds,  Just as miraculously, with a regal tap on the subject's shoulders, words can bestow knighthood.

Choose wisely what your blade will be known for, for above all, it will be remembered that it was, indeed, your blade.

September 30, 2008

If You Ever Find Yourself In A Fairy Tale


by Neil Gaiman

Touch the wooden gate in the wall you never

saw before.

Say "please" before you open the latch,

go through,

walk down the path.

A red metal imp hangs from the green-painted

front door,

as a knocker,

do not touch it; it will bite your fingers.

Walk through the house. Take nothing. Eat


However, if any creature tells you that it hungers,

feed it.

If it tells you that it is dirty,

clean it.

If it cries to you that it hurts,

if you can,

ease its pain.

From the back garden you will be able to see the

wild wood.

The deep well you walk past leads to Winter's


there is another land at the bottom of it.

If you turn around here,

you can walk back, safely;

you will lose no face. I will think no less of you.

Once through the garden you will be in the


The trees are old. Eyes peer from the under-


Beneath a twisted oak sits an old woman. She

may ask for something;

give it to her. She

will point the way to the castle.

Inside it are three princesses.

Do not trust the youngest. Walk on.

In the clearing beyond the castle the twelve

months sit about a fire,

warming their feet, exchanging tales.

They may do favors for you, if you are polite.

You may pick strawberries in December's frost.

Trust the wolves, but do not tell them where

you are going.

The river can be crossed by the ferry. The ferry-

man will take you.

(The answer to his question is this:

If he hands the oar to his passenger, he will be free to

leave the boat.

Only tell him this from a safe distance.)

If an eagle gives you a feather, keep it safe.

Remember: that giants sleep too soundly; that

witches are often betrayed by their appetites;

dragons have one soft spot, somewhere, always;

hearts can be well-hidden,

and you betray them with your tongue.

Do not be jealous of your sister.

Know that diamonds and roses

are as uncomfortable when they tumble from

one's lips as toads and frogs:

colder, too, and sharper, and they cut.

Remember your name.

Do not lose hope — what you seek will be found.

Trust ghosts. Trust those that you have helped

to help you in their turn.

Trust dreams.

Trust your heart, and trust your story.

When you come back, return the way you came.

Favors will be returned, debts will be repaid.

Do not forget your manners.

Do not look back.

Ride the wise eagle (you shall not fall).

Ride the silver fish (you will not drown).

Ride the grey wolf (hold tightly to his fur).

There is a worm at the heart of the tower; that is

why it will not stand.

When you reach the little house, the place your

journey started,

you will recognize it, although it will seem

much smaller than you remember.

Walk up the path, and through the garden gate

you never saw before but once.

And then go home. Or make a home.

And rest.

September 29, 2008

Dark Moonies

Last week as I was riding into work there was a segment on the radio advertising a Cancer Support group. One of the women being interviewed had been a member of the support group for 4 years and cancer-free all of those 4 years.

She made a comment that as ugly and painful and intrusive as cancer can be that part of it is minimal compared to the lesson of love and acceptance that she experienced. She confessed that without being debilitated by cancer, which lowered her resistance, she would never have been in a place where she could have accepted the gestures of love and caring not just offered by friends but thrust on her by genuinely loving friends....."I'm coming over right now and washing your hair for you!"

I could hear the emotions rising in her, I could hear her throat tightening as she fought back tears.

Arriving at work, I unlocked the doors and prepared the offices for the day's work. I am an office manager at a health care clinic. As I checked patients in and out throughout the day the radio-woman's statement was always in my awareness. I noticed how some of our really ill patients were driven, driven, driven people. Their need to get some antibiotices in them and get their busy-selves back to the action was their utmost goal:

"Take a day off and rest? How can I?"
"but if I'm not there the world will forget to revovle?"
"Nothing will get done if I am not there!"

Now I am sure that if this blog was a mirror you could see your reflection and just as many of you are denying the reflection.

When we stop taking care of ourselves, when we detach ourselves from the rest of humanity...except that it is our responsibility to take care of humanity because, "heaven forbid, others should take care of themselves" our bodies yell..."STOP".

If we don't listen to the little tickle in our throats or the fact that our shoulders have migrated to a tight little condo about an inch below our ears than what choice does the body have but to kick our feet out from under us?

As I contemplate that minute or two of the radio broadcast my mind keeps asking the question, "Wouldn't it be wonderful if we could learn the lesson of accepting love and compassion and support without getting cancer?"

Is there a way to open our hearts to being loved without first having to be a victim of something? If allowing others to love us and help us when we are on our knees or flat on our back can make such an impact can you imagine how empowering it could be to accept those wonderful acts of genuine caring while we are strong and on our feet!

Last winter my friend Ingrid and I gathered our wits, our memories, our wisdom and our talents, our wishes and desires and dreams....spread them out across the dining room table and gave birth to the Pomegranate Project, Women Empowering Women Around The World. Our dream, to help women develop their own talents and skills, to educate them about the real history of women, to help women network and share their knowledge and experiences with each other.

An off-shoot of the Pomegranate Project was a class, Wandering By The Dark Of The Moon ~ A Daring Adventure Into The Enigma Called Woman. We begin the class in February of 2008. Many women showed up to the first class, some come whenever they can, one or two we never saw again, but those that commited to the class and have been there every dark moon and every full moon have grown in ways I cannot even dare to describe.

I've seen some eyes hooded and dulled by life's experiences sparkle again, I've seen postures change..."was she really that tall last year?" Some of the women have reached major professional goals, major changes in life long relationships, recommitting to making the personal changes to make those relationships thrive.

We have become friends and sisters. We support each other, nurture each other, kick each other's tushies if necessary (lovingly, of course). We have really grown together, we have learned to love each other, not just as individuals but as women, strong, gentle, nurturing, brave, empowered. We have learned to respect each other, and best of all, we didn't need to get cancer to do it.

Maybe the cure for cancer and all those other invasive ugly dis-eases is opening ourselves up to the inherent love in the universe!

Ingrid, Jane, Lyn, Roxie, Roxy, Yolan, Marcy, Cindy, Liz, Peg, Akaysha, Marie, Leslee, and all you other "Dark Moonies" I love you!

September 19, 2008

what a world

Today and for the past couple of weeks my emotions are overwhelmed. I feel like the witch in the Wizard of Oz must have felt when the house from No-Where fell on her, or how her sister felt when Dorothy threw the water on her and she melted away crying, "What a world....what a world..."

What a world. My heart aches for our world and for the children in this world. We see the shooting and bombing on the news and the internet. We hear that this country or that dictator in lands far away are doing horrendous things. We ask ourselves why the Russians are attacking Georgia; why do we have to send our young men and women to Afghanistan to kill or be killed, when will the the war in Irag be over....didn't we "WIN" that war years ago? Why can't the Muslims get along with the Jews or the Christians....Why is there so much terrorism in all "those other lands so far away"? Thank God we live in America....oh wait...America.

America. Isn't that the place where the nation is divided in half, Democrats and Republicans, conservative and liberals. Isn't that the place where for the past 18 months the nations next leaders and their cronies have been pointing their fingers, and calling each other names, speading lies and half truths, ridiculing each other and spreading hate, hate, hate?

How can I vote this year? Who could I vote for? How can I honor the winner in this nasty game as my leader when I know 3 year olds who are more well-behaved and respectful? What hope is there for the world when America, the land of the free, can't play well with each other?

Where are we that we can't see what a wonderful and exciting time this could have been that the playing field was leveled this year! Shouldn't we be celebrating that this new century brought out young and old, black and white, men and women? Shouldn't we be thinking that we are in a world of hurt and asking, "how can we come together, to work as a team, to cooperate and raise the bar?" Instead we are blaming each other "...he did it...nah-uh, he did it first....well he made me...."

I want a president that I can respect, I want a president that honors the people he leads and the people she needs to work with. I want a president who can stand up in front of the people and tell me the truth. I live in America and I am tired of the crap and the hate and the sensationalism.

I want to be told what you are going to do and try to do and how you are going to try to do it. Stop digging bigger holes, and for goodness sake, stop telling the world how stupid we are and what crooks the other team is....the other team might be the winner and then what!

If America is still the Go-to nation, the role model of how life should be, then, by all means, "stop the world, I want to get off."

September 09, 2008

Manual For Climbing A Mountain

Paulo Coelho....don't you just love him!

In this little masterpeice he writes, "Respect your soul, don't keep repeating, "I'm going to make it. Your soul already knows that, what it needs is to use the long journey to grow, stretch along the horizon, and touch the sky!" ( I am not sure if the quote is completely accurate but you get the idea)

If you concentrate so tightly on making it you end up at the summit the very same person who started the climb......

How many times I have done this exact thing. I have been so intent on climbing the mountain.....whatever the mountain is at the time.....that I forget to look out at the view, to smell the pine and listen to the wind....feel the rock in my shoe and take the time to remove it....the journey has become lost for the sake of the summit. Then I am there, right at the top....planting that little Toni-flag in the peak and wondering what's missing.....

Have you ever committed that sin against your soul? Forsaken the journey for the destination? Can the goal ever be as sweet as it can be if you have missed the details of the climb?

...and just because the mountain is there do you have to take a linear, do-or-die path straight up to the summit or is it equally respectful to your soul to wander around the mountain, climb a tree or two, make a new path, introduce yourself to the flora and fauna and ask how their day has been?

Who knows, once you've talked to an first-growth Sequoia, a granite boulder that was traveling since the ice age and a lizard or two, maybe the summit is not as tempting and your soul just wants to walk down to the river and swim.

September 07, 2008


What is satyagraha? It is a philosophy from India which means to do anything, give anything, sacrifice anything, to pursue what is right without harming another and to do this without regard for self.

Do you have the strength of character for satyagraha? I often wonder that about myself. I definitely have my values and principles and my list of things that start with,
"Well, I would never......."

But, would I? Do I?

I am a woman who has lived a blessed and gifted life. Many of the things I say I would never do, I say them because I have never been challenged by those circumstances. When you look at challenges from a distance they always seem to be constructed of black and white blocks but the closer you get to those challenges the blacks and whites fade to shades of grey.

Ghandi, a man who really introduced Satyagraha to the world at-large, a proponent of "passive resistance" and non-violence and was actually awarded a Nobel Peace prize was a great poser and coward it seems to me. He talked big in the world of men and politics but beat the women in his life. How does one live with those conflicts?

In the light of day with the world watching he taught one thing but behind closed doors he was a different person....

I pray for the strength of authentic satyagraha and that Father/Mother/God never test me.

August 27, 2008

Maybe its just me....

Okay, I'm already in a mood and my attitude is kind of stinky but did anyone notice the ad banner at the top of your myspace this morning about "Relief for tired parents"? A sleeping drug for children?

I don't get it. When my children were little and they couldn't sleep I held them on my lap and rocked them, or rubbed their backs and sang to them. When my grandchildren can't sleep I hold them and rock them or I go to bed with them and rub their backs and sing a little song. Yeah, I get tired and yeah, I want to go to sleep because I have work in the morning or whatever but god damn it...

Okay, going to take some deep breaths and try to calm down.....Dear Father/Mother/God keep the idiots out of my way today.


Wednesday's are pretty mellow days around here, for the most part, especially since I only work Monday thru Thursday. Wednesday can be kind of a over-the-hump slide day. There are times when I can actually just coast through the day, we could see a couple of patients and get some side projects done.....a day for just cruising. BUT this morning I am in little bit of a state.No, I think this is a full-blown tiz.

Last night in the Democratic convention apparently Hillary Clinton gave a great speech which had the potential for rallying democrats and making it them one. This morning on the Today Show there were several reports regarding the potency of her speech, some comments about what was missing in her speech and then, apparently most important of all and just in case anyone started to believe in her personal power as a woman, there was a segment about her suit and her choices of what she could have chosen to appear and and why she chose what she did.....EXCUSE ME....where the hell does that factor in the program.

Did I turn off the boob-tube too early and miss the part where the fashion experts discussed the choices Dr. David Gipp, a member of the Standing Rock Hunkpapa Lakota (Sioux) Tribe from Fort Yates, North Dakota,President of the United Tribes Technical College could have chosen native american garb or a custom made suit or an off-the-rack suit from Penny's.

Robin Golden the man from Wyoming, whose job is going to be shipped overseas; did anyone discuss why he chose to wear a suit rather than cowboy boots, cowboy hat and levi's and a pearly buttoned cowboy shirt, after all, Wyoming.....hello!

Tomorrow morning will there be any discussion regarding tonights speakers, Bill Clinton, John Kerry, Bill Richardson?

Who cares, who really cares what any of them wear? Why do we insist on reducing women's contribution to the fluff and appearance? I'm telling you, if I wore panties, they would certainly be in a twist....hhmmm, I wonder if I was being interviewed by the glorious reporters at the Today Show if they would want to know WHY my panties are bunched or just what color they are and if I am insured against the Victoria Secret metal tag's potential for blinding me.

August 12, 2008

Be Brave...A Challenge

In a blog by Jessie, inspired by Eleanor Roosevelt's words, "Do one thing every day that scares you" Jessie challenges herself and her readers to BE BRAVE and set some challenges up for ourselves.

Maybe not everyday, but setting up your own guidelines, maybe once a week, maybe once a month.

So, I am ready. I am challenging myself to do one thing each week that scares me but I am not defining "scare" as screaming until my eye balls burst. I'm am thinking I will promise myself to take one step closer every week to opening the Imaginarium Emporium (which excites and scares me) and to physically do one thing each week that pushes my personal envelope.

Of course, being the compulsive consumer that I am, I will have to go out today and purchase a Be Brave journal and special Be Brave pen for my special Be Brave musings.

A couple of weeks ago I went to see a building for lease, a perfect Imaginarium-type structure. Spanish tile roof, a tower, a library and classroom, several little cottages in the back to rent out for art or writers' studios. Big Trees, perfect numbers, on Trinity Street, huge magical trees and about a thousand big giant spiders. Everything I want....except the spiders!

Turns out, it was only the upper floor that was available.....well, that's okay because I still need inventory and a business plan and a couple of interested artists and writers to rent the studios.

So, what is the first thing to do that scares me? I am going to drive to Olive Street and check out a house that is for sale that is close to the main drive. I think I will also call Raymond, a friend of a friend and see if he wants to have coffee and talk about creating an artists' onclave.

Anyone interested in purchasing the French Gulch Hotel and manifesting an awesome creative center?

Human Beings

Yesterday I was wandering and wondering. I love to wander and wonder and wonder and wander.

I am reading several books right now, one of which is The Spell of the Sensuous: Perception and Language in a More-than-Human World by David Abrams. I am thinking the following idea may be from Abrams wonderful little book.

He presents the idea that each of us is a "Human Being", not a Human Was or a Human Gonna Be. Don't you love that? An easy way to remind oneself to be in the moment, I am a Human being, I am a Human walking, I am a Human talking....hey, I am a Human wandering and wondering.....a human....being....

Yeah, I like that.

July 20, 2008

Quilts & Friends

Quilts and Friends, they really are very much alike. The longer they are around the more comfortable they are, we love them even if they have a little worn spot or get kinda lumpy!
When you're sad or miserable it is fun to wrap them around you and feel safe, if you laugh so hard you blow wine out your nose they really don't mind....too much!
Though sometimes I will leave a quilt in the trunk of my car after a picnic at the park or a day at the beach and I would never do that to a friend....well....maybe Mike....

July 05, 2008

What is your nature?

Two monks were washing their bowls in the river when they noticed a scorpion that was drowning.
One monk immediatelyscooped it up and set it upon the bank. In the process he was stung.
He went back to washing his bowl and again the scorpion fell in.
The monk saved the scorpion and was again stung.
The other monk asked him, "Friend, why do you continue to save the scorpion when you know its nature is to sting?"
"Because," the monk replied, "to save it is my nature."

Strange 4th

My family usually celebrates Independence Day with a rowdy day of bbq and swimming, little kids splashing and dancing, adults laughing and joking and playing games. The anticipation of fireworks fueling the fun.

About 9:30 in the evening we all gather our chairs and blankets and walk over to the park to ooh and aah at the explosion of color and sound of the fireworks.

No fireworks this year and the absence of the "expectation" was worse than the actual absence of the show itself!

We have been surrounded with over 800 fires. Though yesterday was the first day we actually saw a little bit of blue sky for the first time in weeks, the air has been so thick with smoke that you could very definitely imagine cutting it.

Some days the visability was so bad that I couldn't see the house across the street. Several times I thought about swabbing the inside of my nose just to see if the swab would come out black but I was too freaked out to find out that it might!
At our clinic we have had families of firefighters calling us for prescriptions for the treatment of poison oak because the firefighters themselves haven't been able to leave the fire lines for days on end. There have also been lots of respiratory complaints and one of our older patients had taken 4 nitros in one day because it hurt so much to breathe. Of course, she also worked in her garden all day inspite of air quality alerts....but at 91 I guess you do what you want!

There were so many fires at one time, and maybe even now, that only the fires that were threatening structures could be fought, just not enough man-power to fight them all.

Living in Northern California these past couple of weeks has really felt as if I was a citizen of a science fiction movie, living on a strange planet, with a red sun and a brown moon. The sun has been so incredibly red at times that it took every bit of will-power in me not to just stop and stare at the ghostly glow of it.

Air quality warnings have been issued and we have been advised to stay inside. Makes me wonder what the consequences of this fire could be. During the huge blackout on the east coast in 1965 there was a marked rise in the number of births 9 months later.
Can we expect that in California? Will the birthrate drastically rise in March of 2009?
Will the rising price of marijuana rival the increase of gas prices since much of the land burning is prime location for illegal marijuana plantations?
Will there be a marked increase of lung cancer, asthma and other upper respiratory ailments in the years to come?
Will the California Supreme Court reconsider next time it wants to overrule a decision that the population of California voted against (twice) again without considering the Karma of it?

Imagine a world.....

In today's hectic world too many of us forget the important things in life.

We often live our lives for the things we will have tomorrow and we forget about living today. We forget to nurture our spirits and those of our loved ones and neighbors. We forget to breathe in life, to relish the precious moments.

Much, much too often we forget to smile and tell those closest to us... "I Love You!" Every day we must love, cherish and protect our children, not just the children that call us Mom or Dad but all the children of our world. We must provide them a world of peace. They should be safe. They should never know hunger. Most of all they should know they are loved and they are special.

Imagine a world with no hunger, a world with no war, a peaceful world where each child sleeps snug and warm and wakes each morning with zest and enthusiasm for the new day, a world where parents rest at night knowing their children are safe and they will be able to provide for their needs in their growth and well-being.

Our thoughts and beliefs help us create our reality. When we fight war we make more war, when we imagine peace and act peacefully that will be our reality. Every time we make a statement or think a thought that is positive and beautiful we make this world a better place.

I've said it before and I will say it many more times but I am sure there will come a time when our great-great grandchildren will be reading in their history books how primitive man once believed that the world was flat and that conflicts could be resolved with violence.

Those wonderful children will shake their heads at such archaic and ignorant philosophies. I also think they will be reading how the women, sisters, mothers and grandmothers gathered together and changed the world one heart at a time.

June 29, 2008

The Best Workshop I Ever Attended

So its 10:15 AM on Saturday morning and I am rocking out to Kool & The Gang. Danced to "Celebration about 12 times, "Ladies Night" about 8 times and was just about to go to Jungle Boogie...."get down on it"......when the phone rang.

"HellooooooOOOoooo", I answered, rockin' out to the tunes.

"Hi Toni, its Ingrid"

"Ingrid, que pasa!"

"We're waiting for you, its 10:15"

"Oh shit" (yes, I do say "oh shit" on occassion, get over it), "its the 31st!"

Brushed my teeth, combed my hair, got dressed ( only because Ingrid had not said anything about clothing being optional for the class I had signed up for 5 weeks ago).

Off I go, no make-up (doesn't help that much anyway), no shower (sucks to be the other people in the class) and no breakfast (who knew that my tummy would be the most intrusive participant in the class)!

What a class! It was awesome. It is called "
Raking Leaves In The Wind". From 10:30 to 5:00 it was the best mental health day I have ever had.....well, except for that day on the top of .....oh, never mind....anyway, it was good, damn good.

Part of the class is to dig deep and find 5 characters who live inside you and are part of you. They represent the subtle and not so subtle aspects of your personality. We name them one by one and fully describe and flesh-out of each of them.

So I dug down....didn't really have to dig too deep because the characters inside me were fighting for recognition and pushing and shoving to get to the front of the line.
I would like to introduce them to you, the Council of Toni:

Friends and Aquaintances, Ladies and Gentlemen, please meet, Sinthia, the spanish senorita of ill repute; Carly, the Hungry Artist; NanaMara; the cuddly nurturing grandmother, BabaMara, NanaMara's twin sister who is magical, mystical and wise and, of course, Bill!

Sinthya (accent on the sin) is a 57 year old spanish senorita of ill repute, her breasts are firm and her nails are painted! "Sin" (that is what her friends call her) is all about the sensuous. She loves hot baths with lots of bubbles, oils and candles and an open bottle of Amaretto and a hand-blown liquer glass on the tub's edge.

She loves to dance, but none of that soft-shoe wishy-washy stuff....Sinthya does the flamenco. Stomping of feet and tossing of head, flipping of skirt....aaahhh, check out those legs and that red slip.....oh mama!

She is tall and slithery (is that a word?). She only wears matching bras and panties and can create quite a disturbance if NanaMara wants to slip into those cotton grandma panties that can tuck into the 18-hour bra....if she remembers to wear it.

There was a 6th personality, Susie-Homemaker, who was brutally murdered by Sinthya after organizing the council's underwear drawer by color and suggesting that we could save money by foregoing the ultra-soft quilted toilet paper and purchasing bulk TP at Costco.

Sinthya loves the scent, taste and texture of all things including food, sex and drink. Whatever she does, it is all about the sensuosness and richness of it. She loves bed but rises early every morning to drink her tea or coffee outside, while the morning somist rises from the lawn and pool, just so she can return to bed, fluff the pillow, tuck the sheets around her and drift off into the land of Mornings Dreams, ah delicioso!

Bill is 39, lanky, loves hats of all kinds, though he can usually be seen neatly tucked under an Indiana Jones' fedora. He typically wears worn levis, a white t-shirt with a Marlboro hard pack rolled up in his left sleeve. He doesn't actually smoke Marlboros though, the box has loose tabacco and papers in it and he rolls his own. Bill loves a cold beer on a hot afternoon, preferably a Del Pacifico or Ice House brew.

He has three, count them, 1..2..3..addictions. Watching People, Watching Movies and Reading Books. He spends the rest of his time quoting the said people, movies and books.

Often when Carly (the Artist) gathers all the cleaning supplies and prepares to give the house a thorough going over (hell, someone's gotta do it since Susie-Homemakers early demise) she gathers said supplies and rags and sponges, goes to one end of the house and Bill announces in a clear masterful voice...."Gentlemen, start your engines."

When the sound of an engine is heard in the driveway and the Council (the group of characters) check out the window and see that the Mother of Toni has come to visit, Bill trades in his levis for a tuxedo and in his very best Michael Buffer voice announces..."Lllllleeeeeettttttssssss Rumble!"

Anytime people are starting to get aggitated with each other, Bill whispers that great quote from Monty Pythons Holy Grail, "People, lets not bicker about who killed who!"

Bill's repertoire is constantly growing and he is always....always whispering some appropriately irreverant statement and making me smile at the most inappropriate times.

Carly. The Artist

The Artist....We call her Carly at the moment, but she changes her name like she changes her underwear, well, actually she often forgets to wear underwear but it is purely unintentional. She puts the undies on the bed but by the time she has showered she has forgotten that she put them out (and is running a little late anyway) so doesn't wear them ~ kind of by default.

She is often distracted by beautiful sunsets, incredibly blue water, clouds that resemble angels and turtles and castles and yes, just clouds, really big clouds.

Carly is actually distracted by most things....she even keeps a little paper taped to the phone at work so that when she answers it, she can look down and see where she is just, in case she forgets!

She and Bill have a love hate relationship. Carly will often start to tell a story....oh she does love a good story...and after several minutes of meandering around the story she will often stop herself and mutter, "..well, to make a long story short...." in which Bill always responds with, "Too Late!"

Carly loves art, she loves to create, to paint, to draw, to write. She often is not as productive as she would like to be because she is kind of the runt of the Toni-Council. When we have certain tasks and responsibilities that we don't really want to do or feel said tasks are menial and undeserving of our status, Carly is the one who gives up her time to clean up after us.

("Would you like some cheese and crackers with that whine?" asks Bill somewhat lovingly....

"Shut up you, asshole!"

"No, you shut up!"

"No, you shut up!"

"Kids! Don't make me turn you into frogs again!" Oh, I have so much to tell you about BabaMara, the mystical, magical old woman of the council?)

Well, as usual, the spotlight is off of Anna....oops, did I forget to tell you that Carly has changed her name...she is really into sculpture at the moment, especially the work of Anna Vaughn Hyatt Huntington and would like to be called Anna...

("I know you can get the job, but can you do the job"

"Shut up, Bill!"

"No, you shut up!"


So, anyway, Car......Anna loves to create, but she doesn't have a lot of time for it, she is much too busy taking care of....."

"Carly-Anne, stop making excuses....just get out there and create or I will turn you into a frog!"

Oh....just a little footnote, the Crew wanted to listen to The Fray but Carly-Anne had suggested we kick back and listen to the Sound track of Pajama Game but the crew suggested that maybe Carly-Anne could just go in the kitchen and bake up some brownies while we rock-out.....and she did!

Then there were the twins, NanaMara and BabaMara who have kind of morphed into one conjoined body and they are uncannily ambidextrous and coordinated in both their arms and legs and not just a little bit magical and mystical. BabaMara, being the most magical has decided that we should call them BabaMara and NanaMara, being loving and nurturing and supportive has no problem with that.

As I dug around in the depths of us, looking for different aspects of my personality I discovered Ms. Richardson. I hadn't noticed her before because while the other aspects were jumping up and down demanding attention, Ms. Richardson was hard at work.

Ms. Richardson is quite intelligent, her IQ tests have never fallen below 136 and often top 140. She is also very creative, much like Carly, uh, Anna, Carly-Anne ("with a hyphen" as Carly-Anne has been heard to state). but unlike Carly-Anne, Ms. Richardson gets down to work.

Ms. Richardson designs web sites and brochures, she is an event planner and great marketing specialist.

Ms. Richardson is very mature, she is a self-starter; very capable. She wears fashionable yet comfortable shoes but dresses much more professionally than the rest of the council. She is often down-right upset with us because we might grab a burger on the rush and drop mustard on one of her really nice blouses or sweaters. (though Carly-Anne is quite capable at getting the stains out).

Ms. Richardson loves her books, always non-fiction, she loves the etymology of words, debating politics and creating marketing plans and writing grants. Research is her love and forte.

We think Ms. Richardson is english and that her first name might be Edna but we really don't know for sure and quite frankly none of us is really brave enough to ask.

She is a no nonsense women. She eats but only small delicate sandwiches, drinks her coffee black, always asks for "just half, thank you" when offered any food item.

She enjoys sex but merely as a perfunctory habit to keep her complexion clear and help her sleep, she would never do it in the morning and sure as hell is not going to do it under the trees in the forest or on the beach in broad daylight, like Sinthia...."that is purely an inappropriate use of time."

We all call Ms. Richardson, Ms. Richardson, and if you dare ask her what her friends call her, she firmly responds, "Ms. Richardson".

She is responsible, reliable, trustworthy, prompt and makes sure we shower daily and pay the bills on time. She is in charge of the finances and grocery shopping lists.

Again, the class is called "
Raking Leaves In the Wind" and it was developed and is taught by Ingrid Kinkaid. I swear, your life will never be the same after you rake some leaves in the wind and discover the real beliefs and values of the real you!

June 28, 2008

just a little puzzled

I went to the ATM today. Slid in my card and the monitor prompts me to hit the button if I would like to make my transaction in English....does this bother any of you? When I live in a country who's main language is English why do I have to be asked if I want to do business in English?

I can see why there would be a prompt for any other language and I understand the tech-stuff behind it but still....its...its....its annoying.

Another really annoying thing is that stupid commercial with the guy burning his broom (how stupid is that?) up in his kitchen while he tries to reach a human at his credit card company. When did our culture become so anti-customer service that someone thinks that actually advertising that there are human beings available to talk to at their agency is a good marketing posture? But then again, have you tried to actually talk to a real live person at PG&E, or the telephone company or your credit card company?

I can see the future...a 9-1-1 call!

"If you would like to report an emergency in English press 1 now"


"If you are reporting a fire press 1, an autoaccident press 2, a robbery in progress press 3, a mugging press 4, an emergency medical condition press 5, a suspected act of terrorism please hang up and call the Homeland Security #866-555-1111 all other conditions press....


If the victim is not breathing press 1, if the victim is breathing but bleeding press 2, if the pers.....


If the breathing but bleeding victim is bleeding from an attack press 1, if the breathing but bleeding person is bleeding from a self-inflicted would please press 5150.


If the breathing but bleeding victim has blood pulsing in high amounts please press 1, if the breathing but bleeding victim is oozing blood at a medium rate press 2....


Thank you for calling 9-1-1. Due to the high volume of call at this time our operators are all busy. Your call will be answered in the order it was received. If you would like to return to the main menu please press 1.

Thank you and have a nice day................( a little Neil Diamond music.......).......Due to the high volume of calls at this time our operators are all busy. Your call will be answered in the order it was received. If you would like to return to the main menu please press 1.

Thank you and have a nice day.............(a little Neil Diamond music.......).........Due to the high volume of calls at this time our operators are all busy. Your call will be answered in the order it was received. If you would like to return to the main menu please press 1.

Thank you and have a nice day........Due to the high volume of calls at this time our operators are all busy. Your call will be answered in the order it was received. If you would like to return to the main menu please press 1. Thank you and have a nice day.............

"...another Saturday night and I ain't got nobody....."

"Another Saturday night and I ain't got nobody I've got some money 'cause I just got paid Now, how I wish I had someone to talk to I'm in an awful way"

Okay, maybe this isn't 100 percent true but the tune has been going through my mind over and over and actually both versions of it...Sam Cooke and Cat Stevens?

If I could choose one version to get stuck in my brain which one would it be....Okay, gotta be Sam Cooke cuz heeeeee sends me, I know that heeeeee sends me......

So, which version do you prefer?

A Groovy Kind of Love? Diane and Annita(who?) or Phil Collins, hands down Phil Collins, who else could make those lyrics sound so cool and sophisticated. Patti LaBelle and Sonny and Cher also recorded it, though not memorably (is that a word?)

You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling? Righteous Brothers, Elvis Presley, Hall & Oates, Kenny Rogers (I know, he doesn't rate the list but he did record it) and don't forget The Boom Boom Band.

Dionne Warwick recorded it too. Close race between Righteious Brothers and Elvis but I've got to go with the Righteous goose bumps just thinking about it.

Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da? The Beatles, Herb Alpert or Arthur Fiedler and the Boston Pops? I know, No contest. Next!

You Send Me? Back to my dream partner Sam Cooke. Who would be so foolish to try and follow up the best slow-hold-me-tight-honey-and sneak-a-kiss song in the entire galaxy? The Supremes, nice try girls, Steve Miller Band, Richie Havens, Percy Sledge, Michael Bolton, uh, no, and Rod Stewart, which was nice but not Sam, and didn't Chaka Kahn sing it too? Sam where are you?

Crazy? Now Patsy Cline wins this one hands down and Norah Jones comes in a close second but the list of people who didn't record it would be shorter than the list of everyone who did.

Patsy Cline gets my vote for Walkin' After Midnight too.

Am I Blue? Great song, best when alone with a half pint of Ben and Jerry's Cherry Garcia, flannel jammies, box of tissue and big fluffy pillows. Okay, everyone at the same time....Ethel Waters! But it was also recorded by Fats Domino, Charlie Rich, Linda Ronstadt (was that pre or post Jerry Brown) Bette Midler and when I was a little girl, Gloria Lynne.

Am I losing everyone under 40?

Michael Buble or Frank Sinatra? Come Fly With Me

Queen , Diana Krall or Michael Buble? Crazy Thing Called Love

Michael Buble or Paul Anka? Put Your Head On My Shoulder, Paul Anka because I remember my head on Mike Gardner's shoulder when I was 16 and it felt good...he never could understand why I broke up with might have had something to do with the fact that he wanted to be a priest when he grew up!!!!

Let's Fall In Love? Now tell me that song isn't great no matter who is singing it? Diana Krall, Tony Bennett and, uh, what's his name, oh yeah, Rod Stewart. Its delicious anytime.

Against All Odds (Take a Look at Me Now) Phil Collins, he's the man, Scott Savol, I love his voice and Mariah Carey...get a job, honey!

Cruisin' Now this is a contest and I love Smokey Robinson but I gotta tell ya Gwyneth Paltrow and Huey Lewis harmonized themselves into my heart, any of my kids readin' this, I want the Duets sound track for Christmas.

Speaking of Huey Lewis, what about Little Bitty Pretty One? Doesn't that song just make you want to put a poodle skirt and jitter-buggin' shoes on and cut a rug! Let me see, Bobby Day and the Satellites, Frankie Avalon, The Dave Clark Five (oh yes they did!!!), the Alley Cats, The Dovells (was over quickly), the Jackson 5, yeah, them too!

Love Huey Lewis but Frankie Avalon didn't least that's what my mommy told me (wink wink knudge knudge)

Riding in a Stolen Car (might just be Stolen Car), Patty Griffin, Bruce Springsteen or the Rocking Chairs (?). Sorry you rockers, gotta go with my girl, Patty.

Break On Thru To The Other Side: Doors or Stone Temple Pilots? Doors, baby!!!

Speaking of the Doors, how could I have forgotten L.A. Woman. Billy Idol, The King, Days of the New. THE DOORS! geez' doesn't anybody have a clue?

Takin' It To The Streets, Doobie Brothers, shame on Take 6 for even trying.

Remember Captain and Tenille and Love Will Keep Us Together. So who do like in this one, Neil Sedaka, The Captain and Tenille, The Tubes or Nickleback or DelBo?

Nickleback also did Saturday Night's Alright. The Who, Elton John, Flotsam and Jetsam or Nickleback. Can't answer that one, haven't heard Nickleback sing it but Elton and The Who are pretty close....alright, Elton, no The Who, no Elton...uh, let me think about it.

Tiny Dancer? Elton or Red Hot Chili Peppers. Elton John and he really did do Saturday Night's Alright the best, yeah, yeah, that's my answer and I'm stickin' to it.

Good Day Sunshine? Lampshade or Beatles..Lampshade, what were you thinkin'?

Monday, Monday? Matthew Sweet and Susanna Hoffs or Mamas and Papas. Who can beat Mama Cass's harmonies?

Well, that was a nice little walk down memory lane and I'm still alone but now I truly feel really old and I'm back to humming: "Another Saturday night and I ain't got nobody I've got some money 'cause I just got paid Now, how I wish I had someone to talk to, I'm in an awful way"

My Dad

My dad, Tom, is one of the funniest men I know, not counting my sons, John and Adam.

Dad's sayings started off pretty low key when I was really young.  I am the oldest of three, but whenever he was asked how many kids he had, Dad would always answer, "4! There's Toni, Michael, Sherree and Nahme!"

He shared with every one what a scamp his fourth child was. "Every time I ask the kids who was responsible for mischief around the house the answer is always,"Nah ME!" When I see that child, he is going to be in a heap of trouble!"

There were all the usual sayings, "Because I'm the Dad, that's why!" and "If Bobby jumped off a bridge would you jump to?" "Don't make me come in there!" but he had some pretty original stuff too. You've heard the expressions, "You can take a horse to water but you can't make him drink" and "Buy them books and buy them books and all they do is read the covers"?  Well, Dad has his own twist to them.

He can often be heard exclaiming, "You can take a horse to water but all he does is chew the covers."  or "Buy them books and buy them books but all they do is drink the water!"  or "You can lead a horse to water but all he does is read the books." And variations there of!

When I was 14, Dad and Mom purchased a brand new station wagon, beautiful light blue, dark blue two-tone. When our shiny blue car was about 6 weeks old, we decided to pack it up for an excursion to Mexico.  My mom, sister and I took a quick trip to the mall to pick up a couple of last-minute items.

While driving through the parking lot, a woman  in a big car ran a stop sign when she turned to her back seat to tell her two little boys to stop fighting. We were right in front of her when she turned forward. Slamming on her brakes she punched the accelerator instead and slammed into our front passenger door, where I was sitting, then in slow motion her car and our car started a slide sideways. She turned around to see if her boys were okay, turned back around and saw that she was going to hit us again! She tried to hit her brakes and (again) hit the accelerator.  Her car slammed into our rear passenger door where my sister was sitting.  Our brand new station wagon had a crushed in front door and a crushed in back door.

After the whole ordeal, we made it back home before my dad got home from work. Mom had parked the car in the garage, she hadn't called my dad about the accident. She felt overwhelmingly guilty about wrecking the car, even though it wasn't her fault.

So, that evening, my dad is dropped off by his buddy (carpool) and lifts the garage door and comes in right past the car. (He usually comes in the front door so we were all freaked!) He walks in the family room door, takes off his boots, sits at the dining room table to read the paper and talk with Mom as she cooks dinner.

After about 3 or 4 minutes he pauses from reading, puts the newspaper down and walks back into the garage; he just realized what he had seen in his peripheral vision. He walks over to the car and stares at it, remember, he had seen all of us so he knew we were all okay.

He walks back into the house, sits at the table, picks the newspaper back up and tells Mom, "Gee, Irene, if you had wanted an accordian you should have asked for an accordian!"

We had a pool when I was growing up, right next to it was a Mamosa tree. Pretty tree if its in someone else's yard, just a junk tree if it's growing adjacent to your pool. It was definitely not a friend of our pool filter. Mamosas are also famous for their incredibly fast growth. Mom loved the tree;  Dad hated it.

Every two or three years, my dad and my brother would be sitting in the family room watching  college football or shooting pool. Mom would be checking fridge and pantry while putting together a grocery list. With list in hand she would head out to the car. The moment she backed out of the garage, Mike and Dad would leap out the back door, grab the saws stashed in the bushes and start sawing down the Mamosa. In the one to two hours that Mom was gone, they would chop the tree down and cut all the branches into small enough pieces to go into the wood pile. By the time Mom came home there would be little evidence that a Mamosa tree was ever there, sometimes it was weeks before Mom noticed it was gone. In 2 or 3 years it would happen all over again.

Our house sat on a little rise on a dead-end road, backed by Bing Cherry and Plum orchards. (Oh, yeah, remind to tell you about the time I got shot in the tush with rock salt by the farmer for sitting up in his trees and eating cherries while I read my books). The kids in the neighborhood would congregate in the dead-end and we would play kick-the-can, (full-contact hide and seek if you haven't heard of it). Every now and then we kids would hear a full out Tarzan yell.  We'd look up and there was my dad, charging out the patio door, jumping over the hedge around our patio, he would disappear for a moment then reappear as he vaulted over the back fence. He would run into the street, kick the can and vault back over the fence.

He played the piano really well. Only problem was that he could only play 3 songs, Chopin's Polonaise, the Boogie Woogie (Tommy Dorsey style) and the Hamm's beer song, you know the one with the big bear, that goes, "in the land of sky blue waters....!"

Whenever there is a floor fan blowing he gets behind it and does his Gepetto-searching-for-Pinochio impersonation, into the fan he calls, "Pinocchio"! It does sound like he's underwater.

Speaking of water; when my oldest son was about 2 years old, he would help my dad with his yard work. They would set the sprinkler out on the lawn and Dad would ask Little John to remind him in 20 minutes to change the water. One time they let the water sit in the same place a couple of hours and my son jumped up and yelled, "Good God the Water!" They both ran out the door to change the position of the sprinkler. After that every time my mom would get annoyed with my dad and start to pick on him or nag him, he would jump up and yell, "Good God the water" and run out the back door!

Every time we kids had to stay home with a baby sitter while Mom and Dad went to some grown-up-event we would ask Dad how the event was when they returned home. Dad would answer as if it had been the most annoying experience ever! "It was okay except there was a midget who had his nose in everyone's business and a big tall guy who had his business in everyone's nose!"

Dad came up with a question every night at dinner. What do I think about affirmative action?
Where do I stand on abortion? He insisted that I take a side and he always, ALWAYS, took the opposite side. He made me support my thoughts with facts, he taught me critical thinking.

He also taught me to never support a football team south of the Mason-Dixon line, how to cook killer beef stroganoff and lasagna, how to shoot, how to play the boogie-woogie on the piano and that I was completely capable of accomplishing anything I wanted.

Yup, that's my dad!


Breathe ~ again

I wrote this blog earlier this year but I felt it needed to be said again


A recent bulletin described the increase in respiratory illness due to diminished air quality. It is true that we are not taking care of our Mother, the Earth, as well as we should and that we need to pay attention.

It is equally as important that we do not assume a "Victim of Circumstances" mind-set.

Many of us listen to bad news, corrupt news, "they're-gonna-get-you" news all day long and though it is important that we stay informed and involved we must take care not to do so at the detriment of our health.

After all, how can dead or sick people change the world!

When we are stressed and anxious we breathe through our mouths. This causes our bodies to instantly shift gears into the "fight or flight" mode.

This means that the majority of blood vessels in the viscera (our innards or trunk) restrict, sending the majority of blood to our limbs to help us run or punch or protect through defensive motions, the blood vessils in the front of the brain also restrict and send the blood to the back of the brain (reaction-impulse-instinct centers).

Now this lack of blood in the viscera causes our non-vital systems to shut down. First to go is immune system, followed closely by many other systems and organs such as thyroid, digestion, pancreas, kidneys, etc.

Now the front part of the brain has to run with a minimal amount of blood so it to reduces or shuts down its processes such as decision making, thinking, creativity. (Next time you're at the store and you're stressed and you can't decide between whole wheat or twelve grain, check your breathing, you're probably breathing through your mouth, its dry, your shoulders are up around your ears and you just can't make such a momentous decision at the time).

Now, we add to this situation the fact that most of us only breathe with about 30% of our lungs, I wouldn't be making any major bets on the welfare of our immune systems.

When we are not stressed and when we breathe through our noses the blood is distributed evenly throughout our body. Our organs and systems florish, they do their jobs. We have less illness, less cancer, less chronic issues, our brain can make decisions, we become more creative, more successful, happier.

So, if you are not being chased by a tyranosaurus or training for an HBO Boxing Championship fight you should take a deep breath through that snoz of yours and fill those lungs to capacity.


Imagine Good Things,

Remind Your Cells How Good Life Is

and the next time you read one of those Doom and Gloom bulletins say, "Bummer" and get on with creating a good day.

Mother of Mother's Day: Julia Howe

Do you know who Julia Ward Howe is?
You could say she is the mother of Mother's Day.  Though her intention was not to set aside one day of the year for mothers to get flowers, cards and maybe breakfast in bed.
Her intention for Mother's Day was a day for women to stand up and say "ENOUGH".

Women, we are the strongest, the most intent and as a group, the most powerful entity on earth.

There is no reason for us to tolerate war, to tolerate child abuse, to tolerate corrupt government, to tolerate the media holding our daughter's self worth hostage.

Please read:

Howe's Mother's Day Proclamation - 1870

Arise then...women of this day!
Arise, all women who have hearts!
Whether your baptism be of water or of tears!

Say firmly: "We will not have questions answered by irrelevant agencies.
Our husbands will not come to us, reeking with carnage,
For caresses and applause.
Our sons shall not be taken from us to unlearn
All that we have been able to teach them of charity, mercy and patience.
We, the women of one country, Will be too tender of those of another country
To allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs."

From the bosom of a devastated Earth a voice goes up with
Our own. It says: "Disarm! Disarm!

The sword of murder is not the balance of justice.
"Blood does not wipe out dishonor,
Nor violence indicate possession.

As men have often forsaken the plough and the anvil
At the summons of war,
Let women now leave all that may be left of home
For a great and earnest day of counsel.

Let them meet first, as women, to bewail and commemorate the dead.
Let them solemnly take counsel with each other as to the means
Whereby the great human family can live in peace...Each bearing after his own time the sacred impress, not of Caesar,
But of God -In the name of womanhood and humanity,
I earnestly ask
That a general congress of women without limit of nationality,
May be appointed and held at someplace deemed most convenient

And the earliest period consistent with its objects,
To promote the alliance of the different nationalities,
The amicable settlement of international questions,
The great and general interests of peace.