Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Down the Road of Life


     On this road of life, it can be difficult to see the bigger picture.  Your view can be clear, but more often than not, there's a whole lot of blurry, and you're squinting to see your path in front of you.

       We drive along, for a while, it can look like the same route others before us took. But each journey is it's own, there will never be a journey like the one you are on.
     The outside factors of living our lives will not always be in our control. To us may come inclement weather, severe storms and times of what seems like endless darkness. We wind down the road on bright and sunny days and are elated and happy. Even the sunny days can be trialsome, as the brightness of the sun can blind us to what truly is before us.  We need to look ahead and plan for when the road and weather continue to change. 

 We make choices. To go from point A to B as fast as we can. To take the round about way from A to get to B.  Perhaps to never go to B at all. Some choose to return back to A, but it's never the same there, even if we would have stayed. A few boldly adventurous will make up their our own alphabet as they go through life.  There are choices to beat the storm, we can ride it through, or wait for it to pass. Choices to take a leisurely ride and enjoy the scenery.

     There's the factor of  means of transportation. How do we get through life?  Be it fast like a plane, train or car, a bit slower on bike, on foot or even on another's back.

It can be scary or exciting. Looking down the road, it can look like not much is ahead. Or we keep thinking, I'll slow down a bit when there's something good to stop for. A then passing by too fast, we think, "Oh I should have stopped there". We can make that detour. After all there's not a prize to get there first. It's the getting there that's the fun. And if the journey were perfect and all went according to plan, well, your wouldn't have stories to tell or character to your name making you the person you are today. 
This time of year, we often reflect on life. It can bring pride and happiness, sadness or regret, yearning and inspiration or sadly, defeat and lack of will. All I am certain of is that it will be different tomorrow that today.

I gives thanks for all I have, for all that I can give, for all that I have learned and been fortunate to share. I am thankful to have love come into my life in many ways and with many people. I am thankful to count today as a blessing, and hopeful that our tomorrows bring joy, understanding, peace and love to many more hearts and souls. 

Safe travels.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Silly thoughts




What do you get an elf for Christmas?

Don't ever . . .





Don't ever get to a point in life where
 you feel like this is as good as it can get.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Pendulum of the Season

     Ahhh . . . it's holiday season again.
    Those few words just gave an immediate rise to your emotions.
What did you feel? Did a smile cross your face with warm and wonderful memories and the anticipation of excitement, love and happy times to come? Families, friends celebrating, people being  friendly, warm fireplaces, laughter and hugs, celebrations and the joys of giving with yuletide cheer upon us. The drug of hope and peace and love surrounding you.
     Or did a sense of heaviness and sadness loom over your heart? A "I hate the holidays" formed by your lips and murmured in a low and snarled breath? A season of negativity, capitalism in your world of harsh reality. A sense of false happinesses, of excesses and of loss of special people in your life. The coldness of lonliness. Another day and nothing more, just try to make it through. The sooner it's over the better. A feeling of darkness and despair veiled heavily over your eyes.
     Well, the holidays are all those things. It's your choice. You decide how you want your life to be and feel. You can get up and be thankful for what you have. To make the world a brighter and  more positive place for you and anyone that comes in contact with you.
      It really comes down to the question of what is the holiday all about in the first place? If you are religious or spiritual, don't forget why you are celebrating. It's not a celebration of you, but of things much bigger than you. Celebrate the reason more than the season.
     If religion or spirituality are not your bag (or even if they are), concentrate on the goodness of mankind,  look for the good in people and potential for growth.
    It's about attitude and perspective. We can't see the world in a beautiful light if we are standing in front of the beam, blocking the light. Maybe all you have to do is step aside to let more light in, by supporting the light and focusing it on something beside yourself. Sometimes it's us, we, you or me that stands in the way of happiness.
     You can make your world anything you like. You have to have a plan, you have to feed the plan, and you have to be realistic with your expectations. Set a goal, aim high and put your plan in front of you. One little step everyday. One gesture, one act, one sentence, one thought, one touch. It all starts with one. YOU. Your pendulum, your decision, your choice.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Childhood and Duckies

     Life gently puts it's arms around us when we are young children, it grabs a tighter hold, taking us forward into adulthood.
     We become more serious,  tense, anxious and guarded. There seems to be an almost unrecognizable time when suddenly the reins were pulled in, the blinders were put on and we couldn't see or remember life as children.
     We are busy making ends meet, getting ahead, catching up, planning for the future and/or keeping our heads above water.
     What happened to the child within us? The responsible adult in ourselves has sent our inner child to their room and forgotten that they need to be given permission to come out and play.
     Pay attention to children. They seem to put life's concerns and worries aside. They find pleasure, silliness and laughter in simple things. They're quick to forget, forgive and want to play more. Childhood  keeps important things in perspective. Go back to simple, release your child. They've been waiting way too long.
     Some of the simple things that make me feel my inner child . . . 
 . . . seeing my neighbor's dog get excited, jump, bark and wag her tail to see me and get petted.
 . . . letting the last of the ice cream melt in the bowl and enjoy the liquidy goodness.
 . . . watching the swans fly onto the lake and swoop down with tremendous grace and strength to a gliding landing.
 . . .  having a friend give a long and sincere hug.
. . . sharing a joke.
 . . . making a stranger smile.
 . . . riding a bike.
 . . . . taking a hot evening bubble bath, washing my hair, brushing my teeth, putting on comfy jammies with no makeup or hair styling involved.
 . . . seeing little plastic duckies in the most unusual places.
. . . getting out a hula hoop and jump rope and being amazed that I can do anything at all with them.
 . . . driving through my old neighborhood.
 . . . seeing coloring books and smelling a new box of sharp crayons.
. . .  seeing a Disney movie.
. . . Faygo red pop
 . . . a kiss on the forehead.
Share some of your child inspired simple pleasures.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Meeting and Judging

     It's pretty interesting what goes on when we first meet someone. We look them over and in a manner of minutes of observing and interacting, we have catagorized them, put them in their appropriate little box and determined the amount of time and energies we want to expend on them, if at all. I know you do this. I know I have.
     
     We assess another by looks, physical features, body language and attire. We are attracted or repulsed by scent, the aroma of their natural essence or the artificial layers of the soaps, shampoos and perfumes of their choice. The sound of their voice can be music to our ears or an auditory irritation. There is so much more we judge on . . .  the sense of their touch, a handshake, a hug, or lack of either, choices of their words and topics and even friends. All this is what we do every single time we meet someone whether we pay attention to it or not. JUDGMENT . . . for some people it's fast, simple and etched in stone to remain forever unchanged. But for most of us, I think we try to find something in common and we really do want to like them.

      At the same time, they are assessing us, just like we are doing to them. Hmmm, that gets a little harder. doesn't it? Do you really want someone to have summed you up and made a decision about you this quickly? Have you had a relationship and can't get past a judgement you made? As if no one changes, makes mistakes or has potential for growth.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

What is your Season of Life?

      It's beautiful weather here. Sunny warm days with cool breezes coming through the windows at night. A smell in the air of autumn, telling us summer is over.
     In Michigan, fall is breathtakingly beautiful. The colors vibrant, the sound of crunching leaves as you walk upon them. A damp, earthy aroma fills your nostrils with life as it is changing. Mother nature is amazing when you take time to spend with at her. 
     She hypnotizes us. Colorful leaves float effortlessly back and forth, cascading softly downward, falling without a sound. Peaceful and beautiful.
     This means winter is around the corner, with it's own beauty, a hibernation, a dying down and stark reality. 
      New life is springtime, fragile, delicate and energizing. We celebrate hope and want more. And so it comes, in the form of summer. With glorious radiance and ripe fruits of life,  like a woman in her prime, still giving more to others than ourselves.
      Autumn, when we appreciate what paths we had to take to get here. Acknowledging who we are and embracing our own needs and desires without guilt, for we see Time waiting down the road. Beckoning us. Fall is vibrant and intense, there is no going back to spring again.
      Everything is possible now. Indian summer? A sudden resurgence of summer, a last dance if you will, some of autumn already under our belts. Fall is life's wrinkles and life's tales. It shows we lived. It's a confidence and energy in life.
      Winter comes soon enough.  A slowing down, recalling our own seasons.
      Maybe, if we're lucky, our lives go out after an ice storm. Our best memories glistening in the bright sun, our love and good deeds sparkling brightly. And as our ice memories melt, perhaps they can quench the thirst and nurture the next generation to be beautiful in their own way.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

falling out of nowhere

     I was cleaning out a stack of papers this week and found a 2x2 inch old photo of my mom and dad on the day they were married.
      I don't know why it was there amongst old reciepts and old warrantys.
      I stopped and looked at their faces for a long time. It's in black and white and a head shot, stopping just below the collarbone. They look really happy together with their heads leaning in towards each other and touching at the temples. It was right after the war, with both of them looking thin. She had on a "shared" bridal gown and he had on a borrowed suit. On just for pictures, to be handed to the next couple in line along with the cascading white bouquet of flowers. What was theirs was minimal. Simple thin gold wedding bands. The white, rounded toe, high heeled shoes she wore were hers and the white gloves in his hand were his. You can't seem them in this photo, but it is in another picture I have. No money for any extras, or fancy bridal parties and frills. Only love and hope for a better life. A chance to laugh again and to celebrate life while in love. At the end of their 50 years together, their relationship was nothing of the romantic sentimental kind that movies are made of. They had grown apart many years ago, with a strain and impatience where nurturing and affection used to be. They were ill, tired. But still there was something between them. An understanding of all that they had been through and that even though their relationship had changed, there once was a passion and love that had brought them together.
      That is the way I want to remember them. I know they had happiness before I was even born that I will never know of, as others don't know of happy moments of ours. Some things are just not talked about. They just were. We don't always  understand love, or what brings people together or what pushes them apart. Love cannot be contained and frozen in time . It is forever growing, giving, evolving. But it's the fact that it was there at all that makes me smile.

Monday, October 4, 2010

a message

     My heart has been bruised. Like every bruise, it hurts to touch it.
     I have been trying to make sense of things. To be open to understanding, that perhaps I am too sensitive in my interpretations or reactions. I could only come to the conclusion that, yes, I am sensitive, and no, I am not being too sensitive. I am being honest with how I feel. And that is what is difficult.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Pictures that Talk

     A long holiday weekend and some chill time for many of you. We relaxed and had a leisurely day and took time to look through  photos of trips from last year. We put them up on the computer screen. Just had the pictures fading in and out in no particular order. (This is a photo from Key West and has a GREAT story that I'll share another time).
    It's the photos that didn't carry a lot of weight in the significance of all the photos we take in a row, at the time when you pressed the shutter button, that now are the ones that really speak to you. I get into the messages that are meant to be shared. I am particularly drawn to pictures that are imperfect, have objects off kilter or unusual settings.  Photos that make you think, make you react. I love the unusual, the quirky setting. I am moved by symbolism and the chance to connect and touch someone.
   At times, I like the structured and staged photos of people or things. You know everyone looking at the camera and smiling kind of pic. Everything perfect. Only it never is. There's always something that catches your attention. Photos tell a story. The story of the object in front of the lens, and  about the person on the other side of the lens. Of course, there's another viewpoint. It is YOU, the person looking at the photo. A three way conversation going on, no one talking and everyone influenced by another. If pictures could talk we say . . .  they do, there IS a story there. We just have to look and listen.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

A Visitor

     There are some experiences in life that remain intensely real for a long time in your life. Memories that we tuck away, that come out when you don't expect them.
     I remember when my father had been diagnosed with lung cancer. Earlier that week, he had had his first of only a few chemo treatments before they decided it was to no avail. Keep him as comfortable as we can they said.
      His illness was rapid in it's progression and hostile in it's take over. I used to make the 45 minute one way trip to my parents house almost daily trying to take care of both of them with very differing health and the emotional issues that go with it. (mother had dementia and multiple strokes.) The doctors appointments, the cleaning, the bathing, the laundry, the meals, medications, therapy,  phone calls and back up support for when I wasn't there. And then turn around, go back home to take care of family , although the children were older and more self sufficient, but still needing attention and nurturing. And as life goes, other concerns consumed me there as well.
     It seemed that no matter where I was, I felt I should be at the other place.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Reading People

     I have recently met someone for the first time. A close and long time friend of a person that I think the world of. I was excited to meet them.
    It ended up being a longer evening than anyone anticipated. We met for a drink and appetizer, only to have it become appetizers, dinner, and then back to my place for conversation and drinks. The clock ticked away and everyone got comfortable. We talked about life, travel, people and family. Lots of laughing, and the body language seemed very relaxed for all. Everything seemed positive and they were smiling and stated several times what a good time they were having.
     Now, I am a hugger, and after spending all this time with them, as they were leaving, I gave out my usual, what I consider, very sincere hugs as everyone headed towrd the door. There they stood, last to go. They had their arms crossed in front of them and their body turned sideways. Not exactly a welcome for any type of body contact, let alone a hug. I wasn't sure what to make of this. After all, this was after about five hours of talking and laughing. Yet their words were upbeat and kind.
     What is is about some people that makes them put up barriers from the outside world? Within the next 24 hours, I did hear from my friend saying that the other party apologized for not giving hugs. Funny, no one said or indicated any need for an apology. That means that they thought about it and yet something in their chemistry couldn't take them there. Were they tired, was it alcohol, ( a few drinks at most) or something else that I missed?
     Next time, I will invite them for an opportunity to exchange a hug. And allow them respect if they need space and refuse or if they need that invitation. Somehow, I think they would want the latter.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Nurture and Inspire

     Somedays I live in my own world.
     But it happens only when I am alone. I can be pretty good at tuning everything and everyone out. I kind of like being in that world at times. If there are other people around or noisy goings on, like construction, television, loud talking, etc then I have a hard time going there. I need isolation and quiet, or noises that are acceptible to me and maybe not others. I need that down time. It doesn't have to be long. A few hours. But it has to be. It gives me time to reflect, time to think, and not be interrupted. You see, most of my life I have been a people pleaser and at any given time I have been inclined to put your needs or desires as having more priority than mine. Just drop mine and help you carry yours. That kind of thinking and action only catches up to you. At some point you have to go back to where you dropped off your priorities and pick them up and start from there. Or that passive aggressiveness steps in. No one person is more important than another. We have to make time for us, as we make time for others. Self nurturing is a primitive need.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Interpretation of A Hug

     Hug. A funny sounding word. It is short, pudgy, primitive and comes out mimicking an animalistic grunt when you say it. Guttural. Hug. H-U-G.
     Merriam Webster defines it as "to press tightly. to hold. to cherish."
     And that is exactly what we give when we hug. That primal need to be cared about, to be soothed, to be embraced, acknowledged and loved. To know that you make a difference in someones life or they in yours.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Mirror of Self

     Who do you see when you look into the mirror?
We have images of self and sometimes looking in the mirror we see the differences in who we believe we are and those that we reflect to others outwardly.
     It is a humbling reality check that person who looks back at us. Because when we look into the mirror we see so much more than the outer shell. Ahh, to have our life experinces be seen on the outside as we see them within ourselves. It might make people more compassionate.
     Take the time to look, and not just glance, deep into the eyes and maybe you can get a glimpse into the heart or soul of the one looking back into your eyes.

Help for another

     Please visit the blog "Pretty Things" by Lori Anderson. She has some beautiful bead work, delightful blogs and has a heart the size of an elephant. You see she is supporting a donation fund for a fellow artist that has lost her studio and tools in a devastating fire. Read more on Pretty Things blog about Kimberly Wilcox, her art and her story.
   It doesn't matter if we have a personal relationship with someone or just that they are a fellow human being in need. Give if it moves you and if you can. Any amount to make a day brighter. I know there are many causes and all are sincere. The  blessings that you share at any time with anyone can make the world of difference to another.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Looking back

     When I look back at my life there are things that I would do differently now, or so I sometimes think.
I am older and wiser in some aspects and still have so very much to to learn in others. Will I think the same about now in years to come?
      I often see myself as one of the characters in the Wizard of Oz. I can relate pretty well, but it's not always with the same character.
      Mostly though I think I relate to the lion.
     Courage is something that I have come to realize is really about living your own life. And being confidant to be your own person even in times of confusion and doubt. Especially then. If it doesn't feel right, then it's not the time for you. It has to feel right to you in some form. It's about not dancing to another's song but about feeling your own beat and rhythm within and swaying to that sound. It's about not making excuses or being taken off task. And if others don't understand, then they still have life expereinces to learn on their own time, in their own way. They too will be judged.
     For some reason, we humans seem to need acceptance of our actions. Or, we are the ones that want to judge others from our mighty thrones. Yes, I believe it's about that fire within and a desire to live life. It doesn't hurt to have a brain to look at the big picture and steer us in the right path.   And of course, without a heart, there is no love and that life is empty. Ultimately, we can all relate to Dorothy. There really is no place like home, is there Auntie Em?
   Which one of the Wizard's characters do you relate to?

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Being Away

    Why do we feel the need to apologize for being away from writing on our blogs?

    I don't think anyone expects us to blog everyday. I don't think we signed a contract to write daily. Although when I am in tune with a writer I look forward to seeing what is on their mind and how we connect over a subject matter, or how their words can affect my moods or way of thinking. They often times will embrace my emotions that I am experiencing too. I don't apologize for not visiting their blog for a while. Even though I sometimes feel a little guilty for not commenting or reading some of my favorite authors more frequently.

      Just like in life, it bothers me when I haven't seen or talked with someone for a while and the first thing they do is apologize about it. I have done it myself. This apologizing thing. We get busy with daily life, we have unexpected circumstances come up. We might feel ill or overwhelmed or tired and maybe even lazy. But nothing takes away from the intention of wanting to be with someone.

     I am not going to apologize for life getting busy. I am embracing the chance to read, to talk, to see and to feel the people that make a difference in my life. No more "I'm sorry that  I haven't been in touch. . . " . Why start off in a negative mode? Let's appreciate and acknowledge what's wonderful in life. From now on it will be "I'm so glad that we had this chance to reconnect again".  Positivity begets positivity.

     This is a little story of  two grandmothers.
One of them said to her children, grandchildren and friends everytime they came to visit . . .  "Oh, why don't you come to see me more often? I am lonely and want company. Where have you been? It's been so long since you were here last."
The other grandmother said to her children, grandchildren and friends when they visit . . .  "Oh my, how wonderful that you made the time to visit me. I know how busy you are and I feel so special that you had some time to spend with me! Tell me all about what is going on in your life."

Which grandmother would you make time for?

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

My Tante

      I just came back from visiting my Tante Rose in Toronto. It took me 6 hours to get there, what with the Canadian holiday traffic and customs ordeals of a long wait in line. She is what I have left on my mother's side of the family here in the western world. She has two sisters in Vienna, Austria the final survivors of a large family. The three aunts have 5 children between them, but I am talking about connections with the past.
     My Tante Rose is 80 now. She doesn't look it. Still mentally sharp, a bit slower, and limited with an old hip replacement. But as loving, caring and giving as ever. She has always laughed and enjoyed whatever she does in life. Her life has not been an easy one. She has had a hard life, losing her parents and some siblings, along with her home in the second world war. She has limited formal education and  became a young widow in Canada with very young children to raise. She persevered. Tough is what she knows. She did a fine job of raising her children. And she still looks at the positive, no matter what comes her way.
     She is my favorite aunt, always has been. And she knows it.  Shhhhhh, not a word to the other two. I enjoy her company very much. We have conversations late into the night. We hold hands and she takes my arm for support when we walk. We talk about past times, my parents who are gone,  we talk about today, about relationships, about family and friends still here and some gone. We talk about the the future. I try to see her a few times a year, and we talk on the phone weekly. She is one of the few people that I still can speak German to, that speaks the same dialect as I do. She lived with us for a short while when I was very little and we have a connection that is very close and loving. Oh what fun memories I have.
     As much as I like being with her, there is always that time when I must go back home. Each time the good-bye hug gets longer, the embrace more deliberate, the eyes a bit more watery. I know this will come to an end sometime and no matter how much I know it is inevitable, it will be so very hard when it does come.
As I drive away I carry along a huge goody bag from her in the trunk of my car. It's always the same, all homemade, a cake or two, as well as one or two strudels, along with some kipfel to enjoy later. Way too much for me and always plenty to share.
     As much as I love all she does, its the love that she puts into everything that I cherish. I am filled with her love that is so plentiful it overflows from me, and there is nothing to do but share Tante Rose's love with the rest of the world. I hope you have been touched by a little bit of her today.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Going through Life

      At what age in life do we go from being young, attractive and desired; a vibrant person, to becoming a hardly noticed, often overlooked, sometimes dismissed senior?  And what age is a senior?  Is it 40, 55, 62, 70?  Age is irrelavant. I've always thought that old was 10 years older than what I was. It's not a sudden thing although at times it feels like days pass like hours.It's a slow progession this thing called Life. Shadows slowly come over us as rays of light shine on the next generation, flirting and bathing in the wholesomeness of vitality. Youth not understanding all that life still will unfold to them, roads to travel that they never planned on..

Friday, July 30, 2010

Firsts in Life

     I like to visit bloggers that have commented on other posts, it doesn't matter if they've commented on mine or someone else's. And so I stopped by "Vencora at coffee with a hint of delusion". She posted about firsts.
     It made me think about my firsts. Isn't everyhing in your life really a first at some time? But what makes a first so memorable or significant that it stands out, that it calls attention to itself?
     The first time I held a puppy, a collie pup less that 6 weeks old. Furry, with sharp teeth that chewed on my hand leaving red marks. The smell of that funky puppy breath. Big brown eyes, cool wet nose. I buried my face and hands into him, hugging his soft fur. I never wanted to let go of his wiggly little plump body. A love of it's own magnificance.
     The first time I witnessed a person dying in front of me. I was very young nurse on midnight shift. He was a very sick, elderly man. He had no living relatives or freinds able to travel to him. We were doing all we could to keep him comfortable in his last hours, and seemingly  failing miserably, as his pain was strong and his will was exhausted. But he was not alone. I held his hand, stroked his cheek and talked to him. I hope I helped him through his transition to wherever he believed he was going. Last gasping breaths. So profound. The first of many more deaths I was to witness. Readying his body for the morgue, bathing, wrapping all with tender hands, respect and caring. I wanted to have his death be one of dignity. His last breaths still grab my heart and bring tears to my eyes to this very day, decades later.
     The first time I made love so intensely, emotionaly, and deeply that I began to cry. There is no love as beautiful and moving as the one where you feel as soulmates becoming one.
     The first time I looked at each of my babies when they were born, unable to actually believe that they came from inside of me. How all the discomfort and time produced such a miracle.  I still marvel at the birth of a new life.
    I can go on. I understand now that firsts are merely beginnings to more beautiful firsts.
    
 

Thursday, July 29, 2010

I can't believe it . . . it's gone

     Well, I have myself to blame. Another lesson learned. Is there no end to how many lessons we keep learning? And how many lessons were there that I paid absolutely no mind too?
     When my computer was infected, I apparently lost a huge bundle of information that can't be retrieved. Special things . . . . I am a incurable romantic and collector of words. Not just any words, after all we can find millions of words in the dictionary, in magazines, books, on line. But words that have been lived, have been loved, have been explored, disected and embraced. Words that have been painful and even thoughts of words that were never said, never written and lost forever inside a heart, a mind or a soul.
     I should have downloaded the words that moved me. But we don't have all history erased as we travel through life. Sometimes we find a remnant tucked away in a corner, a look, hug, a conversation. Life experience makes you who you are everyday and of course we can't carry it all around. It's way too big and cumbersome. And the computer is no different.
     I

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Cyber sick

Cough.  Cough. I'm almost recovered.
     It looked pretty grim for a while. It started out with everything slowing down. Then lapses in memory and misdirected messages. Flare ups right and left. Next thing it was a full blown epidemic. Yes, I had a computer virus. Not one computer, but both of them. With different infections. Hospitalization for well over a week. Intensive care for one.
     Talk about being out of sync with the world. I hadn't realized my dependancy on the keys to cyber. The first two days were the hardest. I have to admit, as time went on, there were days that I enjoyed the freedom.
     It was similiar to taking a vacation from the kids when they are small. You are happy to get away, then spend most of the time  thinking about them or talking about them. Just when you are getting used to it, it's back to old routines.
     But as in all things, there are lessons to be learned. It has taught me to sit at the screen and be mindful of time spent there. Sit down, get online, read, write and get away.
     I had time to read more books, work on painting, cook a slow, time consuming and so flavorful all day meal. I spent time catching up with friends in person. Gave hugs, laughed, cried.  Took a tango lesson. Sat by the lake. Watched the swans. Took photographs. Exercised. Entertained. Cleaned out a closet and straightened out the desk. Life is about balance and sometimes it takes a breaking down of something to show us a simpler way from the past.
      As I type this, I see that it's time to go. We have so much time here on earth, and I have so much more I want to do before my time is up.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Chocolate seduction

      Chocolate. I LOVE it. There is no other food that has a hold on me like this smooth creamy melt in your mouth sensualy delightful taste of milk chocolate.

      Oh, but not any chocolate will do. I really dislike the inexpensive brands that have a waxy sugary taste. After you eat a few bites you have an almost nauseous feeling of sugar overload. Yuck.

     I am talking about really good chocloate, the special stuff. Chocolate that can transcend you with a single bite as it slowly disolves over your tastebuds. I'm not really a fan of dark chocolate, although dip a lusious ripe red strawberry in dark chocolate and I may be in heaven for a minute.

      My ultimate favorite is Lindt brand. And even in Lindt there are levels of indulgic delights for me.
The best of all Lindt happens to come in a rather large size, a 3.5 oz  bar, okay so it is a huge chocolate bar.

THE BEST is Lindt Excellance Extra Creamy Milk.

 I usually buy every bar they have which might be a dozen at a time. Most of my friends have never had it, some have never heard of it, even the self proclaimed chocolate lovers. Unbelieveable!

      I will give a bar to those that I believe have a true appreciation for indulgence of this mood altering substance. And each time, each and every time, I have added a new loyal fan.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Sunday, July 11, 2010

From long ago

      As a teenager I used to do my mother's hair. It's been a  long time  now. People really don't do hair anything like this anymore.

      We would go down into the basement. She would sit in a painted celery green chair at a table with a plastic flannel backed tablecloth . (She painted almost everything celery green.  I used to dislike it because there was SO MUCH of it at our house. Of course, now I am drawn to it).      

     She was the hairdressee and I was the hairdresser.
A few times a year we'd do a perm.  I remember that nasty smell.

    Most often we'd do a color, or just a wash and a set. It was a time to bond. Always in the evening. And always just us two.
     I'd shampoo and curl her wet hair in the little pink plastic-snap-together curlers or the steel -colored metal clips if she wanted waves. She would sit under the giant General Electric expanding "bouffant"  cap that looked like it was hooked up to a vacuum cleaner. It blew out hot air. It had a round stwardess looking carrying case and was portable as long as you didn't go farther than the electric cord allowed . You looked like an alien gunslinger.

( To see a picture of the exact same one we had go to
 *****      www.popsucker.net/2008/05/retrophilia_general_electronic)


     After my mom's hair was dry,  out came the curlers and I'd comb her soft hair. No hair products, no spray, no high fashion . Simple and pretty.
     Every Saturday, as soon as I would come home from work, I would do her nails. She would hardly let me get out of my uniform. It had to be right now. Nothing fancy. A soaking, a filing and of course her favorite pale pink chiffon colored laquer. I had to be careful of her right hand forefinger that was mangled in her time as a prisoner of war. I never knew how to make it look pretty. and she always had to touch it up herself.

     And every once in a while, I gave my father a manicure too. I filed his nails and rubbed lots of lotion on his dry construction worker rough hands.

    We have put aside the details of grooming and bonding others, our family and friends. We go to professionals that do a marvelously wonderful job. But in that process we have lost a chance to make a memory with those closest to us. Like animals in the wild, grooming each other is a natural behavior. We'd  have idle time for conversation. To open the heart and speak the mind. Or times of quiet to contemplate a prior disagreement and then a coming around.

     Funny, I never minded doing those things.  I never loved doing them either. It was a part of what we did and who we are.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Unrest

Today I feel an anxiousness in my heart and soul that will not lie still.
 Like a beast, it is on the hunt, for what does it hunt today?
I am unsure, but it's hot breath is burning against the back of my neck.
 I have days sometimes that I feel overwhelmed and have a sense of being in slow motion as the rest of the world rotates around the sun. I cannot catch up and I struggle with the smallest of tasks.
 It is days like this that I need to go into myself and nurture the part of me that longs for the simplest comfort. A soft blanket, a cool drink of water, and quiet, yes quiet to embrace all the things good in my life.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Make the difference

Make someone smile today.

Take one minute to write, call, text or email a person that you have been out of touch with for a while.

All you have to do is say hello and that you are thinking of them and it brought back a pleasant memory.


It will make their day and yours too.

Friday, July 2, 2010

"PAIRS"

It feels good to be part of a "PAIR".


A painting that I am working on. Not enough hours in the day.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Uncertainty














How sweet the memories of the past. Sunny days of playing in the breaking waves of the oceans. Carefree and running on white sandy beaches. Inhaling the fresh salty air. Watching animals and people living in a beautiful, safe world. 
We have had a lifetime of taking nature for granted.
This earth is our most precious jewel for it cannot be replaced. Treat each other more kindly, we all need more love and understanding as we tread into our uncertain future.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Welcome the Sun

The morning sun is welcome to enter my home every day. I don't want the sun to have to sneak in through a crack in the drapery forcing its way inside. I put out the welcome mat by leaving my bedroom windows wide open, no blinds, curtains or drapes as covering. Now, it is notable that I am so NOT a morning person. But I love how the sun gently comes calling. Slowly coming over the horizon, sometimes partnered with clouds and sometimes boldly on it's own. The sun's brightness and heat make their way delicately and gently into my room. The sun comes to me as it does all of earth, the birds singing it's daily debut. If the sun doesn't get my attention, it gets brighter, hotter and I find that I cannot ignore it's calling any more. It has an in your face engaging force that is undeniably persuasive.  The sun has given me the invitation to rejoice in the opportunity to live another day.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Will you just listen?















There are conversations that we have with ONLY certain people..
    Often  a complete stranger that will confide in you about something that is deep within their heart.
 I think it can be easier to open up to a stranger as we deem them to not be as judgemental as our loved ones are.
     I aspire to be that loved one and stranger that will be open to listening. To really be open to that person that needs to share whatever is in their heart and on their mind.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Kindness of Others

Today my busy day was filled with appointments, errands and checking off my lists (of things to do or get when I'm out) kind of day. A hectic day and I was stressed about all the things I had to do. I decided to get done what I could and let it be. But strangley I began to notice something.
Everyone I made contact with today was especially nice, helpful, polite and friendly. And it was a Monday too.
1-a neighbor making sure my car was okay.
2- a patient at the Dr's waiting room office wishing me well and thanking me for having such a nice conversation with them.
3- the nurse at the Dr's office helping with the paperwork to expedite my time there when it wasn't part of her job.
4- a phone call with a very, very courteous operator.
5- a restaurant waitress taking my carry out order, and forgetting to put my name on the order, and when I picked it up the owner remembered what I usually order ( I only go there once every 4-6 weeks)and brought it out to the car for me.
6- my neighbor (another one) taking my groceries into the house for me.
7- several people holding the door for me. Someone holding the elevator for me.

WOW. Not these many things usually happen in one day. These are little things, but they were all so appreciated. It's great to have acknowledgement that there are so many kind and caring hearts in the world. Today was a wonderful day sponsored by some of God's beautiful children of all ages. It makes me more excited about giving to others.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Where Life leads Us

When we set out into the world, we can never be sure where the path will lead us. Sometimes we are prepared, sometimes not.
It is good to keep an open mind, have strong faith and start with a full stomach.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

COME . . .



















Come with me today . . .  NOW.
Leave what you are doing.
Take my hand, close your eyes, I want to share a special place with you. Not later, but right now. It must be now. For this moment is all we can be certain of. This moment. For tomorrow is not promised us.
I brought a lunch of cheese, bread, fruit and wine. Let's sit in the shade of the tree with tropical breezes on our faces and in our hair. We'll talk of life, of love, of hopes and dreams. Our eyes will be our windows to the soul. Our hearts open, our words speak true, our spirit exposed and safe. We will reflect in beautiful silence and listen to nature as it nurtures our being. Hear the waves splash over and over against the shore. Hear the birds above. Inhale deeply the serenity, be calm. Come with me now won't you?

Monday, June 7, 2010

Closed ears

   

















Can you tell me . . . How do you share what's in your heart to to someone that has turned their back to you and closed their ears?

All kinds of LOVE














There are all kinds of love.

The "I've loved you for a long time and we've shared a lot together" love makes your heart feel full and your lips turn up in a smile.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

He stole my heart

     He stole my heart. I think it was the baby blues that seduced me first. We met as strangers on a stairway in the late evening some time ago. I was on an extended trip, leasing a darling little condo on an island. He came by one night, watching me and keeping a safe distance. He was coy and had an engaging personality, a seasoned flirt. His voice teasing me with his repetitive meowing.
     The next night he was back,

Saturday, May 22, 2010

KINDNESS

Every gesture, every caring deed . . .  lives on infinitely.

When was the last time you did a random act of kindness?

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Objective viewpoint














What is something that you think other people would like to change about you?

This is how it is . . .

Hot summer night

lying in bed all sticky

want to make love

but the heat won't let me

the touch of our bodies

all sticky and wet

No sex tonight

this is as close as we'll get.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Appreciating some simple things today


















Simple things I am grateful for today:

 . . . The fresh feeling of running my tongue across my just brushed teeth.
. . .  seeing my friend's lips turn into a smile when she sees me unexpectedly.
. . . a sincere and long hug that comes from the heart.
. . . a bite of extra creamy milk chocolate melting in my mouth.
 . . . being able to hear the sounds of baby birds chirping in their nest.
 . . . sitting next to the lake in an old fashioned andironack chair and feeling the serenity of nature.
 . . .  feeling the warmth of the sun on my skin.
 . . . the relief that putting on sunglasses brings to my squinty eyes.
 . . .  having the opportunity to live life another day.
 . . . the comfort in knowing that I am positive and hopeful and have not given up on people.
 . . . seeing a dog that was adpoted from an animal shelter, licking and wagging it's tail with her new family.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Catch a Memory


     Sometimes it's not much that catches me off guard. Even the smallest word or action can take me back in time so fast that I don't know what happened. Others around me of course aren't aware of what has transpired, but it is powerful none the less.  My mother, my father and my twin brother have all passed away, the four of us were the "immediate" family. I think about them frequently, actually it's intersting to me how I think about them almost everyday in some manner. At times all I want to do is share something with them, a bit of humor, some conversation, thoughts or feelings about something.  Just a moment to hear their voice, see their face, have an idle exchange. There is something though that I find difficult. It's the fact that I don't have anyone to share their life histories with that remembers them in the same way that I do. I feel that I am losing grasp of some of the memories, that the memories are slipping away and there is no way that I can get them back if they are lost. I want to remember everything and of course I can't. So I am pleased and thankful when an interaction, a word, a picture or an experience remind me of them in some way. And that makes me smile and be happy in my heart. It feels as good as a warm breeze on my face on a hot, still day.

Saturday, April 24, 2010



JUST be YOURSELF.
There's no one else like you.

Being OPEN

Open yourself to the infinite possibilities of life. Go beyond the borders that you have accepted  and considered normal. Take that deep breath and go out into the world.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

WHAT?




What thoughts keep you awake at night? 

Love is . . .

Love is hope.

Love is patience.

Love is now.

Love is understanding.

Love is eternal.

Love is laughter.

Love is tenderness.

Jumping Out of My Box

     Well, I did it. I had promised someone that if they signed up for lessons that I would
 take the lessons with them. And even though I was sure they would eventually take the lessons, I felt that I had lots of time and tucked the thought away in my head.
   

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Away from Home too Long

        I've been gone from home since Christmas day. And now it's St. Patrick's Day.  I have moments of homesickness that grasp me tightly out of nowhere. Tonight is one of them.   I won't be home again until probably the beginning of May.  I am combining pleasure and a work project.  Sometimes being away from home is exciting, adventurous and necessary.
     But there are moments when I long to be home.  I feel restless, meloncholy and low in energy.  An empty ache inside. 

Thursday, March 11, 2010

CREATIVE INSPIRATION

     The birth of an idea.    
     Where do the initial stirrings come from? What is that place, that person, that one thing that made the light turn on in your brain?
     What is the motivation that allows it to come to life and

Saturday, March 6, 2010

MAKING LISTS and CROSSING THEM OFF

      Are you a list maker? At one time or another we all make them.
     Think for a minute about the ones that you have made.
     There is the famous and almighty new years resolution list which most people  make but don't adhere to very long. We have our lists of goals to achieve. There are  everyday lists of

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Looking at Your Heart

What does your heart look like?
     My heart looks a bit worn and tattered. It's not as bright red, not as perfectly shaped as a young brand new heart. It's been hurt and broken and tested. It's been embraced and pushed away.
It has a bruise here and there. Several lacerations, a few pretty deep. Lots of scuff marks.
     Relationships can change your heart. Loss makes it's mark with a heavy hand. Time changes it. Life can do that to your heart.
     But it is also large and caring. It is capable for much more than what it looks like it can do. It is wiser than before, more resistant, more patient. And forgiving. But most of all it is hopeful and always has room for love. It knows truth and sincerity. It knows kindness.
     Look beyond the heart, look into it, until you see into the heart's very soul. And that is where we grow, we share, we know, we understand. It is where we love unconditionaly. It is where we are all beautiful.
(photo - unknown source)

Saturday, February 20, 2010

A Peacock and a Tiger

     Do you ever feel like you don't quite fit in?
     Let me set a sample scenario for you. For instance. a group setting, a relaxing weekend evening, A BBQ, bonfire, balmy skies, with a bit of chill in the air, everyone getting closer to the fire to get warm. First a bit of idle chatter, weather, a little news, introductions and maybe a few drinks, or not. Certainly everyone is friendly, you feel welcome, perhaps you know some or most people, everyone chatting, laughing, seemingly having a great time and you are very much a part of the conversation. And yet for some reason you feel that  you don't quite belong?

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Words, Writers and Magical Power

     Writers are interesting people. I've been following blogs, reading columnists (especially the NYT's), magazine articles and books that I feel really tell a story, share an experience, unveil an emotion or plant a seed in the reader.
     It fascinates me how, although we all have access to words, (there is no ownwership to the words in any language, the dictionary or thesausus) putting those words together requires understanding and talent. If we so desire, we can even make up words and give meaning to them, and have even more words.
     To put words together takes minimal effort really.  But to make those words mean something, to make them come to life and take hold . . . Ahhhh . . . . that is ectasy dear reader, like a drug into our veins, it takes hold and carries us on a journey that only our minds can put limitations on.  It is the Master that stirs words together like a focused scientist, a romantic dreamer or an adventurous explorer . Magic to open our hearts to an old soul, a person who has lived and wants to give you a part of themselves. A writer sometimes can put on paper what they cannot say outloud.
     Writing can appear like child's play to those that don't understand the power of words..Think of words that have touched you, moved you. Think of why you write, why you read. How often has someone said or witten words to you, and you've been changed? The words have stopped you right there, so much so that you close your eyes and repeat the words under your breath, impregnating them into your very being. It is the combination of words that comes to life like notes come together in song.
     I have been rendered drunk by the power of many an author. Bravo to the writer.

(photo from unknown source)

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

TRUTH

Somedays, even though we know the truth,
denying the obvious is still painful.
Even the eternal optimist can have their bad days.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

The humility of aging gracefully

      Why are we so afraid of getting older? What ever happened to aging gracefully? To be an elegant  and beautiful or handsome mature human and be proud. Why can we not celebrate who we are, what got us here and that we have lived some years of a life already?  What makes you old and undesirable? Does your definition of old age depend on how old you are? Is a wrinkle a defect? Is a scar a badge of honor or a disfigurement? Is grey hair a sign of a withered being or is it a mark of nature and time?  Why do we lie about our ages? Why do we fell like we need to lie about our age? When we are young, we want to be older, when we are older, we want to be younger. 

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Giving up on Love



       LOVE. We like saying it, hearing it. But it is a word with all sorts of connotations, imagingings, illusions, fantasys, hopes, dreams and interpretations.
     When someone gives up on love, what makes them open up to love again? When a person dismisses another by perceived information, does it really matter if they know the truth? Afterall, doesn't that mean that it really was over already?
     If you really love someone, you never want it to be over, you want to fix things, understand things, believe, trust, and love more and better than you loved before, don't you? This is the same for romantic love as it is for any love.
      Sometimes though, people have to have more life experiences to understand love. You have to accept that you didn't know love at all before. You have to have the desire to love.
     I wish for newfound love for those, especially the ones that have come to misinterpreted conclusions from others, who will one day, know the truth and be open to the love that has been there for them.
     When you say you love someone, say it with all your heart and really mean the words you say.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Blogs, true feelings, relationships

     I have been reading blogs today by just doing casual surfing and stopping when something . . . the writing, photos, description or design catch my attention. For a while, the blogs were

Monday, January 25, 2010

Eleven Simple Words

Sometimes, there is a line in a movie, or a quote from a book, will touch you in a manner that stays with you and grows within your mind, your heart, your soul. These are eleven words that have touched me. 




"BE happy for this moment, 
 
for THIS moment is your LIFE"

Friday, January 22, 2010

Tick Tock - Tick Tock


     Time. We all talk about it. I know I do. How we wish we had more of it. How there isn't enough of it. Well, let's be realistic. Haven't there been times when you felt like an hour was an eternity? Mostly though, we feel that an hour is never enough.So we under appreciate all that an hour of time can be. I know I've said, "Well, I only have an hour, so I won't  . . . "
     Let's think about what we can do in an hour.
In the time of sixty minutes we have time enough to make changes in our day by doing any of the following:
Bake cookies
Take a bath
Clean out a drawer
Make an omlette
Exercise
Make love
Walk the dog
Watch a TV show
Write a blog
Have coffee with a friend
Send flowers
Write and send a letter
Telephone a loved one
Take a nap
Get a pedicure
Make a donation
Share lots of smiles
Give hugs
Do a load of laundry
Change the sheets
Enroll in school
Have a dream
Meditate
Plant seeds
Take a picture
Do a dance
Tell a joke
Hold a hand
Pray
Make some tea
Wash your car
Get a massage

Never under estimate the value of an hour, a minute or a moment in life.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The grocery adventure

     I find grocery shopping to be an entertaining and interesting excursion at times. We sometimes have to amuse oursleves with routine tasks in life. There is a designated path to take through the aisles, but sometimes you have the rebellious shopper that goes opposite the flow of traffic.The items that people put in their carts says a lot about their lifestyle, their health, their pleasures and their habits.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Open your heart


I am asking you to look into your heart. And open it. As a fellow human being, please consider giving some help to the people devastated by the earthquake in Haiti. There are many reputable organizations, that you can choose from. Even a little help will be appreciated. I try to give when there is a need, and there are always needs, I know. I have given. And I know you have given too. It is time

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Inspirations when we need them

The word today is INSPIRE.
A simple word. Merriam-Webster defines INSPIRE as -  to influence, move, or guide  . .  to spur on : impel, motivate . .  to breathe or blow into or upon  . .  to infuse (as life) by breathing . .  to communicate  . .. to draw forth or bring out.
     There are times that we all need inspiration, support and encouragment no matter what we do, what

Sunday, January 10, 2010

A Stranger, a Touch and a Picture

How often do you touch a stranger? There have been scientific experiments done on monkeys and the importance of touching and bonding from infancy. Humans need touch and caring as well.  But out in the world, when do we touch a stanger? And when we do touch, not accidently, but intently, what is their

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Places were I've had the BEST conversations

There are times in life when we have conversations that stay with us for the rest of our lives.
They can be moving, inspirational, supportive, life changing, motivational, awareness raising, shocking, understanding, comforting, loving and so much more. But I have noticed that they take place in interesting places. I list some places I have had conversations that have moved me in some way. But these are only a dozen of the very beginning. Where have yours been?

1- Inside an automobile, especially on a long drive.
2- At the doorway, when someone is leaving after spending time together.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

OH, you needed a Ride?

Can I give you a ride you ask? Ok, sure, ah . . . one second though.
Ususally (where I live), we use ours cars and trucks as solidary means of travel. We go from place to place getting in and out, making it our traveling nest with things we can't do without or think we should have just in case. Clues of who we are, strewn about inside or all organized and tidy. For me, there are sunglasses I hardly wear, a sqaure box of facial tissues and a few napkins for emergencies, a plastic straw, one plastic set of silverware, and a flashlight with a (sad to say) low battery. Antibacterial hand gel for after pumping gas, I hate smelling gas on my hands for hours afterwards, some loose change in a sandwich size ziplock bag, and a

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Tea Time on Tuesday

I am on the road, doing the hotel shuffle working my way from Michigan to Florida, making stops along the way for business, fun, adventure and necessity. On the road you appreciate the little pleasures and comforts of life. Things from home, convienences, memories, rituals. In a hotel room, it can be a pot to make hot water

Circle of closed minds

Last night I was in conversation with friends, new friends. And I had to think, what makes some people just open up ansd share of themselves without holding back, a desire to impress, be loud, shock, that devil may care attitude whether you like them or not? And others hold back so much, be timid, afraid to be judged, critizied or maybe more afraid to open a door to a place that has been locked and guarded for way too long. It takes time to trust, to feel comfortable and willing to share. We give little bits and pieces of ourselves. Like