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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Home for the holidays

It was a very busy Thanksgiving but it was the fun kind of working and traveling, We were treated to a delightful dinner at my Aunt Sonja ad Uncle Dan's home, It's the same place of my grandparents. Visiting them was like stepping back in time but also seeing how good everything is going towards the future! I love their grown kids and now the youngest in college the others are married with sweet spouses, I adore their closeness and true friendships...I see in them a family growing and embracing each other. Having thanksgiving was cozy with all the yummy good foods, with their kindness. We sat at a long table through out the whole family/dinning room. The fall decor was so classy,(I loved it of course) the conversations were delightful and the activities of dishing up were clever in our seating. My sister was able to serve her 3 small kids while siting close to our mother. We were all very happy to see Mom and make sure she was comfortable. My four brothers all wore nice green dress shirts and it reminded me of how much they have all grown up over this tragic summer. My husband enjoyed all the conversations so much that he didn't want to race off, I liked seeing this peacefulness in my family gathering. Mom is doing so good in all of her therapies and she walks with support more regularly. The moment she saw me as I bent down into her lap from her chair, was that she said "Where have YOU been...we are suppose to go shopping!" I smiled very knowingly for she likes to get out and about. It is something just simple like taking a drive in the car that brings a smile to her sweet face....So tomorrow I go out to the Farm again, I go to take her shopping and see all her happiness as she will relax in her wheel chair out and about in the world around her! 
I am so thankful for her brother, my Uncle Dan and his wife my Aunt Sonja for hosting this year's thanksgiving! It was truly all so very beautiful!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The Banana Chair

It really seems like it is taking me FOREVER to shop for furniture and clearly in our new home, (new since the first of July which will show that it actually IS taking me forever to buy or find the kind of furniture I need. Luckily I am getting there slowly) When we got rid of our very worn out couch from our condo husband bought a banana chair in pure excitement from his memories of playing video games from the fun of a Banana chair. I ended up being the only one able to bounce up and down on it as He realized once he sat down he didn't want to try and get back up. Funny how our memories of childhood forget to explain our adult bodies can't quite keep up! It is a fun chair I have enjoyed it so very much but getting my dog Oscar around the chair is impossible since it rolls on it's own he freaks out thinking the chair is alive! It is hilarious to watch him walk around the chair suspiciously then he runs in place startled by it's moving! While I dog sat Edison my father-in-law's dog, the banana chair became Eddie's favorite place to sit or sleep in. He will get up in the curve of the seat slowly then lays down quickly as the chair gets to swing. Soon the chair is still and the dog is napping perfectly. I was VERY impressed by how clever and smart Eddie was with the chair. My dog Oscar watched every move Edison made, then he ventured closer to Banana chair again not sure to trust the moving chair. A few nights later Edison had gone home and I was reading when I caught a glimpse of Oscar sneaking up on the empty Banana chair, he suddenly jumped up into the seat only to get tossed out by the swinging chair then he raced away whimpering like the chair was going to bite him and I laughed so hard that tears rolled down my cheeks! For the last few nights he had been thinking to himself "Well, if Eddie sleeps there then surely I CAN TOO" Hahahahahahaha I have such a Drama Queen dog! 

Monday, November 28, 2011

The magical moment!

It is possible to spend 4 hours at the Festival of Trees, I did it without  any second thought! I saw every detail, read every card about who decorated and who donated these beautiful trees, wreaths and decor. I walked along with my pumpkin pie latte watching each performance of the music box dancers. I felt excitement and nostalgia. And most importantly I talked along with my Grandma Norma in my mind, she would have loved this event! She would have loved to walk along side me explaining her new ideas in decorating. For NO ONE knew how to decorate for Christmas like she did! I enjoyed my water glass as I watched the kids play in Santa's corner, getting pictures taken and doing hand made crafts. I liked watching the high school dancers and the random performances on the main stage. It was fun to walk through the Christmas gift shop or sit on a bench to people watch. I talked to many different people but my Grandma remain in my heart and mind through out the whole time.....It's true that every Christmas eve I miss her, I wonder if she can see me now from up on a cozy cloud. My husband says I have her same Holiday spark and need to decorate....I am sure she gave it to me. Then I walked around the big huge tree on the Boise grove, surrounded by lit candles and everyone singing I felt this was the magical moment to begin the Christmas celebration, for I love the colors, the lights and the wonder of it all!

"Grandma, look at this place! WOW we are going to have fun walking around here...." I stood a moment at the open doors of all the displays in Christmas wonders. I could picture her giggles as she stood next me with her own sparkling Christmas jewelry on, along with her salt and peppered curly short hair styled so nicely. She would probably have a strong perfume scent on her soft nice sweater. I stood there knowing that if she was here right now this would a wonderful time, she would say "Oooooh Pretty...." then giggle again with her nose and eyes squeezed together happily.
"Merry Christmas Grandma." my heart was with her among the twinkling lights!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

For this I love

I have been thinking about all the different kinds of love out in the world, How do we give love to those around us who do not act like they care or are interested? I will always love first ask questions why do they not see this world FULL of Love? It can be describe as God's Love, The world's Love or your own personal love from the inside out......LOVE is the answer to anyone of us living right now to keep it alive in our hearts. Are you sad? are loved. Are you angry? well... you are loved. Are you mad? well... you are loved! In all things when you are loved and know it, then any of these emotions can not dominate you for very long. LOVE is our saving grace, I am loved and knowing this is wonderful, but most importantly I love who I am and how I can love the lives around me! I learned as a small child that even if people don't like or love me, then I can still love myself... and in sharing that love I have from the inside out makes me happy to be alive again! How beautiful is this world FULL of love in every level?!? My sweet pets love me and help me to laugh when I am sad....How amazing it is, this love we can share everywhere with everything!

Oscar and Sidda simply love.....without doubts or rules. I have learned so much from them <3

Saturday, November 26, 2011

3 AM

It was only 5 minuets away not really enough time to warm up my car, but I didn't care the mall was going to be warm. My gloves helped me drive and park safely but my eyes were heavy. I met my supervisor Sophia with the same sleepiness, She was one of my favorite people to work with. She knew her Starbucks standards and worked hard at keeping the flow of the store going. Working in the Mall is like working a fast express lane at a grocery store where no one can stand in line long or the place gets to crowded or everything becomes a mess. It was 3am as we began to setup for Black Friday, I was brewing full batches of drip coffee knowing the one thing I hated the most was being out of brewed. It happens to be the easiest drink to pour and hand off so waiting 5 minuets for fresh brewing just makes unhappy customers and I usually give it out free for the wait. When I looked out over the silent dark mall through all the open windows of the coffee shop, I wondered how crazy will it get today? Then I heard Brecca's voice at the gate say loudly "Well, This Day is STUPID." I laughed letting her in and drinking down my cup of brewed quickly, if I can get the coffee in my veins I will be on top of my job. Brecca and Sophia were friends outside of work so they hugged each other then raced around to setup and I loved working with those girls, Sophia has dark long hair with rich skin and dark eyes, she was always nice even if she got fluster or overwhelmed. Brecca always wore the cutest scarfs and clothes, with her fun jewelry and fire red hair she was animated in sharing her stories. We often help each other with our projects, it was easy to be chatting away while getting everything done together. I remember how Brecca would raised her hand up in the air asking "Who else thinks this is such a stupid day?" I would reply across the store with my hand held high while replying back "I would pay the extra 50 bucks to sleep in and avoid all crazy crowds." We had this exciting new energy after a few shots of espresso mixed in with gooey Carmel, Brecca was setuping the shots while explaining to us how ridiculous Black Friday is for our society and then the three of us would stop to cheers with our fixed espresso shots tasting that sweet hot sharp coffee. After that we would raced around to get everything ready for the extremely early morning opening. That morning there was a loud scream out in the dark empty not open yet mall, We watched in wonder as suddenly 30 teenagers ran across the mall to our opening gate, these screaming teenagers were coming towards us like in a war charge,  I grabbed onto the register watching them coming as Brecca lean over from behind the espresso machine saying "Oh my god! there are stupid people on this stupid day! ...Here we go..." I threw my head back in a loud laugh and nodded. This was truly all so stupid. Black Friday brings out the craziness like I have never seen it before! I took a deep breath as I greeted the first customer, thinking to myself "Okay so HERE we GO!"

Friday, November 25, 2011

Black Friday

Today I have been simply lazy, I drank a whole french press on my own and listened to the radio share about 
"Black Friday".
There is ALL kinds of crazy braking free on this best shopping night of the whole year.....It makes for the best radio drama and stories too! Be careful, always be very careful out there shopping....for it's not as harmless as it may seem! This afternoon I drove towards the mall only to get stuck in traffic when a good friend called me on my cell phone warning not to go any where NEAR the mall, I felt really stupid OF COURSE I knew this....somehow I thought since the sales started at midnight everyone would be done shopping and I could run a few errands, HA! Ooops the roads told another story of such big crowds and traffic jams! When I quickly took a detour I was able to get out of the whole mess, then I saw miles of cars all around is something to behold! And every year on this day I still think to myself "That is amazing! I have never seen so many cars at the mall like that!" AND every year I happily go home and tuck myself away with baileys and coffee.
BE SAFE on Black Friday Everyone!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

Every year on the night before Thanksgiving my husband and I watched the ever funny dynamic duo of Steve Martin and John Candy. Because in this famous classic movie "Planes, Trains and Automobiles" they make us laugh and cry, as we can completely relate! We watch this movie EVERY year, yet we laugh like we have never seen it! We also quote lines back and forth then laugh all the more! John Candy makes some of the funniest faces that no words are even necessary as I am dying with laughter! I also love how Steve Martin can give a glare or look that is easily uncomfortable. (It's rather odd there are not very many movies centered around Thanksgiving) This movie "Planes, Trains and Automobiles" brings us right into the heart of being Thankful. Like in this story how these grown men become friends in only a couple of crazy days, they prove that opposite personalities can still teach each other a thing or two. I hope we ALL know when to include new friends and how to always remember what is important, especially in how to be grateful for each other.....

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thankfulness makes an easy List

It is easy for me to write lists on things to do, books to read and foods to purchase. I think for Thanksgiving the best part of this holiday is making the Thankfulness list....LIFE moves forward all the time and can get very busy if not very distracting. So when we stop to relax with family and friends, when we eat foods that we love and enjoy on turkey day, the most important list we can write reminds us how to be thankful. There are many fun ways to do this list, it is actually the easiest list you will ever write! Being thankful, being aware and grateful is a great way to welcome in the holiday season and the new year. Make your list right now before the day gets in the way, simply give thanks for who you are and all you have! I am thankful for you the reader, I am Thankful for this blog in that I can share and write of all the love that surrounds me!
Give thanks my own list;
I am thankful for......
my warm cozy home
my sweet loving husband
my supportive in-laws
my extended family
my good friends
my nice nieghbors
my cuddling pets
my fun backyard
my trustworthy car
my endless hobbies
my writing
my song birds in this morning feeder outside
my colorful clothes
my books waiting for me to just read every night soon...
my new cooking skills
my healthy expanding education on nutrition
my desire to garden
my desire to simply live life in love 

I am also thankful for all the seasons, the ever changing weather and the sun. I am thankful for the ability to dance under the sparkling stars and to sing along with music!
I am thankful for each day no matter what it brings.....

Last but not least.... I am thankful for my mother, that she is here with all of us in her wheel chair full of spunk and beauty!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The New Cook!

I love homemaking! I love my cozy living room with lit candles and fresh flowers...I like to keep a spotless kitchen even when I am cooking...or I should say struggling to do these dishes correctly. Cooking takes a skill I don't possess BUT I am trying, I am learning to cook with the timing and patience that is needed for yummy cozy comforts foods! 
Soooooooo TODAY I am the new cook as I woke up excitedly ready for Thanksgiving this Thursday! I made ham hock slowing cooking collard greens with chopped bacon, Pumpkin soup with ginger, I made a Brussels sprout Cole slaw! (the slaw has crunchy bacon too)
What would I do without BACON!?!? Can't imagine it!
I baked salmon and more bacon, simply for lunch.....I am getting into such a groove today of cooking that I am excited to do this all over again tomorrow! I need a cooked apple dish and cream spinach salad for Thanksgiving night! 
THIS IS THE BEST TIME OF THE YEAR for people like ME who are true FOODIES!!!
(I will also be baking 2 fruit pies and pumpkin muffins for my momma, as we will swing out to the farm to see her with the rest of my family) My life is improving with my desire to cook and NOT just stick to baking like I am use to....I am feeling healthy and excited to eat these fun holiday dishes with no limits! (It is about eating right all the rest of the year so that on Turkey day and Christmas you can indulge into the wonderful world of sugary, floury foods....Although I will be careful now that I know my body thinks of those things to be poisonous!   Hahaha Go Paleo People!)
How wonderful, how perfect to fill my home up with aromas of the holidays in these next few days! I am proud to say that I am NOT a horrible cook like I use to be...instead the radio plays as I ZEN out over the stove happy to be alive!  I am thankful for so much!

Happy Cooking this week EVERYONE!

Monday, November 21, 2011

The Holidays are coming....

It was amazingly fun to spend the afternoon with my boss from the Fair, She is the happy hippy friend that makes the fair job completely awesome! We have been hanging out even after this Fair season, she took me into the setup of  "Festival of Trees"! Nothing gets my heart warm and excited like seeing the Festival and all the magical lights of the holidays! I am going be like a kid in the candy store again! What amazing trees, what clever ideas and what holiday spirit is about to happen! I have enjoyed these festivals over the years but I have a deep sense that in THIS year it will be the BEST! I appreciate my life as I sense these changing times, I adore this cozy cold weather and see wonder in EVERYTHING! So This year when I go to the festival I will LOVE, love, love, love it all even more! I am thankful for the freedoms I have to be myself, and for the magic I am surrounded by! The true glory is knowing that the holidays are coming!!!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Here Comes the Sun.....

"Here comes the sun, Here comes the sun I say it's ALRIGHT...."

This past Friday I came home to such dark rain and snow falling all around my big beautiful back yard. Suddenly I began to cry, (I do this quite a bit right now for there are so many sad things on my mind...) My best friend's father is dying from cancer, a good friend of mine has cancer battles of her own......and of course my mother is in her own recovery time. Along with my own high strong and stressed out family members while dealing with all these new things in my mother...I can't help but worry about them so much. I have a close cousin in and out the hospital too. My list of things filling up my heart is long and so I simply can't hold back my tears anymore! It is a new raw pain in my soul that I want to help but I can't, the only thing is to let my tears fall and offer a hug. I guess I know that when we are sad we shouldn't hold it back, we need to clean out our soul and mind with these tears. When we live in moments of  love or laughter we need to embrace those fully! It helps to be a balanced person when the world goes slanting around us, So I came home from the park with my dogs as the sun came out of the dark gray clouds.....I saw the most amazingly beautiful sky! I ran out into my fenced in yard dancing as the rain was still falling! The sun light was warm and full shinning through the rain drops, I looked up to a clear blue sky I wonder where these rain drops came from it was all so magical! The dogs watched me from our covered patio, THEY were not gong to get wet. I caught my breath suddenly I was actually IN a rainbow in my own yard.......the words to describe this can't do it justice! I was given a gift in this moment of my life. I knew it as my tears rolled with the rain and my smile faced the wide open sky, I always wanted be a rainbow and now suddenly I was! Suddenly I was laughing happily and truly thankful for such wonder!

"Here comes the sun, Here comes the sun I say it's ALRIGHT...."

Saturday, November 19, 2011

The Tree of Life

Father, Mother, always you wrestle inside me, always you will.

I loved this movie for so many reasons! One was the inspirational images, and the message of  how we can choose to live our lives with grace, or with such anger. Also in how we can easily hurt or protect each other. For quickly we all grow up, and we carrying the things our parents say or do along side ourselves, we can end up in a deep struggle because of this. I loved how in this film the connections to the energy of earth, of the ocean and even the sand shows images of what is happening as we live, how this energy is connecting all of us! This movie captured the personalities of my parents, I was amazed by that! Their struggles of fear when they wanted respect. The simple moments at home or the angry words spiting out suddenly. Most importantly the wonder of love when no one knew what that actually was......I related to the kids not fitting in nor ever wanting to go home. I have lived through the same craziness at the dinner table, seen my mother smile then fall into tears and I know this kind of anger, this kind of fear in manipulation....How many times did I hear my parents ask me if I loved them or told me how I SHOULD love them????
 AND I do, I always will. 
BUT love isn't following in step, in line with the rules or expectations. Their love is full of guarded behavior, of being a certain way and showing respect towards that list of rules. In this movie its shows how Love is apart of grace, with compassion reaching beyond the human failures. That is why I admire this story so much, I carry the weird story reminding me I am not alone in how I was raised. It's flashes of time, of history of family growing up and the world moving at the same time. It's a very powerful film that needs you full attention while watching. I couldn't get enough of the nature scenes with matching music, I could cry enough tears when the child finally hugs his brother. I wonder at it all....How does the sun burn and move? What is it that we are looking at under the water? How could we miss so many little things happening ALL around us at the same time we live our busy schedules? Who are we as humans to display our ego or sense of self when we are all apart of the same unknown connections? Are we here to simply smile at each other, to hold the world in our arms when we can? or learn to live in grace? Is it so important after all what our Mother and Father did to us or say about us? Will we believe them or brake free from such things? God doesn't begin or end in the pages of a book, no human is perfect and not everyone can catch a butterfly by the hand but when you do....when you see the world's beauty from it's wings you will know that love will always win....Life will always cycle us through and what we do with that time is up to us.....
Nothing last forever, Only our souls, they never stops moving on......

(The coast line scene in the movie made me smile through all the powerful tears I held.)

Friday, November 18, 2011

The Shop-a-holic

It is amazing to me how I look forward to shopping when I can take my mother with me. If you had asked me a year ago I would have said I hate shopping like that, all day long with my mom in and out of sale racks....but now I find it peaceful. I push her wheel chair through the mall with such easy calm happiness. Thinking to myself "Wow this is actually FUN and i am happy she can do these things again!" I grew up with a Shop-a-Holic mother. I have very clear memories of K-mart with blue light special going off and my mom pushing her cart with me sitting inside racing towards that light! How we shopped all day long, craft stores, fabric stores and that Shopko's grand opening of chaos....In fact my mother LOVED grand openings of new stores she went with such energy even with 3 small kids at the time. As I grew up with other homeschooling families we all went shopping together, places like Can food Warehouse, Fred Meyers or Costco. It took me a long time to realize there was far more to do with our time in our days that didn't include shopping. I would save my money for trips to spend while shopping with cousins, Aunts and grandparents. I used to think no one could out shop my Grandma Norma, she LOVED that world of sparkling things and new clothes, then one day my mother proved me wrong that woman wasn't going to stop until I said "I am DONE, I can't shop anymore I need a coffee and I need to sit down!" She looked at me surprised in her reply "When I was your age I could shop from 8am to 10pm with only a cherry coke...You're to young to want to stop NOW." I would sigh shaking my head, I didn't get it this crazy shopping passion. Sitting in a coffee shop in the mall with Christmas decor all around was far more enjoyable to me then seeing a 70% off sale sign.....When Mom would sit with me as I took a brake I could see she was awkward in this calm moment. She was loosing minuets of shopping of scoring that great deal out there. My Mother had a hobby it was being a shop-a-holic, that excitement and high from buying something was her outlet from homemaking and being a mother. I remember one night a couple of years ago in the Boise mall my mother and I were sharing a Cinnamon roll as I also drank my coffee, My back hurt, my feet hurt and my head hurt from having arrived there close to 10am that day now it was almost 9pm....."Mom I can't shop anymore it's late the mall will close soon anyway I need to get home...." Mom sighed sadly with her fork in hand as she replied "I miss my mom and sisters in those good old days when we wouldn't stop shopping until we had seen every store....some times getting home at 11pm even." She chuckled at her memories. I thought to myself in the moment I would have NEVER survived it! I would wonder why mom wasn't wanting to go home, why she was acting panicked while shopping like her life was passing her a great deal was being missed out there. That night in the mall with just the 2 of us visiting and as my mother shared how she misses shopping like those good old days. I knew I would never get it, never be apart of that kind of passion.....Give me a quiet book store or the park then I will share with you my joy in those places. Maybe because my childhood was spent swinging on clothes racks or sitting on the dirty floor of a dressing room, 
I simply don't like shopping in the same way my mother does. Now after her stroke shopping is the one place that makes her feel normal again...I will push her wheel chair happily for her to have that connection to her old self again with no complaint:-)

"Debby! what ARE you doing?" My mother exclaimed at me inside the shinny Kohls store. This was just this past spring, I had drove across town to meet up with her while she was shopping with coupons for her favorite store Kohls. I stopped walking holding the clothes I was going to try on looking at my mom with a questioning look "What?" I asked. Her eyes were huge as she looked over my clothes, "These aren't on sale, they are the new spring line up!?!" I chuckled realizing I didn't waste any time finding what I needed or liked. "Well it IS spring right now so I want to wear the right clothes for the season...." Mom sighed shaking her head at me "You will be paying full price then! Come look at these sales racks..." I thought to myself how I had been here 45 minutes already my time limit was running out. I liked getting in to get the things on my list as easy as that first rack of clothing. Even at full price Kohls isn't expensive, so I wasn't worried. My mother watched over me worriedly like I had gone crazy, I tried not get annoyed by all the clutter on the sale racks but it wasn't easy, when that rainy day broke out into sun light I knew I had to get outside instantly! I give shopping a couple of hours of my time but not at the cost of the sun light or fresh air! My Mom said "You use to like shopping when you were a kid, even when you were a teenager you use to beg to go to the mall....Oh those were the good old days." I smiled thoughtfully at my mother and nodded she continued "If I lived where YOU do I would shop every single day and get some really good deals! It's not that far for you to drive like it is for me" I replied "I have everything I need....what I can't get enough of is the outside world those beautiful long walks in the park are the real deal." My mother chuckled rolling her eyes and sat with me for a moment longer at the coffee shop.....

Thursday, November 17, 2011

The Work-a-holic

I was glad to walk out of the hospital with one of my father's co-workers, She was very friendly and out going. While we rode down the elevators. She shared "Your father is one of the hardest working men I have ever known. He comes to the job sight at all hours of the day and stays until the job is done." I smiled warmly at this woman that I admired. I looked forward to seeing her visit the hospital because she took Dad away to talk work stuff. He always came back looking relaxed and less worried. When it comes to my father his peace of mind is within the walls of his job. There is nothing else that can give him that confidence and comfort. I understand this, I have ALWAYS understood this about my father. I was 20 years old when I learned about the term "Work-a-holic". I had thought back then that truly my father will never retired for working is in his blood. I walked giving this lady a big hug and thanking her for her insight to my father. She wiped the tears from her eyes as she said "He is a really thoughtful man, he will do anything for the client, the customer. He makes sure they are taken care of first and no matter what! I think that says so much about how kind he is, it is easy to know where you stand with him too. But I really wanted to let you know what he is like in his job." I replied "Thank you so much for sharing, it means a lot to me know he is like that. All of this here at the hospital and all of this with his family is what is hard on him, for he can't control a single thing... so it's good you are here and he has his job to help him out." I drove home sadly realizing that being working hard wasn't even on my list of qualities that make a good person. I think I come from a different generation whose parents were hard working and simply gone from our lives. At what cost does money come into our lives? At what lost do we think we win with money? I don't think we should all be lazy, what I am saying there is a balancing act. Give work a place but never loose out on your relationships. My father has been a work-a-holic my whole life, if I left it unguarded in my own self I would be one too! For nothing is as peaceful or comforting as being in your job, things you know and can do away from dealing with family members, emotions or childhood memories. You feel free while working with a sense of being important and being needed by your job. I can relate with my father and understand this.....
Suddenly one day you get that phone call that brings you to your knees........Then you look around realizing the years have gone and your children have grown up, they don't even know you,  all the while you were just at work?

My sister smiled at me when I asked where Dad was, once I reach the hospital wing that our mother was in. She replied "He is in a meeting with his he will be in a good mood when he comes back, it's so great for him to get back to work again and still be here for Mom." I nodded thinking that my father must have a really nice boss willing to meet with him in the hospital waiting room. I thought about how maybe being a work-a-holic is in it's self really good therapy for my father. I sometimes wish life was that simple, like punching in and out on a time card, for it gets to be so overwhelming with all these connections to everything and everyone all the time, going to a job is the actually easiest part of life.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


It is definitely hard for me to see anyone suffer or struggle. It has been a very stressful roller coaster life with my mother after her stroke, after this whole life changing event. I know that I need to give everything, everyone time, like a few years to calm down actually. As well as encouragement to embrace life, love and hope for each day to come! I have been carrying around with me something my Uncle Matt said, "We speak life or death." I personally loved that he shared that along with his wife my Aunt Karen. They comforted me so much with those words. I have been carrying that saying with me as such a hopeful outlook, Now he said this was in the bible and I am not going to check in my bible for proof of that saying....I simply love it for the truth I know it is, simply from my own life experience. I do take these ideas, these sayings and faiths within my own honesty. I want to learn from it all, I want to have faith, hope and love in my life and in my spirit. I just seek these things outside of my childhood Christianity, I can live without belonging to a system or group. And most importantly I can say I know in my heart  that we DO speak LIFE or DEATH by the click of our tongues. THIS I believe..... 

The dark hospital room felt sad to me as I walked in to sit next to my sleeping Momma, Her last head surgery had been done the day before and now she whispered slowly "Where have you been?" Tears filled my eyes and smiled big up close to her, I always wanted her to see me smile big and bravely no matter how afraid I was inside, no matter what was going on around us....she needed only to know I believed in her life force and in her safety. She smiled when I replied that I had been getting ready for my dogs to come home again. Mom whispered her usual request "I want a cheeseburger." I glanced up at my father with a chuckle replying "Well, maybe in a couple more weeks I will bring you from my fair job...That would be.." My father interrupted me with his arms flying and his eyes on fire! For once again I spoke out of line as my father made it his responsibility to always correct me. I held my breath watching him as it was so often in his crazy need to control everything, I would feel an overwhelming relief inside of me that this man IS NOT IN CHARGE of me anymore! I still wanted to be respectful but what he wanted was for me to be walking behind him in silence, doing what I am told...AND thank God that wasn't my life anymore! He usually got under my skin when he did these kind of actions, because he seemed to forget that I am a grown woman. So I just waited as Dad waved his arms, snapped his fingers and demanded that I shut up with his crazy eyes glare. He was already angrily pacing the floor around my mom and me this whole time, now I had accidentally spoke out of line. I often told myself he doesn't intimated me anymore, but he sure as hell was trying! He leaned in towards me full of alarmed whispering in warning "You can't make promises like that!" I had thought about how many weeks would it take for my mother to get her cheese burger, for liquid food isn't the long term answer. He continued "She may NEVER eat real food again!" He was mad at me, I wasn't sure really why. I was really surprised by this news then I was annoyed, these doctors are making assumptions. I also knew that people who live on liquid food don't live long in the end. I lifted my chin at him in reply trying not to get mad for I didn't want to fight again with him "I won't expect that. I refuse to even think like that!" My father threw his hands up in the air like talking to me was hopeless I said "Did the doctors even ask Mom what she wants to do about food? Because she will want to actually eat again...." I always wanted to include my mother in the conversation when it was about her, from her bed she drifted in and out of sleep while My father walked out of the room, he was still frustrated. I smiled through my fear of now all of the "what if's" rolling around in my head. I sat looking back at my sleepy mother in her hospital bed, I whispered over her "Let there be life, Let there be sun shine in this dark dark room and one day soon you will eat again....for this I believe." I listened to the soft breathing of my sleeping mother and the beeping machine. I sat there realizing my father won't let me help him, he may never see me for anyone else but his own kid who shouldn't be smarter then him. Suddenly at that moment I realized he needs a friend or a helping hand in this time in his life but it's not me. and I can step aside, get out of the way for him. Now I am not going make excuses for him, just because I want to think he is a lot more like me then he lets on....He is really his own person, with his own history. Even though I am struggling with wanting to have a happy ending or new beginning with him from all of this. I have to let it be what it is, for we both can choose to speak Life or death at each other. With all of the reasoning in the universe we are facing each other with things still to learn....

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


It is going to be an adjusting period, maybe months, maybe years for me to get use to these changes in my life with my mother now after her stroke. I have been trying to process everything in the best way but I simply just brake down and cry in random moments in my day with her always on my mind. I have days of clarity and hope, then I have a day of such helpless overwhelming sadness. I can't imagine how my mother feels day to day as well! This is the hardest for her as she has always been able to care for everyone else in her life. Now everything is different, If I keep the focus on this grace and compassion then my mother in any moment she shares I love on her more but I have to have that same out look for the rest of my family when we get mad at each other or challenge each situation. For this is ALL so new to EVERYONE, we are all learning together. I hope I can heal more then brake down, I hope I can fix more then fight, I hope I figure out what I can help to do. This is adjusting and I hope I can, In fact I will seek out caring a New hope with me when I start to get worried or sad. My mother said she is really glad to be home, she just wants to get back to doing the things like she use to. I advised her that is why she is working so hard in her therapies to get back to that kind of independence again. I need to give myself time to heal, knowing if I am strong she can be too! When I hit up against my father or sister because I am so different from them, because I challenge them even if I wasn't trying to....when my brothers chew me out or go crazy on me I need to step back from the scene I am not helping by being there. Not until we all go through this adjustment, and give each other the respectful space each of us need. I will always love first then ask questions later. When I take things personal I honestly feel like I am going to go crazy, I need to remember this such a big change for everyone not just my mother. I am going to give peace my main focus, I hope to let everyone react the way they will as we adjust with peaceful freedom. If I can figure out how to get such peace inside my own soul, then I won't have this personal battle over the help I want to give! I have lived my life with the idea that hug heals everything and the more open, the more honest and real I am the safer people around me will feel. Perhaps with some people it does work, but it is good for me to learn other ways to live, to adjust.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Give Thanks

This weekend has been good for me to reflect on how I worry and how I feel about my family. I was out on my childhood farm this past Friday, all day caring for and loving on my mother. She has been living back home from the hospital almost a month now. I had been waiting upon seeing her when things calmed down and settled into a routine for her. My Father is doing it all, for he has never been one to ask for outside help easily. I have waited for a call if he need my help, but my kind of helpfulness is annoying to him. So in his control and with all of his rules he can stay more organized then to have me pop over all the time getting mom out of routine, while my sister luckily lives only a few minuets away, she helps out everyday and I think that is really wonderful! When I have called my mom to check in with her the noise of her grand kids and her teen aged sons fill the whole background up. I am glad my mother has so many people around her, and she will always be watched over. I had woke up excited to see my mother last Friday morning, the long drive over was beautiful with fall crisp cold air with a pink sky as I drank my coffee down. Once arriving at the cottage on the old farm I greeted my mother "Hey Beautiful!" as she rested on the couch with her white curly hair and big bright blue eyes she saw me n reply "DEBBY! help me up, let's walk over to the Kitchen right now." ...and we did! I was encouraging Mom as she walked like she wanted to really run that I needed to keep up with her for she is so quick with her good foot. I support at all times her left side and never let go of her. When it comes impulsiveness she really does go for it. Her sense of time and waiting on people have changed as well, for what was just a few seconds can seem like minuets or hours to my mom. (These are natural traits of stroke victims) I can see in her this desire to do everything for herself. I love how proud she looks when the occupational therapist has her dress herself and learn tricks to help it be easier on her paralyzed left side. While I was there all day my mother focused in on how easy my car is for her to ride along in, how we still need to go Christmas shopping. Even though I had hope to take her out that afternoon, it didn't work out. I am not really sure why but then when it comes to my mother I am not in charge nor do I have much say in anything. It's rather a tough position to be in, dealing with my strong willed/short tempered family members.....(You would think I had 32 years to know how to approach them by now) I understand them more then they realize, I am not there to take away their responsibility. I am not there to correct or change this situation, and most importantly I don't want to pick a fight. I don't want to make anyone afraid, or annoyed while helping my mom. I hate putting my siblings between the awkwardness of my father and I, If only I had the answers to all these things.....then this wouldn't have be such a dramatic event all the time. It is fundamentally challenging to in understanding one another, my father and I. When he took my mother out for dinner, she was so happy! I was really happy for her too! Now seeing the way everything works for the family is very hard on me. For I would love to share my tips and pointers on how to make somethings better for everyone in general. This is all still new to us, so the new normal takes time to learn. Even though everyone else has tips and pointers for me in visiting with my mother, I wondered how can I be respected as the adult that I am now? I see clearly my baby brothers are all grown men in the same teenaged bodies but their heart and soul have grown old in these past months since their only world, our mother was taken from them, changed in these new ways. I have respect for my sister who is the number one care taker for my mother when our father is at work. (YET one of these days you may find me rolling on the ground with her in such an angry fight, For she is burning like fire and I am splashing like water, we hit up against each other every so often in the wrong way.) If I didn't keep reminding myself of all there is to be Thankful for, of all the miracles in how far my mother has come, how great it is to see her wanting to do her all therapies still. Knowing she is ready for any new adventure, then I would be easily angered too.  I give thanks for the light Mom is teaching us all in how to get along.....

"Wow, Mom your thanksgiving decor is beautiful! it makes this cottage feel cozy like a real home." I exclaimed as I walked over to her corner shelves. In the center was a wooden orange pumpkin saying "GIVE THANKS" and I nodded at it with a smile looking back at my mom as she sat in her wheel chair. "That's the best thing to look at while waking up every morning and facing the new day....." My sister rolled her eyes while looking at her phone sitting next to mom then shot me a deep glare that made me shut up quickly. Mom replied "Some of those things were your Grandmas,  It must make a difference in here because you are not the only one who says that....even the Nurses and Therapists talk about those when they are here too." Mom looked around at the freshly painted cottage with the new carpet and nice light fixtures. Mom sat there thinking in reply "It's amazing how a little bit of decorating can make this place feel more like a home." I smiled happily as I knew in my heart that I was thankful even for this simple conversation. For I give thanks, so much thanks that my mother is here today.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

My Stroke of Insight Part 2

When I listened to this auto book on my road trip to Kennewick WA a few weeks ago. I was fascinated once again at how you need both sides of the brain to be a healthy balance person. I have ALWAYS loved the human brain and how it functions! I am drawn to radio programs and blogs on the brain. I realized that If I lived everyday in my right hemisphere then I would be so disconnected, unable to see myself from all the visual energy in the world. I would be dizzy from actually feeling the earth moving! AND I know I have actually felt that before living centered in my right side brain! SEE this is truly fascinating to me!
When I speak of everlasting unconditional love with the help of my right side brain, I am completely inspired and hopeful along side with connecting to my heart and soul! (and I love that feeling!) But without my left side brain then the right side would truly leave me floating away!
My left side hemisphere reminds me of who I am in this physical body. My story telling self moves forward giving voice to my right side brain ideas. I am planning ahead living in the left side, making lists and seeing the big picture for the future. I can be confident and stable with the knowledge that my left brain gives me. I can be real in this present moment and strong in how life unfolds, and then tell my story.
There are both good and bad ways in each section of the brain, How it works to protect us or relax us, how it can fight against each other inside of us like a battle field the mental contrast has to learn to work together or one side will dominate the other. It is AMAZING and MAGICAL for me in learning about the human brain, It is good to know how to work everything together for the best health and best overcome for myself, I know right when things get overly dramatic or extremely emotional inside my head, that the stories I choose to say can make or brake my attitude. Learning to change my story helps with living calmly and carrying forgiveness right along as I live. Can I work my brain to seek out grace for others and grace for myself? Can everything get along inside of my head first to create togetherness outside of my self also?

I read a quote of a lady who was 102 years old the other day, the reporter asked "How did you get to live this long?" She was smiling so brightly in her reply "I have a happy heart! Sadness is what wears us out..."
I thought over this for a long time, because I feel like I will be sad forever sometimes! It is important to take all the time you need to heal....But A happy heart is when the brain agrees to work together and the story we can tell about ourselves comes from our balance and our choice to get everything working correctly.
So seek to have a HAPPY HEART and LIVE A LONG LIFE with your amazing brain!!!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

My Stroke of Insight Part 1

I sat in the ICU room with the beeping machines, the air sounding pump of my mother's lungs and the rainbow color of lights on the computer screen. I sat there trying to knit only to have one big major knot in my hands. I guess I noticed but kept on knitting watching over my mother. The ICU nurse was amazing and I wish I could remember her name as she told me thoughtfully "There is a really good book for you to read about strokes, it will help you with your mom....I think I saw it on Oprah a while back." I talked with her for awhile about this book and then I went on a search for the Author and to my delight, IT WAS A PERFECT BOOK for me to have!
Not only did it help me relate to my mother as she recovered. But it also pointed out some very important recovering tips that I could put into work when hanging out with my mother. THIS is inspiring to see how Dr. Jill Boyle Taylor survived her stroke and learned to live again!  

Friday, November 11, 2011

The Symbolic Water

She grew up on my elbow, she use to hide behind my back when startled. Her thumb was always in her mouth as she looked around worriedly at me. I was her big sister but she soon past me in maturity, in realizing she was DONE with being afraid all the time. We played together, we rode our bikes or hid outside when our parents were fighting. We tried to protect each or tried to not be the one on the side of that burning leather belt. We cried as the other was beaten or screamed at. We were sisters in a crazy world, we would scream at each other and fight while being just kids or we would sit side by side calmly realizing how different we were always going to be. Sometime it felt like no one saw us as opposite as we were. They dressed us to look exactly alike, they bought us the very same gifts in a different color and we were always trying to be our own self while being told that we can't go anywhere with out the other. I was thinking about her my only sister, Dana. I thought about these memories as she stood before me a grown woman with 2 small children of her own while she gave her testimony, I felt proud. She began to cry as she shared how much she loved her husband Phil, how she wants the very best for her kids, A small blonde hair daughter named La Rae and her baby boy Wyatt. I sat there listening with love and pride for how beautiful my sister's life had become. Here she was in her cream colored sweater pouring her heart out about what is important to her and how she wanted to honor God. My sister went through a time just like me where we discussed if there was ever even a God to begin with? Now on this night where Dana was being baptized into their Mormon church, I didn't care that I was her only family member there, I only cared that I didn't miss this event in her life. It had been years since I had seen her get so tearful as she talked up in front of us all and as that symbolic water rolled over her I smiled big and brightly for the joy that my sister has found her own faith! Now I wouldn't want to be a Mormon myself, or anything religious actually.......But seeing my sister become part of a church, become part of a faith that comforts her and gives her strength made me feel honored to witness it.

"I am so sick of dressing the same!" Dana exclaimed to me as I looked surprised. I chuckled agreeing knowing this was NOT our choice. Since our mother dressed us into our teenaged years we really got sick of looking like twins, Especially when there was a very important amount of 15 months difference in our ages. "I MEAN IT! I am DONE with these clothes!" Dana was now 13 years old and the quick fire in her eyes reminded me of our father. I giggled nervously now knowing the battle was going to happen when our mother came to lay our clothes out for church. Perhaps I would be luckily to NOT be there when THAT happens. I decided to flare my nose for it always grossed my sister out, it was a great distraction to her venting. Dana caught my flaring and cringed "OH GROSS! Stop that! You look like a pig face with flared nostrils! I said STOP oh gross! gross! gross! you are such a freak!" She tossed a pillow at my face as I burst out laughing!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

The Alone Parent

The American Family has changed in many ways over the many years, I think a family is made up of more then just parents and siblings. A family can be a big connected circle of extended family or loyal friends. It is a sad lonely place when a parent tells others to stay out of their lives. I have seen this unfold personally, when at a time that family should come together stronger and closer. I have been seeking such balancing and healthy relationships for my life. I have asked these questions like; What makes a person want to be an island? 
Why do we step back when someone tells us not to interfere with their parenting? For I believe that there is NO perfect parent, no one has all the answers nor suddenly do they have the full insight to lead their children without any outside help. When I think of families who keep each other close, growing up with adding more family members and not loosing connection I see a helpful circle of  people full of advice, caring and strong support. In many ways for the protection of the children there needs to be a setup of checks and balances. If an alone parent breaks down, loosing their temper or is lacking good judgement then it is the children who really suffer. Perhaps that is why parenting couples seem more rested and healthier in raising children together instead of just one person. We all need a break, a rest and a helping hand when leading others or teaching the young generations. I think that working together is the best way to give all of our kids a better start for their future. Sometimes one adult will the miss important info on a situation concerning misbehaving children that the insight or helpful advise from the other adults around can create better strategies in handing that. We really need to be aware of how important it is in asking for help or humbling ourselves to realize we are not the complete law on personal family matters. For if you keep telling those around you that you are in charge, that you are the boss and that your word is law. How no one has the right to question your authority. Then the reality is you have become the alone parent, everyone will give up and move on leaving you all alone. Those who suffer the most from this situation are the children. As they grow up wondering why life feels so lonely. I think for myself I really admire the communities like the Basque where many people came together in support for each other or had that feeling like family. Why do we set ourselves apart from each other? Why do parents tell others not to get involved in their choices for their families? I think our sense of family, community and togetherness has faded in our selfishness. When we shut the door on those around us, we really miss out on a rich, full, happy life. How can we support families and protect against such struggling alone parents? Maybe it's time to change that parenting pride to realizing how we need each other by our side!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

I am NO Fool

I am remembering a conversation with my mother a few weeks ago as we sat in her hospital room watching the TV. The "Dr. Phil" was on and I was amazed that I had never watched it before, when we can only sit around sometimes the TV's annoying noises are a good distraction. This episode was about a woman who was told she was a problem child so they didn't take her seriously when she said she was being abused. I shook my head sadly saying "No matter how untrustworthy a person could seem, the right thing is to stand next to them in full support even if they are lying to you. For your actions are honoring, even if it later turns out to be false..." I sighed annoyingly at this story I can think of my own situations and stories of other people I knew who couldn't find any help when they were hurt. It is more common then I realize of how people assume someone is lying instead of fully trusting or supporting that victim. THIS has always angered me,  when I was a teenager, I first noticed this attitude people gave off, I heard how people would judge or proclaim "They are always lying, so it's probably another lie." I would wonder to myself "But WHAT IF they are not lying right now? what should I do? Isn't  it more important to protect them or stand by them no matter what?"
My mother replied at the TV and my comment with her own memory of a friend who went on a weekend trip with a guy and came back pregnant. I listened as my mom explained this friend of hers had everyone telling her friend how to live or what to do now that her husband had died. So she left town during this mourning time with a guy friend. While she was gone everyone freaked out telling my mom she was having an affair. Yet my mother stood up for her friend not believing all the gossip. I patted my mother's arm while listening saying "GOOD for YOU Mom! She needed your support when everyone else was driving her crazy.....but wait a said that her husband had died right? Soooo it wasn't an affair, She was just having a romantic get away then." Mom rolled her eyes so cutely from her hospital bed with the TV in the background as she replied "But my friend came back pregnant! so she WAS sleeping with the man...and after I told everyone that she wasn't. It made me look like a fool, so you can't always believe what people tell you...." I sighed gently as I explained "From her sorrow of her dead husband comes the new joy in having a baby, there is nothing wrong with that. A new life no matter how it happened should be celebrated! We can't keep people from lying to us, we can only be true in knowing what is the right thing to do.....and it is not to judge her but to be there always strong and supportive in carrying the fire of love." I smiled at my mom saying "YOU were never a fool, you trusted and loved your friend when she needed that the most. What she choose to do with your friendship is her own choice and all you can do is stand your ground in full on love and honest support." Mom smiled back at me saying "When you put it like that it makes sense, I just was shocked she did what everyone was saying she was doing!" I asked thoughtfully again realizing this was nice to chat honestly with my mom, since her stroke she has a very open way about her. "Why does it matter?" I asked "For she wasn't married anymore and her loneliness was her own personal life story. Not for anyone else to know about, why would everyone be sitting around thinking on these things in her own personal life? It's very odd to me.....I don't see anything worth arguing, it all makes perfect sense to me. I bet you got so worn out by such gossiping people around you! It sure sounds like she did!" I chuckled shaking my head thinking if I bet could anything on who EVERYONE was,it's some church family my mom attended that had this kind of gossip, judgment and scandals going on ALL the time. Most people do not want to be made a fool, but trusting, supporting and loving a person even if they are lying to your face doesn't make you the fool. For you are right where you are meant to be, truly loving unconditionally!  

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

The Basque in Boise Idaho

It is fascinating to me having lived in Boise now for almost a decade. I grew up an hour away out in the farming community, where some of my friends were Basque. I remember the amazing wedding celebration of a Basque friend when I was a young girl. I have often walk around downtown catching the festivities and dancers out in front of the museum.
I love this culture and the closeness of each other in their families. It was really fascinating to me the other night in the basque center with my friend Brecca as we listened to the jamming of the basque musicians. I would LOVE to learn how to play this style of music with those fun instruments! While the older couples danced I walked around reading all about the history of how Boise was a main place for jobs in the Basque young communities. How hard would that have been leaving home to work herding sheep or attending a boarding house from Northern Spain to Boise Idaho? Yet these jobs of cleaning, canning and cooking in boarding houses fascinated me! They worked hard and played hard:-) They even all ate together and offered others not staying at the boarding house to eat with them as well! They sat around the big sturdy table socializing through the evening after dinner was served. This house tour was impressive for I have walked by this house ALL the time! I had always thought it had been moved there to be next to the museum.  How did they know to save this home right where it was originally built? I wondered to myself while looking out the windows to the newer bigger buildings and shining city lights of downtown Boise as it surrounded us completely. I couldn't help but feel like I have been born in the wrong time of history once again! For I would have loved to of lived in this home watching Boise grow and seeing that Grove street when  was full of trees, instead of the red brick, sidewalk and intersection lights that it has become now......I understand clearly it was hard work back then, but it was MY KIND of hard work! The cleaning and the cooking was something very social. The table was full of hard working miners or sheep herders, playing cards and visiting away the evenings! This is my kind of life truly! I like hard work, I like growing food from the gardens or sewing up a patch or hole in my pants. I saw a beautiful life in this beautiful historical home. It once was a basque boarding house, it hasn't changed on the inside but the city around it has! Our culture is very different now. This home symbolizes togetherness, Now it is full of things from another world, another time.
I loved the music, the dancing and the culture of the basque people! I like these boarding houses, the idea of providing lonely people far from home with safety. Of caring for the sick and being together stronger and healthier! Most importantly of the happiness they shared with the whole world around them! I would truly enjoy such a home to give to others, of comforting food to make and many long hours of dancing! If you want to learn more about the basque here in Boise, then go to the center and museum even eat some yummy spicy chorizos in the next door restaurant Leku Ona!
We really have an amazing place here in Boise that lets the world spin away and change, while the Basque community stays the same! 

The strongest hands give the best hugs!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Going Home

This book came out a month or so ago, I had been following Jon Katz Blog daily looking into when this book would be release. Because the death of a pet is very common among us, the pain of lost and suffering in our grief is natural. Reading this book was so personal to me since Newton has recently died after 11 years in our family. I loved how cuddly Newton was with his little soft paws or his long excited howl as he would push his nose way up into the air showing his white mini-schnauzer breed and gray floppy ears. Newton would rest up on the top of chairs or the couch looking out the window with his feet crossed resting peaceful. His death was dramatically sudden, I was thinking we had at least 5 more years since this breed of dog usually is a 15 year life span. I will never forget that evening in the dark green grass by the white smooth box which Newton laid to rest, I sat there sobbing deeply and touching the box then holding the other dogs as they moved around us. I knew this was such a shock but I needed to feel this great deep sorrow. Newton was the dog that changed my life, his tiny puppy self needed help going down the stairs as I rolled down on my hands and knees encouraging him to move down each step that looked like a big cliff to him. How he napped up on my chest as we watched movies or how easily Newton stayed so close when we went outside. I miss him so much, I learned so much from having him in my life! This book was full of touching dog stories and how we can honor them even after their death. I love how Jon writes very personally about his dreams or his messages to each of his pets. How he sees that even after they are gone, we carry them in our hearts and relive the memories of them! Once we have grieved properly, we can heal again in loving and giving another pet our friendship, our time! I honestly LOVE this message because it's so important to remember not to give up on a new dog or a new pet in our lives. Each and every life is different but we as humans are called to a higher meaning in living longer then our dogs, we are called to care for nature all around us. It is a wonderful hope in deep sorrow to believe this caring work is never done and there is always going to be an animal needing love. I think of all the tears I have cried in the lost of a beloved dog, and I wouldn't change a thing to protect myself from that sadness for I know now that the greatest part of life is...
Living it! Having those dogs along the way makes everything else okay again....I recommend this book for EVERYONE even if they don't have a pet it is still good to understand what this kind of lost and sadness is all about. NOTHING ends with death, life is still breathing all around at the very same moment one soul surrenders.

"Newton, Newton" I would call out the basement door into the dark night of the big backyard. My boyfriend (future husband) and his father were in Thailand for Christmas. As Newton and I slept every night in the big cozy house. the dog loved being under the blankets of the bed like in a tunnel of heat. I loved waking up with him next to me as it was strange to be house sitting for a month. Newton heard his name as the winter's evening was getting colder, he was happy to hurry in peeing and getting back inside. It was amazing to me that without a fence he never wander out of my sight. "Newton, Good boy! Ol' Mr. Good dog! Well goodness!" I said to him as we covered up on the couch watching more TV.  He must of known he had the good good life as he happily napped away in the warmth of my lap.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Fearful of Dogs

It is interesting to look back over my 32 years, when I was almost 2 years old and saw a dog I would panic then cry. I was sure those dogs would bite me or jump up knocking me down. Now 30 years later I am surrounded by dogs in the dog park, I am holding my hand up for the signs and commands that my dogs look for and I am dog-sitting with true love and full care! THIS is ironic, I have come into my own with my strong passion for the very same animal I was terrified of when I was just a toddler! 
Yet when the soul of a dog met mine, I was forever changed. Just as importantly we offer our friendship and protection equally with our pets! They are apart of us in ways no one else gets to see, they sleep beside us, they watch us at all times and they remind us to PLAY again! They make us laugh and lean in when we cry. I have seen so many dogs in my life time, I have learned so many things from them......It is strange for me to remember in my childhood I was so afraid of dogs! Maybe those dogs that crossed my fearful path saw in me the leading loving adult I was growing into? Maybe they approached me because it was an unknown fact to me in that fear of mine to hide away from them, they always knew the truth of how now even when bit I still hold my ground next to a dog, knowing they need me to be calm in protecting them. In leading them to a happy good life! For a dog is more then a man's best friend, a dog IS apart of a man's family, that is the ultimate loyalty. I have no more room for fear with dogs, I can look into their eyes and know instantly if there is trust or doubt.....Walking the vineyards with my aunts and cousins on our wine tasting ladies weekend, a frightful neighbor dog came to me among the rows of grape vines as I calmly saw in his one good eye that he needed to feel safe first. I waited down on my knees for him to come to me then happily I petted and hugged him. When the center core of myself goes calm and peaceful, when I have no time frames or places to be, in that very moment I enter another place in my patience, I feel like I am seeing through the dogs eyes. For Now is the only time there is, Together is the only way to live and dogs have always known these things!

Just like in one of my favorite lines of a song "And when you finally fly away I'm hoping that I served you well....."

Saturday, November 5, 2011

The Baking Queen

I use to pride myself on being the baker in my home. In the last few months I have struggled with my identity in homemaking! How can I bake without any fine flour or sugar? In our new education and life style this Paleo path has saved our lives and lowered our weight in amazing amounts! My husband discovered this understanding about foods like whole grains, oatmeal and flours that are killing us slowly. With Simple facts like sugar is poison, that any and all artificial flavoring, additives or engineered proteins can cause cancer. My Husband started the first of this year with an overwhelming discovery about all the vitamins a body needs. He went on a journey in health books of all types. I benefited by his discoveries and experiments. I was skeptical at first because giving up our beloved bread ESPECIALLY  when I got so good at baking it with that golden crispy crust! And I grew up on these buttery pie crust that melted in my mouth, along with my mother's daily apple dumplings and big heavy rich apple crisps (full of the worse kind of fat for you (Crisco) and those light oils which are truly unnatural...)  I didn't know how to be a baker anymore without my usual baking list of ingredients....
The result of having lost so much weight and feeling better then I could ever imagine is worth no more bread! It really is!  (well maybe for a holiday I will enjoy some breads or a sugary thing again? Once a year won't kill me nor allow cancer to grow in my body fat....) I feel like I am FREE from all things unhealthy! I am not in this roller coaster mood or fast energy swings. I don't hurt in the mornings like I use to in waking up and needing to eat in first 30 minuets or my stomach became on fire! I was all about eating every veggie or fruit, yet I still grew out in my hips? I was active and tried to stay faithful to a gym membership with such heavy lifting or constant sweating...yet I never lost a pound!?! I thought my daily mornings with oatmeal would setup my body in the best way to use the fiber and burn the extra fats.....Little did I know that my oatmeal made more sugar slowly never allowing my stored fats to burn. For 14 months every single day I ate a bowl of oatmeal usually plain or with butter then a simple cup of coffee or latte. 14 months I counted the days thinking soon I would be thinner and healthier.....I  looked the same by the end of that time as when I ate breakfast sandwiches every working day at my Starbuck job! How could this be? I baked endless amount of bran muffins and only bought the heavy grains for my breads, I did the wild rice, brown rice and whole wheat pastas and even bought the highest quality in our pastries! My husband and I were very busy both working in our first 7 years of marriage so eating out was easy and eating everything as known "Foodies" we tried all kinds of new places, new things and even got way into sushi in hopes to loose some weight with less red meats....IRONIC! I think it is amazing how ironically we looked in the wrong places for answers in being healthier! Then on one amazing summer afternoon we went to the movies to see the documentary "Food Inc.", We began our local meat quest and all our new discussions on being wise in honoring the food source around us! We were inspired and heard the calling to go local, to get healthy and be wise in our connection to this earth! Then one new years eve we watched another documentary called  "Foodmatters"  It changed our lives, I was drinking all kinds of juices and downing a wheat grass shot every morning instead of coffee! My husband took that documentary even further in his vitamin research loosing 65 pounds since January 1, 2011 to this very date! I am very proud of him for not giving up, for understanding how to use vitamin and in case we need to fight against cancer without poisoning ourselves, how to be active but not to hard where as your joints will brake down in your older age if you push to hard now as a young person, be very careful....This is Fascinating! My healthy life is extremely fascinating to me!!! (I guess I am not use to it yet that is why I can't put enough exclamations marks on here !!!!!!!) When we watched an even greater documentary on nutrition, on eating the right kinds of fats and meats called "Fathead"  it FOREVER changed our lives for the good! This Paleo life style took over even though I did protested that I needed my oatmeal or a blueberry scone now and again, what a joke hahahaha like I said I was very skeptical. Now I was always talking about being healthy in this last decade of my life since I was 20 to 32 I talk about being healthy all at the same time while holding my hot mocha coffee cup in my hand?!? Oooops I guess I didn't know sugar was killing me at the very same time as I told people stop smoking and get outside for a long walk. I walked for miles every morning with my dog and ran until I was out of breath even. Yet I remained a big flabby woman? hmmm what isn't working here I wondered all the time?!?! When I got married I was a size 18 or maybe closer to a size 20, when I was a kid my baby fat never disappeared, as a teenager I had rolls of tummy fat and huge arms then as an adult I carried a triple chin line in most winter months! Being fat doesn't scare me since I discovered how to simply love the skin I was in no matter what it looked like! However I am in a size 12 right now and that is quickly shrinking too! How inspiring my new paloe path has become for me personally! From now on my life will be truly FUN, (I can be a new paleo baker I have discovered as well!) I am not writing this to tell you the reader how to eat or live BUT I am excited to have found what works for me from the INSIDE OUT! 

Friday, November 4, 2011

"A Dog Year" my movie reveiw

It isn't any secret who my favorite author is....Now after attending his book signing this past spring in Portland Oregon, Jon Katz spoke of this movie inspired from his own book "A Dog Year" with Jeff Bridges playing Jon. How do I rate this movie? 
I simply don't. 
This was NOT Jon Katz, Jeff Bridges seemed to struggle at knowing Jon...maybe he never actually read the book, that this movie is based from!?!?! AUGH, I tried to like this movie so much since the book is one of my most favorite! But I am sorry Hollywood missed the message Jon wrote in "A Dog Year". When my Aunt Chris said after she had watched it, that this movie lack character development, and she was exactly right! This movie seemed to lacking many things, as it unfolded I cringed at the constant frown on Jeff Bridges face, as he got his new dog a Boarder Collie Devon/Orson...this is a very amazing connection between Jon and this new clever dog in his life, the book shared these new adventures. I didn't like Jeff Bridges playing Jon Katz like he was always pissed off at people or the dog ALL the time. Hollywood played up the angle that Jon had "Writer's Block". THIS also annoyed me so much because as Jon is such a good honest writer the truth is he was researching training Boarder Collies and still writing in his head on what he hoped to learn or share with his readers. He wasn't struggling like he was bored! There is just SO MUCH MORE to a person then can be explained in a movie, I wouldn't want something I wrote be butchered  like this movie was to Jon's book!
Like these facts and fictions,
  • Jon is NOT an asshole, Jeff Bridges plays a perfect asshole but that is not Jon....easily discovered in any one of Jon's books.
  • The death of Jon's Golden Labs was deeply emotional and loving in how the new Boarder Collie was there to help heal in moving forward. NOT like the movie were it's just added to the story suddenly....
  • In the movie I could clearly see how disconnected the dogs were from Jeff, like being with him was a job for them but clearly they had a REAL owner out there behind the scene...
  • Jeff talks in the third person way to much giving the facts of Jon Katz life out loud instead of just living them out, I thought it made him look like an idiot!
  • The movie made Jon Katz look deeply disturbed and depressed like he was a recovering alcoholic hating the whole world....but even in this setup in the story  they didn't get him to heal WITH the dog Devon (who is later renamed when Bedlam Farm comes about) they should have had a real friendship going here with man and dog ...hmmm I dunno like IN THE BOOK!!!!! Augh real life is way more interesting then Hollywood can grasp.
  • This movie also distorted Bedlam Farm, making it seem like no one wanted Jon to live there, that HE didn't want to live there either!?!? CRAZY MOVIE not even close to the real story:-}
"Wait! what happened?" I sat up looking at the power cord. The movie went black suddenly and oddly, so I replayed the last scene again. My husband replied "I think it's over...?" I squealed out "WHAT?!? It just ends like THAT?!?" I suddenly was on fire about how awful this movie was in comparison to the book. I explained the book out to my husband and explaining how they can't just end a movie like that! He shrugged and said "yeah it was pretty lame..." I started thinking how would I feel if I wrote a book and saw myself suddenly in a movie? It would be so difficult if that translation went wrong like Jon explained had happened with this movie. He was right about how the writing world is to real for Hollywood. I keep thinking about how this movie could have been wonderful and deeply touching to us all just like the book.....but then again I live in my writing world so I see it all differently then trying to make a movie, still I think I could have created a better movie no doubt!
NOT rating this movie, also NOT recommending it. The book is by far more emotional based and connected, the real person Jon Katz is by far better in person then mimicked by a Hollywood actor....then again WHO could that NOT be said about it?