August 2015 Blog Archives


August 31, 2015


I feel like Phineas and Ferb.......


It's the last week of summer vacation and I have so many things I still want to do before it's over!  Can we please just put it off for...... well, until next year?  I still want to go to North Carolina to see my friends new cabin in the Smokies, Washington, DC to meet clients, to Texas because I just love to go there, and to find this little place I read about in northeast Michigan who is supposed to have the best pie in the whole state!  These things are important you know......


But no!  We have to prepare for school and fall and then winter to come.....  Ugh!  I was really loving the sun shining and warm weather. Someone pointed out to me last night that the days are getting shorter.  Don't say things like that to me!  It really makes me sad.... I want longer days, more sun, and more summer vacation!  


My very practical husband noted that vacation can't last forever.  Whatever!  I say it can and I do not intend to entertain the idea until next Monday night.  And until then?  I am going to party like summer is just getting started!  Hope you do, too!


August 28, 2015


6:30 Chipmunk Wakeup Call!


With one eye barely open and grumbling, I stumbled around the end of the bed heading for the bathroom.  And guess who was laying at the foot of the bed?  The chipmunk.  He appeared dead.  I, the great chipmunk hunter (not!), ran to the kitchen and got a heavy plastic container to put over it....... Just in case.  The cat was not amused.


With some screaming (this is really not my thing - think tarantulla in your bed), I got the dustpan, scooped him/her on it and ran for the garage.  I put the dustpan on the workbench and ran back into the house, closed the door and screamed until I felt better.  Got dressed and had to leave.  When I went to get in the car the chipmunk was under the dustpan.  OMG!  He's alive! 


My husband said (from Chicago) that I should revive him with water and food.  I did not agree.  I did my carpool and when I came back he was gone.  But upon closer inspection of the table, he was still there among the stuff.  My husband said (from Chicago) I should revive him with water and food, again.  I still did not agree.  Sadly or rather, thankfully - depending on who you talk to - he went back to God.  My husband, when he came home from Chicago buried him and came in to remark on how soft his fur was.  He said there were no visible signs of damage on him/her.  He suggested maybe it was lack of food that it succumbed to.....  "So sad", he said. 


I'm not willing just yet to ponder the humanity of it all.  I prefer to just put it all behind me.  I know he went straight back to God, but I hope before he left he floated his spirit self over his companions in my yard and told them to stay out of the house!  I will work on more compassion next week after I wash all the linens and clean the house...... 


August 27, 2015


Day two of the chipmunk saga........


What have I learned?  I learned that I really don't like chipmunks in my house.  This morning at 4 am the cat jumped on the bed and was running all around, so I jumped out of the bed and turned on the lights.  I was sure the chipmunk was in there somewhere.....  I threw covers off, looked in every fold and cranny and no chipmunk.  False alarm!  And the cat looked at me like I lost my mind.....  He snored.  I was awake the remainder of the night, just sure I had missed seeing the little critter in the blankets......


Now you would think that logic would set in and I would no longer be afraid.  After all, he's been here 48 hours, he's practically one of the family.  But no!  I want him out and now would be the perfect time.  My son graciously went through all the kitchen cupboards and pulled out the stove, but we didn't find him.  Apparently it is a nocturnal thing and I am way too exhausted by then to rise to the occasion.


The cat is smug though and I really don't like that.  My husband keeps saying (from Chicago) that it's just a harmless little chipmunk....  I wonder how he would feel if I moved out into a hotel until the harmless little chipmunk was located and returned back to the wild?  I counted up all the cat toys today and am convinced they can't hold a candle to a live playmate......  But isn't that what we humans are?  With any luck this hostage situation (me as the hostage) will end real soon.....


August 26, 2015


Sometimes little things slay you.........


Today our housecat was lounging on the deck in the sunshine and out of the blue decided to chase a chipmunk, catch it and deposit it on the living room floor.  The chipmunk ran all over the house, chased by the cat and ultimately escaped into the kitchen cupboards, where it remains.  I want to move out now.


I know it's a small thing.  I know cats do that.  I know it's 'just a chipmunk'.  But it didn't keep me from crying.  Why?  Well, it was just one too many things piled up at just the right time.  The straw that broke this mom's back if you will.  I don't do crawling things.  I do a lot of things I don't want to do, but I really do draw the line at rodents of any kind, snakes and spiders.  Yes, I will probably get it together, but hear me say I don't want to.


I really don't care if 'the chipmunk is scared, too'.  I really don't care if the cat was 'just being a cat'.  I really don't care how it all happened or why, I just want to leave the door open and have it all back the way it is supposed to be.  Preferably now.  Right now.......  And if that doesn't happen? Maybe tomorrow I will be braver, but today?  Today was no fun at all!



August 25, 2015


How observant are you?


A client recently asked me how the corn was doing around where I live.  Ummmmmmm.....  it's okay?  I have no real idea!  I barely have a green thumb and even though I pass by a whole lot of corn every single day, I just see it growing and getting taller.....  But do I know how it's doing?  No.  He asked about the rain we had and wanted to know if the nitrogen rate in the corn was up as a result....... Seriously,

I just found out that water made a difference in corn nitrogen......


How aware should we be about our surroundings?  My Marine husband would tell you it's a critical thing, but he didn't know about the nitrogen thing either!  So while it proves we are not and should never be farmers, it does not solve the observation problem.  Here's a challenge:  This week see if you can become aware of something around you that you never noticed before.  Then decide if it really matters......  Maybe we all need to be a little more observant in life or.......  maybe not!


August 24, 2015


Walking through your fear.......


Is so smart!  Let's say you are afraid of heights, so you never go up high.  Sounds logical and it's a real phobia, but what are you really afraid of actually?  Falling, standing too close to the edge, being pushed by someone, succumbing to the thinner air?  Walk through that fear and discover what really scares you.  If it's falling, look up the odds of someone actually falling with or without a rail and see just how probable is actually is. Trust me, standing too close to the edge will NOT be a problem!  Someone could actually push you, so go with someone you really trust and make them stand guard over you.  And if you actually did succumb to thinner air, you would pass out and begin to breathe normally again at a much slower rate.  You would still need to get down from that height, but you would live.  At the very least walking through your fear will present all new things for you to obsess over.......


I know someone who is almost crippled by the fear of losing their job.  And yet, they've already lost a job twice and lived to work again. Some would say that totally justifies the fear.  I would say it proves that if that does happen to you, you already have the ability to survive and rise above it!  So how about you scrap that fear and get another one?


Fear is a very important part of our lives.  I hope you fear stepping out in front of a moving car, that's useful.  But when fear overtakes our thoughts and begins to influence the decisions we make, it's time to walk through it and figure out just where it came from and why it matters. Don't worry, if you get rid of one fear, something else will come along to occupy all that free time!


August 21, 2015


Concerted thinking........


In the throes of cramming all you possibly can into summer before it ends, lots of kids are going to concerts.  Ours is considering his first major concert and we noted that he couldn't go alone.  The first time you go, you need some type of bodyguard even if it's just Dad looking ominous.  Of course, he thinks differently.  Then we found out the concert was 'outside on the grass', cheap seats in the grass $100 a pop and no cooler checks.......  Yeah, you'll need some guidance no matter how savvy you think you are about such things......


I remember seeing Elvis, Springsteen, James Taylor and I loved it so much, but I knew all the words to the songs and I just can't seem to wrap my head around my sons favorite alternative rock band.  Of course, my parents weren't big on some of my choices either......  It's a rite of passage, right?  


I hope you are blowing out the last of your summer, too.  Getting it all in, pushing all the limits and ignoring the coming end to the days of blissful fun.  Hello weekend, here we come!


August 20, 2015


Who do you want to be when you grow up?


I still don't know.  I'm working diligently through the list and having a great time of it, but if I had to nail it down?  I would not.  I worked with a group of teenagers recently and they are being pressured to 'pick their career'.  Mind you, they don't even know how to drive yet, making the whole thing seem like a really bad joke.  


I am still envious of the people who were just born knowing what they want to do in life.  I was born with a very long list of ideas, guess that's what I get for being so curious about everything.  The teenagers bantered around jobs and everything from chemical engineer to rocket scientist came up.  One kid said he would probably just repair cars.  Another said he thought they would all need that, given the recent drivers training results, and they laughed.  That did make the most sense.  


I felt for them.  I feel for me!  So here's your big chance.......  No matter how old you are or what you are doing right now, pick what you want to do forever.......   1, 2, 3, Go!  


August 19, 2015


What does 'in the valley of the shadow of death' mean?


A client called to say a family member was diagnosed with cancer and just like that, the emotions began to overrun their life.  Will the bad things outweigh the hope?  When the doctor says they 'caught it in time', what does that really mean?  And please, the what ifs will drive you insane.....


Every time I grapple with these type of things, I can hear the words, "Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil for thou art with me."  And if I had to paint a picture of this valley it would include the cancer diagnosis, the child deaths, the too soon deaths, and the loneliness that accompanies such difficult times in all our lifes. My grandmother sent me to a neighbors house and I stayed too long causing a fearful walk home in the dark.  I sang as loud as I could all the way back, walking a little and running a lot......  I recommend that for walking in the shadow of the valley of death...


Three things:  One: It is cliche to say we are all going to die, but it is not cliche to say that we really don't know when it will happen!  It's not just when you are diagnosed with something scary.  So in that sense we are always in that valley, maybe just up on the outer edge of it.  Two:  If it is happening, it is supposed to.  Learn the lesson of it and try to walk all the way through the fear.  It is undeniably a life lesson and you don't want to revisit it again to get it now do you?  Three:  If everything was wonderful all the time, earth would be an unsuccessful teaching center.  Bad things don't just happen to good people, they happen to every single one of us.  


So that leaves how we deal with it.  We do not have to like it, but we can choose to sing loudly through it.  And lastly?  Going back to God, while it is not fun for those who are left behind, is a really good thing.  Been there, done that and highly recommend it.  Millions have done it before us, we can, too.  



August 18, 2015


Why even have miracles?


It is not unusual for me to see clients who do not believe in Spirit.  They don't believe anything happens when you die except that it's over.  They typically don't believe in magic either and would not be ideal people to go to Disney World with.....  For those people, miracles are the best prescription.  Something completely undeniable, flat out amazing, and untouched by humans making it happen, can change the way you look at the world pretty quickly or for the most seasoned critic, at least kickstart the process of acceptance.


I think watching the birth process is a miracle.  I find it interesting to watch the transformation that happens to first time parents.  Not only do they get a new person to take care of, but they also get the opportunity to grapple with a miracle.  Children teach us from the time they are conceived until they go back to God, because if we are smart we realize they are miracles right smack in the middle of our lives........  There are other miracles, too.  Sunsets, rainbows, two moons.....  Actually there are more than we realize - thank God, because sometimes we are a little too slow to catch on and there have to be enough to go around......


Why have miracles?  Because they are fun and confuse the skeptics!  Miracles get them all riled up and makes them have to ponder things - I love that!  Here's wishing you a miracle today.  Right in your life, up close and personal.  Enjoy!


August 17, 2015


When love blooms........


Isn't it just the most fun to see someone in love?  We have so many things in the world that are difficult, watching love bloom puts things back into perspective.  It is a little hard to wait though.  I knew this couple separately before they knew each other.  Now some 4 months later, they are declaring their love and I want to say, "Well, it took you long enough!"  But then patience was never my strong suit.......


I guess when you've been around awhile, you just don't want to wait around for the good stuff to happen and when the writing is so clearly on the wall, get about the happiness already!  Put those lives together and get them in motion!  It can only be a good thing......


My family teases me because I only like movies with a happy ending.  It's my philosophy that we have enough bad endings without having to be entertained by them.  I want the good stuff to happen more often!  


So here's to love in all the phases and may it bloom and grow all over the place.......  


August 14, 2015


I'm cranky about this cold.......


My husband had a summer cold and I felt really sorry for him, so I nurtured him with hugs, food and comfort.  So of course, I caught the cold.  I knew when I was taking care of him that it could happen, but I always think if I am being kind and caring, how could I possibly get sick?  I mean, that isn't even fair!  And really?  Fair has nothing to do with it, I exposed myself to a summer cold carrier and got one...... End of story.  Except for the bitterness.


So he's all better now and I have a sore throat, headache, cough..... Ugh!  And let's face it, it would be stupid for him to take care of me and end up with it again.  He is sympathetic, but from a distance....  Apparently he's much smarter in this regard.  And good grief!  I will live to have another summer cold.  So why the cranky?


Just human nature I guess and so I will just go have something cold to drink and go on with my crabby self.....  He says I will be good as new by Monday, but right now?  That and a box of tissues are my only comfort.....


Hope you have a well and cold free weekend!



August 13, 2015


When prison becomes a household word......


I spoke with a client whose sons were in prison for pretty serious theft charges.  I realize if this happens to someone that you have to come up with a way to deal with it in your life.  Her way was to blame the police for catching them and making the plea bargains, etc. There are a whole lot of semantics involved in every story, but what concerned me was how normal the word prison had become in her conversation.  It could only be discerned as acceptance.


At the risk of sounding old fashioned, I would have liked for her to still be outraged about the whole thing.  And I guess I think that would keep it from happening again.  It seems like that may be the only defense, short of education and life lessons.  Shows on television about prison, even when they make them look bad, still sensationalize the whole idea.  Much like the violence in video games we've experienced where kids don't think death can occur if they shoot someone or someone shoots them.  Myths are easily made when they accompany fun.


I'm not proposing we only have lovely television shows and no video games.  I don't have a viable solution.  But I do believe our words define us and sometimes consent seems to come all wrapped around them.  And I think we can start by choosing them more carefully.


August 12, 2015


How much charity is enough?


My son and his friends collected $225 for a local food bank.  They had taken a tour of the facility in the fall and the director explained to them how because of their buying ability, they could provide four meals for every dollar they collected.  They noted that while they always appreciate food donations, money goes a lot farther feeding people because of that buying power.  It took a little while to sink in, but the kids finally digested the information and began to understand commerce in a whole different way when it comes to stretching dollars to feed people.  


The goal of the food bank tour is to realize just this sort of information.  The numbers of households they feed in our area are staggering in relation to how many people they are actually responsible for.  Their hope with the tours is that the kids will learn 3 things: Where to go should they ever need food, where to go if they can financially help, and how to tell other people about both.  The director said many children come to our schools having not eaten since lunch at school the day before.  She told the tour group how to notice that someone may just be hungry and gave them dialogue suggestions for how they could let them know help is available.  I heard the kids role playing later on and was impressed with this now new group of people helping people.  It's a whole other side to compassion.


A lot of times in our world, we see things that need to be fixed, but we just don't know what to do about it.  Having what we view as no options, we move on and do nothing.  I loved that she gave them a hands-on approach and some common sense ways to help solve the dilemmas of hungry children and families.  So $225 is 900 meals.  The lady told them summer is a tough time for donations and that they often service 1000 people a day.  And she pointed out that all those people will wake up hungry the next morning........  


How much is enough?  Anything helps and when you are hungry, it all matters.


August 11, 2015


One good rain shower.......


Have you ever gone outside in a really good rain shower?  Well, it's past time!  Talk about renewing your soul!  Summer affords us more than one opportunity to just be kids again and playing in a rain shower is the perfect way to start.  After all, it's just water.......


Soil, water, air, they all combine and form a great place to heal what ails your soul.  When the water plops on your face, know that healing can and will occur.  Dig your feet into the sand at the beach, or the soil in your own yard and allow the connection of the Earth to heal you from the ground up.  Spread your arms wide and take in all that sky, it has enormous power to soothe your soul down deep inside where it really matters......  The elements are not just meant to be tolerated, they are meant to be enjoyed.


Not raining at your house?  Pour some water on the kitchen floor and stand in your bare feet.  Feel the power of healing through the ages in the water and allow it to come up through your feet and throughout your body.  It is your intention to heal that really matters. Where you are and how you do it?  That's all semantics, because it is as simple as a summer rain shower.


August 10, 2015


Want to pick out your new truck?


We toured the F-150 Ford Rouge Truck factory in Deerborn, Michigan.  I learned a few things about myself:  I am not cut out to work on a production line of any sort.  I got really stressed just watching them do it.  I have a great appreciation for automation, and I only want a red truck, if I'm buying one.  Beyond that, I am more convinced than ever that we have past lives.  


Henry Ford came into this world a tinkerer.  He was enamored with bicycles and at a young age developed the concept into a car.  It was something he brought with him into this world and fostered.  I wonder if he built and fixed wagons on the Oregon Trail in a past life?  Was his knowledge accummulated lifetime to lifetime?  It's an interesting thought to ponder.  It can't all just be curiousity and perfect circumstances......  He also acquired the home of the Wright Brothers and had it brought to Greenfield Village in Deerborn, Michigan, along with the bicycle shop where the Wright Brothers developed their first airplane......  Kindred spirits?  


Why be so intent on changing the world?  He was surely wealthy enough after developing the Model T, why do more?  Where does the burning desire to forge on come from?  Are we really here to create change and make this teaching center called Earth even more of a challenge?  Coming home in traffic, I pondered the point of it all and I was glad he made the trip.


August 7, 2015


In search of wifi.......


With roughly 3 hours of waiting every day for teenagers in cooking class, I was in need of some wifi.  Having never done 'that sort of thing' before, I was schooled by the boys to go to the nearby Starbucks and stream shows from Netflix.  Usually, I am pretty busy, but shopping was not available, grocery or otherwise.  My phone got a spotty signal and who wants to shout over the din at Starbucks anyway?  So I acquiesced and took a comfy chair in front of the fireplace.  


Hooked up, tuned in, and watching intently, I was doing pretty well......  Until a scene in the show I was watching startled me and I tensed up waving my arms a little as a reaction.  The guy next to me leaned over and asked if I was okay?  I stopped, unplugged, came back to the real world and said, "What's the matter?"  He was worried about me.  I assured him I was fine and went back to watching with much more control. Admonishing myself that this was not, excuse me really comfy chair, my living room.


The boys thought that was hilarious, but suggested I just park within wifi distance and watch from the car.  I managed to do that instead and it seemed everyone was happier, less stressed about me.  I got through an entire season in my coveted parking space and now can put 'network program downloading in a parking lot using someone else's wifi' on my resume.  Which I guess is better than 'crazy lady in Starbucks disrupting people actually working', any day.



August 6, 2015


Are you sure there aren't any alligators?


When you live in the south, you know that if you go swimming in a lake, there is a risk of poisonous snakes, snapping turtles, biting fish, and alligators. So you choose your spots carefully.......  It's a way of life and it can still be enjoyed, you just need to use serious caution.....


So a Texas boy comes to Michigan where there are no alligators, snapping turtles, biting fish or poisonous snakes in the lake and he just wasn't buying that it was okay to go swimming.  Who could blame him?  No amount of assurance was sufficient, after all it goes against everything he's been taught since birth!  It took a whole 5 days for him to try it, but bless his heart, he went in even though he didn't seem to enjoy it much!  Our Texas born boy, now a Michigander, didn't go in at all, but he shared the concern from the shore ever watchful, phone in hand should there be an emergency.  It is hard to override your brain in full warning mode.......


And there were questions.....  What if people brought alligators here?  Couldn't they survive?  Don't they live in the mud or something during the winter?  Why can't poisonous snakes live in cold water?  It gets cold in the south, too.  Are snakes cold blooded? Doesn't every fish bite?  How can you tell?  This is a catch and release lake, wouldn't that make them mad enough to bite?  Did you see the picture of the carp they were talking about?  Lots of teeth! I saw a turtle crossing the road near here.  Don't they all bite when they are mad or if you interrupt their habitat?  Are you sure this is safe?      


OMG!  Just get dressed and we'll go to the movies........


August 5, 2015


When should a bucket list start?


We were walking in the downtown section of Ypsilanti and came upon an alley surrounded by buildings.  It was clean and filled with graffiti on all the walls.  I guess since we were close to the college, the town thought it would be smart to provide a place for graffiti.  It was a little dark, not much room for sky, and the entrance sported a unique looking man playing a guitar and singing what remotely sounded like, 'Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds'.  I elected to walk on by and skip the graffiti adventure, but our 13 year old guest, said, "Please we have to go in there!  Going down an alley with graffiti is on my bucket list!"  What?


We went of course, but it brought up the whole subject of when exactly do you need to have a bucket list?  I guess I thought it was for vintage people, not someone barely into their teenage years.  But no!  I was mistaken.  They informed me that you have to get a jump on it these days, or you might not get it all done in time.  Huh!  I hadn't thought about it that way.


So here is a notice to you all, every single one of you:  If you have not yet put together a bucket list, get on it!  Time is apparently a-wasting!  The sooner the better and all that sort of thing......  But the alley with the graffiti?  Take my advice and put it way down at the bottom........


August 4, 2015


Yes, I'm vintage.......


I took the boys to a vintage clothing shop.  The 20 something lady running it had kindly posted decade headings for all the clothes.  The boys were enthralled at all the styles and incredulous more than once about some of the trends.  My son chose a shirt from the 60's and of course asked, "Mom do you remember the 60's?"  Ummmm, yes I sorta do......  His friend chose a shirt from the 90's and before you go there, yes, I remember the 90's!  In fact, I suggested that the 90's weren't really vintage, but I was told by the nice lady that it was over 20 years ago, so it was vintage. OMG!


I was elated to find gauchos from the 70's much like I owned at the time, only to see the horror on the boys faces, and they actually said with a sad smile, "You wore those?"  Well, yes......  I did stammer, but I do still believe they were both functional and feminine.  Of course, they didn't care about that.  Moving on I confess to swooning over a Donny Osmond t-shirt that I didn't buy when I went to his concert in the 70's and now still can't afford!  lol  


On the way to the car, our friend said, "So wow Mrs. Lynn, when you say back in the day, you were really there!  What was it like?"  Where do I start?  So many things happened and changed.  But first?  I have to accept the fact that I am now vintage.  Hey wait!  That means I'm worth more...... right?  Quick, let's go ask the nice lady.........


August 3, 2015


Pass the sushi please........


This week my son and his friend are taking cooking classes at Sur La Table.  Doesn't that sound snobbish?  Well, it's not.  They are enrolled in a teenage class and learning to make dishes from around the world.  And they have to pay attention, because they eat what they cook at the end of every class!  How's that for pressure?


As the parents, we get a couple of things, too.  The satisfaction of knowing someone else taught them to cook, relief from the 'I-don't-know-how-to-feed-myself excuse, and someone a little less critical when we make cooking mistakes.  Not a bad deal.  But in the bargain, we also have to eat what they cook and smile :)  I admit I was sorta sweating that part......


But no worries!  Tamales, from scratch ravioli, quiche, and souffles that did not fall!  It was very impressive and delicious.  The sushi was not really rolled up, but hey, all the ingredients were there.  The quiche didn't make it to parents, they ate them all up!  And dessert, was just heavenly. So all in all?  A very successful week, filled with surprises and fun.  


But back home?  I need to make dinner........




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