Saturday, May 29, 2010

All in a Dog’s Day

i’m feeling the need to lighten things up a bit after the last post. you may have seen this anonymous excerpt, but i think it holds a reminder for us about life not to mention a good laugh!

8:00  dog food! my favorite thing!

9:30  a car ride! my favorite thing!

9:40  a walk in the park! my favorite thing!

10:30  got rubbed and petted! my favorite thing!

12:00  lunch! my favorite thing!

1:00  played in the yard! my favorite thing!

3:00  wagged my tail! my favorite thing!

5:00  milk bones! my favorite thing!

7:00  got to play ball! my favorite thing!

8:00  wow! watched tv with the people! my favorite thing!

10:00  sleeping on the bed. my favorite thing!

i’ve added a few entries from muffin’s personal diary as well:

climbing up on the sofa! my favorite thing!

climbing up on a mountain! my favorite thing!

digging! my favorite thing!

chasing squirrels! my favorite thing!

sticking my head where it doesn't belong! my favorite thing!

barking at trains! my favorite thing!

swimming! my favorite thing!

riding on daddy's lap! my favorite thing!

staring at gopher holes! my favorite thing! (ok, this one is her SUPER favorite thing!)
what a life!

a beautiful holiday weekend?  my favorite thing!
hope yours is too!!!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Some Thoughts...

i've been having fun with my "want what you have" experiment and will get back to that soon.  i'm so excited that some of you will be joining in for this challenge.   i think you will find it enlightening!!  in the meantime...

i’ve recently completed my hospice training and wanted to share some thoughts. the complete title of this post is “some thoughts on death and dying”, but i was afraid that would scare you away. it’s not exactly a hot blog topic, is it? i get that, but i also feel that our society is so in denial on this subject and i wanted to (gingerly) address it.. i’ve actually written a poem about this which i’ll save for another time.....

i wanted to share some of the perspective which hospice applies to their mission:
  • death is a natural part of life - a transition following our earthly journey
  • being invited into a person’s home at this time of life is a great, great honor
  • those helping the person making the transition are blessed by the experience
  • even if the patient is able to do very little, their purpose may be to bless us
  • the transition of exiting this life (as in entering it) is a beautiful thing

i find these thoughts to be so powerful. they express why i signed up to do this work. i haven't started yet, but i'm looking forward to it. i'll keep you posted.


Monday, May 24, 2010

Want What You Have – a Challenge

i love this phrase and this whole concept. it speaks to contentment. it speaks to letting go of the striving that we tend to put so much energy into. it speaks to letting go of comparing ourselves to others and especially to the things that they have. and it speaks to living in and appreciating the moment and all the wonderful blessings we have already been gifted with.

are you ready? i’ve been thinking a lot about this and i’ve turned it into a challenge. i’m going to try it and i hope you will too.

pick a day. doesn’t have to be today or tomorrow, but schedule it. write it on your calendar. designate it your official “want what i have” day.

here are some suggestions for your special day:
• when you get up in the morning, wear something that’s been hiding in your closet. something that you like but haven’t worn for a while. dig deep if you have to.

• when you get ready for the day, find some old make-up and lipstick that you haven’t used for a while. you know – the one you thought about throwing out but can’t quite bring yourself to do it.

• if you read the newspaper, skip the ads.

• don’t buy anything. no online, no offline, no itunes, no apps. NOTHING. did you forget? you already have everything you need! (carry your coffee in a thermos if you have to!)

• make your meals from stuff already in your cupboards or fridge.  you know the stuff – those cans of soup you got on sale and shoved them to the back of the shelf or that yummy casserole that you froze and then forgot about.  you get the idea.  add some of those spices that you bought for a special recipe and forgot about.

  • dig through your old cd’s or playlists (or if you're old like me, cassette tapes and records!) and find some cool music that you love but haven’t listened to in a while

• if you really want to get into it, dig out some old cards or letters that you’ve saved and reread them.

• instead of tv, consider opening the game cupboard. pull out the old ones that used to be really fun. or a puzzle. or a book you’ve been wanting to get back to.

• if you do art, use materials that you already have. paint colors you haven’t used for a while. instead of starting a new piece, pick up one you’ve set aside for a while. same thing could be applied to writing.

• if you have a job, think about how lucky you are to have it. or an income. or a house. or a car. or a bike.

• if you live with other people, tell them how important they are to you. reminisce about some of the good times. take out an old photo album and peruse it together.

• call a friend you haven’t spoken to in a while and tell them you were thinking about them.

i’ll bet you can think of other ideas. i’d love for you to try it and let me know your thoughts. i’m going to do it too and i’ll let you know mine. don’t be too rigid with yourself – after all, it’s an awareness thing. most of all, have fun!!

oh - the photos were all taken in my own little yard.


Saturday, May 22, 2010

A Walk at the Beach

it was the perfect day.
no crowds,
the sun just starting to burn off the morning clouds.

i took my portable chair
my camera, journal and coffee in a thermos.

i walked
i wrote
i looked
i listened

i stumbled upon something really awesome

the tiles in this table were created by local school kids
the table is super sturdy
it's not going anywhere
for generations to come

oh look, here's more tiles
this time it's a trash container

everywhere i looked there were more!
as you can see, some of the kids wrote messages on their tiles

that was my favorite part!

isn't it just the coolest thing??

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


i've been learning adobe lightroom. it's a program that works hand in hand with photoshop or can be used independently. it' powerful. it organizes, "develops", then outputs for printing, slideshows or web. it's relatively easy to give any image literally endless varieties of personality with just a bit of tweaking.  how do i choose???

which bring me to my point. i've never been accused of being overly decisive. just ask my husband how well i do in restaurants with long menus. even short menus. he'll roll his eyes. what am i afraid of? apparently i'm afraid of making the wrong choice. i've done it before and had to suffer the consequences. i want the answers beforehand.

but life's not like that, is it? we're not given a window into the future. we have to step up and make hard choices. and we have to suffer the consequences when our choice doesn't turn out to be the perfect one. i'm working on it.  and after all, isn't that what makes life interesting? i mean how boring would it be to know exactly how everything is going to turn out?

Sunday, May 16, 2010

April Showers Bring...

you know the rest of it!  i wanted to use this topic to mention one of the things that i really love about blogging: 

a tiny seed is planted
 from almost any source
(in the dirt that is my brain!)
give it a little time and nourishment
 it germinates and sprouts
into a full blown idea
then blooms into
an entire conversation!
how cool is that!

like my "scattered" idea.  i started writing down some thoughts about how i was feeling and - who knew?  turns out a lot of you feel that way too!  you shared your thoughts and ideas and - bingo - we have a whole conversation with all kinds of different thoughts and ideas.  i really do love that!

hope you are enjoying all the may flowers!!!

Thursday, May 13, 2010


that's where i'm at, friends. i have several projects going on my art table, dozens of projects going inside my computer - everything from tutorials to learn new stuff, photo organizing and enhancing, new powerpoints in mid-stream, videos, and let's not forget keeping up with my own and everyone else blogs, not to mention good ole facebook - and framing projects scattered across my studio (otherwise known as a living room). since i'm not working (in the normal sense of going to a job and bringing home money) i should have tons of time to get this all done and more, right??

 i suppose it's a focus issue. before the retreat, i was totally focused on that. it was like a full-time job. i knew exactly what to do and happily X'd things off my lists as they got done. satisfying! when i have an art show or deadline coming up, i get focused on that until it's done. i do have a little book in which i try to put down my priorities for the day, but it's just not working out right now.

i've also noticed a subtle recurrence of those old bad buddies, the negative thoughts about myself. i'm boring. i'm dull. i'm not clever or creative like everyone else out there. who would want to be my friend anyway? if they really got to know me, they would leave because i'm so uninteresting. i know. pathetic. but writing that out made me feel a teensy bit better.

so i just sat down and made up some doable goals for myself. among them:

  • plan another retreat in the fall
  • make small copies of my photo-weaves and sell them at the strawberry festival
  • make cards and prints of my butterflies and sell them at the strawberry festival
  • make some new short powerpoints that i can potentially use with my hospice patients

 suddenly i feel a lot better. interesting. can you relate to any of this??

not sure why i choose these photos - i guess they seem kind of scattered too!

p.s. as i was typing this up, a friend just called and asked me if i want to go to china with her.  wow. something new to throw into the mix!




Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Celestial Symphony

all this talk about bird song last week reminded me that back in 2002, while we were traveling the country in our motorhome, i wrote a little poem about just that topic. i included it in my first ever nomadic notebook show.   for me the really cool thing about poetry is that it has a way of transporting me right back to the exact place and time that i was when i was thinking about it and writing it.  when the heart is involved, there is such a strong emotional pull!
in this case, it was high atop mt. lemmon, outside of tucson.  it was april and there was an early heat wave happening, so we felt a little stuck up there, waiting for the temperatures to cool down a bit.  as i wandered around, with no particular agenda or responsibility, i started listening and thinking about bird song and this was the result.

 Celestial Symphony 4/12/02

Though the sweet strains of music can alter my mood,
Even set my forlorn spirit free
There’s a sound that conveys greater eloquence still –
At least this is true for me

The song of the bird with its innocent twill
Holds a true celebration of life,
A potent reminder to cherish the moment
In spite of dissension and strife

No regular rhythm or harmonic training,
No disciplined practice took place –
Yet what violin or what woodwind concerto
Possesses such pure tones of grace?

So next time the bird sings and you’re within earshot
Savor the celestial sound
Let those pure bursts of melodious rapture
Lift your soul’s feet off the ground!

(The photos are scans of negatives and the originals from the show - taken from the same trip at Roper Lake in AZ.  Not very good quality, but true originals!)

Sunday, May 9, 2010

For Dad

you might think it odd that i'm choosing to write about my dad on mother's day. the fact is, that with a may 9th birthday, he often had to share his special day with the focus on motherhood.
frankly, it kind of amazed me that i was able to get up and speak at his funeral just 3 and a half years ago. i hadn't been ready for that at my mom's service. i can still remember pretty much exactly what i said. i mentioned 3 important life lessons that i had learned, by example, from living with this man:

when you say you're going to do something, do it

when you start something, finish it

when you buy something, pay for it

(i could have added as a fourth:)

share what you have with others

 simple, yet so powerful, and so seemingly lost in much of today's culture

so today, dad, i honor you.

for your integrity

your sacrifice and service to your country

your unfailing commitment to family

your far-reaching generosity

and your relentless optimism

it all seems like pretty serious stuff, but in his later years, we had the opportunity to be entertained by stories of the mischievous escapades which typified his youth. he did live a full live and even found new love and happiness after my mom passed on.

so dad, i love you and i miss you ( no one else ever calls me doll, sugar and sweets).