Picture taken by my friend Cyndi Leos....thank you Cyndi.

Friday, February 26, 2010

February transitons...

I'm here...lots on my mind.  I have not figured out how to express it....yet. 

Is it me, or is time racing by?

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

What sucks YOU out of the sheets in the morning?

This wonderful question was asked by our Pastor, when we lived in Riverside, California.  As a congregation, we all read Rick Warren's book, THE PURPOSE DRIVEN LIFE. After I read the third chapter, I had decided my purpose was to love and connect.  Loving and connecting, make me happiest.

Lately, I have been loving from a far and not connecting much lately...could be why I feel so down and lousy lately...

The things that suck me out of the sheets in the morning are:

Anticipating going to see my family in California,

Loved ones coming to visit,

Getting together with a friend,

Being motivated to carry out a plan,

To check my email,

To write

The ocean,

A good book,

How about you?

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Oh my achin' back...

I am paying for my productivity yesterday....

Will be taking hot showers, dipping in the spa and trying some Yoga poses to relieve the pain in my mid-left back...

At least I have organization and tidiness, so relaxing and taking it easy is my only thought and focus...

More later....

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The ACTION of doing brings Calm...

After yesterdays ranting and whining, I decided today was a day for action.  I thew back the covers and began cleaning my bedroom windows. Consequently, I cleaned, sterilized, de-cluttered and organized our bedroom and bathroom.  It felt so good.  During the process of doing it, I thought and pondered...

Funny, how things start to make sense when we are in some productive form of action...

The action of doing, brings calm and keener focus...

I will eventually know the answers...just maybe not right now.

I only have to plan for what is indicated (to borrow from my friend Marylinn)Getting organized and de-cluttering will only help in any future decisions to stay or move.  With less to monopolize my time, it makes more time to create or spend time with my loved ones.

Challenging myself propels me in the direction I feel drawn to go...

I have faith I will know what is the right thing to do, when it is the right time for me to know...

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Random Confessions..."I've had it with reality,,, I need a Fairy Godmother!"

I haven't written much lately, mainly because I have been struggling with the direction of this blog, and my life. I had a suggestion from someone I greatly respect, to combine Mystical Journeys and this blog. At this particular time, with my Dad being my main focus there, I feel it needs to stand on its own. I wanted to create a forum to collaborate and share, to explore our purposes in life;  beyond Daughter, Son, Parent, Grandparent...

This morning, I had an interesting email conversation with Marylinn at  She spoke of the illusion in planning. It gives us the false sense of having control, when we really don't. She dislikes making plans.  I shared how frustrated I am with a huge question mark looming over my future and feeling like I am trapped inside a too-tight sweater, trying frantically to get it off, over my head. She agreed, but felt like planning was not a piece in her puzzle.

Marylinn needs to write, as I do, only she gets paid for it. She earns a living with her talents. She is very creative and also designs rubber stamps. She was sharing with me that she does a lot less planning, and likes the phrase, "The next indicated thing".  She has found more success in taking things as indicated and dealing with it, rather than making concrete plans.  She said often, those carefully laid out plans, did not materialize or were shot down. She adopts more of a "go with the flow" type attitude and chooses to leave herself open to new things...

I admired what she said.  Control over one's life really is an illusion. Yet, I not only plan, I must have a Plan A, B and many times, a Plan C! I can immerse myself in planning every detail of something, trying to control the course of events in my life, and in my fixated, obsessive process, use up an entire day, not getting anything else accomplished.  After all that work and planning, it often, changes, throwing me off course. The reality of life is usually about change. It reshapes, crumbles and builds, it is just the way it is...

Believing in God, I have to believe, He is in control. I wear a thin, silver ring I bought at a Bereans Book Store, that simply says, "Faith". I have faith He will show me the way...  I have never taken it off since purchasing it. On days like I have been having lately, I find myself twisting it on my finger, as if any minute, God will send me a flash of insight.  I realize, his timing is perfect, and answers will unfold on His time table, not mine...

As I have said many times in the past, I was way more organized when I had a job.  I had more responsibility both in my personal life and my working life back then.  Being retired, away from family and friends, I am becoming more and more self indulgent because I spend most of my time, alone. Writing can be a lonely profession...but such a social community.

Tammy, over at commented on my last post,  where I was admonishing myself for staying in my pajamas all day.  She told me pajamas were one of her favorite outfits and best way to spend her weekends... Her preference made me smile and I admired the fact she was so comfortable with it.  I really need to cut myself some slack.  Seems I am always searching for that, "happy medium"....

Maybe that is my problem...looking for the happy medium, is kind of like being average or mediocre...isn't it? Status Quo? I am not really looking for fame and fortune...(well, maybe the fortune part would be nice...) because as Hugh Prather so eloquently puts it, "Fame isn't really fame: it only appears that way from a distance."  I think I am seeking recognition...and a sense of accomplishment.

I believe in the simplify philosophy, but I don't practice it. I'm working on it, though. I really believe it is better to eliminate clutter and give away what I don't use.  Makes perfect sense, but then I have to sort through all this stuff, and it is so time consuming!  Maybe if I get rid of all these distractions, I can settle in and concentrate on my purpose...

I got really brave the other day, and took a box of my favorite Western outfits and donated it to the Disabled Vets.  I have not opened that box since we moved here four years ago. And that was only out of curiosity.  I kept thinking I would lose the weight to fit into the clothes again, AND that my husband would agree to learn how to country dance.  Eight years later, I think that ship has sailed!!!

Reality check time... (oh, how I hate reality checks).  Like a sign hanging in my office says, "I've had it with reality, I need a Fairy God Mother!"

I wish she would appear and twinkle her magic wand on my hand, leaving enough money to buy another house in California and still keep our home here.  Then we could go and visit and stay comfortably, for as long as we wished.  I know, everyone enjoys coming here to visit. We could have the best of both worlds!

Originally, we moved here for my husband's job, with the promise, if I did not like it after two years, we could move back.  It took me two years to get un-home sick! The reality of living here four years stirs up my emotional baggage. Guilt...I'm not used to being more than an hour from those I love.

Am I being selfish to enjoy time to explore my creativity?
Do I like it here or is this just "busy work" until my husband retires?

Out of desperation to keep myself busy and my mind occupied, apart from traveling back and forth to California; I learned to be a Hospice Volunteer, took online computer classes, art classes, and  started blogging.  I am a native Californian.  The four or five times I moved to another state, I always moved back.  Course I was a lot younger then.  Being older, the thought of packing up this house to move again, makes me want to slit my wrists!!

As you can tell, this decision is tormenting me...We came here to eventually retire, here...we chose this place for the lifestyle we wanted to live...  Lots of options... We liked the weather, we liked the ability to build a  new home for less money than it did in California. We can be as busy as we want or stay home and relax. There is lots to see and lots to do, and all close to home. My husband's job provides us an excellent opportunity to prepare for our future...(if he gets to keep his job...these days, one never knows for sure...) So much better then he was able to do in California...

Another form of "busy work" are my projects.  Organizing all my recipes, pictures, art supplies and THE GARAGE. Lately, I have been working on my de-cluttering project, and despite hating it, I am making progress. My goal was to finish by Spring. The thing is, I have to commit and finish it.  It makes sense to "lighten our load" with the economy the way it is. I cannot believe I have held on to "stuff" that was transported here in boxes and has not been opened, since our last move! Linda at and I have shared the need to clean out and simplify; among other philosophical discussions...

I feel like I am whining...Am I whining?

I think it is time for me to adopt Nike's slogan, and JUST DO IT! Just stop obsessing and get on with it....

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Just one of those days...

At least I did not stay in my pajamas all day, like I did the first two days of this week... I dressed and took Izzy for a walk...but still felt "down in the dumps".  Found myself holed up at my desk, surfin' blogs.  It was one of those days, where nothing I wrote, I liked...

Crazed and Confused...

and TENSE!
Journaling is not helping
is building...
Not even
speed walking
the dog

My mind
is whirling,
twisting and turning,
and shooting
in too many directions...

My efforts to
corral, itemize.
and analyze

Get out the pad
for the PROS and CONS...

I really need
to do

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Now, that's, a Best Friend...

Girls in My Circle

When I was little,
I used to believe in the concept of one best friend,
And then I started to become a woman.
And then I found out
If you allow your heart to open up,
God would show you the best in many friends.
One friend is needed when you're going through things with your man.
Another friend is needed when you're going through things with your parents.
Another will sit beside you in the bleachers
As you delight in your children and their activities.
Another when you want to shop, share, heal, hurt, joke, or just be.
One friend will say, 'Let's cry together,'
Another , 'Let's fight together,'
Another , 'Let's walk away together.'
One friend will meet your spiritual need,
Another your shoe fetish,
Another your love for movies,
Another will be with you in your season of confusion,
Another will be your clarifier,
Another the wind beneath your wings.
But whatever their assignment in your life,
On whatever the occasion,
On whatever the day,
Or wherever you need them to meet you
With their gym shoes on and hair pulled back,
Or to hold you back
From making a complete fool of yourself ..
Those are your best friends.
It may all be wrapped up in one woman,
But for many, it's wrapped up in several..
One from 7th grade,
One from high school,
Several from the college years,
A couple from old jobs,
On some days your mother,
On some days your neighbor,
On others, your sisters,
And on some days, your daughters.

I could not find out who wrote this, (and hope they don't mind that I personalized a few words) but it sure resonates with me. It is one poem I find myself sharing with girlfriends, or they send it to me in an email.  I am sure most of you have seen it...but maybe, you might enjoy reading it again... Just to take some time to remember all the  special women friends in our lives...

When I think of my friends, I feel so very Blessed.  Friends who have been there with me through triumphs and tragedies. Friends I have known since I was ten. The memories, the shared experiences. Friends who were mentors and a few who always got us into some kind of delicious trouble. The kind you laugh so hard with, you both wet your pants and then laugh even harder!  

When I think of my best friend Pat, I remember when my boyfriend at the time broke up with me over the phone. He told me to go down to his beach house and "clear out my stuff ". She drove me down there and helped me.  I could tell he had another woman, you know, the way the bed was made differently, how things were arranged, different food in the fridge...the telltale signs of another woman claiming your man as her's.

She offered to trash the place with me if that is what I needed to do...she patiently comforted me, when I sat on the bed and sobbed.  She listened as I rehashed and analyzed his "kiss off", "chicken sh-t", break up dialogue. She understood as I cursed, spat on his carpet, dunked his toothbrush in the toilet and wished him to the Devil. She loaded most of my stuff, into her car, herself. She treated me to lunch and then convinced me to lay by the ocean to soak up the sun, until she literally had to help me back to the car...

Then there was the time I had answered a singles ad, from a man who described himself as if he was a car.  The ad showed great wit, but he lived out in the middle of no where.  I wanted her to come with me in case he tried to murder me, I would not die alone.  She even drove.  We arrived to find a tall, mustachioed, haggard  looking man with a small son and daughter.  The way the children latched on to each of our legs at the opening of the door; it was obvious, he needed more than a babysitter...

In between reading the kids stories and playing dolls, she shot me incredulous looks as to her disbelief that I was actually inquiring about him! The house was a disaster, he was clearly overwhelmed and desperate. After our conversation, I knew, he had someone else write the ad for him.

When were able to tear ourselves away, on the pretense of an interview with a man for Pat, we ran to the car like our pants were on fire!  Laughing hysterically to the point of tears.  She fish tailed the car on the gravel road leading out of the woods from his house, as she gasped, "Here's another fine mess you've gotten us into!"

Now, that's, a Best Friend...

My friends are part of who I am.  Friends who would go the extra mile and then some. Behind me 100% for whatever cause I had become involved. Friends who were there for matter what. Friends willing to share whatever they have and valued my dreams and aspirations, as important as their own.
I have met some wonderfully, funny, supportive women on the Blogosphere. Women who bravely and honestly share their life stories, or brighten my day with their humor.  Professional writers, artists and designers who generously share their wealth of experience and knowledge...

I met my first blog friend tonight. I enjoyed a two hour dinner at PF Changs with Linda from .  What a pleasure it was to spend time talking and getting to know more about one another...

I look forward to hopefully meeting more of you talented and fun ladies...

What about you?  What kind of precious memories do you have with your best friends?

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Women Who Run With The Wolves...

One of my most favorite books, WOMEN WHO RUN WITH THE WOLVES, is very special to me.  It came into my hands at a pivotal point in my life, when I set out on my own to raise my two daughters. Its one of those books, that is so good, you never want it to end. I cherish it, not only for the jewels of woman wisdom, or the beautiful way she creates each sentence, but the amazing way Clarissa Pinkola Estes, Ph.D weaves her words in sharing her stories. Like Mother Earth, gathering women who seek to explore the female psyche. She invited me to realize my inner guide and personal power.  She made me proud to be a woman...

I was drawn to the book, my the title. Images came to my mind in quick, psychic flashes. The hair rose on the back of my neck.  My instincts knew there were answers here... I picked up the book and read the first paragraph, inside the book jacket...

" Within every woman there is a wild and natural creature, a powerful force, filled with good instincts, passionate creativity, and ageless knowing.  Her name is Wild Woman, but she is an endangered species.  Though the gifts of wildish nature come to us at birth, society's attempt to "civilize" us into rigid roles has plundered this treasure, and muffled the deep life-giving messages of our own souls.  Without Wild Woman, we become over-domesticated, fearful, uncreative, trapped."

Her words made me feel like years of locked doors were opening...

I value books.  Often when I sense I am at a personal or creative crossroads, I seek out inspiration and motivations from their pages. I trust the wisdom of the woman before me to assist me, guide me, often, catapulting me into another level of set me on the right path...

Clarissa Estes is a Jungian analyst and cantadora (keeper of old stories) storyteller. She uses these stories, chosen over twenty years of research, to revitalize women, in helping them find the voices of their souls...

Opening the book, I sensed something important about to happen, as my fingers skimmed over the I read...

"A starved soul can become so filled with pain, a woman can no longer bear it.  Because women have a soul-need to express themselves in their own soulful ways, they must develop and blossom in ways that are sensible to them and without molestation from others.  In this sense, the key with blood could be said to also represent a woman's bloodlines that have gone before her.  Who among us does not know at least one female loved-one who lost her instincts to make good choices for herself, and was forced therefore to live a marginal life or worse?  Perhaps you yourself are that woman."

Those words reached off the page and grabbed me, shook me.  I had been struggling in a verbally and emotionally abusive marriage.  Our two little girls would often cry from his angry outbursts. It was truly the lowest point in my life.  I knew the marriage was over...

I felt I had lost myself.  After the first year, I knew it was a mistake, but by then, I was 3 months pregnant with our first child.  At first, I did not want to leave because of the children.  Later, I could not stay for the sake of them. I did not want my daughters to think it was acceptable, for a man to treat a woman, the way he treated me.

Her words validated my decision to leave my marriage, even if I was the first in my family to do so.  Her words assured me, I  already had everything I needed, to make a life on my own. 

Consciously and unconsciously, her book spurred me on, making me realize I was building something durable, strong and long lasting, from a broken family...something clicked, and I got it. I worked hard and squeezed every penny out of the word,  frugal. I refused to allow lousy jobs define me.  I vowed to be positive and not allow it to bring me down. I had struggled to keep our heads above the financial waters, often working two jobs.   All my power and energy were generated by the love for my daughters. Despite my counselor's advice, to do it first for me, my girls were my only focus.  I was determined to be the best Mother I could be and teach them all I had learned.

At night, I would pray, journal and read.  It kept me steadfast. I did some painting.  Filling my soul and spirit were as important as saving money to buy us a home.  Another book, SIMPLE ABUNDANCE: A Daybook of Comfort and Joy by Sarah Ban Breathnach, helped me reach a determined focus to find that home.

In the next twelve years, I had secured a good paying job with benefits, bought a house, and watched with pride as both my daughters graduated from High School.  I stopped thinking I could not get what I wanted by being alone.

It took me all those years after my divorce to achieve my goal of independence and self reliance. I had learned, the time it takes to reach a goal, no matter how long, is worth it. Time passes anyway. I would still end up fifty-two years old, regardless... so why not achieve my goals?

Nothing compares to challenging yourself and reaching a goal.  Nothing is sweeter than that...and it was a sweet day, when the girls and I moved into our home.  A home, I bought on my own, with money I earned. It was a moment in my life, when I savored all we had conquered together.  I knew I was strong, but this was powerful for me. I was thankful and knew I had changed my life forever...

How about you?  What tools and challenges helped guide you into a more fulfilling life?