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 Brothers...got 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 him...it 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 suck....at 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.

10 Steps To Peaceful Consciousness

Found this wonderful message surfin' this morning and thought I wouldshare it. It is from Deepak Chopra.

Each step is just as important as the next but I really do love step 10, being with my precious granddaughters every day.

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.

Ten Steps to Peace Consciousness

1. Change doesn't start on the surface. It's generated from consciousness. This has been true throughout history. If both Buddhism and Christianity could begin with one person, let us not think in terms of numbers and odds. It may sound grandiose to compare ourselves to great spiritual guides, but we act collectively, as an alliance. Our strength comes from critical mass.

2. We aren't here to make the world evolve. We are here to evolve as individuals and then to spread that influence. In the wisdom tradition of Vedanta, the stream of evolution is known in Sanskrit as Dharma, from a root verb that means 'to uphold.' This gives us a clue how to live: the easiest way for us to grow is to align ourselves with Dharma. We don't have to struggle to grow--that would be unproductive, in fact. The Dharma has always favored non-violence. If we can bring ourselves to a state of non-violence, and connect with others who are doing the same thing, we have done a huge thing to reinforce Dharma.

3. Societies get into the grip of their own self-created story. It's helpful to realize that we can choose not to participate in that story. Realize that national and tribal stories are limited, self-serving, based on the past, reinforced by orthodoxy, and therefore opposed to real change. Stories are incredibly persuasive. Wars are fueled by victimization that runs deep, for example. So let us not try to change anyone's story. Let us only notice and observe ourselves when we buy into it and then let us back away from participating in it.

4. Let us not demand of ourselves that we alone must be the agent of change. In a fire brigade everyone passes along a bucket, but only the last person puts out the fire. None of us know where we stand in line. We may be here simply to pass a bucket; we may be called on to play a major role. In either case, all we can do is think, act, and say. Let us direct our thoughts, words, and actions to peace. That is all we can do. Let the results be what they will be.

5. Let us realize that engagement and detachment aren't opposite—the more engaged we become, the more detached we will have to be. Otherwise, we will lose ourselves in conflict, obsessiveness, anxiety over the future, and feelings of guilt and inadequacy. Keep in mind that we are pioneers into the unknown, and uncertainty is our ally. When our minds want closure, certainty, and finality, let us remind ourselves that these are fictions. Our joyous moments will come from riding the wave, not asking to get off at the next station.

6. Since most misery is born of failed expectations let us learn to minimize expectations so that we will feel far less guilt and disappointment.

7. We aren't here to be good or perfect. We are here as the antennas for signals from the future. We are here to be midwives to something that wants to be born. Good people have preceded us. They solved some problems and created others. As one wise teacher said, "You aren't here to be as good as possible. You are here to be as real as possible."

8. I know this sounds difficult, but let us try to be tolerant of intolerance. This is a hard one at times, but if you try the opposite—showing a hard heart against those with hard hearts of their own—all we've done is expand the problem. It's helpful (but often difficult) to remember that everyone is doing the best they can form their own level of consciousness. Trying to talk a terrorist out of his beliefs is like trying to persuade a lion to be a vegetarian. All we can realistically do is seek openings for higher awareness.

9. Let us resist the lure of dualities. These include us versus them, civilized versus barbarians, good versus evil. The good, civilized people of Europe managed to kill millions of themselves, along with millions of "them." In reality we are all in the same boat of human conflict and confusion. Sometimes it helps to admit that the doctor is not far from being a patient.

10. Let's create an atmosphere of peace around ourselves. Imagine that we are like a mother whose children come home crying about fights at school. Would it be her job to soothe their wounds or to arm them for fighting back tomorrow? Simplistic as it may sound, the male principle of aggression can only be healed by the feminine principle of nurturing and love.



A Party Of Ten

Okay, you just recieved a phone call from Donald Trump. (it could happen!) He has arranged for you and 9 other people to spend a weekend all expenses paid.

It is your choice where you go but you can only take 9 people that you don't know personally.
It is a weekend to share ideas and learn from each other.

Where do you go and who do you take?

I'm going to take my guests to a Grand Log Cabin in the Colorado Rockies. We will sit around the river rock fireplace, with a blazing fire, sipping fine wine and discussing life and life's journey.

How to make the world a better place.

My guest list includes:
Neale Donald Walsch

Sue Monk Kidd

Nelson Mandela

Bruce Lipton

Kate Millet

Miriam Cruz

Christine Northrup

Wayne Dyer

Deepak Chopra

I've got goose bumps just thinking about it!

So where would you go and who would you take?

Shoppe of Lost And Found Dreams ~ Now Open

I woke up this morning and knew that I had experienced a very important dream last night. It started with a meditation.

In this meditation I imagined a pair of giant doors, incredibly beautiful but so light that I could open them with one finger. As the doors opened a golden light washed over me and washed away all the stress and tension, the tresspasses and tresspassings. It was awesome and I gently slipped into dream time.

Something changed last night and I can almost put my finger on it, almost taste it, almost bring it into focus and then it slips away. Does that ever happen to you?

In just the last month or two some of my dreams and hopes that I have had for the future have been lost or drastically changed.

Have you lost a dream?

Did something happen in your life that made that dream slip into the ether and you haven't been able to recover it? Is it because Father/Mother/God has a better dream for you than you had for yourself?

I want to open a Lost and Found for Dreams.

The shop will be on a hill. As each individual walks up the path to the shop they will see the shop only as they can and need too. For some, it will be a sweet little thatched cottage in the woods, for another it might be a towering castle in the fog, still another might see Grandma's house on 24th and Gilpin and know that Grandma is waiting inside to hold you, give you some homemade bread and talk to you about your dreams.

For everyone the doors will open with a gentle push of one finger and as you walk in a brilliant light of love and forgiveness and acceptance will wash over you. There may be a shelf or two here and there where you can see some old dreams, a little dusty and maybe a little chip here and there but as you glide across the floor a glorious gilded cabinet rises to meet you.

The light is so bright, but smells of new rain and fresh mountain air. The glass doors open slowly and there in the light is the Divine's version of your dream.

What does it look like? How does it feel?

Are you ready to wrap it around you and own it?

Soundtrack To My Life

Sort of an introduction to me...because you know it is all about me:

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 RascalsCar

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: 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 SkynrdSad,

Breakdown scene: Forever Love (Digame) ~ Anna Nalick

Death Scene: Mil Besos ~ Patty Griffin

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

Pot-smoking Scene: (yes, there will be one of those scenes...a little flashback) 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

So, do you think you know me any better?