November 29, 2015

Making Do

Okay, so he worked today. So did I. He sold cameras. I worked on flyer and workbook....but,
the minute he walked through the door, we tossed the cameras into my car, gloves, hats and Rex, our border collie.

We hit Highway 44, headed east to Mt. Lassen. We needed to get a couple of pics of the mountains first snow.

We didn't hit snow until about 2000 feet. We hit ice about 2500 feet. We only lost traction once. If I remember correctly the words, "Holy shit!" passed my husbands lips. Yeah, that was reassuring.

The mountain was just donning her sunset colors, which means, photographically, we have about 3 and a half minutes to catch the color. I think we did a fairly good job.

Replay is planned for next Sunday, that's if I dont' just jump in the car and go myself!

She was beautiful. Her reflection in the frozen ice of Manzanita Lake was magical.

This mountain is so magical, her beauty sometimes challenges Mt. Shasta, a mere 6o miles north.

A new storm is expected this week and we might have to head north instead of east. As dad used to say while we were young, "We'll see!"

Rex would have nothing to do with staying couped up in the house today. He was at the car door, claiming his right to an adventure. We agreed. He needed some good running, off leash.

He loves the snow. He likes to eat it, he likes to dig in it, bury his face in it and his favorite....dying it spring colors (if you know what I mean).

He found a great little burrow to bury his nose in. Thankfully nothing snapped or sprayed back.

The evening was beautiful.

We even caught night shots of the valley lights below. Okay, Frank got those shots. I stayed inside the car just enjoying the view.

If you haven't visited Mt. Lassen or Mt. Shasta please come. Please see our purple mountains majesty!

November 28, 2015

To-Do Lists: Preparing for 2016

Many of you are dedicated list makers which, in turn, makes many of you much more efficient than me. Kudos to your organizational skills.

I make lists but I wouldn't exactly call them TO-DO lists as much as and Things-I-Forgot-TO-DO-MUST-DO-NOW lists.

The one list that I am dedicated to accomplish every year is my Packing For The New Year list.

Truly, this little list is one of the most important lists one can do, in my opinion.

There are two columns.

Must Have             Verboten Objects

Remember that what you decide to leave behind is just as important as what you choose to pack! Some of the items are the same as last year and some items are new.

Must Haves:

Integrity and Good Music,

Etymology Dictionary and  New Words

Imagination and Good Books,
An Open Mind and a Soft Shoulder.

A big bag of  Yes's for things untried.

My unopened box of No's! (going to use some of them-there NO's this year!)

Smiles When Sadness Intrudes.

Creativity, Spirituality and Good Humor.

Paint and Brushes,  Blank Paper and Colored Pencils.

Courage and a New Bathing Suit, Bird Seed and Bubbles.

Skate Key, Lightening Rod and Lip Gloss.

Purple Nail Polish and Body Shoppe Africa Spa Body Butter

My crystal door knob in case some doors have no apparent means of entry...(always carry an extra door knob with you; they are much less cumbersome than windows).

Good Wine and Good Friends.

Soft, soft, soft sheets, a feather pillow and a promise to remember my dreams.

A warm, time-worn quilt, aged cheese and apples just in case a spot of Earth invites me to a little picnic.

Soft, worn pajamas, cuddles and hugs and my favorite mugs.

Verboten Objects ~ What I am prepared to leave behind:

Maps unless it is a map I am drawing for myself.
Whining, on my part or anyone elses.....NO WHINING!

Bad Attitude, Brussel Sprouts, Judgemental People and unfair judgements on my part.
Grudges, Clothes that itch or bind, Excuses for not being Authentic.

I Promise To Be On The Lookout For:

Every Opportunity to tell my children and grandchildren and family and friends,
"I Love YOU" ~"You are Special" ~ "You are important to me"

Adding the opportunity to encourage others, "You can do it!" to those moments telling others: 
"Good job"
"I am proud of you"
"Hot damn" and sometimes giggle at myself and say..."man, that was stupid!"
I promise to leave enough room in my bags for sea shells and leaves and rocks and lost puppies.
...and to be on the lookout for
Miracles and Angels,
Sunrises and Sunsets,
New Friends and Rare Birds.
Fairies and Brownies

What's left packed from last year?

Good Books, Good Music, "Good Waves, Man"
Hugs, Kisses and Macaroons, Vintage Linens and Gin and Tonics for hot afternoons,
Crystals, Naps under the sky or completely naked under the covers in the middle of the day.
Opportunities for Growth, a chance to make my own path Out of the Box and Outside the Envelope.

What are you going to pack?

What are you going to leave behind?

What are you watching for?


Time to get out the Christmas decorations and do the house up! My favorite part of all the decorations is the garland around my red double entry door.

I love my doors. The red is bright, bold and hints or color and fun past the threshold.

BUT, if I could have any door, any door in the world, inviting guests to come on in...oh there are so many choices.

The tree door on the right would be a perfect fit for me.  Some of my best friends are trees, I love their majesty, their dignity, and their auras.  This carved door would absolutely be perfect except for the small part about knocking the existing house down and building a new, more appropriate house behind it. One cannot have this door and all it promises and have only two rooms with vaulted ceilings and the rest of the rooms graced with ceilings a mere 8 feet high. Even the vaulted are only 14 feet (and, for the most part, still have the icky cottage cheese texture...what were the builders thinking?)

Would my house embarrass this magnificent door?

 Would my little house be embarrassed by the door on the left, even though the size and lack of majesty
may be more appropriate?  I love, love, love the transom-ish windows above, but honestly, it looks a bit prickly. Yeah, I know, some of you are thinking or might have even said out loud, "but you're prickly, too, you old....(shame on you, Santa is watching!).

I love teal and turquoise and trees but if this one has to have all the gaudy carved stone work around it, It would become a condo for spiders of all kinds, and we've got spiders in northern California...big, giant creepy ones...(wish you could see my goose bumps). Yup, we're gonna pass on this door. Prickly spider condos are right out!

If I had a secret garden, I would definitely make the entrance special. Maybe a little purple door surrounded by jasmine and honeydew. the pathway leading to it would be lined with lavender and deep velvet purple verbena trailing from orange pots filled with violets and johnny-jump-ups.

You are probably asking yourself, "Doesn't she know that spiders can spin their webs in the greenery surround this garden door?"

Yes, I do, but spiders in the greenery, where they belong is natural. they have to hunt for their own meals. When they are clinging to the house, around the porch lights, it's as if I am an accomplice. Again, goose bumps and heebie jeegies. Yuck.

Many people say that our eyes are the doorways to our souls.
If the eyes didn't have it (doesn't mean the nays have it either) what would the doorway to your soul look like? 

Would it be wide open to the world or would it be tucked into the surrounding greenery?

Would it be hand carved oak?
Would it be wrought with iron? (get it!)

Can you imagine the handle to the doorway to your soul? Is it from bin 24 from the corner hardware store or is it beautifully customized?

More importantly, is the door open and inviting or is it locked up tight and the key heavily guarded? 

November 25, 2015

The "OTHER" Question Of The Month

Michael D'Agostino has a 'question of the month' on his blog. You've probably wandered by it a time or two. As I am jamming through my email, checking FB (thinking about checking out of FB until after the elections) and making my final final list of to-do's for Thanksgiving preps, his most recent question popped into my gmail.

Question: "Which one social convention would you get rid of?"

Oh My God! Why? Why would he ask such a question while I'm in the middle of 'doing'. I promised myself only 'doing' today, no 'thinking' today. No time for contemplation, except which red wine can I serve with turkey because my dad prefers a robust red to white. (Maybe I'll just get Dad a steak and let my grandson BBQ it).

My list-making is bogged down with social conventions and here I sit, needing a shower, three bottles of wine, celery and the chipped purple polish to be removed from my toenails to be replaced with less chipping color.

Social Conventions.

Our culture or other cultures?

Significant demands or insignificant details of an OCD Emily Post?

Speaking of Emily Post, I find it very comfortable with elbows on a table during a meal. No elbows on the table is definitely O-U-T!

It is nice when a man opens a door for a woman but I find it a waste to stand by a door waiting for him. My husband also says that he has been verbally flogged when opening doors for women. Why can't whoever gets to the door first, open it? Who walks through the doorway first is up to the two people at the door. No rules, just people being nice.

I love to see a Father walk his daughter down the aisle during a wedding but to be perfectly honest, when the pastor starts with the who-gives-this-woman stuff, I want to throw things! That convention needs to hit the road, Jack!

Damn list is calling my name, so is the shower and I need a cup of coffee. Got to get to the agenda of the day.....which brings up one more social convention. Responsible adult! That one really sucks!

I know D'Agostino asked which "one" convention but I've got more, so many social conventions and so little time!

So, Which one ( or dozen) social convention(s) would you get rid of?

November 24, 2015

Ranting When I Should Be Baking

Just had a friend of a friend inform me that her family is eating early on Thanksgiving Day because she needs to get to one of the Big-Box stores by 2 p.m.

Do you find it hard to swallow words sometimes, especially when your gut keeps tossing them up the old esophagus?

I wanted to scream, "NO, you.....(well, one can only imagine what I wanted to scream)."

I didn't. I just nodded my head but now I'm mad. Mad at me, mad at her, mad at the Big-Box stores and ultimately mad at the almighty dollar.

My husband is in retail, has been ever since we met. The first five years or so of our relationship, he managed a Thrifty's Drugs. Remember them? Open every frickin' day of the year! Guess who worked every single holiday for the first five years or so of our relationship?

Easter. Work.
July 4. Work.
Thanksgiving. Work.
Christmas. Work.

No three day weekends to celebrate Labor Day, Memorial Day or Veterans Day either. Three day weekends are for the big sales. What is a big sale without the manager there to coordinate, merchandise and, well, manage? 

Our home was in the country; a couple of acres, a view of Mt. Lassen out the front windows. Our daughter had a horse, we had 4 dogs and 5 cats but Thrifty's kept trying to get hubby to take on a store in the San Francisco Bay area. Last offer came with a stipulation that if he didn't take it (Vallejo? Really?) that he could kiss goodbye moving up in the company.

He kissed Thrifty's off and became the General Manager for a locally owned photo and camera shop. Retail.

In case you don't know anyone in retail, let me fill you in on Life In Retail. Maybe, more realistically, it should be Life In Between Retail!

Big Weekends are not about family drives to the coast. Dads (or moms) don't go camping with the family on spring break. Christmas Eve is not about sitting around the fire place with friends and family. From November 1st through December 31st the only days off are Thanksgiving and Christmas. There is no, absolutely NO going out-of-town for Thanksgiving to be with family because you need to be at the store way past closing on Wednesday evening to take care of those people who forgot to get batteries or chips for their cameras and you are damn well going to be at the store a- quarter-to-dawn on Black Friday. Christmas Eve is all about working late because of all the people who walk in the store five minutes before closing to do their last minute shopping.

The hours are longer than normal, so the non-retail spouse is responsible for hunting down a Christmas tree, decorating the tree, decorating the house, buying, wrapping and shipping gifts. Concerts and school plays the kids or grandkids are in are a race to get to in time and catching your breath for the first half hour. There's more....or maybe, there's less....depends on what side of the counter you're standing on.

So, if you leave your Thanksgiving table early Thursday to go out and save some dollars, you are submitting your ballot on the dollar side of family vs bottom line. The more people that go, the more stores are going to think, "hey, what a grand idea!"

That's more dads, moms, sons, daughters, grandmas and grandpas who aren't going to make it to dinner, or the homecoming game. If we can open up those big-box doors on Thanksgiving, then why not keep them open until 10 or midnight on Christmas Eve?

Missing In Action is not just a military term. Don't let friends and family go the way of  horse-drawn carriages. Staying home means someone else gets to go home.

And, then....

I bet you are all wondering about the awesome weekend at the cabin in the Cascades!

The hike down to the water's edge with crispy leaves crunching under our feet. Seeing the mountain lion tracks and the bear poop along the creek.

The bonding over wine and hot tub, as Julie, Diane and myself, share stories, memories, jokes and Pinot Grigio.

Gathered around the fire, the three of us in our pajamas, homemade soup  warming our tummies as the flames warm our limbs, talking into the wee hours of the night.

Sipping from mugs filled with hot coffee and Bailey's Irish Cream as we lean on the decking watching the sun rise from behind the mountain ridge.

The smell of bacon and forest floor enveloping us as we dance in the kitchen, windows open to the morning breeze.

Yup. I bet you are all wishing you were with us, or, at least, curious about the relaxation qualities of a weekend in the wildness of nature.

Well, so are we!

You see, the people who had rented the lodge last week couldn't leave on Sunday, as planned. Apparently, there was a mix-up in their flights back to Minnesota!  They stayed a couple of extra days.

The owners were comping the lodge to me for some photography we had done for them earlier in the year, so, income beats comp, hands down!

But hey, the dream was nice, the anticipation was yummy and the plans are still feasible.  Who knows, maybe there will be snow when we finally get up there. In the meantime, we are planning a day trip to the mountains and that, my friends, is a good thing.

Have you ever looked forward to a 'special weekend' or event and at the very last minute it, Kapow?

Thanks Giving

"Earth, symbol of security and stability,
bring peace and harmony into my home
at this season of thanksgiving.
May my family be well,
my house be a haven,
and my table be one of hospitality.
May the earth, the soil, the land,
ground me and protect me and
those whom I love,
and that which I call mine.
My property shall be a safe place,
a secure place, a harmonious place."

I found the gem above while surfing the net earlier this month. My apologies for not having the author's name or even remembering where I picked it up. (If it is yours, please let me know.)

This past year has been one of changes, upheavals, successes, discoveries and blessings. It has also been filled with the wonderfulness of the mundane; a safe place to wash dishes and read a book, a roof to keep us dry, vehicles that get us from here to there and back.  

Social media is exploding, again, with stories of the gruesomeness of the first Thanksgiving. Maybe they're true, maybe they're not; probably they are.

But, bottom line, life is good. There is plenty to be thankful for and I am!

Happy Thanksgiving all.

p.s. Keep your asses home tonight! No Shopping


November 23, 2015

Board Games

When I was a kid (Jurassic Period) our family would play lots of board games. Then I married a man who loved, loved board games.

Our family still loves to gather around the table and beat the crap out of each other! Nothing like winning at Life, Scrabble or Scattergories, except maybe when you are playing team games. Us against Them! Trivial Pursuit, Cranium, Pictionary.

Thanksgiving is within reach. I can hear the board games in the cabinet humming in anticipation!

I love the gravy and dressing. Hard to resist seconds on the pumpkin pie, especially my mom's. But, lets be honest.

Clear the table, mix the margaritas and let the games begin!

What is your favorite board game?

Warning: This one can be very dangerous. Almost stroked out playing with my granddaughters last year!

November 20, 2015

Mountain Bound

Our book club is headed to the mountains this weekend.

We've got a beautiful lodge in the Cascades overlooking Lake Shasta reserved for wine, girl-talk and walking through the woods. Color is perfect. Leaves are a hundred shades of golds and oranges.

Hot tub is bubbling. Wood stacked for the fireplace.

Julie, Diane and I are the only ones going yet the lodge sleeps twelve! Maybe, if the wine inspires, we'll play a little hide'n'seek!  Peg, you'll be missed.

Julie, don't forget your milk foaming machine and I'll bring the Baileys!

I might even have to buy a new pair of jammies to lounge I have time to wash and dry them 42 times to soften them enough for the trip?

Yeah, life is good even in my old worn out p.j.'s.

I can't tell you how much I am looking forward to just be with you two!

November 18, 2015

"Give me your tired..."

After listening to so many GOP demagogues, in Office and/or running for Office, it is my opinion that we need to remove Emma Lazarus' sonnet from the base of the Statue of Liberty and return the Lady of Liberty to the French. “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free” has become an unrecognizable value in the great land of Liberty.

"New Colossus
Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
"Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she
With silent lips. "Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"

One Of THOSE Days

Yup! Second one in a row. Can't stop crying.

Can't think of anything nice to say!

The following paragraph is posted in invisible print because I need to vent:

And I mean it! Sorry if it was too toxic or mean. But it had to be said.

Do I feel better? No.

Do you feel better?

November 14, 2015

Reiki Request

Many of us have a mutual blog friend. She has some substantial thyroid issues. Can all of you who practice Reiki, Distance Healing, and prayer, please send healing energy to Greek Witch at Dreaming of Rosemary. Thank you.

Look For The Helpers

"Only one thing is more powerful than a brotherhood based on hate, and that is a brotherhood based on love." Marianne Williamson, Huffington Post.

November 13, 2015

Stuff Worthy of Dusting

Do you collect shit stuff?

I am a collector. Not a capital 'C' Collector with millions of dollars of original great masters' art on my walls or a super garage with sexy muscle-cars or restored Model T's.

There is, however, lots of lower-case collectibles in my home. As I wander through the rooms, I wonder if some of those items are worthy of the time it takes to dust them (or the guilt and shame of not dusting them).

Largest collection: Books. There are books galore. Over-stuffed shelves of  big books and thick books, small books and skinny books in every room of the house. Okay, not the kitchen but there are a heap of books in the pantry which makes up for not hanging out in the kitchen! Some books are on their sides, resting on tables or chests. There are books in boxes and in cases. There are many gorgeous coffee table books with glorious photos, yet, we have no coffee tables to display them on.

We have my metaphysical books, highlighted paragraphs, observations and comments written in the margins. We have my husband's collection of books about weather, wind, clouds, barometric pressure and extreme weather phenomenon. He is also an amateur astronomer, so there are books about skies, stars, comets, galaxies, the universe. Hmm, he is really a man about the sky in all it's forms. He is also a hang glider pilot, so guess what other books we have more than we need? Being a professional photographer, he is also the one responsible for the large assortment of coffee table books and all books photographic in nature.

Frank also has every Catholic book ever printed including seven or eight bibles. Please, if we ever meet in person, don't ask him about his leather bound, lignin-free, titanium dioxide enhanced, Douay Rheims Bible! (Side note: Beware bringing up the 'justified by works vs faith subject! The man knows his stuff!)

I have nursing school medical books from 1977; could probably toss those out. The baby just pulled out a third grade math book, that had a sheet of homework with my little sister's name on it, folded inside. She hasn't been in school for at least three decades! Hell, if I keep it a couple of more years, maybe it will be worth something!

I have a huge collection of crystals and stones, even a petrified dinosaur bone! One of my amethyst's weighs upwards to 30 pounds. Can you imagine all the points that need to be individually dusted?

Hat pins! Yes, I have a nice little collection of hat pins, all very old. Though I never gave hat pins a single thought in my whole life (not worth remembering), I inherited the hat pins and can't imagine letting them go. Well, that's not completely true. If I could pay off my mortgage with the sale of those little pretties they would be gone in a flash of cash!

I do collect original art, but no one famous.

I have three sets of china. One for everyday, one for when there is more of us than 'everyday', and the one that is brought out for Christmas, Thanksgiving and that my grandchildren will fight over when I die. It will go a little like:

"Who wants Nana's Spanish Lace china?"

"Not me!"

"Not me!"

"You should take it! She would have wanted you to have it!"

"No! NO! You can't make me!"

Glad I'm choosing cremation; I would hate to roll over in my grave because of a china debate!

So! What goes? What stays?

Do you collect? Do you collect intentionally or do you discover you've collected stuff unconsciously or unwittingly?  What is your favorite stuff?

If you could collect anything in the world and money was no object, what would be on your shelves, garage, walls or safety deposit box?

Ironing Out The Kinks

I'm still working out the details of Act III of my life. Reading Mary Oliver's poem about peonies and their "eagerness to be wild and perfect for a moment before they are nothing forever" got me to thinking.

I am not actually looking for perfection in Act III; way too many kinks to iron out and I am not going to spend the last 3rd of my life ironing! I am, however, eager to be wild in my old age. Not the wild of my 20's, which, when I look back, was not wild at all. Just a bit of a controlled rebellion of life-long rules and regulations, as well as, our society's strict guidelines to stay within the cultural-norms box.

My 'wildness' was strictly within the guidelines of all the other rebellious twenty-somethings, and, to be honest, that doesn't smell or taste of wildness to me.  It has the distinct scent of following-the-crowd, albeit a different crowd and that has a certain stink to it.

I truly want my 60's, 70's and, hopefully, 80's to be filled with laughing that challenges my bladder, sights and music and moments that make the hair on my neck and arms dance.

I want my life to be filled with sensuousness. Not in the sexual way (though I have no objections to that either) but meaning that all my senses are fully alive and aware of the moment. I want to smell and taste color. I want to hear the sky, I want to feel the visible and invisible. I want to see, really see, what surrounds me and what surrounds what surrounds me.

Act III is beginning to weave itself into reality. My bucket list is not written in stone. The things of today may not interest me tomorrow. No script to follow; plans, yes, but with the attitude of flexibility for changes in the wind, the spirit or calls of the soul.

In Act III, I will be a peony, for forever is a long, long time.

What is your favorite color and what does it taste like?

Do you have a bucket list? What are your top three desires (at this moment)?

November 10, 2015

Reject Apathy

Edited by the "Committee of Five" Thomas Jefferson's quote made it through the rough draft to the final Declaration of Independence: "We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable right; that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness."

While I believe the "pursuit of happiness" is nice, I wonder that our unalienable rights didn't include the "pursuit of justice".

There is such an incredible lack of justice in the United States (not to mention the world). 

"The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it." Einstein was onto something big with that statement. Does apathy run rampant in the world or are there too many of us who are just not willing to risk our precious necks, as well as, our life, liberty and happiness to make a stand?

William Osler stated, "By far the most dangerous foe we have to fight is apathy - indifferent from whatever cause, not from a lack of knowledge, but from carelessness, from absorption in other pursuits, from a contempt bred of self satisfaction."

"Carelessness and absorption in other pursuits" runs rampant today.  April 14 & 15, 2014 young students were kidnapped in Nigeria, their school burned to the ground. As of today there are 219 teenage and young girls still missing. Instead of running the Boko Haram atrocity, Yahoo website headlines listed:
"Justin Beiber and Selena Gomez officially back on?"
"Lindsay Lohan parties it up..."
"Robert Downey, Jr. Now On Twitter."

Eventually, down the page, the kidnapping was mentioned. After lividly chewing my lips for 20 minutes, I wrote a scathing letter to the news editor at yahoo, complaining (of course, I guess it's the toxic part of me).

The editor's response to me was that they post what people want. More visitors to their pages click on celebrity news than the real stuff of life.

This weekend, I discovered a magazine about culture and intentional living. It's covers typically display singers or bands with a Christian bent to their music. The newest issue had a photograph of one of the young victims of Boko Haram.  The editor wrote a very honest letter to the readers about the expectations of sales of that particular issue. The article was called DO STUFF BECAUSE IT MATTERS.

The author, Cameron Strang, states that the magazine occasionally surveys it online subscribers and readers. The readers continuously confirm that they want articles that relate the "issues of life and human dignity." YET, normal articles regarding relationships or pop culture type subjects will be read 150,000 times and shared 5000+ times. When a social justice article is presented in the exact style, (headline style, font, layout) it will only be read about 1200 times and shared "a few dozen times".

In spite of the knowledge that this issue will be read less, purchased less, the magazine stands behind it's mission: "...engage in the world around them and live a life that matters."

Are you a person who engages in the world? Do you step up? Do you suffer from Bystander Affect?
Do you care more who Justin Beiber is dating or how Lynday Lohan dresses for her most recent court date or do you really want to know what is going on in the world and how you can help?

November 04, 2015

Is you is or Is you ain't?

In 2007 someone from the MetaCreative Magazine staff contacted me through my Myspace page. I had posted a couple of mandalas that I created on the pages and they wanted to post a couple of them in their magazine.

I almost fell to the floor. the request was completely unexpected but very, very welcome. It's strange being an artist. You paint, draw, create but somehow feel a bit shaky and unsure when actually verbalizing, "I am an artist!"  Thoughts fly through your mind like, "what if they discover I'm not an artist, I just like to sculpt and paint?"

I was approached today by someone who saw the link  to MetaCreative (pages 17 & 18) on my Google+ profile and asked me to create a mandala for their daughter for her birthday. Thank goodness the request came in email because my hesitation would have embarrassed us both.

What if I can't make another one? What if she doesn't like it?

Is this crazy?

I visited my Mandalas blog, which I haven't posted on in years, yes, shamefully, years. As I read the comments and saw the mandalas, I realized how much I missed creating them and meditating with them. With my studio being otherwise occupied by grandson and his family, I haven't sculpted in close to a year. The most creative I get lately is making excuses why I can't go for a walk on the River Trail.

My to-do list for the day. Head to Michael's, purchase high quality watercolor paper and  a stash of Pigma Micron pens. When I get home I search out my watercolor pencils and pastels and do some coloring.

What the hell! It was always my favorite subject at school and coloring is good for the soul!

p.s. What happens to our old Myspace pages when you can't get back in to them and how to get back in touch with the wonderful friends I made?

November 02, 2015

Question Of The Month

A Life Examined: Question of the Month

The world of blogs is a great adventure and best of all, I can venture into the realms in my pajamas! I've made some great discoveries of late. One of them is A Life Examined, and you all know my love for introspection and self-examination. Really, other than a good book, Gin and Tonics, and large bodies of water, is there anything better? Okay, Survivor is close!

Michael, at A Life Examined, has a Question of the Month. Good questions that take some digging. His question for November is "Are you an introvert or an extrovert?"

Earlier this year I wrote about the wonderful little tome, QUIET, The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking, by Susan Cain. (just checked and found that it was probably last year -damn time flies!).

The book really hit home as does Michael's question. I don't really believe in opposites but feel that everything is more or less a spectrum, much like one end of the spectrum would be extreme introversion and the other end, extreme extroversion. I lean heavily on the introvert side of the middle, way away from middle.

I love solitude. I love walks alone, sitting by the lake or river alone. Most of my activities are solo, like typing these words on this keyboard; another of those favorite pastimes.

I am not fond of random large groups of people though I have no problem making a presentation to groups of 4 to 200+, which I did often as a public relations director in large medical corporations, as a president of a non-profit agency or teaching classes at the Institute for Intuitive Living, the Celestine Center of Healing Arts or at church. I can go to the symphony, getting lost in the music but wandering through the crowd is what gets my heart thumping. Can you spell c-l-a-u-s-t-r-o-p-h-o-b-i-c?

I love football games and sit down in front on the 50 yard line bleachers, front-and-center, and can scream and yell, I can jump up and down and wave my arms all about. I couldn't care less who 'might see me'! I'm there for a reason but don't invite me to a huge party and leave me alone with a bunch of strangers! I'll find a nice corner to sit in and freely visit with anyone who wanders by, but I am not a mingler! Though, when I see someone who appears more unsettled than I am, I will usually wander over, introduce myself and ask if they want to join me in my corner. I have made more really good friends that way. We quietly sit and really talk and hopefully someone nice refreshes our drinks for us now and then.

I am happy with a couple of close friends that I can sip wine with and discuss meaningful subjects. My friends don't mind digging deep but I have to admit, I do my best ruminating while alone. Happily, even in a large group of noisy, chatty people, I can find myself a space to be alone.

So, Michael, I am 90% introvert and 10% extrovert (but that 10% can be a little crazy at times!).