November 2015 Blog Archive




November 30, 2015


Please spare me the countdown.....


I go in a store and see a huge sign that says only 25 days until Christmas and no matter how prepared I am or am not, it seizes up my gut like I am about to jump from a 100 story building.  Is it really necessary to countdown?  There is just something about putting it into days that really has the ability to freak me out....


I haven't done my Christmas cards, stockings are lying flat, tree is up but not decorated, lights are balled up like some bad experiment in electricity.... "Excuse me, Sir?  Where's the line for skipping to New Years?"  Cause that's what I really want to do.....  And then I think, "It's the season of good cheer!"  Well, as long as I don't look at my to-do list....


So I'm a little cranky today about the whole work of the season....  I will endeavor to pick only stores without a countdown and pretend there is not one. I will make some fudge and eat it warm with a spoon.  I will watch a little , "Gone With The Wind", and think about all this tomorrow....  I'll call it an early Christmas present to me! 


November 27, 2015


It's always such an adjustment......


At first when your house starts to fill up and the noise level increases it's a bit overwhelming.  But then you settle in and find your place in the the mix..... After a while, you adjust and begin to enjoy the extra possibilities of more people in your life.  It's fun.  You laugh, talk, hug, reminisce, and make new memories.  


And then they leave and you have to start all over again adjusting.  Now there is silence compared to what you became accustomed to and things become, not as much fun.....  It's a sad little time, the adjustment.  It's probably best to take a nap! After all, when you wake up things will be back to what you remember and you can start again.


We are such creatures of habit that a holiday sends people into a panic.  What if I have nothing to say?  What if I don't fit in?  What if my smelly uncle insists on hugging me?  What if they don't remember me?  We can build ourselves up to something that can strike panic in even the toughest person. 


So learn from Thanksgiving and break the whole thing down into hours.  You can survive it for a day, a couple of hours, a meal.  You have the skills, you just used them!  One more big holiday and you get to start all over again.....  You can do it!


November 26, 2015


I am thankful for......


Anyone who helps me in the kitchen!  lol  But I am also thankful for so many other things.  I like that Thanksgiving brings family and friends together.  It serves as a great reminder that it's not really that hard to find something to be thankful for, after all most of my family does it off the cuff before eating!  


What are you thankful for?  Can you manage to use the skill year round?  Often when people are angry about something or someone, I walk them through turning it around.  What about the person or problem are you thankful for?  My favorite answer is , "It could be worse I guess!"  In most cases that is true.


Take what you feel and learn today with you in life.  Set a goal in the remainder of the year to be thankful out loud for something at least once a week. Say it, even if it is only in the car by yourself.  Get in the habit of finding the thankfulness in everything and the coming year will be much easier.  


And by the way,  if you are reading this?  I am thankful for you.  Happy Thanksgiving!


November 25, 2015


If you are the chef.....


The day before Thanksgiving you can't think about much of anything else, becauseyou are constantly going over your menu and the ingredients for it in your head.  The very last thing you want to happen is to be in the midst of cooking and have to make a run to the store or try to convince someone else to do it for you.  So I always end up with more than I need....


This year the stress is reduced because we are having a ham and not a turkey.  No worries about getting it done and all that stress, not to mention moving things around to use the oven time.  I confess I liked Thanksgiving a whole lot better when my mother cooked it!  


So lesson learned today?  'Kiss the cook!'  No matter who is preparing your feast, hug them, thank them and help them any way you can.  In short?  Be thankful for them!  It may be a labor of love, but it's not an easy task!


November 24, 2015


It's fun to have family visit.....


My sister and neice are in the house!  That's awesome for me, because now the girls outweigh the boys!  Yes!  I usually am surrounded by testosterone and have to work hard to put girl energy into this place - even the cat is male.  But not this week - the girls are decidedly in charge and I love it.  


We are putting together puzzles, dancing to the 70's songs from my collection, talking about clothes, taking pictures, watching girl movies, and eating fudge.  Can it get better?  The boys have taken a back seat to watch and learn.  My son is often caught watching with a puzzled face, but it's good for him!  After all, how will he ever find a girl for himself in this world without understanding them a little better?  My neice is one year older than him and totally in charge of driving him crazy.  She has him teaching her how to play trombone for starters.......


My husband is doing a lot of napping - the man can sleep through anything.  He's been to this sort of thing before and learned napping might just be the best way to survive it.  But he loves all the hugs and laughter, too.  In short?  Girls do rule and it's good for everyone!



November 23, 2015


When does sibling rivalry stop?


So my sister and I are in our 50's and she's coming for Thanksgiving.  I love her and want to see her, but can't stop seeing how I measure up to her these days.  I'm the oldest, so technically, I don't need to measure up, but it happens anyway.  She's a first grade teacher and I admire that, however, I have no desire to be a first grade teacher.  She is a horse person and all out animal lover/activist.  I am that way about children.  She is a vegetarian, I am decidedly not, but I respect both sides.....


I think really it will get down to who is aging the best......  Should we count wrinkles on the forehead?  Because counting them around the mouth is unfair, for a variety of reasons.  Mine are there from laughing.  I'm okay with that.  She's thinner, too. But she doesn't eat sweets or meat!  Come on, that's not even fair....


It was easier as children, we could count Christmas presents and figure it out!  lol  Or we could always just grow ourselves up and get over it.  But if sibling rivalry is in your DNA, is that realistic?  Maybe I will just decide I am winning and be done with it.  As long as I don't tell her that, it's a strategy that could work........


November 20, 2015


Why do good people get sick and die?


Well, first we would have to define 'good people'.  I once talked to a 6 year old, who explained to me that their father in prison went back to God.  I immediately thought it was probably a good thing, but the child said it was really sad to be on the earth without a Dad.  Even one in prison, because they went to visit him every Saturday and he read a book to her.  She noted she would really miss that.  And besides, who gets to judge?  Who casts the first stone on who stays and who goes?


So we can conclude that it is not an exact science.  And so, everyone is a likely suspect.  That's scary, too, because that means that even if you are getting it right every single day and a really good person, it can still happen to you.  And if you stay on that school of thought for too long, it will scare the crap out of you.  On the other hand, I went to college with a preachers daughter who informed me that if we were all going to die somehow, we might as well have fun in the meantime.  She was to date, the wildest person I have ever known.  I concluded there is no good answer.


But I do agree with her in part.  Enjoy your life the best you can every single day.  My father at the age of 41 came in from work with a headache, sat on the end of the bed and waited while my mother went to get him an aspirin.  He died of a cerebral hemorraghe and no one saw it coming.  I learned that day to tell people how much I loved them every chance I got, because I had told him just that morning.  Make the most of it.  It is not a rehearsal.


November 19, 2015


When someone you really care about gets a really bad diagnosis.......


It throws your world into a tailspin for a lot of reasons.  Of course you are concerned and worried for them.  You offer to be there, help in any way and they know you will be.  Then you begin to think about how it will affect your own life.  And believe it or not, you begin to grieve the loss of them right then, even though you have no idea when the end will actually come.


No it's not all about you, but you do have to save yourself somehow in the process.  So beginning the grieving process will do that.  We all do it and it's okay.  Children grieve a parent when that parent is sick.  They are not used to them being unavailable and the absence triggers a response as mild as 'how will we eat?' to 'what would I do if they died?'.  It's the beginning of the reality death brings to us all in life.


When someone you really care about appears to be leaving this world, the world becomes really small and not a little bit scary.  Just remember, if you can, that although their physical body may leave this world, the memories and love they leave behind will last forever.


November 18, 2015


But you aren't the same person now......


Someone explained to me that she ran into her exhusband and he said she wasn't the same girl he knew before.....  Well I hope not!  I hope she has grown from her experience, gained much more wisdom, got a better understanding of what she wants and does not want, and has more value for herself now.  I wish he had not recognized her at all, but I will settle for what he said, letting her know that all the hard work and difficult decisions were totally worth it.  I hope he's not the same person either.......


Her parents thought she should stay with him and were difficult with her because she chose to leave, followed her gut, and saw the bold print, large writing on the wall.  Some 15 years later they agree she made the right decision.  He is with someone now who is simply a better fit.  Why did they say that back then?  They were giving advice based on what they knew to be true. When problems arose in their relationship, they persevered and are married some 50 years later still.  Good for them, but all the possibilities do not have happy endings.  Sometimes you just have to trust your intuition and do what you know is right. Then you get to wait, sometimes many years, for time and tide to prove you were right.


Judging is a slippery slope.  You don't really know what goes on behind closed doors or how much one person checks themselves at that door to make it work.  It's all a learning experience and whether you are the student or the teacher, or both, life lessons will continue to come until you get them.  And when you walk through the fire and save yourself?  Own it. You got a gold medal in life and even if no one else notices, they can't take that away from you.  Only you know you really showed up and made the best of it.



November 17, 2015


When is it okay to die?


A lady in her eighties asked me that recently and it has caused me to ponder a lot of things.  My grandmother was a senior citizen when she died and I still think it was way too soon.  I would have had her outlive me and I plan to be here awhile.  It is never a good time for children or young people to die.  If you have small children, we need you to stay around for them.  When you retire and finally get a chance to do all the things you dreamed about for years.....that's not a good time either.....


I spoke with a lady who has been fighting cancer for 8 years and just posed the question to her.  She noted she is waiting for science to find a cure for her particular kind of cancer and then she's staying longer than originally planned to get all the things done she wanted to do.  I have a 91 year old client who comes to see me on his birthday every year and maps out his next 15 years.  He's no where near the finish line!  


The only thing people seem to agree on about dying is if you are suffering badly and no help can be rendered.  Or if your brain ceases to funtion.  None of us have much capacity for seeing other people suffer, and suddenly heaven seems like a sensible alternative......


My fishing friend says, "It's okay to die when the fish stop biting."  I said, "It's a good thing you've never fished with me!" Heaven knows I've been plenty of times when I didn't even get a nibble and happily, I'm still here....  What do you think about dying?  When is it okay?


November 16, 2015


Terrorism scares us all......


Difficult times in our world affect us all in different ways.  It's normal to be afraid in response to terrorism, but it is not okay for us or anyone to live in constant fear.  Fear is a multi-layered force.  We are smart to know what our fears are, because we often make decisions out of fear.  So for instance, if you are afraid of sharks, you may never take a vacation at the beach and actually there are a lot of benefits to a beach vacation that never put you near sharks.  If the fear is great enough, we lose our logic and rely instead on the what if's.  What if I fall overboard on a harbor cruise and a shark attacks me?  It may sound trivial to some, but for others it is very real.


Terrorism uses fear to disable our logic and the what if's become the most prevalent thing in our minds.  We begin to act out of those possibilities instead of the logical things we know work.  Taking it a step farther, randomly killing people in a dark theater puts fear on top of fear.  Recently, I heard a lady say that her family was no longer going to the movies because they didn't want to die.  Walking down the hall to our theater this weekend, the lady in front of me told her husband it would be okay for them to go to this movie because it was the theater at the end of the hall and therefore least likely to have a shooter. And just like that, terrorism wins.


It's a difficult world and good vs. bad every single day.  Earth is a teaching center, so we can expect all kinds of challenges to occur.  Being realistic and managing our fear is our best defense.   


November 13, 2015


Work a little, cry a little.......


That's what a true purge is all about I guess.  I am in the process of getting rid of all my son's toys and little kid things to make way for teenage ideas and needs.  I must say I have fought mightily to keep sentimental things for quite a few years, but now it's clear that I have to just toughen up and purge.  That's easier said than done.


It's the memories that get to you.  His piggy bank, which couldn't possibly hold enough money now to get him to the movies with friends, was such a fun purchase and I remember him struggling to carry it.  He would put a handful of change in it and then want to count all the money to see how much he had.  Back then, he thought a dollar was a lot of money!  I know the bank needs to go, but what if he has a child and wants to use it?  He said, "Mom, I will teach them how to put their money in their account on the computer or phone."  Oh.


From teddy bears to action figures, it's a wash of memories and I'm the only one who seems to care about them now.  I know I need to move on and make way for bigger, better things.  So I'm down to one container......  And I'm hiding it way in the back for a little longer!  (Come on his first real tennis shoes are in there!)


Have a great weekend and do a little purging yourself.  It's good for the soul.


November 12, 2015


When your significant other gets older......


Well, first of all you are glad you are not aging alone!  Then you get over yourself and hopefully rise to the occasion.  But what do you get someone who doesn't need anything that would pass as a fair present?  We could use a new leaf blower, snow shovel, bathroom towels.....  But something tells me that won't quite work..... Because it wouldn't work for me!  


I like to think about out there things like hot air balloon rides, bi-plane rides, fishing trips, kayaking trips, and speaking of trips?  How about Italy?  See, it didn't take long to get totally out of hand.  Okay...deep breath.  First we need a cake.....


The truth is as smarmy as it sounds, I just like knowing we are getting old together.  It's not an easy thing to do, so I really don't want to do it alone.  And I like knowing that I am sharing aging with someone who knew me when I was younger.  He likes knowing that he's loved.  So cake and love.  Yep!  I got that!  Now all I need is a firehose to help with the candles!  lol


Happy Birthday Keith!


November 11, 2015


I love our veterans!


You might not really realize just how much they do and how far their sacrifice extends until you are on a military base, talk to someone with PTSD, watch them raise a flag, hear them talk about our great country, or attend a military funeral.  Being married to a Marine has enriched my life in ways I can't even manage to count.  I have met so many incredible people, learned so much about how they do their job, seen real fierce fortitude in person and been included in families who truly understand freedom and why it matters. 


I didn't know much about the military growing up.  My husband introduced me to it and has educated me in it - I still have a whole lot to learn.  I am and I always will remain...... in awe.  So today, on Veteran's Day and really every single day, if you see any service member, currently serving, about to go in the service, or a true veteran, just thank them.  It only takes a moment and often they are embarrassed a little, but it's okay.  Just let them know that even though you might not fully understand their sacrifices or the depth of their dedication, you still appreciate that they joined our armed forces and care so deeply about our freedom.  Remember, we don't have the draft.  They chose to do it.


It's cliche, but America really is free because of the brave.  


November 10, 2015


How does 240 years old feel?


Today the United States Marine Corps is 240 years old.  Happy Birthday and Semper Fi to you all!


It is no secret that I have a soft place for our military.  I am in awe of their service, sacrifice, and dedication to our freedom. And those Marines?   Well, they take my admiration a step farther....  Of course, I am married to one of their finest and in all the 30 years I have known him have been so proud of who he is and what he stands for.  I admit I am a huge sucker for a uniform, and when I saw him in dress blues the first time I was smitten.  He really did have me at hello.  I still insist there was a glow around the man, as if Spirit was afraid I wouldn't recognize him as mine!  


Recently at football games, when they played the national anthem, I noticed how others saluted our flag.  You could pick the military out of the crowd. My Marine is always at attention and I love that!  Someone said to me, "He's pretty serious about that stuff."  And I replied with a smile, "Yes he is!"  (Uh huh that's my guy!)  His values are spot on and because he never wavers from them, I can make a decision for him and know I am doing exactly what he would do.  I love that, too.  


I often think about what it takes for a person to enlist to serve our country.  Sure it is a noble cause, but it is also really obvious that it is not easy, doesn't pay well, and you can be in harm's way.  And then again, a person who chooses it anyway really is tough enough to make a difference in our country and just by definition......does.  


I could go on.  But I would just like to thank the military for our freedom and for caring enough to keep us safe in this difficult world.  I would like to thank those families who support our military.  I know it is difficult.  And I would like to send a huge hug to my husband, who reminds me every single day that awesome lives right in my house and I'm a lucky girl!


November 9, 2015


When someone doesn't think like you do.......


Okay.  This happens to me all the time!  lol  But usually we can find some common ground.  Recently I visited an artist friend of mine and was just fascinated at how her mind worked around something.  I'm always really practical, so often things get put aside in that thought process.  She wasn't a bit worried about practical and just has the most amazing imagination!  To her anything is possible.......  I said, "I love how you think!"  And I really meant it, but could never do it myself.  Of course, if someone thinks crazy opposite of you, it's probably a good time to move on.  But don't be real quick to let it go, sometimes those people cross our paths so we can challenge the way we think and it allows us to grow.  The possibilities really are endless......


When I think about this I always remember my college roomate who would never peal a peach, she would just bite into it fuzz and all.  She said it was much better that way, but I still don't think so.  She also would eat an apple including the core, never wasting a single bite.  I couldn't do that either..... On the other hand, she could spend $10 on an outfit and look like a million dollars in it.  But hey, her sister was Miss Georgia!  So I guess it's all relative to your experience and even your DNA.  She taught me a whole lot about thinking out of the box and I laugh just remembering her.  Somone said she married a goat farmer and had 5 kids.  And I thought, if anyone could do that and do it well, it was her!


Life gives us experiences for a reason.  Don't let the intention pass you by.


November 6, 2015


So I collected up some beautiful yellow leaves.....  


Golden really.  They called to me from where I was working and as I got closer to the trees, I realized most had huge black spots on them.  Closer still there were only a few that were unmarred.  I brought them back with me.  


Ever get lost in a sea of crazy?  Surrounded by people you don't know or understand?  It can surely happen in life and when it does, I just hope people have the sense to get out of there quickly.  Another healer explained to me that those things happen because our energy simply does not mix with theirs.  


Friday night is a popular time to go out and have fun with your friends.  Just be responsible and if you find yourself in a crowd that doesn't feel right to you?  Leave immediately.  


I don't usually post warnings like this.  I want everyone to go out, have fun, and make great memories.  But apparently, someone needs to read this.  Whoever you are.......take good care of yourself.


November 5, 2015


When someone you really love goes back to God.......


It's tough.  In fact, it is one of the most difficult things we face in life.  Someone asked me this week how long the grieving lasts and I would tell you it never totally goes away, but it does get doable.  I remember when we moved to Michigan and my son had to leave his friends/change schools.  After about three weeks of being called the new kid, he asked the counselor, "How long do I have to be the new kid?  When is this new stuff actually over?"  We all need to get on with it sooner or later.  We have enough of grieving and adjusting, but the memories and the longing don't necessarily go away. 


Why do people die?  Because earth is just a big teaching center and it is part of the education you receive when you come down here.  One of the truly crummy parts.  A close friend lost her mother less than a month ago and her first baby was born this week.  She wanted to know, "Why couldn't she have just stayed a little longer to see the baby?"  My first thought was that she saw the baby before it got to my friend.  In fact, I bet she made the whole thing easier from the other side..... Is that just conjecture?  Maybe.  But it begins the healing process for those left behind.


I hope you never lose someone you hold dear to you.  But if you do, please know you can keep them close, savor the memories, love them still, and every time you bloom in this life?  You can do it in honor of them.  It's not the easiest thing to do, but it does help.  Honor that they taught you how to die.  And know that particularly class is a brutal one.




November 4, 2015


So it was dark and now it's daylight......


I confess.  I am one of those people who does not really appreciate daylight savings time.  Just when I think I can survive getting up in the dark and going out in the world, it changes and I am sure I am late everywhere because it's so bright outside!  Very confusing for a human body that was trying so desperately to adapt....


Every year someone remarks about how we are doing this change for the farmers.  Really?  Because they have lights on their equipment now and heated cabs and music......  Do they still need this change of daylight?  Sometimes they say it is because of school resuming.  Well the kids were in the dark until the end of October!  That can't be it either.....  Supposedly it saves electricity and people spend more with more evening daylight hours, so it boosts the economy....  Whatever!  We have Benjamin Franklin to thank for it.  It was originally his big idea to save on oil lamp usage.  Proving once again that it is always something, no matter where you are.


Getting up in daylight is easier, so I appreciate that change.  And I must agree that more daylight is always a good thing.  Now if I can just get the sun to actually shine in Michigan, I think it will all work out.......  Well, until spring when we start all over again!


November 3, 2015


But they are so inviting........


I've been raking a whole lot of leaves and making huge piles of leaves that just beg you to jump in them.  It must be some kid thing from my distant past or maybe it just comes with the human DNA, but it is hard to resist the urge to go for it.  I remember when our son was small, he just simply could not pass up a pile.  He would run through it, lay down in it, ride his bike through it or get out a light saber and scatter it all over the place.  It was hard after all the raking to be joyful with him, knowing you had to start again, but at the same time, it was infectious and we had to laugh!


We don't get many chances to be a kid again when we grow up.  And often when we do give in, we find that our bodies aren't quite so kind to us anymore (the ground under the leaves is still really hard!).....  Reflecting on past experience, I decided to forego the whole experience, but the squirrels didn't!  They were chasing each other and ran crashing through the pile scattering leaves everywhere.  So maybe it's not just a human thing after all...


Get your own pile of leaves and honor the kid in you this week!


November 2, 2015


Send me the pillow that you dream on.......


It is not uncommon to have some pretty crazy dreams.  People often are bothered by the ones that really seem to be real.   There are a couple of things you might like to know about dreams:  First of all, it is your brain's way of solving problems.  If something is just not working out in your life, your brain will go through every scenario it can think of to find a viable solution.  (2)  People you are longing to see (living or dead) can and will appear in your dreams.  They come from your mind's portfolio of pictures and memories of the time you spent with them.  (3)  All dreams don't have significance, although some really do!


I can't remember when I didn't dream, though I always envied people who don't remember their dreams at all...  But I have solved some pretty significant things in my dreams, so I guess I can't really complain.  I love to see people I love who have crossed over in my dreams.  Often I wake up feeling like I have been with them and I consider it a gift.  It works for people in this lifetime you haven't seen in a long time, too.  I find that in winter, I dream about Texas and my friends there.  They are often trying to help me figure out a way to move there before my family freezes!  lol


If you want to try to 'turn off your brain' while you sleep, google it.  You will be surprised at all the remedies.  I find that if I do math to put myself to sleep, it takes a while before my brain feels like conjuring up some crazy idea.  Someone suggested I count back from 1000 by 13.  It's harder than you think and it does work, once you train your brain to sleep when you do math. Of course, if you are taking a course in it, I don't suggest it!


Either way, try not to be afraid of your dreams.  They are a measure of your imagination and memories.  Those of us with big imaginations?  We can expect some crazy nights!  Sweet dreams.....  









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