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Friday, December 26, 2014

Before The Storm

          It is often said that "all is calm just before the storm" and I know this from personal experiences and with many stories of how the day before any kind of trauma seems to reach an almost magical utopia in our memories when we look back and think "I didn't even know that was a perfect moment in my life...just before all hell brook loose the next day." It is because we are reflective beings that while going through deep stress in a crisis we will automatically look back at how nice everything was in our lives on that amazing day before.....

It is no secret with those who know me how passionate and opinionated I can become, having been raised in a family who always had to stand for something, who always had to be RIGHT. I will carry those same good and bad traits with me ALWAYS. Yet as I grow older I try to learn how everything has 2 sides to every story, that each person has a very different life experience from my own self. The most freeing feeling in the world for me was when I could say "Maybe I was wrong?"

It is a powerful feeling to admit not knowing it all, to be able to say "I am sorry." without feeling humiliated by my constant learning curve ahead of me as I grow older. I am passionate still, even with a constant understanding that my ego will never ease to challenge my need for my peace of mind and keeping me on my toes!


It is very important to me that I keep growing and changing, that I seek a better understanding from how other people see the world while delighting in all I have learned for my own magical view of things. Along side my passion and my opinions I have dedicated my life to fighting against ABUSE. This is a very broad topic, abuse covers many problems that I stand against with a powerful sense of bettering the world in my bravery to speak up even though I may be the only one in a group who is lead to do so.....maybe in those moments I ask myself "Am I wrong here for being so fired up?" Then I think of the definition for the word "abuse" and then I come back to my bravery as a much needed a strength to say "I will ALWAYS stand against ABUSE, I made my mission statement for the group "The Band of Mercy" years ago to say "We fight against all animal abuse." It is a constant conversation to teach our next generation how all animals in this world need our help, they need our respect. Abuse is the number one thing I will always fight against even if I stand alone, but my biggest delight in my life time is that I am never ever alone! There is a movement against abuse in many different levels out there, because GOOD people are NOT hard to find if we are brave enough to seek them out!

It is the calm before the storm, every new year holds a certain kind of hope and a powerful desire for peace to better the world! A new year is unknown full of hopeful good days ahead! It is the endless cycle of growing and making a difference all together for that perfect quality of life!

It is of my own personal opinion that if we stand against abuse then we can reach this goal, to give every living soul endless love and joy!

SO I will always speak up and stand out against abuse, be it child abuse, animal cruelty, drug abuse, domestic violence, Government corruption, police force abuse, criminal activities and ANYONE who hurts another living soul. I know why I stand against ABUSE of any kind, I am not out to make light of all the wars or battle lines drawn......everyone will have a story to tell and a passion to follow so I think being able to listen and love unconditionally helps all these issues of abuse get addressed and dealt with head on. May this New Year be a refreshing new start to create the kind of world that we all would like!

It is my most favorite question to ask every single day that I am alive "What kind of world do you want?" Make it so for 2015, take heart and ownership of yourself to be the BEST person that you can be!

 Season's Greetings to ALL!

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Muppet Christmas Carol - Thankful Heart







Saturday, December 20, 2014

A Holly Jolly Christmas

    
My personal celebration of the holidays never gets old, Especially when shared with kids! I have enjoyed babysitting, dog sitting and the occasional odd jobs this past fall, whenever I get to watch my buddy Joshua we have a great time! We toss paper airplanes, or climb trees, we look through the bug book and run through the sprinklers especially after a day at the ZOO. 
These last 4 years with him in my life has been so delightful, so energizing that I was sad in hearing he was moving away this week. So we made a big fun last event in hanging out at the holiday "Garden a Glow" along with his Mom and baby brother. The four of us had such a delightful time in the botanical gardens decorate in Christmas lights!
Joshua and I ran to the top of the hill while his mom Eranda sat with her baby boy Kite, resting and waiting for us to return. Eranda said my blinking lights on my hat allowed her to know where we were up there in the whole time. Joshua and I just stood a moment at the top of the gardens looking out across at Boise, Idaho. In the winter's darkness I said "Look at those city lights! I am so glad it's not so cold right now up here." Joshua jumped around from bench to bench saying "I won't be living here anymore.....and so we won't get to go to the zoo anymore." I felt sad as I thought about how much fun I've always had hanging out with this kid! 
I smiled back thoughtfully and half hugged him knowing it is always so hard when everything changes. When we saw a long line of kids waiting to ring the bell in the glowing gardens I asked Josh if we should go get in line he smirked "It's not worth standing in line forever....it's just a bell, I rang it last year anyway." I laughed at his response knowing so many times when we went to festivals or to parades if there was a crowd he would always say "This isn't fun any more lets walk over there where there is less people." I would agree proudly and we would just chat away in our own world. 
The Garden a Glow evening was truly fun and magical, we walked through the whole place and saw every display while goofing around together. As a going away gift I gave Joshua our well used bug book and his favorite rubber snake that we had played many pranks on each other with over the years! The magic of being a kid is such a huge world of wonders that I will always be so grateful for these years of hanging out with my buddy Joshua! I will be a bit sad too, I shall miss him so much for swinging and walking the railroad tracks or jumping over the irrigation ditch was made even better with him by my side, with him saying things like "This is CRAZY! We could get hit by a train!" 
OR in that moment when I swung him over the water only to fall completely in myself! We both were laughing so long over that moment in our many adventures!
It was a holly jolly night running around with Joshua under the Christmas lights even though I knew I would be sad when he left. Making it the best night ever in jokes and stories and laughter! Being friends is something that came so natural for us that I know we will always stay in touch, It's just hard to adapt to not having him around to show me new things like the lego movie or how to order from the new soda machines in McDonald's and Burger King. So instead I will keep the memories of dancing to all his Michael Jackson songs or putting old puzzles together as the best part of our holly jolly good times!

Friday, December 19, 2014

" O Holy Night " Josh Groban with lyrics.

When I went to church growing up THIS was my most favorite hymn at Christmas time, the emotional power of singing these lyrics so passionately made me tear up a bit at the message in how we have hope from our oppression in this world! Falling on my knees always made me feel so humble and so true to our natural calling to be grateful this time of the year for everything we have! This song still speaks to me in a much different way because I no longer have blind faith but instead I see the bigger message in this song as a metaphor for all things! for on December 25th the SUN is born again from that date on it becomes more light out later on in the day as the Sun grows toward the summer solstices and while religion takes the same story for it's own agenda I see in this song once again the hidden promise of hope returning after a long dark cold winter.......I'll always admire this song for the joy to my heart it brings! 





Tuesday, December 16, 2014

All is Calm

The waves of the ocean hit me in a sharp cold wind as I climbed over the slope unhooking my dog's leash. "WOW! What a Christmas morning!" he bolted towards the group of seagulls then happily return to me for his Frisbee and I walked for miles in true happiness this way.

This was my 30th year, there was magic in reaching age suddenly realizing my soul felt at home, maybe I was born 30 and now I can say everything is in balance with the universe,  ALL is calm.

My dog loves the ocean side for the overwhelming freedom to run as far as my eye can see before I call him back to me, "If your dog likes you and if your dog trusts you then they will always come back when you call them. So how you treat them, how you protect them will show in their behavior." The dog trainer made me chuckle as this could be applied to humans as well! I would never forget this power point presentation. My dog always came back calmly laying down like he wants me to carry him back to the hotel room now....and I would.

The soft cool sand covers my finger tips as I loved sitting and digging into the ground watching the sunset before me in a crystal masterpiece over the ever moving and breathing coast line. All is well, All is calm, All is magically set before me.....

I am grateful for every trip to the Oregon Coast, the best times are when my dogs are with me of course but sometimes just sitting on the drift wood all alone I am left in awe of such a place for my soul to rest and refresh. One day I shall die and I hope to float off on those white waves into another adventure for my spirit! All is calm when I arrive here, nothing matters anymore at the moment I smell the salty seaweed and see the endless picture of water moving towards the end of the earth!

The last time I stood there I said "I don't know when I will be back, but I shall carry your glory with me everywhere I go! It doesn't get an easier out there in the world, however it comes down to a choice in being calm, with a little help from YOU!" I nodded towards the blue water as it rolled on by my bare feet soaking into the dark wet hard sand and I smiled back as if the ocean understood me, it gave me the wonder in all things!


Saturday, December 13, 2014

[Official Video] Little Drummer Boy - Pentatonix







Friday, December 12, 2014

The Little Drummer Boy

It's a holiday song that is fun to sing with kids as you march around pretending to be drumming, my father once said it was a stupid song because it never happened..."a drummer boy at the side of baby Jesus being born?!?" and I took his opinion into consideration back then and yet knew it was simply fun to sing! Now I chuckle looking back at the "splitting hairs" in the constant reflection of my childhood's magic being squashed in the name of so called reality and truths.....
In the bigger picture of Christmas being about the birth of Jesus everyone is struggling and reaching to make that an actual fact more then simply delighting in the beauty of it all, maybe or maybe not Jesus was ever born........ that's not the point for the holidays. I feel being together is the whole point for celebrating and IF Jesus was surrounded by music from a boy on his drum is still a lovely idea like with ALL fairy tales, all of history, in legends and in parables there is meaning if you look for it! I say take delight in whatever message you choose for the Holidays!

"Come they told me...." is a great united message I like it because it has such an emotional start, then there is this idea that a king is born to save them yet he is also poor like them so he will somehow help and save the world in the end for all....I think we are always looking for a new "Leader" to relate to our own current issues and injustices. 
It's a timeless message if you really think about it this classic Christmas song.

The best part of the song that always gave me goose bumps was the drummer boy sharing "He smiled at me...." such as babies often do, there is a refreshing thought for happiness prevailing when under oppression. And also I think over how maybe there is another hidden thought here about how baby Jesus is smiling because he already knew this drummer boy in this very moment of time. Like in a flash of depth full of spirituality and respect, these two come together wanting the very same things in this world and smiling in agreement over the wonder of it all!

Monday, December 8, 2014

I'll be home for Christmas

       
I think this is the most coziest month of the whole year! When my home is decked out in Christmas decor it gives way to a fresh new look!
My husband was in his study lost in hours of getting his first final down and so he never came out to the living room where I transformed the place top to bottom in Christmas magic! That first morning he exclaimed "OH MY GOD! Looks like ELF was here while we were asleep!" and I woke up laughing so proud of my creativity and likeness to ELF the famous movie with Will Ferrel for he has always been my favorite in relating to his honest holiday cheer for everyone near!
This is such a magical time of the year! I can't say that enough!
  
AND I think all my pets LOVE these many soft blankets I leave all around in my living room and bed. It gives them warmth and most importantly comfort in this cold season!
 My Christmas tree shines on just before bed while I cuddle and kiss my beloved pets simply admiring it's soft inspiring glow of this annual time with our tree here! 

I am proud to be home for Christmas this year and deeply enjoying this cozy comfort in being both romantic and relaxing! The holidays fly by way to fast so it's the whole month of December that has me enjoying every little thing, it's pure magic!

Saturday, December 6, 2014

All is Bright

          It was the Christmas season of 2007 when my husband Tony said "I have decided to like Christmas for the first time in my whole life because you look so happy all the time during Christmas."  I looked at him in wonder and astonishment then exclaimed "It's a CHRISTMAS MIRACLE!" I danced around so very amazed and happy! It had been 8 years of battling him on the holidays when I would explain the magic of the holidays had nothing to do with religion or greed for me! I loved family time. I loved singing along with every childhood memory in those familiar songs and the world came alive in all kinds of rainbows out there! It was fun to wear blinking lights in my hair while at work. To walk through the mall with a peppermint mocha in hand laughing at all the children in line to see Santa. Giving to organizations for the needy, sharing dinner with friends and resting before bed to simply stare off into the soft glowing tree in my living room. One year I simply put light over my big house plant for my own personal tree.....and every year I cut out snow flakes while watching "Mickey's Christmas carol" to the protest and annoyance of my husband who would ask "HOW OLD ARE YOU?" I reply back in not skipping a beat "Old enough to know one should never loose the Holiday spirit, it gives us hope for the future and a time in our lives to remember we need to never forgot how to play." He would shake his head and then we would debate for hours over morning coffee cups on the history of Christmas.
I never lost my focus in delighting over decorations, songs and the magic even if left all alone in my walk through the shopping centers or coffee shops. I delighted the most in sitting on a bench in "Garden-a-glow" thinking about the love of the holidays and the love for simply being alive was the best part of Christmas. 
To hear that Tony was having a changed of heart in all our spats and disagreements through the years made the Holiday season of 2007 stand out for me in realizing how nice it is to actually have someone walk or sit with me in these cozy traditions!
A friend once mentioned "You must make a really great home during Christmas to convinced him to come around." I shrugged in wonder saying "I don't demand anything, if he hates Christmas that his is own personal choice it has no hold on me for I know what makes me happy and in the end it is far easier to love and laugh then to protest and frown. He is amazed over how nice, at how EASY it is to not judge happy holiday lovers like me anymore....and I never took it personal so to each his own."

As I bought our specialize coffee drinks, Tony asked "Where are we going?" It was Thanksgiving weekend in 2007 I was super excited to show Tony more of my own personal world in Holiday wonders! He held up a blanket with a questioning look that I had tossed in the back seat of our car he asked "Why would we need a blanket? Where are we going!?!" I sipped my warm coffee as I drove on not explaining just teasing "I am going to show you the magic of Christmas!" We drove up into the foothills of an old money well established neighborhood I sang along to the Christmas carols all the way there as Tony waited in wonder over what I could be planning and not sharing with him the next big event of our lives. The evening grew dark by the time we made it to the top of the hills suddenly Tony began joking around "Oooooh I see! You brought me up here to make out....I getcha, I getcha." I just laughed as I found the perfect spot to park turning radio station to match the light display before us. Tony was stunned as the house before us danced with the tunes of the music he asked again "How did you do create this? How did you know about this house?" I kept smiling on proudly as we watched the Christmas decor light up in the same way the music took us along the story as if were we seeing a real life play. As the program ended in such a beautiful way I clapped on as if I were in a huge audience admiring this true glory!  Tony exclaimed in awe "WE are doing this every year! That was AMAZING! I never knew people decorate their house like that!?!" I drove us back home so pleased in how perfect every moment of sharing the beauty of Christmas had been this night. Tony sighed thoughtfully "I can't believe I have missed out on all of this for years, it's easier to choose to be happy during Christmas then to cynically judge and avoid people!" I pause to listen and understand him better then perk up with a great idea "WELL Then....Do I have a movie for you to watch tonight on that very same issue!" He laughed and I knew this was a holiday season to never forget!


Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Frank Sinatra Let it snow







Monday, December 1, 2014

Let it Snow!

              
This is a rather stormy day, snow falling and clouds covering everything! I woke up to all 3 dogs not waking up very easily so I said "Must be stormy outside then." Sure enough they all ran out to pee quickly and come right back in for breakfast, it's the beginning of a stressful week for my husband in his law school finales so I keep to myself for the most part, decorating for Christmas gives me such joy and delight being inside from such cold!
My 6 lazy cuddling pets fill my heart with all the socializing I really need as we hang out in my blankets and pillows fun filled living room!
I am not a winter person, but from the safety of my warm home I like to sing "Let it snow, let it snow!" The steaming of mulled wine and the colorful new homemade soup I roasted up makes me LOVE being a homemaker!
This is such a magical time of the year in which I take it all in with a fat cat in my arms and snowy wet dogs at my feet...we are now just waiting on setting up the Christmas tree!

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Behind the Holiday

I love this holiday for the joy in sharing food and family time! My list of thankfulness grows every year and today's dry weather is one of them since I don't like driving in the snow ever!
I am so grateful for all my friendships and for all my family, AND for this time to be still in true thankfulness. 

I am also excited to take my Mom some shrimp cocktail this afternoon, since she loves shrimp so much! I am thankful especially for this past year in having her come stay with me several times because I have learned so much about who she is and what she really thinks about me. I needed this information for my own personal growth I realize now, She has given me such insight and depth in figuring out my whole life story from since I was born and she was there to care for me. She is so real and honest now in whatever we talk about that I am thankful for our better friendship now.  The most important gift is grace, I am ever so thankful to want it and strive for knowing how to give her that in return for all her honesty and painful stories of our lives intertwined. I am so thankful for her in my life even though I wish her stroke had NEVER happened, without it she might never of told me so much stuff to make me work through it. I wish we could of had the openness we have with each other now back then...But it is with grace and gratefulness that I move forward in my life and enjoy spending time with her still knowing one day all of this could be gone so for this very minuet I am thankful to face it.....even if I don't always understand it.....
 For without love and grace we would all be staying behind the scenes if we could! 

Have a Happy Beautiful Thanksgiving day!


Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Behind the Pain

It has been a long journey in recovery for my mother and really that idea in recovering is more honestly not ever going to happen. She will be forever mentally challenged now, she will be consumed with her self in struggling with all her pain and limited mobility.
She has good and bad days, she has good and bad moods I've been watching her from day one in how to bring a smile on her face then I consider that the best day ever!
I don't care what she believes in or how she thinks towards God for all that is her own personal journey not mine. I simply appreciate seeing her when I can and loving all her honesty in conversations. It hurts us all to see her in so much pain trying to walk or trying to live again. She can be so adorable in acting like a little sweet girl, then she can make ya laugh as the Grandma she really is.....yet she can become confused and pouting very quickly when not getting what she wanted, when also feeling trapped in her body leaving her helplessly frustrated. There is so much pain for her that at time she can get very mean and very selfish. I have always kept this in front of my mind when handling her or taking her out to lunch. I often negotiate with her when she is challenging or determined to get what she wants, I bring our conversation around with reasoning and choices so she feel empowered to change her own mind while feeling really good being out and about! Example; while shopping Mom reaches for a pillow sham "I want this, get 2 of them." I stop rolling her wheel chair "Shouldn't we also get the matching blanket set? I think that will run 200 dollars for everything maybe we should wait....do you really NEED it right now?" Mom exclaimed "200 dollars!?! NO that is crazy! Where's the clearance rack?" I put the pillow shams back happy that my Dad isn't going to kill me for silly purchases as these....in fact the whole shopping time keeps me on my toes in always saying "Yes." first then adding in doubt or reason to why she wants to buy the item before us. 9 times out of 10 I can get her to change her mind completely on her own leaving her so happy and proud by her purchases. The pain of her life, the struggles she faces everyday makes her not care at all for the price tag on anything if she is hurting shopping distracts her and makes her feel good again. In her mind it is all justified that life is short she better buy it right now or later feel sad that she passed up such a good deal or a good sale.  A little over a  year ago I lived through one of the most painful days of my whole life apart from when my mother had her stroke of course, my best friend died. I was deeply dark and sad inside full of pain. I kept my word in seeing my Mother 2 days later and I noticed a huge shift in my focus while being with her. I was walking into walls and doors at the mall, I was lost easily confused at the book store with her while she grabbed every book she could reach to buy. I was in over my head I realized by my raw painful insides.
For when I had arrived to her cottage that early morning I shared my sad story with her knowing she would only care about going shopping so I wouldn't take her actions personal, My brother Davey however gave me a big hug as I teared explaining "I have some sad news, remember Benny? My best friend? Well... she died on Wednesday." I didn't cry or choke just felt dazed as my mother responded "Oh I thought your sad news was you were moving away and I was really scared that you wouldn't come around anymore." I chuckled at the adorable wide eyed look on my mother laying in bed and put my sad story aside for later. The whole day was extremely hard on me as Mom demanded to buy a dozen brand new books or go to Wal-mart (the store I hate the most) as I made jokes and cheerful dialogue pointing out how Wal-mart is so handicap friendly that I am glad to help her get her important items bought I felt the endless aching pain running through my blood of loss and sadness no fake smile could keep me from wanting to just scream at the whole world in my personal struggle. I noticed after snapping at my mother's ridiculous request she paused to look at me in surprise "You sound just like your Father, he never wants to go to more then one place at a time." I giggled at myself knowing my snapping out at her was bugging her when usually I always say "Yes, lets swing in there and take a look." but after 2 places that day I was wearing thin being already very damaged inside with my bleeding heart of such personal pain. I replied back to Mom "I think Dad wears out faster then you when it comes to shopping, I will be honest with ya Mom today is the worse day for me to care for ya...forgive me if I snap or just say NO to you because I do not have the right strength in being here." Mom snorted as we head home against her will, saying "No one is in as much pain as I AM. I can't even move my arm or leg so your father should just be grateful he can STILL drive." I nodded thoughtfully explaining "Loosing my best friend so suddenly has me all upside down right now...I need to go home now. I need to head out tomorrow to see Benny's kids and most importantly I need to come back to you next time in a better mindset I think..." Mom kept pouting on the early drive home in that late afternoon and I knew it was best to stay positive with her by saying in a few weeks how I will be back again for much better day together. She commented thoughtfully "I wonder if I had just died that it would of been much easier then this...." I felt warm tears fill my eyes as I explained "That is why we say "Rest in Peace" we hope they are for it is US who still live who have to carry all the pain." Mom replied "We never went to Win-co today I wanted those yogurt cups." I choked on my emotional laughter bringing me back from my own thoughts of death as I smiled at her reminding me the most important fact of all is how LIFE will always move on....


Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Behind the Beauty

There is a story we tell ourselves about what is Beautiful and what is not. We tell ourselves that we are beautiful or we tell ourselves that we are not by our own personal voice. I struggled the most with my inner storyteller back when I was depressed at age 16 crying myself to sleep because I thought I was so fat, because I thought I was the ugly duckling in my family. With my sister and my mother being true barbie dolls I compared myself next to them quite often or all my girl friends had those long skinny Victorian arms of gentle beauty I knew that I would NEVER have...so my self-pity and insecurity grew deep and dark inside of my mind back then until finally by 18 years old I realized that I wanted to be beautiful on the inside most importantly, once I realized that then I stopped listening to my insecure self. My Mother added to that insecurity quite often by saying "You have eaten enough today. No more apple pie for you....because you still have a husband to catch. If you were already married like me then you don't have to worry about it anymore." I would pout of course, even spatting back angrily at her that I don't EVER want to get married to which she would shake her head taking away my 3rd slice of pie. I baked all the time to have cookies and cupcakes cover the counters for whenever I felt bad or sad I would dive into a comforting treat. This was a problem looking back it was why I felt so fat and my Father would even yelled at me such things of how fat, of how stupid I was so I would bake something in hopes to stay out of the way of blame in my struggling high school years. This was like walking through fire as it hurt and made me consider why did I feel so unhealthy, so extremely emotional and so sensitive to not fitting into my family's idea of beauty. My Mother was the perfect image of a barbie doll, so many other women have told me how they thought she was truly breathtaking and perfect from head to toe. They were very surprised while talking with her that she was so shy or so insecure. A friend of the family said "If I had her body I would walk into any room and own it, I would be strong in all I could do or say because my good looks allowed for people to listen." I laughed back shaking my head at how silly it all was in the end explaining "My mother would of died in embarrassment if she behaved like THAT...besides, being "good looking" isn't a guarantee that others will actually listen to you." I have always wondered why my mother was ashamed of standing out, of getting hit on by strange guys all the time. As a young married woman I chased off these kind of guys as my mother looked at me like a scared little kid. "Ya just need to tell them to get lost so they don't disrupt your family time. No need to be afraid of them just glared them down and tell them to get lost, you'll be fine." My mother would just look all around in embarrassment as I acted like her getting hit on was just a normal day.  My Mother said after her stroke that she doesn't expect to get "hit on"  anymore, I giggled in surprise by she sharing this as I was pushing her wheel chair through the hospital rose gardens "You remember that? I just thought you pretended to not notice those guys. I always knew just what to say to them in order to get them away from you so I could chat in peace,.....how funny that you remember those times." Mom replied "I don't really remember because I didn't care, back then I knew I was so beautiful that I could always get a new guy in my life if your father didn't work out....but now I am really old and odd looking." I sighed thoughtfully at how she was processing this aftermath in her life. I pointed out the nearby rose bush "That is why I think it is more important then ever to find beauty outside of ourselves to something like this rose, It smells amazing here in the warm sunshine and it's so beautiful! Maybe the best imagine to remember is how it grows out of all these thorns. You will always be my beautiful breath taking Mother whose thorns become apart of that inside beauty. The real value of what is important and what really last forever is what I consider timeless beauty." I knew my mother didn't get my helpful tip on beauty as she saw herself in the mirror of the elevator exclaiming "Oh gross, I look so very gross! Turn me around I can't look anymore." I swung her around towards the door replying "Mom, don't say that you are NOT gross, you are alive and that's the true beauty in this story....." I glanced at myself in those same mirrors realizing for the first ever I looked exactly like my mother, as I could remember her at 32 years old for she gave me this chin, this chest and those same kind of hips. But it's my eyes that I care the most about what is going on behind the scene, what are my emotions and my thoughts saying about this moment in time? What is my story telling self saying to me right now as my mother hides from her image, as I see her youth in me now...How can I comfort her and help her change the story of what real beauty is?  For we will all grow old and wrinkled, we will all have something not perfect in our appearance one day....It is how we tell ourselves, how we tell our life stories that makes us beautiful from the inside out! It makes us hold our head up proudly that we once lived, that we will always be beautiful indeed!
When my mother was here last she complained as I did her nails, "I use to be so beautiful, never letting my nails get this bad." I commented back "I don't mind doing them." She sighed "I'm just saying I don't want people to forget how perfect I once was, how beautiful I was." I smiled leaning in on her soft smooth cheek with her curly gray hair tucked around her ear. "NO ONE will EVER forget that, I think those stories will live on forever I am sure. Because everyone remembers when you walk in, the air went out." I chuckled at myself for thinking up that line to share with her. Thinking to myself over how ALL beauty will never last in the end but thankfully our wit and our humor NEVER dies!

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Behind the Movie

       
        While my mother stayed with me we watched many Victorian movies and shows last week, I love the calming quiet nature of these films while my Mom laid on the couch surrounded by my cats and dogs napping with her. It allowed me to knit or to simply clean my home in pure peacefulness and joy. We started off her visited with "Pride and Prejudiced." The 1995 mini-series with the famous Colin Firth.  My mother has already shared with me how sad she is to see her good looks disappear after her stroke. I don't see this change as much as she does when she looks in the mirror, it's why now she won't let just anyone take a picture of her or she will try to hide from meeting new people at first in her knee jerk reaction. She'll say to me "I'm not looking my best right now." Or "I use to be MUCH better looking when I was normal." My mother was one of the most beautiful people of my whole life time so I completely agree with her and know why she acts the way she does now when faced with her gray hair and baggy clothes. When I was 16 years old my girl friend and I found a hidden box full of old pictures and love letters for my mom. We both agreed that reading the letters wasn't our thing to snoop so we just looked through the snap shots of her high school life. "Debby LOOK! Oh wow it's just like YOU!" She handed me a cloudy picture of a BEAUTIFUL teenage girl in tight summer shorts I laughed so hard in my protest "No way! I have NEVER had legs like THAT...look at those barbie doll perfect shape thighs and her waist I don't think I will ever be that skinny in my life! I do however smile just like her....Do you think this is my Mom?!?!" My friend giggled pointing to the perfect shape chest nodding her head "Yes, you have that same exact shape the hour glass body type only your sizes are bit more then her in this picture. My mother was a beauty back at your age too I am realizing back then good looks and smaller sizes were the norm." I laughed putting the pictures away "All I know is that I love food way to much to care what size I wear....but wow, I've always thought my mom was a brown hair barbie doll didn't know she posed for all those pictures in such a sexy way like THAT!" My friend nodded chuckled explaining "ALL parents have a past life they don't want to be known to their kids...." We left the treasure box in storage right where we found it and went on a walk through the fruit orchard discussing what it really means to be beautiful.
I sat across the living room from my sleepy mother who snacked on apple slices with cheese. She was into the show before us as Mr. Darcy first proposed to Elizabeth, she spatted out "She is being rude and stupid, say yes and become wealthy." I choked on my shock drinking a hot tea cup "WHAT?!?!?" Mom smiled as if she knew I would do that asking me, "Where's my Mr. Darcy? If  I was her I would be thrilled to marry someone so rich." I tossed my knitting project down and sat up in alarm "He is proposing to her in a very arrogant way, not to mention how clearly uncomfortable he is making her feel right now, He doesn't care because he is being so selfish, simply put he is a true asshole in this scene! If she didn't say no then she would have no self-respect in my book!?!" Mom sighed "I think she is the one being selfish thinking she is could to be better then him when in reality he is the richest man in town." I had to jump on to my feet to distract myself from this movie scene I said back over my shoulder  "Well, It's just a story, luckily they both learn in the end to be honest and real with each other no matter how much money they all have." I walked away shaking my head at how different, how amazingly different my mother and I are from one another. Sometimes it takes a movie or a news story to see all the little differences in each other as we react and respond to life unfolding. I am often in wonder of how do I come to my own conclusions through all of these life's events and stories??? Why do I think the way I see it is so clear either right or wrong? Just because I would never marry for money or for a certain status doesn't mean I am right in this idea.....I wonder how did I get here in my own passion and thoughts? My self confidence is made up of all I feel so passionate about. Over the years there are more who disagree with me as I live on, as I share myself boldly??? It can make me react and reveal my set of standards or rules for my life when faced with all these opposing views, it also feels bewildering to me that these people around me don't see what I see or think like I think.....am I the one whose in the wrong here clinging to a certain idea of the right kind of life? Often frustrated with people who are just like me often thinking in black and white/right or wrong as so I do? This classic drama show stirred up questions in me on how do I see the world for myself? My desire for my life's journey is to not live a greedy selfish life. Then I realize how much I want everyone else to think the way I do,so in other words I am being selfish and greedy in not wanting to live all alone in my "principles"........ironic!
For all the reasons people marry I guess it comes back to whatever works for that person and I can only know myself really. If Mr. Darcy came at me like that I would instantly send him away for my happiness comes from being around calm and kind people. A life time of money never interested me (apart from surviving needs and being secured in my own little home) I think the value of everything is in the eye of the beholder. Beauty and looks will always fade away and money will not give you long lasting happiness in the end. However looking behind the movie into what it all means to you is priceless and you'll smile at yourself just a little bit more!

Friday, November 21, 2014

Behind the scene in listening

  Whenever I am with my mother I think of how special it is that I can still talk to her, if she had died during her stroke I wouldn't be listening to all of her ideas and memories now. I wouldn't have this new depth to all the facts from her point of view of the past. She is sharing with me such an honest reality to my own life. Sometime when I am listening to her I think to myself "Whoa, this is way to personal for me to handle." Then I sit there listening more thinking "This is actually why I am here. To simply listen and take with me the better understanding of who she is and how it ALL explains why I am."

 Whenever I am with my mother I make sure that I am in good healthy, that I am in happy spirits and  focused on pure love. This helps me be a better listener, a better care giver for all her many needs and many emotional stories. I am in awe now just how I would of loved all these conversations with her BEFORE her stroke. That was never possible, she was very guarded and very preachy towards me. She judged me and corrected me all the time as we met for lunch or shopping as I so eagerly shared my adult life with her. I never gave up on trying for that friendship we never had when I was a kid. So now as she rides in her wheel chair talking non-stop because she is excited to be out and about in the mall I walk in pure peace and joy for all I can listen to. These days will be gone faster then anyone wants to admit......I always knew my time with her was limited so I better make it right. I better try my best at being there when I can even if she didn't act the way I wished she would. I grew up with her crying at the drop of a hat and blaming my father for her unhappiness, so by the time I was 19 and my sister ran away from home I didn't take it personal when she would come to me saying I was a horrible sister. Then she would turn around asking me if she had been a good mother I would try to be honest then she burst into thousands of tears to which left me looking up the sky thinking "Oh brother..."   Who she was is why I am as different from her, now as I walk with her  on the quad cane or push her in the wheel chair, or as I help her to the restroom and cut up her food small enough not to choke. I think how grateful deeply that I am, how very sad it all is in seeing her suffer so much, how sad in being helpless to make everything good again for her. I have learn to not take it personal long ago when she blamed me for her frustrations. Because this story is bigger then just my thoughts and opinion, I've been saying "It's not about me, it's about making my mother happy and feeling loved again." to which some people roll their eyes at me and I chuckle knowing that out look sounds showy. Yet it's that outlook I have carried in my heart for all these years that allows me to return to my mother on my own free will to help her maybe even if that just means I sit listening. As I grow older I grow calmer in who I am and this is made known more in depth because my mother shares and needs someone to listen to her. There is such a peace in realizing I don't need to speak up or reply, I can't fix her life or change her mind in ways I see so clearly need to be handled.....I will listen with joy that I can, I will be by her side when I know it will comfort her and I will always take to heart that these were the days that gave me all the behind scenes in the stories of my life!  I love sitting in the park on my own to practice listening better, the ducks and geese remind me how small I am and how this story called life is magically HUGE grasping the understanding of who my mother is and how I was raised is simply a stone laying in the pond. I listen because I love.........because I never want to stop learning more!



Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Behind the scene of Christmas eve

            My Grandparents loved their family, all four kids and all four families as time flew by with Christmas eve being their most important holiday. 
            My Grandparents were devoted Christians, almost blind in their passion to follow the bible or the words of their church pastor. 
            My Grandpa had a quiet faith to live by that made him a good man, he also rarely if ever left home for church on Sundays or for any other social activity that got his wife so motivated to go. I think personally he was a good soul, a very caring being who loved his farm and care about all the creatures on it.  Grandpa's need to stay on the farm as I grew up was a security blanket for me because I knew he was always there on the same farmland that my parents house was located. I grew up observing all the adults in my life and I never saw my Grandpa loose his temper, never saw him get all preachy and self-righteous. I never saw him doubt his faith or even admit to the fact God forsaken him when he laid dying. I was very impress by his kindness always, when I said "The bible is full of hypocrisy." I was just 22 years old laying my back against his bed in the living room as he ate a handful of cookies looking out his big picture window to valley below on his huge farmland. He frowned back replying "The world is also hypocrisy, don't let the bad people out there take away your goodness." 
I felt bad for blunting that out because I knew this whole Christian thing wasn't for me anymore I felt so frustrated. Yet my Grandpa did make that religion look good, he did his very best all the way to the end. For it was the strength in his life that helped him be a good man with his bible in hand.....I totally get that, and I completely respect him for it too. 
       My Grandma was more emotional about her faith and sometimes humbly admitting that she had doubts or struggles with it at times,  (this would open her up for attacks and judgement especially from my own mother I noticed) I liked knowing that I wasn't the only one confused by God's rules or bible stories. I was very close to my Grandma especially once old enough to carry on a conversation with her. I saw her all the time as we were "neighbors" on their orchard farms while trying to not upset my mother who was so easily jealous of us. Whenever Grandma took me out to lunch or shopping I would come home so happy to of been out in society seeing all kinds of new things and new people, having fun with Grandma was a huge saving grace for me as a restless young teenager. My mother would be waiting for me to get home wanting me to tell her everything and often my mom would asked if Grandma talked about her, to which I would always act like that was a odd question. The fear my mother had was how her own Mother would use me to get "dirt" on her. I often rolled my eyes at my mother in reply saying Grandma had no such intentions! But I also grew sharp on this issue quite young in life and trying to avoid taking sides of my mother and my Grandmother. 
The truth was as I saw it that my little Grandma was my friend, and my mother however was not. Of course I was careful to not trust either one completely, I loved them both even tried several times to help them become nicer to each other. Those experiences growing up made me the very alert young woman today, FOR I will NOT play games, I will not leave any room for misunderstanding nor will I waste my time with self-righteous judgmental women. My mother is the exception to this rule of course, because her stroke doesn't allow her to hide these personal traits anymore, I choose to work around them keeping forgiveness front and center in my heart at all time while with her. While also thinking if her parents were still alive they would want her to be cared for and loved nevertheless. I was reminded lately just how Grandma Norma did Christmas Eve to the most spectacular scene!  Christmas trees every where and mountains of gifts among soft Christmas decor and a huge counter of foods. Grandpa adding logs of wood to the fireplace with traditional holiday music playing through the intercom walls. I always knew as kid running about from Aunts and Uncles to laying on the carpet in order to look up the biggest decorate tree that I was very blessed. That I was always going to want to remember these celebrations, cherish them closely to my heart forever that the family looked so perfect sitting around each other. Since real life and relationships are not always perfect as each Christmas eve unfolded I knew something magical was happening here with all those hugs and smiling faces in sharing Christmas, I had a wonderful example of what it really means to be "family" in the end. For all of those gifts are forgotten but the time together never dies!

I pushed my Mother through the displays of Christmas in the mall last week while she stayed with me, I was instantly overcome by missing Grandma Norma. The wheel chair rolled in front of me as I happily thought all I could do for my mother in cheering her up, sadly this time she just wouldn't have it. She looked and acted weak, she seemed a bit sick too so this could of all contributed to her bad mood. I never gave up in my cheerfulness yet when Mom mentioned how her mother wasn't all that great, how I only ever saw the "good side" of Grandma I had chuckled back at her explaining "Shouldn't we always see the GOOD side to each other? Wouldn't you want to be remember for only the good things? Of course it's not humanly possible to be good all the time, But shouldn't we hope and strive for the best behavior towards each other always?" Mom grunted back  "Your Grandma was lucky to never have to take care of dying parents or have a stroke like me." I kept on the move knowing that these kind of conversations are important to help my mother look at all these memories and stories in a better way. I explained some  more "Yes, you did all of that, and had such sad times in your life that were very different from the life Grandma had....it's not like she didn't hurt or struggle too. I can remember how hard she worked at trying to be your friend as the grown adults you ladies were when I was growing up." Mom snorted "Well, It was to late for her by then the damage was done. Her true nature had been revealed and YOU never saw her for what she really was." I took a deep breath looking down at my very old looking mother wondering why she sounded just like a 5 year old again, was it the aftermath of her stroke or is this the true maturity of her soul? I half hugged her when I stopped pushing her wheel chair as we looked on at the decorated Christmas tree before us. I replied very humbly back at her sitting against me "It's never to late to forgive, look at me wanting to still hang out with you. There is always hope for change and there is always hope to better your relationships along the way." I took a deep breath remembering how important all of these conversations are. Then I giggled as Mom waved me on to stroll down the rest of the mall in perfect peaceful silence....or until we saw another clearance rack.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Being Thankful equals being Happy

I just read an article that brought some much needed focus on what is important for thankful happiness. In this YES Magazine website I really enjoyed these 7 steps with my cup of coffee, I've noticed since my mother has been staying with me a few nights this week That I am grateful to have thankfulness in the front of my mind right now as she shares how unhappy she is in not being able to walk or move like she use to, or when she has many requests in the middle of the night I think about happiness being a choice more then ever before. My mom can't seem to relax and just be still as she either wants to go out for lunch or go shopping again to the Boise Mall. But in this stay we had such a deep snow fall that we were able to get to the mall the first day she was here and after that staying inside. This makes her very restless and wanting to see Dad and the boys back in her own cottage.
I have noticed being grateful and thankful helps me find happiness in Mom's stay with me through anything that comes up, since she seems uncomfortable quit a bit with her paralyzed side right now and her lack of sleep I am glad to understand how Happiness is a choice after counting all these moments as thankful times to learn from. That and a good warm hearty breakfast helps me wake up better against the sound of the TV playing "Toy Story" for us to watch together. The years really do go by and having my mom stay with me is truly relaxing among all my pets and blankets as we watch the snow falling outside, Mom asks "Do you want to go out for dinner? I can buy." I chuckle shaking my head in reply "I have soup already made so we'll be safer inside." Then we settle in as I count it all joy and gratefulness to bring a happy smile to my face!


Monday, November 10, 2014

My Condo Flashback Film

video This storm came upon us without any warning in 2010, I had just gotten my new camera and filmed this awesome moment because I've always been a storm chaser! I love being outside so much that when I get in from a storm like this I feel so cozy and safe once again not "trapped inside"anymore. We use to live in such a small space I had forgotten! My delight and entertainment in storm watching keeps me always enjoying my surroundings! Here I am this morning 4 years later with 6 pets and a much bigger home with no connecting walls to my neighbors. The coldness of fall turning into winter has us all cozy under blankets here on the couch. I look outside in awe of this magical place to live and how I do NOT miss my condo days at all....because I have honestly out grew that time in my life! 

Saturday, November 8, 2014

The Humor

         
It was a cold fall morning as I walked into the kitchen of my friend's home while her mother brewed coffee asking out "So how did ya girls sleep last night? Were ya'll warm enough? Did ya have enough blankets because it got really cold last night." I stretched out and yawn smiling "It was all good, I actually fell asleep before the others which has NEVER happened before in a slumber party for me, I am must be getting OLD." My friend's mother chuckled while nodding in her reply "Well Debby dear, you ARE almost 20."  I shrugged carelessly back saying "That's not going to change the fact that I like to have slumber parties and all night long conversation at the truck stop." She smirked at me with a wink "You just keep telling yourself that and one day when you say "Everyone needs to go home so I can get some good sleep then you'll know life has all these levels and stages." The background radio was on as I sat there waking up thinking about what she had just said, the sound of laughter coming from the radio drew me into focus as I asked "What is that?" She sipped her coffee beside me calmly and peacefully listening to it. "Car Talk" I kept on listening as I began to chuckle with it too. "How interesting! I've always wanted to know more about cars! This is a really nice radio station, not all loud and annoying. I like it!" My friend's mother who had always made being around her very welcoming explained "The radio station is NPR, and "Car Talk" is a show where any caller can ask a question about their vehicle to the brothers, that's whose talking right now. They have a great relationship in working together to help people understand the car world easier, I really enjoy their humor too."  

I was hooked from that morning on to never miss a Saturday morning episode if I was anywhere near a radio! I often wondered as I listened "So will I remember that when my car acts that way too? How can I conduct myself in a confident way when at the auto body shop?"  There is a an end of era without even realizing it as now anyone with a car problem can instantly "Google it" and the long awaited week of car stress is ended faster then calling in to "the Click and Clack brothers" over the public radio. The best part of this show was the laughter and the connection to our culture and our society. We the listener laughed together as we all grew a wiser too! 

This past week  Tom Magliozzi passed away after 77 years of one adventure after another and I felt nostalgic remember how I was 19 years old finally stepping out into the world around me not afraid to express myself and longing to learn new things.  6 years later I stood sipping my coffee in my kitchen listening to the radio laughter as my husband was still sound asleep, I reflective over how I didn't really like slumber parties anymore because my own home was now my peaceful sanctuary and I had a very important loyal Saturday morning routine with NPR as my desire to never stop learning while laughing wholeheartedly grew even deeper!
THANK YOU, Thankyou Car Talk brothers for giving me such a great insight to life and to the cars all around me!
 

Friday, November 7, 2014

The Sea


When I start to feel down and sad again I get online and look at pictures of the Oregon Coast, I zoom in and out online looking over hundreds of pictures reminding me of a place I love and a place that comforts me. Doing this always cheers me up so well!

When I get this way, restless and distracted from my own thoughts I get out for a walk and most importantly I get out for my own time, taking pictures of fall or writing in my journal I am amazed over how much being on my own awhile feels me with such peace and focus again to come back to the table at the coffee shop full of friends in a better mood and new  strength.


When I remember watching such a great movie last week called "All is Lost" starring Robert Redford, I was instantly faced with my own self in many ways! Because I love the sea so much that one day down the road in my life I could see easily sailing out into a new adventure in seeking insight for my soul.


When I reach the ocean side I am captivated and still, instantly still, so whatever was bothering me or inside my thoughts rolling around with my emotions is stopped as I hear "It doesn't matter anymore." I am one with the view of a unknown world out there! I whisper against the wind in the sand as the sound of waves roll towards me "I love you, I love you, I love you!" as I run freely with my dogs into the sea. No one else can feel this for me, no one else can distract me from my core being when I am at the ocean, when I am truly and perfectly HOME.



When I watched "All is Lost" I was reminded how inspirational it is to fight for every breath no matter the odds!

When the movie first started out there was a clear line in showing the difference from being alone  and being lonely. I enjoy being on my own just doing my own thing and I can sit alone anywhere just fine. I find that I think clearer, I feel depth in connecting all the dots of questions in my head when I am on my own for awhile, I have such peace in letting the world move around me as I take it all in! When I am lonely I quickly call a friend out for coffee or happily hug everyone I know who walks by! I send out texts, emails, cards and pictures to everyone I am missing in my life in my panic to find connections and conversations. When I am rarely lonely I have noticed just how very important people become to me in my longing to chat it up! As I watched "All is Lost" I chuckled to myself over how I would be talking to myself out loud if I were Robert Redford sailing across the ocean with a damaged boat. For I never really think I am alone when I start rolling conversation through my mind, I actually picture myself in a moment of stress or high activities that I need to be told from my wiser self what to do next or how to prioritize my life. I know this is a funny feature of myself as I get older and as I find movies that inspire me like this one did I am realizing that I am NOT going to worry about it nor try to change it. If I talk to myself while being alone then so be it but if I start imagining other people around me when I am so lonely then I will be concerned of course! 


Loving people just as much as I love the ocean helps me create a balance in my life where my soul gets a rest in being still and my social calender stays happily active! AND if ever I find myself surviving the ocean then I WILL create flashbacks to what steps Robert Redford in "All is Lost" performed to survive because as I watched it from the safety of my perfectly peaceful solitude I felt like All was gained!




Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Loving the World!

            
There is such a passionate feeling in the Fall season, it is the vibrant colors of the world around us changing just before the cold naked winter arrives.
There is a sense of  hurry to capture all of the sun's warmth and get the food storage for long snowy trapped inside days of the next cold dark season.

I love being a homemaker in the fall, canning and drying fruits. Freezing extra veggies and meats. Deep cleaning each room from top to bottom while adding in even more blankest and pillows. Stocking up on wool socks, sweaters and boots. While cooking more bone broth and heavy comforting soups!
I love homemaking in the fall with pumpkin scented candles as the early chilly evenings need a comforting touch. The colors of the leaves and the land all around me is breathless in awe of simply different and yet rich in beauty, I don't stay outside all night anymore but I do step out to take a deep breath of fall and see the world changed recently! I let my mind and soul whisper "I'm LOVING the WORLD!" then I bundle up a bit more and smile for life is never the same day to day, never.