December 06, 2010


This last year was the year from Hell, truly, yet, it was also a year of joy and blessings. I guess I could call 2010 the "Big Dipper Year" after the Roller coaster at the Santa Cruz Boardwalk.

This year one of my favorite aunt's passed, a dear brother-in-law died with absolutely no warning, a most loving and generous man, the step-father of my grandson passed away after a long hard battle with cancer and the role-model of all mothers, Mrs. Gardner passsed away. My dad had emergency 5-way bypass surgery and the hospital did everything it could to make his recovery impossible, he survived and is doing well. I lost my job ( kind of hated it anyway so that's not so bad except for the financial aspects).

On the high side, I rekindled relationships with long lost cousins. They didn't even know they were lost, they had just been lost to me. Wonderful, wonderful reunion and I swear with eveything in me,  I will never let them go again.

Big Losses, Big Gains! Major Highs and Incredibly Low Lows. Times when I didn't think the second hand of the clock would ever move again to times when I couldn't pray hard enough to slow the hands of the clock down.

I'll never be able to hug Ken or Bob again, or give my Auntie Margaret a hug and tell her I love her. I had told Mrs. Gardner how I felt about her years ago but hadn't seen her since. I can't wait until I get to hug  cousins, Randy or Karen or Brian again, to laugh with Zig or swear with Jackie or to just sit and talk with any of those wonderful cousins.

There is another loss though that is  difficult to explain and hurts in the most extraordinary way. I've lost another friend, a friend that has been dear to me for years and years. I met him when I was maybe 12 or 13. We don't see each other much or talk very often but he calls me every year for my birthday and I call him every year for his. We sometimes talk in between times. When we do talk, though, we talk until one of our phones runs out of power yet still had more to say. Each conversation begins where the last one ended.

I love him and I know that he loves me. Not in that boy-girl way but in the glorious my-dearest-friend way. He's known me in all my phases and I've known him, we trust and love each other inspite of our short comings, which we are both very much aware of and couldn't care less!

He's kind of lost to me though. He has a new woman in his life for which I am very happy for him. We all need to have that "special" someone. The sad part of it though is that his special someone doesn't want him to have any "Pre-her" woman friends. Her jealously makes them both miserable.

I called him for his birthday this year (not knowing that Special Someone didn't want him talking to persons of the female side of humanity). He didn't answer his phone but called back a day or two later. He said he had to make it quick because Special Someone would be hurt and angry if we talked. We talked quickly, wished him happy birthday and hung up. A week or two later he called again. Special Someone was Christmas shopping and he had time to talk.

It was a yucky feeling. I don't want to talk if it is going to hurt someone or if it feels like sneaking, sneaking is for kids who want an extra cookie not for 59 year old women, unless its sneaking into the spa to get those brown aging spots removed!

I was wondering how my husband would feel if he thought I was "sneaking" in a conversation with someone or how I would feel if I found out he was doing the same. I don't want to be responsible to causing someone else pain either.

But, follow me here, who is causing her pain? Is she carrying some old shit, oops, excuse me, baggage from past relationships into her new relationship that is setting her up for PAIN? Why do I have to lose a good friend because she has is carrying around a pocket full of old stuff? When humans begin a brand new relationship, why do we wrap it with all the negative garbage from old relationships? Doesn't that dull the brilliance and glory of the new?

It makes me sad but makes me wonder what yuckiness (don't you love my vocabulary?), what yuckiness have I lugged over from old relationships and asked my wonderful husband to carry for me.

So, its not right, I am gonna miss my friend but I don't like sneaking in a phone call here and there or partaking in pulling the wool over someone's eyes (unless it is surprise birthday parties or Christmas gifts) so, no phone calls from this end. I'm going to miss you Mike.

Hope you and Special Someone resolve this because its way too sad to lose someone you love when they are still alive. Dead is too real and comes to soon to play games because some old crap is being lugged around in forgotten pockets.

October 06, 2010

A Little Challenge

Fun thing some of the writers are doing on a couple of blogs I follow"

1. Depending on your age, go back 10, 15 or 20 years
2. Tell us how many years back you have traveled and why
3. Pretend you have met yourself during that era, and tell us where you are
4. You only have one “date” with this former self
5. Answer these questions
Okay, as we start, what year is it and how old are you?

Would your younger self (YYS) recognize you when you first meet?

Would YYS be surprised to discover what you are doing for work?

What piece of fashion advice would you give YYS?

What do you think YYS is most going to want to know?

How would you answer YYS’s question?

What is something that you probably wouldn’t tell YYS?

What do you think will most surprise YYS about you?

At this point in your life, would YYS like to run into “you” from the future?
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

I chose to return to just before I left my parents home. Right after graduation there were so many questions. Who was I? What was I going to do with my life? Where was I going to do it?

Okay, as we start, what year is it and how old are you?

It is 1968 and I am 17 years old....damn, I'm so young!

Would your younger self (YYS) recognize you when you first meet?

I think MYS would recognize me, maybe more intuitively than from sight.

Would YYS be surprised to discover what you are doing for work?

MYS would not be surprised that I spend a large portion of my time with my granddaughters because since I can remember I wanted to be a mommy and a nana just naturally follows. She would wonder what happened to her dream of being a doctor and would be surprised to find out that even though most of my career was in health care it was on the administrative, public relations and marketing side, not hands-on care.

What piece of fashion advice would you give YYS?

First of all, I've just come back from 42 years in the future...if the first advice MYS asks me is fashion advice I would shoot her! My young me and my older me have never really been into fashion, give either one of us a pair of levi's and a sweatshirt or something bohemian (which to me means bra and panties are optional) and we would/will be happy.

But I offer this advice, high heels are over-rated, especially the 3" and 4".
What do you think YYS is most going to want to know?

MYS might ask me if we had children and were they healthy.
MYS might ask if John and I are going to get married and live happily ever after.

How would you answer YYS’s question?

I would definitely tell her that she will have 3 glorious children and they will grow up to be very loving wonderful adults.

I would tell her to ride bikes more often with her kids when they are little, get to Whiskeytown Lake more often with her kids even in winter, have more waterfights, snowball fights and stay away from bubblegum flavored Vodka and to invest in Microsoft. I would also tell her that she will end up raising half the boys in the neighborhood (happily) so she should probably buy a bigger house out of the gate.

I would tell her that, yes, John and I will live happily ever after. But I wouldn't tell her, he with someone else and me with someone else. Our love will produce those beautiful children and some wonderful memories. Relish in the love while it is there and remember it sweetly when it is just a memory.

What is something that you probably wouldn’t tell YYS?

I wouldn't tell her about deaths and endings. It is hard enough on the heart and soul without knowing the "when" of those times.

What do you think will most surprise YYS about you?

MYS would be most shocked that I survived to be older than her grandma Rose, had lots of anxiety wondering if I would. She would wonder why I still live in California and why I live "in town" because I/We are not city-girls. She would wonder where my garden is, why there is dust on my guitar and why my dad's truck is parked in my driveway!!!

At this point in your life, would YYS like to run into “you” from the future?

After the way I've let her body go to hell she would probably like to run into me-from-the-future with a Mac Truck!
I would like to meet my-future-self. Though I don't know that I would be brave enough to ask about any of the kids or mom or dad. I'd ask her if I wrote the books, did they get published? Was I strong when I needed to be and was I tender when tenderness was necessary? I ask her to tell me if I ever hurt someone and what I could do not to hurt them.

If I could tell MYS anything I would tell her that she will know wonderful love, incredible peace, never-ending gratitude. In all the ups and downs of life the ups will far outweigh the downs,the happy tears will out-number sorrowful tears.

September 30, 2010

...and the angels thwacked her on the head....

I am an artist with dust on my brushes, I am a writer with thousands of words still in my head, I am not living up to my full potential.

Just updated my blog and a little blurp at the bottom of the page said:
"You are using 11MB of your allotted 1028"!

Damn! The angels sure have a way of getting their message across!

A Walk On The River Trail

Who has stood here before me?

What were they thinking?

Where were they going?

Were they Wandering and Wondering?

September 29, 2010

Open Book

Do you ever find your self distracted by a simple phrase or maybe even just a word or two while reading? You find that you have read two pages without being cognizant because your mind wandered off with thoughts inspired by the words.

I must confess, for someone who meditates and preaches the practice of "awareness" my mind is predictably unpredictable! (Makes sense to me, so deal with it!)

This morning one of the characters in the book I am reading used the phrase "open book". Without benefit of a count down  my mind blasted off to the ethers.

"Open Book."  What is an open book? Who is an Open Book?  My mother insists that my brother, sister and I are open books and she isn't smiling when she says it!

I don't agree with her a hundred percent. I would suggest that if the three of us could be referred to as books, we would be books resting gently at eye level; not on a high precipice nor buried deep in a cabinet, but books easily within reach. If you open it and read a little, or as you pick up one of the little volumes and it falls open to any page that inspires a question, we are pretty forthcoming with an answer. Not because we are anxious to share all the bits and pieces but that, to us, the bits and pieces are just that....bits and pieces. Individual bits and pieces do not define us. Though there are people who have let this 'bit" or that "piece" from their past or maybe their family's history define who they are or who they have become.

What if you are an "open book"? Should one be more protective of those moments of thier lives when maybe they made mistakes or got too close to the edge? What's the use of those experiences if they can't be used to teach or inform? Should one feel guilty because they don't guard the story more tightly?

What about those who not only don't open the book but keep the tome shut and locked away in a cellar of personal memory, locked up tight? Warning: don't even think about asking!

A dear friend, a long time ago, had a pat answer for any questions that he thought were inappropriate.

"Why do you want to know?" he would ask the curious.

 Whatever their response was, he always answered, "Well, that's not reason enough!"

He wasn't really a private person, he just didn't want to feed morbid curiousity. (Was he thinking, "Inquiring minds should get a life!") I have actually been known to use the same trick but not to keep things private but just to see if I could actually get away with it!

What we share and don't share of our own lives and thoughts and actions should be a personal choice,  shouldn't it? If I choose to be an open book one week and keep the book closed the next, isn't it my decision?

Someone else may choose to put a lock and key on the book and stand beside it with a loaded gun in case you get too close. My advice to you would be that if you see someone standing next to a dusty book with a cocked pistol in hand you should keep your questions simple; "Would you like tea or coffee, how about a little sugar?"

What about those of us who have the book open to just one page. That page and no other. What has become of the story before that page and what of the story since that page? Another man I knew a long time ago who was an awesome, winning high school quarterback let that short page in his book define his story forevermore. He believed he never was that great since then, he never saw the love and admiration in his children's eyes nor that of his wife because he only heard the echo of days gone by and believed himself to be a has-been, sadly living in the shadow of yesterday's glory. What of those who choose only to dart in and out of the darkness of yesterday's tragedy or trespass. Afraid to love, afraid to live, afraid to turn the page and read how life did, truly, go on.

What is the state of your book? Is it open, can you turn your pages freely and read what was and look forward to what is coming? If you are protective of it has the "protecting" of it become more important than the "living" of it? Can you honor the choices of others to keep their books in whatever state they have choose?

In my humble opinion, it is a choice we all make. Free will, after all, was God's idea. It is not for me to insist we all open those books, or share just this page or that or slam them shut. It is, though, again I say humbly, that we should be aware of the choice we made and own it, be conscious of it.

Is your book open? Did you decide to stick with one page? Is it under lock and key? Are you the author or are you letting someone else write your book?

September 27, 2010

Partisan Politics


1.noun; an adherent or supporter of a person, group, party, or cause, esp. a person who shows a biased, emotional allegiance.


Military . a member of a party of light or irregular troops engaged in harassing an enemy, esp. a member of a guerrilla band engaged in fighting or sabotage against an occupying army.

If our congress was actually a marriage between two people, say the wife is (flip a coin: Heads) the Democrat and the husband is Republican (sorry, tails) in America today I would have to venture a guess that our divorce rate would be about 98%.

You see, there would be no listening with the goal of trying to learn or understand. If any listening was happening at all it would be with the intention of trying to find something to trip the other up with. Instead of rings our marriage ceremonies would consist of exchanging sticks to draw lines in the dirt....."Cross this line, Sucka!"

The first marriage was just such a marriage, Lilith and Adam, both wanted to be on top. Winning and being on top was most important, no one cared to listen and learn to compromise. Democrats and Republicans...oops, my mistake....Democrats vs Republicans.....what a circus. Do any of the politicians today really care about helping the American people, do they care about making this a country where we can honor our roots and our future? Is biased, emotional allegiance a solid foundation for good listening skills? If we are engaged in harassing or consumed with fighting or sabotaging instead of trying to understand and cooperate what is our future?

Will every president spend the first four years in office trying not to offend too many people so that there is a second term in the future at the detriment of the American citizen...which, by the way, includes the future of our babies and children.

When will partisanship be left at the door and genuine-ship, caring-ship, honor-ship come to the forefront of American politics?

September 14, 2010

My Tree Is Full Of Apples

Scrolling down through Facebook this morning, who's doing what, who's harvesting cranberries and who's giving away shovels. My eyes locked onto the post from Linda, "My tree is full of apples." She is actually inviting any takers to come pick fresh apples but in my idealistic mind it was the same as "my cup is half full."

Now it is my long standing philosophy that my cup runneth over but there are times when that personal philosophy is blurred just the littlest bit in the fog of daily living. I always know in my heart that the belief is there but it can be reduced to a mere shadow when the mind starts its anxiety-ridden fretting about things and stuffs of maybe's and maybe not's.

Whenever we drop our awareness and the total commitment to being present in our life we can become entangled in ghostly what if's. Those "what ifs" are a blight on our apple trees, drying up the lovely red fruit as it clings to the tree, fighting to not be dropped prematurely. Can you imagine what would happen if a tree, filled with the promise of spring blossoms started to fret about the possibility of an early frost? Would it accept the tickle of the bees buzzing from blossom to blossom? Would the tree, so focused on the possibility of some future "maybe" be unable to dedicate its energy to producing even the scrawniest of fruit let alone a big crisp fruit worthy of polishing and giving to a favorite teacher?

Can one's glass be half full if the glass becomes obsessed with the possibility of the liquid being consumed? Could the anxiety of glass produce enough heat to vaporize its contents?

Tell me, do you sometimes let your mind take over your heart, your tomorrow consume your today? Does your stress vaporize your contents? Does your fruit dry up on the stem? It happens to me sometimes, but, luckily I read simple statements that remind me just how wonderful and blessed my life has been and is. My cup runneth over and my tree is full of apples.

January 06, 2010

What Did You Pack For 2010?

Are you packed for 2010?

Its very important what you decide to bring with you and what you commit to leaving behind.

Here is my list of must haves:
Integrity and Good Music.

Imagination and Good Books

Open Mind and Soft Shoulder

Creativity and Spirituality

Courage and a New Bathing Suit

A Good Pen and Chewing Gum

An extra door knob in case some doors appear closed with no apparent means of entry...(always carry an extra door knob with you; they are much less cumbersom than windows)

Good Wine and Good Friends

Verboten Objects ~ What I am prepared to leave behind:

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

I promise to Be On The Lookout For:

Every Opportunity to tell loved ones:

"I Love YOU" ~"You are Special" ~ "You are important to me"

Those moments to tell someone:
"Good job" "I am proud of you" and sometimes giggle and say..."man, that was stupid!"

Opportunities for hugs and kisses and a mug of Dutch Bros. coffee.

...and to be of the lookout for

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 going to packi?
What are you going to leave behind?
What are you watching for?