Thursday, December 2, 2010

Happily Merrily Holidaying

I'm feeling it this year. Despite ups and downs with friendships and money and life in general, I feel truly in the mood for the holiday festivities. Something's aligning properly. And even with the days leading up to the holiday packed with activities, I don't feel overwhelmed. So, bring it on!

(and lest ye think, so what, you're in the mood, read this...)

Enjoy this tribute from SheDaisy, one of our favorites...and Happiest of Holidays, whatever you choose to celebrate!

Monday, November 22, 2010


Grateful for so many things this year. For friends who embrace me as a whole. Grateful for friends who acknowledge my quirkier parts and see them as attributes. Grateful for a daughter who sees me at my worst and yet thinks I'm the best. Grateful for a compatible divorced relationship with my ex. Grateful for those friends who understand when you disappear or go 'under' for a time, and let me know they're still there when I emerge. Grateful for a job that challenges me and constantly teaches me that there are many ways to get the job done. Grateful for this little town I live in that, despite closing in on me occasionally, almost always feels like home. Grateful for aging. Grateful for the seasons, that keep coming despite all that we have done to disrupt some of nature's beautiful cycles. Grateful for those moments in my life where I have to step back and understand the other side of's never so simple that you can just walk away knowing you are 'right'. No matter the situation, there is something you can learn...and I am grateful for those lessons. I'm grateful for the opportunities I've had to help needy animals, and am so grateful for the joy of seeing those animals in safe and loving homes. Grateful for the home Rebecca and I have shared together for the past seven years. Grateful for those friends who, in my moments of self-doubt and crumbling confidence, hear me out and talk me down. Grateful for the realization that I cannot be what others expect me to be, and grateful that someone else's assumptions do not equal my truth. I'm so grateful for my family. As spread out as we are, I know the love is there, and the history we share has made us all who we are. I'm grateful for all of it, the good and the bad. I'm grateful for the heartache I've experienced with friendships that have faded. I'm grateful that I know, deep in my heart, that I have been honest and acted with good intentions in those friendships. I'm grateful that I did my best to bridge gaps and open the lines of communication. I'm grateful that true friendships don't really take that much work or effort. I'm grateful for the abundance of natural beauty in my life, and that I'm able, as much as ever, to notice those small, simple, beautiful things every single day. They can fill my heart in a very special way. I'm grateful for each season, holiday, month, year that I'm able to walk this earth and appreciate her gifts. I'm so very grateful.

Monday, November 1, 2010


No blog posts usually equals tranquility in my life, and that's true in this case. Unfortunately, it doesn't always mean resolution (as it relates to previous posts.) No face to face, no apologies, no acknowledgment of wrong assumptions. I guess it makes me a little sad, but I'm not looking back.

Seems like we've been non-stop busy since early summer. All good stuff, but I'm anxious for some weekends with no plans. I need to get more painting done (house...I'm no artist!) Heck, I still need to get some laundry done! But Rebecca and I have had some fun weekends, and getting into the rhythm of her staying with her dad every other weekend means I've had more me time. I've foregone many a party and many a musical outing in favor of that me time, and no regrets there. Trying to get a good balance of work, volunteer, and family time. It seems to be working, so far.

Holidays are fast approaching, and we've got good plans coming up. Finally getting out to Reno to see my brother and his house that he's worked so hard on improving (and keeping...) and Rebecca and I have a fun trip to Florida planned for the winter break. Once again I've had a good year of connecting with new friends and reconnecting with old. Some things have changed, but ultimately all for the good. And the old adage comes back to mind, "Never regret anything that made you smile." Indeed.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Thank you, Oriah.

I'm taking the easy way out, posting a link to a blog rather than blogging myself. But when something is right (for me), it's right. There's so much here, I'd almost like to get a group of folks together to discuss. So, here it is:

Friday, September 10, 2010


Deep breath in, looooooooooooooong breath out. I remember when I was in labor with Rebecca, I had miserable lower back pain and ridiculous, irregular contractions. The nurses were patient, even as loud as I was (they said they'd heard worse....) At one point, one of them told me it helped to hold the exhale as long as I could. And she was right. When I could really focus and hold my exhale, the pain lessened. Of course, when the new love of my life showed up in the form of the anesthesiologist and I finally received the pain injection, the pain really lessened.

Still, there is something to be said for breathing...especially breathing out. Long, long breath out. There, that's better.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

The Invitation

Beautiful words, need to revisit these often:

It doesn't interest me what you do for a living. I want to know what you ache for, and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart's longing.

It doesn't interest me how old you are. I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool for love, for your dream, for the adventure of being alive.

It doesn't interest me what planets are squaring your moon. I want to know if you have touched the center of your own sorrow, if you have been opened by life's betrayals or have become shriveled and closed from fear of further pain! I want to know if you can sit with pain, mine or your own, without moving to hide it or fade it, or fix it.

I want to know if you can be with joy, mine or your own, if you can dance with wildness and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your fingers and toes without cautioning us to be careful, to be realistic, to remember the limitations of being human.

It doesn't interest me if the story you are telling me is true. I want to know if you can disappoint another to be true to yourself; if you can bear the accusation of betrayal and not betray your own soul; if you can be faithless and therefore trustworthy.

I want to know if you can see beauty even when it's not pretty, every day, and if you can source your own life from its presence.

I want to know if you can live with failure, yours and mine, and still stand on the edge of the lake and shout to the silver of the full moon, “Yes!”

It doesn't interest me to know where you live or how much money you have. I want to know if you can get up, after the night of grief and despair, weary and bruised to the bone, and do what needs to be done to feed the children.

It doesn't interest me who you know or how you came to be here. I want to know if you will stand in the center of the fire with me and not shrink back.

It doesn't interest me where or what or with whom you have studied. I want to know what sustains you, from the inside, when all else falls away.

I want to know if you can be alone with yourself and if you truly like the company you keep in the empty moments.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Judge Less, Talk More

It would be better not to know so many things
than to know so many things that are not so. ~ Felix Okoye

This about sums things up for me lately. I have been the target of misguided judgments and attacks recently. I've been told the 'truth will set me free'. I've been told I am 'hardwired to be critical' and have been the beneficiary of snide and passive-aggressive comments on Facebook (really?!)

I feel like I'm back in sixth grade. I remember vividly when some of the neighborhood girls would get it into their heads to 'gang up' on my best friends and I. Once my family came home from vacation to find that my friends had written with charcoal all over our sidewalk and driveway; unkind, juvenile comments.

I suppose when people have insecurities of their own, it is easier to heap the blame on someone around them for those things they can't face head on. And I find myself wanting to defend myself. But then I realize, if blaming me is the only way these people can feel good, then so be it. I prefer not to succumb to the he said/she said of it all. I know in my heart what I have done (and have not done.) I have made my attempts to reach out to these people, explain my perception of things, ask directly "What have I done to have you hold this grudge all this time?" But the bottom line is, I can't change the way people think about me. They haven't taken the time to talk to me face to face, and would rather make assumptions and judgments, and take pleasure in spreading their poison. They have made determinations about me with very little knowledge of me or my story.

It is exhausting and disheartening. And a lesson in the shallowness of people's souls. I breathe in peace, and breathe out love. I breathe in peace, and breathe out hope. I am tired.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Sounds of September

The call of the blue jay does it for her,
My mother once told me.
That clear, insistent reminder,
Of the stillness that would soon be.

Clouds whispering to a blue sky,
Thirsty leaves rustling in the trees.
A tired butterfly drifting by,
Stealing some life from the breeze.

As the nagging geese set the mood,
The excitement of summer gives way,
To the quiet, the peace, the solitude,
Of a young mother on an August day.

She notices each sound, quiet and clear,
And allows them to briefly transport her,
To that promising, melancholy time of year,
And the sweet, sad sounds of September.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Follow the Flow

Funny how life is constantly presenting us with growth experiences. While a friend has (not so affectionately) dubbed them "fucking" growth experiences, they are, nonetheless, opportunities for self-examination and evaluation. And I think, ultimately, we are (or can be) grateful for them. A friend recently posted this link on her Facebook page, and within that post were the following questions to ask ourselves when presented with the bigger question, "What do I do now?"

Will any amount of thinking, forcing, or coaxing alter my situation?
Which thoughts and old beliefs do I need to let go of?
In which new direction would I like to head?

Amazing how, if you sit with something long enough, and allow yourself to process the emotions attached to a situation, your instincts will guide you. Subconsciously, we may have already asked ourselves these (or similar) questions. But it is definitely important to take the time to sit with the situation. And then just go with the flow. As the author says, "You can free yourself and go with the flow, too: Accept the situation for what it is, let go of negative thoughts associated with it by trusting that good will come out of every experience, and open up to a change in direction. Allow the natural current of life to take you on a marvelous new adventure."


Thursday, June 10, 2010


Do you hear the screaming?
The crying?
Me neither.
It's deafening, really.
The sadness is overwhelming,
and the helplessness.
Like the tree in the forest,
dying with no witness.
Fin and feather,
scale and shell.
Can you hear it?
Me neither.
Make it stop.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

and so it goes...

ever shifting
like the deck of a ship
we struggle to maintain
our foothold
amidst the turmoil
and emotion
that is friendship
we adjust to
the storm and the calm
and we embrace landfall
with wobbly legs
knowing that sooner
or later
things will once again
and change
but we love
our friendships
are the wind in our sails.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Head and Heart

Why can't my heart be as strong as my head? Why can't my head move in the right direction, helping my heart to stop hurting? Why aren't we able to just shut down the feelings we know aren't 'good' for us? In struggling with hurt and feelings of betrayal, when we know the best thing is to just stop thinking about it and move on, I wish the heart and the head would just get together, united, and do what is necessary for healing to take place. You know, they could have this little pow-wow:

Head to Heart: "Hey Heart, I'm telling you, none of this is good for us, release those feelings of pain and sadness, let her get on with life."

Heart to Head: "I'd like to, Head, but part of healing is pain. She has to work through it. Besides, you're the one that keeps that endless movie reel going...why can't you just turn the damn thing off. Showing the same thing over and over isn't helping me do my job one bit."

Head to Heart: "You are so right, heart. And every time I think she's gotten past it and we're headed in the right direction, you do that little thing where you jump into her throat or into the pit of her stomach, and it trips the movie reel one more time."

Heart to Head: "Well, hopefully the spinning will stop soon, Head...I mean, it's got to be worn out at this point. The girl needs to be able to sleep and eat again, if not, where will that leave us?"

Head to Heart: "Yeah, Stomach is pretty pissed off at us at this point. You know how much she enjoys food."

Heart to Head: "We need to work together. It's the only way you and I can get back to a normal existence again. Oh wait, I guess pain and joy are part of what is normal. I guess we've just managed to avoid heartache up until now. Damn, I'd forgotten how this feels. I guess you've been working overtime, head, in protecting us."

Head to Heart: "It's true, heart, I have been. It was time for her to feel alive again. It's just a shame that pain is as much a part of being alive as all the other 'good' emotions."

Heart: "Indeed. Well, time to focus, still have some work to do."

Geez, make it stop.

Friday, January 29, 2010

de Colores

Got through January. Often the most difficult month of the year for many. Now the light is changing, the birds are beginning to move into migration mode. If you look carefully, you can discern a faint pink to red hue on the trees...buds just waiting for enough warmth before bursting forth with spring colors. Can't help but be a little hopeful.

Been putting new color in my life this past month. Undertaken the task of painting the interior of our townhome, after living there for six plus years. Apartment life and military life prevented or precluded me from bothering to personalize any home with statements of color, but I'm done with that. I had promised Rebecca we would paint her room several years ago, and we have finally accomplished that as well as paint in five other rooms. The project is at a standstill right now, as each room is in a transitional state, waiting for furniture to be moved out, up, or over. Meanwhile, I've been mulling over the color scheme for my kitchen...and it has finally come together. Now, I'm really anxious to get started on that room and make real what has only recently come together in my mind.

For some, painting may not sound like a big deal. But for me, this project has been a challenge on so many levels. I do not like my life disrupted in this manner...things out of place, cleaning kept to a minimum because there's 'stuff' in the way, and the painting itself, which puts my perfectionist-but-not-very-professional painting skills to a real test. However, the last room I did (Rebecca's bathroom) I actually got into it. I mean, it was kind of zen, the experience. And now, sometimes I'll just walk in there and look around, and smile (not when I see Rebecca's dirty clothes stuffed behind the toilet, or the layers of dried soap and hair on the counter...oh, geez...)

So, I'm looking forward to completing this project, and am able to see that it actually will get completed. It's become more than just a painting project, it's become an experience in self-exploration. And it's been good, I can see that now. Ah, de colores...