December 26, 2012

The Haircut

Today I had the opportunity to personally see the true meaning of Christmas in action.

A sweet neighbor called me to see if I knew of anyone who could help cut her daughter's hair.

Her daughter (maybe late 50's) has been in the hospital for treatment for bone marrow cancer.  Something she has been battling for 5 years.

Her hair had grown long and had gotten tangled in the hospital on one of her stays so it had to be cut short by her husband.

I have a dear friend who is a hairdresser who agreed to come to their home to touch up the woman's hair.

They had never met each other and are the age difference of a mother and daughter.
But as she was wheeled into the kitchen and they exchanged greetings it was clear that did not matter.
As I watched my friend respectfully ask the daughter how she would like to have her hair styled, listening intently, and then carefully and deliberately take care to gently cut and blow-dry and style her hair, it was a heart-moving moment.

The daughter had a constant peaceful smile as her eyes were closed and she looked as if she was relishing and appreciating the care she was receiving. 
I wondered how long it had been with all the doctor appointments and tests and hospital stays since she had been able to enjoy the attention and pampering that was being given to her.  It was a humble surrounding in her childhood kitchen with all the original counters and cupboards and the humility could be felt through the home as it was filled with those she loved and who were anxious to see the "reveal". 

My young friend had brought along a new packaged lip gloss her sister had given her.  She decided this was just the perfect occasion to use it, telling her new friend as she applied it, that she wanted her to feel beautiful!

Refusing to accept any money for her services when offered, she said, "This is my Christmas present to you!"

The emotional gratitude, the new friendship, and the love that was felt, was a picture and feeling I hope will last me many Christmas' to come.

For just a short amount of time, the urgency and realities of life were replaced by "the moment".  A moment of peaceful love and beauty.

May we all try to remember the example of my friend: that we can even give presents to those we don't really know (yet), and make all the difference, if even, "just for a moment".

You give but little when you give of your possessions.  It is when you give of yourself that you truly give.  ~Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet

"The manner of giving is worth more than the gift".  ~Pierre Corneille, Le Menteur

November 22, 2012

Thank You Is Like A Present From Your Mouth

From the mouth of a five-year-old's moral dictionary.

Need I say more?

Let us generously give lots of free PRESENTS today!


November 13, 2012

You Just Never Know

Never underestimate the influence you can have.  

You never know how your words, no matter how simple they seem to you, can impact another.

Let us aspire to uplift by making sure that the words we choose are words we share with love.

October 30, 2012

Yeah, But Lizards Don't Talk

I saw a tiny lizard scurry across the driveway as my five-year-old friend and I walked around the neighborhood looking for Shirley.

Shirley happens to be a run-away-from-The-Scary-Zoo-talking-elephant whom we were in search of.

With a landmark map we inquired of neighbors as to whether they had seen Shirley.

When the lizard darted out, I  suggested, "Maybe we can ask the lizard if it has seen an elephant?"
And my little friend's reply was, "Yeah...but lizards don't talk".

I guess only elephants do!?

September 16, 2012

Just Don't Get In The Exit Only Lane

"Just don't get in the exit only lane."

As I was driving in a foreign state to me but home to my son, that is the advise he gave me-I think so I would quit asking, "Which lane do I get in now?"

I continued driving down the freeway and I pondered the Exit Only's in our lives.
In my life. 

The paths I had taken that took me somewhere I had not intended to go.
The roads that changed my life course;at least long-term temporarily. 

I did not stay forever "lost" but did have detours that delayed and even caused me to miss events in my life I would have otherwise embraced.
Some experiences and even people that would never come my way again.

I usually ended up in the "exit only" lane because I wasn't closely paying attention and before I knew it, I was too far over to safely change lanes.
I had no choice than at that point to exit.
Once there, I had to ride that course until an opportunity arose for me to get back on track. 

Although not 100% successful, over the years, I have tried to be more diligent about watching the "signs" and having a better idea of where I am going ahead of time so as not to be lead off my destination.

Thank goodness for alternative routes.
For second and even third and fourth chances to right our wrongs!
Who knows where I would be if it weren't for U-turns in life!?

"We all have big changes in our lives that are more or less a second chance. " ~Harrison Ford


September 9, 2012

Not A Nut-Free Family

Some of you know that I work at a school with young children.
In recent years many different kinds of allergic reactions with the children have come up, some being more severe than others.
Because of this we are now known as a nut-free school.

Unlike the school at which I work, my family is not nut-free.
Actually anything but.

We have any kind of nut you might want.
Foreign ones,
Americanized, (is there such a thing?)
Big ones,
Little ones,
Tasty ones,
Salty ones,
Bland ones,
Sugar -coated ones,
Some shelled ones ,
And others which are almost impossible to crack,
Ones good for your heart,
And yet others that probably prematurely contribute to a shortened life expectancy.

If you want a nut we have got it!!

Sooo.... if you are allergic to nuts-our reunions are not the place for you!

" Sister to sister we will always be,
A couple of nuts off the family tree."
Author Unknown

"Insanity does not run in my family.  Rather, it strolls through, taking its time, getting to know everyone personally."

August 14, 2012

This Is What Happens When We Aren't Secure

I rescued this shelf from a roadside trash pick-up.

Well, it didn't start out looking like this.
It was a put-together storage shelf that just needed a little TLC and it would be a nice piece to have around.
A perfect DIY project!

Then what happened you ask?
Well, being the naive, inexperienced- truck-borrower-driver-transporter that I am, I did not secure my awesome-to-be-shelf.
I was only going a short distance.
It was an area I was familiar with.
And I thought I had it all under control.  Really.

What I didn't account for were the bends in the road.  
The turns that were more sharp than I had guesstimated.
The challenges I did not see coming that would sway my shelf out of control.
Truthfully, I didn't really even expect a problem.
What could possibly go wrong is this short amount of time?

So I wasn't even really paying attention.
That was not until I heard a crash!?
Then it really was roadside kill! 

You should have seen me scrambling to pick up the pieces out of the middle of the road before anyone was aware of what I had done.  (Looking over my shoulders the whole time-yes shoulders).
Or before anyone else would be affected by it.

Now in several pieces it was not quite beyond repair but a much, much bigger job than it had started out to be.

Sometimes this happens to us in our lives.
There is something that we need to work on, to improve, to just tweak a little to get ourselves back in our best shape.
To regroup and safely secure us.
But we get lackadaisical about it.
We take for granted that we know ourselves so well that we don't have worry too much about it.
Or we just ignore that there could be a bigger problem up ahead, a bend in the road.
We do not notice that we are starting to sway-a little too much.

Then when we least expect it, we crash and things fall to pieces.
Something we weren't expecting and therefore not prepared for.
And what started out to be a simple fix has turned into a big project.
Maybe no longer a DIY project but something we need outside help with.

My advise to myself and anyone else who may be insecurely swaying back and forth:
Take the time to tie the wobbly, loose ends in your life down-before you can empathize, oh too well with Humpty Dumpty.

To be continued.......

July 30, 2012

Remember The New Male In My Life?

Eighteen months ago I invited or/and allowed a new male into my life.

I wrote about him here. 

Well, we broke up.

Not because we don't love each other (it would be hard to find more unconditional love anywhere),
Not because of age difference (although it is substantial),
Not because we don't get along (we are the best of friends),
Not because of lack of communication (although it has been minimalistic and verbally one-sided for most of our time together),
And not because I don't want to be with him anymore (this is breaking my heart),

But because him and his family had to move out of state.
(For you who did not get the original scoop-he is now an eighteen month old toddler).

I was offered to come along and had I been twenty-years old it could of been the dream-move of a lifetime.

But (FYI) I am a little past twenty and have an established place and other obligations and responsibilities (...and what sounds like excuses) where I am at now.

It was however one of those unexpecteds I started writing this blog about.

* I unexpectedly acquired a complete new family into my family structure.

* I unexpectedly fell in love with someone not of my own flesh and blood as if he were my own.
(I in no way mean any disrespect , but I wondered if maybe just for a tiny glimpse this is what happens to adoptive parents and other family members when they are blessed with a child.)

* I unexpectedly learned even more about parenting (even after raising five children), and child development (even though I have been working with children for over forty-one years), and family dynamics (it was so heart warming to see such a strong and loving marriage unit).

* I unexpectedly have a broken heart.  Not because of I fell out of love but because I fell in love.

* I have unexpectedly been blessed in so many ways from this relationship that I often wonder(ed) why God was being so generous with his love and blessings to me.

* I unexpectedly now have an opportunity to try a new venture.

"Not what we say about our blessings, but how we use them, is the true measure of our thanksgiving."  ~W.T. Purkiser

Let's see what I can do with my blessings!

July 17, 2012

I'm Working On It

I have been working on making a mini dream come true.

That is one of the main reasons I have been absent.

I will have a tiny space in a resale shop.

As the cliche says, "I fell into it".

But when I think about this, I have been preparing for years. 
I believe even before I knew it would be, or become a dream.

That is the Secret!

I will be back to post a picture of my items and small space and share a little of how it all has come to be.

"The world needs dreamers and the world needs doers.  But above all, the world needs dreamers who do."  ~Sarah Ban Breathnach, Simple Abundance: A Daybook of Comfort and Joy, 1996

June 10, 2012

Where Did I Go?

I have been missing.

Not in action (I have still been very busy).
Not my mind ( I lost that a long time ago).
Not the sun (we have more than our fair share).
But from blog-ville.

There was only one other time I missed a whole month.
That was last December when we had some trying times.

This is different.

There are many changes currently happening in my life and the common denominator for them is $.

Because my money tree is not producing fruit sufficient for my needs, I am in one of those corners life offers me.
Actually, offers is a nice word.
It is more like a time-out corner where I cannot emerge until I have a new plan on how to deal with what course life is taking. 

My new venture is to try my ideas of selling my furniture and other bargain finds.
It isn't a new, novel idea out there, but it is not exactly what I would have imagined.

The way this opportunity came up is a blog post in and of itself which I may someday post.

As for now, I have been busy working on projects and trying to get the business end in order.
I don't know exactly what course this is going to take, but one of the first things I am going to try to do is open a new blog featuring my furniture and other items I have configured.

Wish me luck!
I am anxious and fearful about the unknown,
And also excited and anticipating what new path my life is headed on!

April 29, 2012

I Have Tesseroo

Dialing the number on the dog tag around her neck, the man said, "I have Tesseroo."
He described over his phone in detail how she had come into his possession and went on about how sweet and cute and well-behaved she was. 

When he finally took a breath and inquired as to how to make arrangements for returning her, the person on the other end asked, "Who is Tesseroo?"

Double checking the number the man apologized, realizing he was one number off when dialing.

Is it only me or have any of you ever gone on and on about something only to find out later that you were "off by one number"?

Unfortunately for me it isn't a stranger's lost dog that I'm wrong about.
That would be acceptable. 

It is usually someone I know well or think I do.
I think I am so sure that I know them that I give detailed descriptions of my side/my version of how it appears to me without stopping long enough to breathe and ask if it is even accurate.
When I am done I'm off by so many numbers it's become an international call!

I had found the dog but did not have the means to make the call, so a man across the street from where I was walking helped me.
As I stood there listening to him, it was much easier and more apparent for me to see that he might be off track as he kept talking.
Why is that?!

"Tesseroo" is now the new code word for making sure I have all the facts correct before making assumptions that I am right.

Maybe I can get my own tag to hang around my neck as a reminder?
....Just in case I get lost?

"Begin challenging your own assumptions.  Your assumptions are your windows on the world.  Scrub them off every once in awhile, or the light won't come in."  ~Alan Alda

April 14, 2012

That Suspicious Smile

You know the smile I'm talking about?

The one that shows up on some people's faces and there's no one else around!

On the way to work yesterday morning I saw a woman riding her bike on the opposite side of the road coming towards me. 
She had "that smile".

At first I smiled to myself because it made me happy to see someone else so radiantly happy but a few seconds later, I wiped that smile off my face and started the judgmental inquisitions. 

(It's more relate-able if you read this part with attitude).
"She doesn't have headphones on so what is she listening to?"
"She's not talking to anyone on a phone so what's the cause for her joy?"
"She's riding alone so it can't be a fun companion making her smile now can it?"
"Why then is she so upbeat?" 
(FYI-I learned to emphasize like that from my teenagers.)

I then put her in the "crazy" category and started thinking of the other people and places I had seen "that suspicious smile".

It would seem as if I would have reached my destination after all that time of producing negative thoughts but it was just a matter of a minute or two.  (I have apparently become very efficient when it comes to finding fault.)

I continued my routine drive and what should appear?  No, not a miniature sleigh and eight tiny reindeer!  (That would have been more palpable and comforting.)
It was that magic mirror!  Not the one that says 'you are the fairest one of all' (I have not been able to find one of those...) but the one that says 'who made you the smile police?!'

That mirror works in the same department as the sorting queen does.  They are very close.
Ms. Sorter is spokeswoman for Mr. Mirror.

So here it comes:
Mirror:  "So what is really making you uncomfortable?" 

ME:  "You!"

Mirror:  "Try again"

ME:  " I was being influenced to feel good by a crazy person!  I actually smiled too!" 

Mirror:  "And what if she wasn't crazy?  What if she was just content in her life and that made her happy?"

ME:   "I am envious.   How can it come so easy to some?"

Mirror:  "It doesn't.  She has worked hard and made a decision to find peace no matter what situation she is in.  Because of that she has been able to find happiness and joy in the everyday things in life."

"Oh", I reply as I take a bite of my breakfast McHumble sandwich.  Boy do I need to start that diet soon!

DISCLAIMER: As to not appear to be a total cynical blogger, I am not always so negative and yes, sometimes I do genuinely smile with the "crazy people" and feel really good after I do!
"Those who can laugh without cause have either found the true meaning of happiness or have gone stark raving mad."  ~Norm Papernick

"Let us be grateful to people who make us happy, they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom."  ~Marcel Proust


March 12, 2012

Sorting Socks Is SO Much Easier

I mention 'sorting' here as a means to keep from "losing it".

This technique came out of a need to quit making a fool of myself, 
getting needlessly and prematurely upset 
and reacting irrationally.

Does it always work?  I wish there was a 100% guarantee......
There isn't, but this is life remember?  
We are going to have a few glitches here and there sometimes.
This just is a preventive measure.

So here's how it goes:

(I should mention this works best if you can talk to yourself out loud.  Otherwise our mind can wander to what's for dinner, the score of the game or getting those shoes on sale.  I do this while sitting in my car someplace safe or going on a "talk-walk".  I try to find places of solitude if possible (so others don't feel a need to call in help).  If I do it when I'm driving, I bop my head up and down or side to side as if singing to a song.) 

Say for instance I get upset at someone for something they did either to me or that affected me.

*  I ask myself:

FEELINGS: Why are you upset?

ME:  Because she hurt my feelings.

FEELINGS:Why did it hurt your feelings?

ME:  Because she said I don't listen?

FEELINGS:  Is that true?

ME:  No, I was just trying to tell her why I don't like what she did.

FEELINGS:  And what was that?

ME:  She told me I am selfish.

FEELINGS: Why did she say that?

ME:  Because I didn't want to listen to her when she started saying what a bad person I am.

FEELINGS: Do you think you should have listened?

ME:  Maybe it was mean not to, but it didn't feel good.

FEELINGS: So what is wrong to have not put yourself in an uncomfortable situation?

ME: I don't know.  Friends should be there for their friends no matter what.

FEELINGS:Even if they are saying hurtful things about you?

ME:  Maybe not.

FEELINGS: What is wrong with sticking up for yourself?

ME: Nothing, except I am not used to it. 

FEELINGS: Do you think it makes her feel better to say hurtful things to someone she cares about?  Do you feel better when you do that?

ME: Of course not.

FEELINGS: Then it not OK to do it period.

ME: But what if she stays mad at me or doesn't talk to me?

FEELINGS: That may happen.  You have no control over what she does.  Your choices are to take the blame and let her criticize you at her will or to take yourself out of an abusive situation.  What do you want?

ME: I want her to be my friend and respect me too. 

FEELINGS: Why would she do that on her own if you don't expect it from her?

ME: I don't know.  I guess I never thought about it.

FEELINGS:  My favorite bald guy Dr. Phil, says that we teach people how to treat us. 

ME:  I can see that.

FEELINGS: So she was right wasn't she?  You didn't listen.  

ME:  I guess I didn't. 

FEELINGS: Sometimes just because someone doesn't like what we did does not mean that it is wrong.  

ME: But it felt wrong to upset her.

FEELINGS:  Isn't it odd how we worry about upsetting someone else but discount that it's happening to us?  And then we scold ourselves for having our feelings?

ME: I see that now.

Now this could continue on and on.  It's like a mini therapy session isn't it?  That's exactly what it is!  Only it's at our convenience and it's free!  Except for the price we have to pay to acknowledge our emotions.  Which most of us avoid.

Sorting socks IS so much easier!

Now when I see her again I can be prepared that she might still be upset.  If she wants to talk to me about what happened I am now clear.  I can say that I stopped listening because what she was saying was hurting me.  That I still would like to be her friend (if that's true) but will leave if it gets uncomfortable.  (This also works with family).  The ball is now in her court how she will respond to that. 

Sometimes when we change the rules it takes awhile for others to adjust.  That is another post.

Hopefully this made a little sense.  If you want to do a "feelings" session back and forth with me we could give it a shot!

Good luck!

"How much has to be explored and discarded before reaching the naked flesh of feeling."  ~Claude Debussy


February 20, 2012

We Ring Around The Rosie Until We All Fall Down

In some books, I have also read this as Ring a Ring o' Roses.

So how many of you have played Ring around the Rosie with your emotions until you all fall down?!

A recent incident of someone else's version reminded me of how often I used to play this childhood game... (as an adult).

Something would be emotionally upsetting for me and I would start singing the song, grabbing the hands of any and everyone around me, forcing them to join in whether they wanted to or not.

We would spin faster and the words would get louder, and muddled together until they were impossible to understand.

Sometimes it was because I was saying them so quickly or loudly (as in yelling them). 
And others because they weren't even cohesive.

They no longer made any sense as I added emotion-filled verses that no one knew and that had nothing to do with the original song of point.

Did I mention I was the only one singing?  (It was more like a boisterous rap.)

This would continue until I was exhausted and had drained all those in the circle.
It would finally end with ... and they all fall down!  as we emotionally collapsed to the ground.

I have since tried to be aware when these feelings start to arise, and work them out through what I call "sorting". 
This keeps me from having to publicly go 360 degrees to get to what the real emotion and need is that I am feeling.   (And to protect the innocent bystanders.)

"If you don't manage your emotions, then your emotions will manage you."  ~Doc Childre and Deborah Rozman, Transforming Anxiety

It also helps preserve the sound of real music.

 "Ring a Ring o' Roses"
Roud #7925 RingARingORosesMusic1898.png
Musical variations of Ring a Ring o' Roses, Alice Gomme, 1898.

Men profess to be lovers of music, but for the most part they give no evidence in their opinions and lives that they have heard it.  ~Henry David Thoreau

February 4, 2012

What Is A Fortune?

While reading to a group of Kindergarteners I asked what they thought the word fortune meant.

One little girl raised her hand and said, "Like in a fortune cookie.  Like, 'You're going to be raised like a duck.'"

After I explained my definition she said, "Ohh, you'll be as rich as a duck."

It sounds like we've been getting our cookies from the same place!? 

"Who needs astrology?  The wise man gets by on fortune cookies."  ~Edward Abbey

January 29, 2012


I felt like a man for awhile.
I had to look up my anniversary to make sure I got the date right.
(Some men might not even bother to do that.)

Sorry if that offends any men.....well sort of.

So here are some reflections since my blogging birth.


*  That blogging can and has opened up a new awareness and computer world for me.

*  That you can make "friends" even though you have never officially met them in person.

That there are SO many talented people out there who just think, " Oh, it's not a big thing".

*  That there are SO many talented bloggers!

*  That the world is literally at my fingertips.

*  That although I do not always want to continually be schooled in some of the lessons presented me, "graduating" means I am done living.

*  That the lessons I am learning are not unique to me.

*  That empathy and understanding can come from total strangers.

*  That ALL of us have unexpected lives.
*  That even when you accept that life is unexpected there are certain things you never expect to happen in your life.  And wish never would have.

*  That in spite of all the painful "unexpecteds",  life continues to bring the promised rainbow after the storm.  (We may just have to be more patient for some to appear.)

 "...know...that all these things shall give thee experience, and shall  be for thy good."  D & C 122:7

January 20, 2012

The Unexpected Holiday Journey

For the first in my life Christmas was solely about the birth of Jesus.
There was no stress about shopping, or baking or crowds or a dinner menu.
There was no joy in watching and sharing with children and adults in gift exchanging.

It was the humblest of Christmas'.

I would like to say it was a conscious choice but it wasn't.
It was because of others' choices.

We are still feeling those effects and will be for a long time.

The year ended totally unexpected.  

Thus I ended the old year and started the new year continuing to have The Unexpected Life.

In spite of that, this Christmas lesson taught me to be mindful in the future that not everyone is having a "Merry Christmas".
That focusing on Jesus is a needful thing and a blessing especially in trying times.
Remembering, that even when things are going well, especially when things are going well, Christmas is after-all about His birth.

I know this is off-timed but it has taken me this long to get to this point.

May the New Year be filled with blessings beyond what we can imagine!

"We may not know when or how the Lord's answers will be given, but in His time and His way, I testify, His answers will come." ~ Robert D. Hales

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