Sunday, August 30, 2009

I left my heart in San Francisco.......really.......

I love San Francisco! Even as a kid, I loved going 'into the City' for whatever, visiting the Wharf, shopping at the outlets, eating, visiting the SFMOMA (spectacular!), wandering around the Marina district, hanging out at the Farmer's all appeals to me in a great big way! And, yesterday was a two fold trip.....Roomie and I headed into "The City" to visit with an old friend of her's, a lovely guy who she has reconnected with after many years and to see Tangobaby's photograph exhibit! Plus, eat a great meal and play with my new camera!

(view from friend's home)

After arriving, we decompressed for a short while and then headed out for an Italian meal.....I had a serious hankering for some 'city' Italian.....we were not disappointed:


And for Dessert:

The most amazing French Macaron's I've ever had in my life.....I've shared here before, but, when I find a food item I love, I sort of get a little carried away and decide I have to "master" their creation, looks like French Macaron is on the agenda.....

We walked to the restaurant from Friend's house....the neighborhood was once a bad part of town, but, over the course of a few years it's been restored to a new glory and I thoroughly enjoyed our walk through, using, of course, my new baby! The evening lighting was killing me and I just could not hold my pleasure back in capturing these images......

Not only were me and my Baby, clicking (get it, 'clicking'?), but, me and The City were, too! I love all of the ornate work on the old (and repro) Victorians.....the hum of S.F. is palpable and I was really feeling it last night.

After our dinner, dessert and a pit stop, we headed out to meet Tangobaby and see her exhibit.... I love her S.F.: I Live Here project, check it out, her work is amazing! And, like any rabid adoring fan, I insisted requested to have our photo taken together....she was very gracious and we asked her friend Chipmonkey to take our picture:

While on our pit stop earlier in the evening I took advantage, once again of the magnificent view from Friend's home and played with my new VR lens....and look what happened!

All in all, a splendid adventure.....what a day....Roomie and I had a heinously awesome time! Someday, when I grow up and quit being a pansy ass, I just might move to S.F. and live there, too!


Guess where I went Saturday?

Friday, August 28, 2009

Awards season......early......(tee hee hee heeeeeeeee)

A little while back I surreptitiously inquired about how 'awards' are handed out....where they come from and how does one go about giving one away.....I wasn't fishing for an award, I was trying to find out if there was an award "closet" that one requisitioned an award from, or perhaps a big blogger kahouna who decided if an award was warranted....since I'm relatively new to the blogging community, I did not want to go against any community or etiquette rules, etc.  The answer to my question was that a person can give one away to anyone, anytime they see'm going to give some away!

I recently purchased a new publishing program, you know, used for designing greeting cards, business cards and cd labels, and such - nothing fancy, but,, for practice and as a way to become familiar with the program, I designed a couple of awards, well, three, actually and so, without further ado, let the ceremony begin: (cue large symphony of music with a drum roll in the background):

The "Laughing My Ass Off" award goes to:

Kristin at Going Country because she is hysterical and because I wish I was a city girl livng in the country managing the sheep, the garden and the dogs......go visit her and check out Alcohol Friday!

Otin at Wizard of Otin because he always nails it with matter what the subject, he brings it.  And, he's an amazing writer, totally worth a visit to his blog.

AND, Extranjera at What will I ever do with my Life?  She has a ton of fans and that's because she is funny....really, really funny....if I don't snort some sort of beverage out my nose when I'm reading her blog, it's because I spewed it out my lips laughing, check her out if you don't already visit her place.

Okay, and another new award:

The "Horizon Award" welcoming a new blogger to the blogoshere!  There are soooo many deserving, young, entertaining blogs out there....and I hope to stumble across all of them, but, this week I found MW at My WordSplurge and thought she had some very cool her blog about turning her 'special' workplace into a sitcom.

And, last by not least:

An award very near and dear to my HEART, (no pun intended, well, maybe some.....) The "Open Heart" award for people who've consistently opened up there hearts to the world, universe and most importantly, their bloggy bleeps, US:

If you don't already, check out Christina from Soul Aperture, she is one sweet, sweet lady and she's the BBQ Queen of her town and her Soul is a beacon of light in the darkness that can sometimes be this life we are all working our way through.  Thank you Christina for your light!

Another open heart is Brian at WaystationOne, this guy openly tells us that he is married to "The Most Amazing Woman" and he consistently brings the heart and soul to every single post he puts out.  He is modest about it, but, this guy can write, write and write and he deserves a book deal, straight up, go check him out if he isn't already on your blog roll.

And, one of my very favorites, Marinik at Marinik's Blog.  A brave and courageous lady who recently lost her Beloved Gag and showed us all how to give in the face of a very powerful life experience, to her, I bestow this award of an "Open Heart".

Well, ladies and gentelmen, this concludes tonight's broadcast of the 'new' blogoshpere awards, please, please stop by and congratulate each of the award recipients and let them know what you think.......

Each of these bloggers is an inspiration to me in some special way.....and everyday I find news ways to be inspired by them and by the many other blogs out there.....

There are no rules on how to hand out these awards, so, please, feel free to share them, go out and give them away, over and over and over again, share the love!


Thursday, August 27, 2009

I can't believe it's already my 100th post!

The Lovely and Kind Marinik from Marinik's Blog has bestowed upon me the "Love YA" award! Now, she set out some guidelines in which the award is to be passed on....and, since they are only guidelines I'm going to modify them for the sake of this, my 100th post!

As I've been cruising around the blogosphere today, I've noticed that a few of the other bloggers she bestowed the award upon are some of my favorite bloggers and those bloggers have bestowed the award on some more of my favorite bloggers, so, instead of just naming and awarding to people who've just rec'd this very same award, I've decided to tie receiving this award with gifting each person who leaves a comment on this, my 100th post a little trinket.

So, if you leave a comment on this post, please pop over and email me your snail mail address and I will send you a little something in the mail......I have many talents, so, be prepared for a fantabulous little bauble!

I am very touched that Marinik bestowed this award upon me, considering me one of her friends. She is an amazing woman and her love shines soooo brightly through her own blog, it's hard not to want to send the award right back to her. I have to thank her for showing me how to be brave, strong and heroic in the face of such a powerful life experience. Mari, 'back at you sister'!


Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Going back in time.....25 years

So, I had to go to the high school I graduated from today to get my transcripts for my college was wierd, seriously, wierd. I didn't like school. Well, I liked socializing, however, I was never invited to eat with the cool kids, so, my socializing was limited to the other outcasts....which was fine with me, because, we all 'got' each other and we kind of felt sorry for the cool kids, because they, well, didn't 'get' much of anything.....(I'm not bitter, I swear, I saw some of the cool kids 5 years ago at a reunion and I did not miss out on anything hanging with the outcasts). But, I did not like school and after reviewing my copy of my transcripts, it shows......I did not remember my grades being that poor, accept for the one F I got in algebra....someone, please tell me why I need to know algebra? Seriously, I was in mortgage banking for TWENTY FIVE YEARS and did just fine figuring shit out myself and I NEVER once used and "X" "N" or a "Y" to calculate loan to value or a debt ratio!!!!!! Anyhooooooo, I had it in my head I did better in school than I actually did....however, I did notice that all of the creative classes, I aced.....imagine that, eh?

What struck the most bizare is how small school looked. I had the same sensation after seeing Disneyland as an adult after spending every birthday there for the first 6 years of my life....i went to Disneyland for my HIGH SCHOOL grad trip and it seemed soooooo small then....just like school did today. I had little mini flashbacks of things that happened on the stairs by "senior lawn" and near the gym and a HORRIBLE flashback of running (or rather, gasping for breath, while staggering) round the track in P.E. and I was totally amazed to see the football stadium it took them 40 years to get the financing for, finally finished. Seriously, (again) it was wierd.

Then, I drove by the house we used to live in when I was in high looked about the same, only my parents were lawn freaks and the yard was always manicured perfectly when we lived there....the bushes seemed a little less manicured and the lawn was actually just a big mass of crabgrass, which my Dad would NEVER have allowed, but, still much the same as it was when we lived there, right down to the lamp in the middle of the jasmine shrubs:
My brother and I had the two front bedrooms, so, our windows faced the street and I'd like to tell you I snuck out my window, but, I didn' brother on the other hand.....however, I did have a boy or two sneak in....until Dad had the alarm put on the house, then, sneaking in or out was NOT AN OPTION....those parts of high school were fun, but, the rest, blecthghghsh! Most of my fun was had outside of school funcitons, lot's of partying at various homes where parents were gone for the weekend....even ours on time the WHOLE varsity football team showed up just to kick my brother's friend's ass.....we called the cops on ourselves that night. Ah, the memories....just keep flooding back.

Well, that's enough wandering down memory lane.....maybe the only thing about my high school that I actually liked was our mascot - A Mustang -
we were (they still are) the MIGHTY, MIGHTY MUSTANGS!
I've received an email from the Alumni advising of a 25 year reunion...however I did not enjoy the 20th, so, I won't be attending the makes me feel old.

Been to your old high school? Have any memories you want to share?


Tuesday, August 25, 2009

For the one that got away.....

(google images)
Every inch of my body, soul and heart ache for you
my flesh reaches out to you as you pass by me
my mouth waters at the thought of your lips
my pulse quickens at the sound of your voice
and your eyes could take me to my knees
Give - I need you - please

Your hand brushing against mine
sends shivers through the core of my being
in close proximity to your body
the heat and energy are magnetic
deep down inside of me, there is a scream,
waiting to come out when you release it for me

Soon, I will need your touch in order to live.....
My heart beats your name and voice
I've known no other feelings like this before
I cannot imagine living the rest of my life without you
I cannot imagine sleeping another night
until we consummate what destiny has in store

It's over for me
I belong to you.

Monday, August 24, 2009

"Beware what you set your heart upon, for it surely shall be yours." Emerson

An Essay on why I want to become a nurse.
By An Open Heart

Through the course of my life I have been a patient, beginning from infancy, I have endured multiple surgeries and survived the most complex parts of recovery from open heart surgery, the mental trauma. My main objective in getting into the nursing field is to provide myself with a platform into the medical community, particularly in the pediatric cardiology arena, as an inroad to helping children who will be going through similar expriences that I have lived through.

I was born with Tetrology of Fallot, a quadruple defect of the heart, a blue baby; without surgery I would not have survived. Fortunately for advancements in medicine I did survive and was blessed with great health care professionals everytime I faced another surgery or medical issue. After my most recent pulmonary valve replacement in 2005 I was introduced to another survivor of congenital heart defect and we began a friendship, a therapuetic relationship whereby we discovered that we were not the only ones who lived through these traumas. We also discovered, rather confirmed that the doctors who deal with the mechanics of our heart defects, rarely deal with the emotional issues related to our heart defects, the trauma of these huge medical procedures.

Born from this relationship was a joint thought that maybe a survivor of these kinds of traumas should become involved in the medical field and become an advocate for counseling. I began researching the possibility of getting involved in some way from a lay person's vantage point, however, politics in the medical arena, especially if you do not have any medical education, was tough to breach. I contacted various support groups and discovered that most of them were for either the parents of the patients or grown adults who suffered from heart disease, not a heart defect, neither of these systems provided for the kind of counseling children need to process the trauma of open heart surgery.

Nursing will provide me with skills that will launch me into the medical field. This is an opportunity to open a door, as much for me, as for kids who will be going through a very traumatic experience. I don't necessarilly expect to walk out of school upon graduation and begin counseling children through these experiences, but, nursing will provide me with the launch pad. Through all of my medical experiences, the nurses are the ones who made all the difference, they had the pulse of the situation in hand and my repsect for their profession has lead me to this path in which to give life to my dream.

In closing, in 2007 I cared for my Grandmother at the end of her life, Hospice was involved and because of their involvement I met an amazing Angel, our Hospice nurse. She was inspiring in ways I will never forget, her intuition about what was going on with my Grandmother and about what was happening to me and my family was ethereal. My respect for her and nursing knows no bounds. I might not have gotten to this place had it not been for the part she played in my life. She has as much to do with why I want to become a nurse as my experiences with my own medical 'career'.

(I have to turn in an essay tomorrow to complete the application process, so, this is why it's posted here....)

(looks like I have all of my old study habits in place, 'wait 'til the last minute!).

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Attempting to kill two birds with one "intention"......

From to do list:
"Learn how to make big camera do what I want"
"Use picture editing software on my computer"

Have you noticed? Summer is coming to a case you are blissfully unaware, wake up, it is almost over. Although I am not working, nor have I started school, it is painfully obvious to me that summer is creeping away....and I had sooooo many plans for the summer. Not to fret, I did get some of my plans executed....and some are in process, like trying to figure out how to make the big camera work and use the photo editing software (that makes me think I must be a rocket scientist in order to 'layer' my photos). I've been pretty half-assed about the camera and the software, too daunting, I've been telling myself, but, NO MORE! I happen to be lucky enough to have a friend who is married to a computer dude, who, happens to have the secret handshake to some computer type information that he divulged to me, this afternoon.....little did I know there is some fun stuff FREE on the internet, stuff that even google knows about....Picasa! Yeah, I'm sure you're all laughing and snickering at my expense because y'all probably knew that all along.....that's okay, better late to the party than to miss it, I downloaded picasa this evening and lookit what fun I've had:

Original photo

Edited with B&W w/tinting
I really like the B&W with tinting option, check me out:
And, especially in the film camera days, I LOVED just plain ol' B&W:

So, I am knocking off one of my 'to do's' by playing around with the new software, although that doesn't take care of learning how to use the expensive, complicated software, it does give me some flexibility with my photography.

And then, there's learining how to make the big camera work.....I've found the place I am going to study: Chez Spud and her Camera Club for Commencers !
She gives great advice, the kind my Grandfather would give, if his advice wasn't coming from these weird etheral visits in the wee hours of the morning when I'm not really awake, "read the instruction manual, " it sure sounds like, I will begin with the manual and maybe hunt up some information from the intertnet, as I learned earlier, FREE things abound on the interwebs, if only one knows where to look and what to ask for. And, also, some guide thingy book Spud mentions....I'll look for one of those.....I really wish I had a Nikon, though.

So, without further adieu, I commence with marking those two items off my list. Whew.......this is too much work for the last week of summer....I need to lie down for awhile....come back later and see how I'm faring.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

"To live in hearts we leave behind is not to die." Thomas Campbell "Hallowed ground"

Grief is something that takes a while to process. I suppose there are 'exptected' timeframes, but, I'm of the beleif that it is individual. After my Grandmother died, I spent some time with a counselor, working through my grief. Next month it will be two years since my Grandmother died....and last year on the anniversary I sequestered myself at home and just honored my feelings. I feel like, for the most part, I've worked through the heavy parts.

My Grandmother had Osteoporosis so bad that she began to suffer spontaneous breaks and fractures in her hip and pelvis. Eventually, the breaks were too severe and the Osteo was so bad that she was bedridden and I moved in and took care of her at the end of her life. (Personally, I think she knew how bad the osteo was, but, played dumb, and it was her way out of this life so she could be with my Grandfather again....) In other words, I was prepared for her death in a very clear way. I knew my Grandmother well, we are alot alike. Anyway, I feel the hardest part of the grieving process for me, was letting go of her 'things', as they somehow seemed an extension of her and as long as they were around, she was still around.

One of the things my Grandmother was known for is her massive collection of salt & peppers, at last count, there were over 1700 sets! She had a large home with a very large formal living room that became her miniature museum of salt & a family, not one of us could keep the whole collection together in anyone's home and for the most part, my Mother and Aunt did not want them. We each kept a few for ourselves, but, then went about selling the salt & peppers in a booth in the local antique plaza - "The Antique Trove". My Mom, Sister and I set up a booth with the curio cabinets that most of the s&p's were displayed in and the 3 of us cultivated our little shop. Each week we would stop in and rotate the stock and add as we needed. I even briefly took a paying job at The Trove and spent some time learning about antiques and collectibles. I believe this experience helped me tremendously process my grief.....

Our booth was adorable and we had a shop name and business cards and the story of how we acquired such a collection was prominently displayed in the booth. I was able to talk about my Grandmother adnaseaum, if I wanted to and I believe that helped talk about her and to honor her memory by telling her story every chance I got. And being at The Trove was like being in the past....sort of dwelling in a time before her passing.

After I quit working at The Trove and we closed down our booth (the remainder of the collection was taken over by my Aunt and her husband and they are selling them on ebay), I did not go in to The Trove, I just quit going in there....before we had our booth their I visited quite often, as I love antiques, but, once we closed down the booth I stayed away. Until yesterday......

When I walked in I was overcome by a wave of memories. I began to wander around, up and down the aisle like I did when I worked there....I was very familiar with the other vendors and the things they carried and I had a path I followed when I would go in there. I began my usual course and meandered through....and I slowly began to feel my Grandmother and wave after wave of memories of her just washed over me. As I rounded the corner of the aisle where our booth was, I began to tear up.....the booth no longer exists, they've remodeled and our little booth is now an extra big booth that sells over priced antique furniture. I felt silly, because I wanted our booth to still be there....just as it was when we were 'shopkeepers'. I wanted that familiar look of her things, right there, displayed for my viewing pleasure. But, they were gone and so is She.

The rest of the day my Grandmother lingered with me. Even today, She is permeating my thoughts. Is this lingering grief or just memories sneaking up on me? My Mom says my Grandmother visits her sometimes in the night, when she's asleep....She visits me, too, but, yesterday, She was more palpable, more present. I miss her.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

How to discuss Blog Camp with RWP's

"I'm going to Blog Camp in Reno on Labor Day weekend...."

"What's blog camp?"
"Where will you be camping? I've heard Reno has some good camp grounds."

"Blog Camp is a get together between people who've met while blogging on the internet."

"You're going to go meet people you've only chatted with on the internet and stay with them?"
"What are you crazy? You don't even KNOW them, what if they are axe murderers?"

"Well, I'm going to bring my axe repellent and hope for the best....."

"Don't you think that's a little dangerous? Or, ALOT dangerous?"
"Can't you find some 'regular' people to hang out with, here, in town?"
"How do you know you will like them?" "What if they don't like you?"

"I'm not worried, again, I will have my axe repellent, but, more importantly, the details of Blog Camp and what we're going to do there and what's been done at previous Blog Camps is all over the internet, it's not like something bad could happen without the whole world knowing about it. And, I'm not worried about whether or not we'll like each other, we've laughed and cried with each other many times, we are reaching out and taking a risk, which is what humans do, they reach out, hoping to connect....make friends.... (and again, the axe repellent)"

"You mean this happens in other places?"
"People are doing this elsewhere, with success?"

"Yes, I have internet pals, Bleeps, all over the place and we check in on each other's blogs all the time, putting in our two cents, showing the love and praising each other for our accomplishments and encouraging each other when we need it. And, in june a group decided to actually connect in the real world and blog camp together...combining all of their personalities, creative expertise and drinking habits together and see how it would turn was a success and thus was born, Blog Camp."

"But, WHAT will you do at blog camp?" "Will there be a camp fire, marshmallows, bears, tents, poison ivy?"
"Yea, what will you do? will there be showers, running water and flush toilets?"

"No, no camp fire that I'm aware of and we are staying at another blogger's house, not a camp, yes, I hope showers, running water and flush toilets. Bloggers are creative types, so, I think we will be, well, blogging, which includes writing and photography, most of the, perhaps we'll be gadding about the Reno area taking photos and cultivating topics to blog about....not to mention some serious eating and drinking....I hope....but, mostly, we will be connecting....making new friends....going on an've heard of adventure haven't you?"

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

"I never feel lonely in the kitchen. Food is very friendly." Julia Child

I do find that food is very friendly. I find comfort in the kitchen. Preparing a meal is like manufacturing love with your bare hands, (or with knives, pots, pans and a cuisinart), either way, it is a manifestation of love. I saw the film Julie & Julia today and I loved it. I knew I would, because, well, let's be serious here, FOOD AND BLOGGING at the same time, YEAH BABY! And, I promised myself I would NOT write a review of the movie, in fact I made myself swear to myself not to even mention that I'd seen the film, however, I was sooooo inspired by it that I could not help myself.

I was not necessarily inspired by Julie Powell's blogging her way through Julia Child's "Mastering the Art of French Cooking", but, by Julia Child, whom I never paid any attention to before today. What a waste of time... especially for someone who loves to cook and has dog earred and stained my copy of "The Joy of Cooking" for the greater part of 25 years. To not have EVER even sought out any of Julia Child's advice or instruction. I want to BE Julia Child now. Or, rather, live the life she lived. But, I'm susceptible that way, especially right now, what with the big decsions about my future looming on the horizon and not really knowing what's going to work. The one thing I know that works, is food.

Julia Child is such an inspiration because she went through life with unabashed gusto. I am only beginning to see how important this is. To live everyday as much as I can possibly live it. Revel in my circumstances, pay attention to each moment of my day and find the joy in that. Julia went for what she wanted and didn't let the naysayers quash her desire to study at the Cordon Bleu. She spent the better part of 10 years crafting the book and never let it get her down, she just kept plugging on. And, she was a happy person, she had humor and passion and she let them guide her. Ah, what a way to live!

It has been a sincere joy to have someone to prepare meals for since my roomie moved in, not to mention having the garden and all of the fresh options I have for dishes. I have not been elaborate, accept to incorporate fresh herbs, where I hadn't, before this garden. The meal above was from Friday night, simple, cold boiled shrimp, caprese (a standard around here this summer) and cream cheese stuffed purple bell peppers and orange/grape salad with white balsamic sprinkled on top. These meals have been inspiring in their own way, simple, refreshing and healthful without feeling like I'm on a diet(which I'm not although I probably should be). What has been inspiring about them, has been the ease with which I have been able to throw them together, having fun with my garden harvest and availability of a willing victim. Which brings me back to Julia and the inspiration garnered from her life, she really knew how to live and enjoyed doing it.

I did borrow a recipe from the movie itself, we had bruschetta this evening, a la' Julie Powell....
(picture doesn't do the Bruschetta justice)
Again, with tomatoes and basil from my own garden....we enjoyed some soft cheeses with it and a cantaloupe and grape salad as a compliment.

We masterfully devoured our meal and mooed the whole time. While uncomplicated, it was rich in per the movie, the bread was actually fried in olive oil...this made all the difference in the world....try it!


Monday, August 17, 2009

Possibilities spelled out tomorrow......

(the picture of the flowers has nothing to do with the post....I just liked this shot of my Shamrocks)

I have been accepted to the nursing program......Yay! However, I now have to begin the application process and the financing part.....(drag, I hate 'financing'). I got the call today and we set an appointment for tomorrow. I am contemplating what this all means. I am starting to look for subversive ways to sabotage this for myself....fear is dogging me again. I always feel like it comes back to my whining....and then I remind myself that this is my blog and I can whine if I want long as I don't bore people who can actually roll their eyes in my presence, then it isn't happening, right? Carrying on......I am afraid. I am. What if I can't hack it? What if the very real issue I have with blood flunks me out? I've talked about this to the admin advisor at both schools I'm looking at and they assure me, I will get over it, however, they won't be the one with the bump and gash on their foreheads for hitting something on their way down as they passout, right? And, as we've all seen on t.v., even new, young, doctors passout at the sight of blood or dead people, right? And, if it's on t.v. then it must be true, right? I digress...I am scared. I'm a big weenie, looking for a way to avoid 16-18 months of solid brain pounding. What if I'm too old, worn out and stale to do this? More importantly, what if this is the wrong door? Maybe I'm picking this door because I equate it to the 'hardest' thing I could pick to do?

This is where I'm coming from....and I in NO WAY have a personal opinion about the degree of toughness different branches of the armed service have, however, from my personal contact with different people who have served in different branches of the armed services, it seems that one of them tends to breed a certain assumption of toughness....(I in no way want to get anyone's dander up or debate who is the tougher of the services...seriously, I think they are all tough)BUT, since I have 3 brothers who are former Marines and have spent countless hours listening to them banter about what it means to be a Marine....and when asked why they joined the Marines, they said to me, "because they are the toughest".....I'm kind of wondering if I'm not picking the toughest road, just because it sounds like it might be the toughest, eh?

What....if I'm not as tough as I think I am? What if my crusty outer shell is too tough? You know, I really am a burnt marshmallow - charred and crusty on the outside and soft and gooey on the inside....what if my outsides are too tough and my insides are too gooey? AAArrrgghhhhh.....yikes.

Okay, reality adjustment....worry about these issues after I find out if this is really going to happen......

Peace out....

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Life is matter how much you don't want it to be....

I was given the honest scrap award this week and tonight I'm pondering back through my blog and sort of examining my honesty....I have laid myself open about alot of things, but, I've not really revealed too many skeletons about myself, but, tonight, seemed to be a good night to do it. Why tonight? Well, because the party in The Boy's (my nephew) honor was over shadowed by his arrest friday night for drunk one was hurt, not even his car....but, he did spend the night in jail and we, his family were disappointed and dismayed, especially his little sister. Why is this about my honesty? Because, I have a drunk driving arrest in my past as well, in fact, two, in a three month span, when I was in my early 20's. (The Boy is 23) and while I wanted to be mad at him for his stupidity, I cannot allow judgement to come across, as I was guilty of the same offense, twice.

This of course is not something I'm proud of, however, if you knew me in the real world, you would already know this about me because I don't really shy away from sharing, if the topic comes up. I have been sober going on 14 years doesn't bother me to be around people who drink, I can hang out in a bar and have a good time, I can go to parties and enjoy the atmosphere and I have no issue with other people who imbibe.....I just can't drink and choose not to do so......however......

In my early 20's I was pretty screwed up and I drank and did drugs. There were several close calls where I probably dodged some serious bullets. I was not a pretty drunk, not nice, nor was I a good drunk, in other words, I could not handle my liquor and took alot of risks. In fact, an old drinking buddy of mine and I would say, "we should be dead"....fact is, with my heart condition I am literally lucky to be alive, especially because of the drinking and drugging.

One would have thought the double DUI's in such a short period of time would have cured me, but, they didn't, not for a few more years after those arrests. I went to AA (A great program for those who work it), but, did not find what I needed there, I was still drinking and I went to AA to convince myself I wasn't an alcoholic (drunk)...eventually, I had a near miss on new year's eve 1995 (possible leathal combo of prescription drugs and alcohol) and woke up new year's day 1996 and realized what I'd almost done to myself and decided right then and there, either choose to live or die, but, make a choice. And, I made the 'one day at a time" choice. I woke up on new year's day and said, "I'm not drinking today". and the next day, the same thing, until 3 months had passed and I was sober. I never really wanted to die, but, I did want to be able to shed my need for complete control over everything and alcohol provided me with the lack of control I wanted to be able to exercise. (does that make sense?)

I count my sobriety from that new year's day, but, and this is the big secret, very few people know this part.....and now I'm putting it out into the ether....after I was sober about two years, I wanted to see if I could drink again, you know, just check to see if I could have a couple of beers and coast, without wanting to over indulge. My Mom, my BFF and I went on a trip together, we visited an old friend of my Mom's in southern california and I confided in my Mom and BFF that I wanted to test the waters....they supported my decision and promised to never speak of it if that was what I my knowledge, neither has ever told another soul....I drank two beers one evening on that weekend trip....finding out that I did not like the feeling of being buzzed - did not like it one bit and became committed to my sobriety and knew from that moment on, I would never drink again, nor would I ever miss it. I think to some people that might be cheating on my sobriety years, but, truly it isn't, because the experiment only cemented my sobriety and I did not fall off the wagon because I wanted to get lost in a bottle, but, rather to reinforce my sobriety. I know, people can rationalize anything they want, but, I'm okay with my experiment and how it turned out.

I am sober now and have been for longer than I was a drunk,I do admit to wishing I could have a good glass of wine with a nice meal, although it is not a wish that carries any weight, I do not miss drinking or all of the messy parts that comes with that lack of control. Am I a control freak? not so much, I do like to have some kind of control over my life, at least feel like I'm in charge of my life, with the help of the Divine, so, drinking isn't really necessary for my purposes anymore.

Any other drunk secrets would only be stories about my alcoholic escapades and most of them while to a certain degree would be funny, eventually they are all just sad and pathetic. Sometimes, when I think I'm sharing deep wisdom with one of the kids in my life, I will tell a funny drunk story to highlight a point, but, for the most part, I've let that part of me go...I still find that once in awhile a memory of something I did while drunk will pop into my head and I will have to look in the mirror and forgive myself and let it go.

The Boy may have some bigger complications than I had when I was arrested and dealing with my restitution and I hope that it doesn't completely ruin his's different now, than it was when I screwed up, the consequences weren't quite as high, nor was I active duty military, so, again, I hope this doesn't completely derail his life....he is so close to getting out and getting on with his life. Sadly, The Boy had confided in me a few times before he came home on leave that he is angry, just tore up angry about his service and what it was like for him and that is why he drinks and he confessed that he was afraid he is an alcoholic and doesn't want to be and he hoped that once he was home for good, he would be able to get sober........sometimes life is messy, no matter how much you don't want it to be......

P.S., I wanted to put up pictures of the fabulous food we had for dinner and regale you with photos of our celebration, but, alas, a photo from the fair with a scary ride seemed more appropriate, plus, in all the drama I forgot to take pictures of our dinner......

P.S.S. for a more lighthearted post, if you didn't already read it, read the previous post about the county fair.

Peace and as my friend Christina at Soul Aperture says, One Love,

Saturday, August 15, 2009

"A Hare's Magical A-Fair".........Huh?

Last night I went to the Nevada County Fair in Grass Valley. It was a wonderful opportunity to play with the BIG camera and people watch, not to mention hang with my BFF. I would like to say that I took some daring photos, ones of the really weird people, but, alas, I chickened out. I did however take some photos with the camera down at my side trying to get some of those artsy, unexpected shots.....I did take a photo of one weird stack of dred locks....and then the very gratuitous shots of the fairway and all of it's bright, garish, colorfulness....please enjoy my tribute to the county fair:

The cool thing about this little county fair is it's location, nestled in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada and the charm comes from the fairgrounds themselves, peppered with big huge pine trees and the red dirt. I was mesmerized by the ferris wheel and how it was this giant, lighted, colorful, beacon drawing all of the attendees in.

As you do the usual things, check out the photo's your friend submitted, eat some food, enjoy the animals and watch the weird people, the ferris wheel keeps beckoning you....

(this is actually one of my friends, not one of the weird people)

Although I did not ride on any rides, I did enjoy their call......

Also, the artsy camera shots and the weird people...(no offense to any dred wearers)

So, there my pals, was my friday evening, replete with camera work, good food, fun, weird people and my friends!

Peace.....more fun tonight, party for The Boy.....

Thursday, August 13, 2009

"Oooooooohhhhhhh!!!!!!!! I cain't believe it.....OOOohhhhhhh!!!!!! Well, first, I'd like to thank....

my mamma and my daddy...'cuz if it weren't for them, I'd have never been born and my boyfriend, Earl, he's sittin' right over there (points to man in audience, the one wearing overalls, a wife beater and cowboy boots)(giggling), see Baby, I told you I could do it! And, I'd like to thank my stylist, Candace, without her, I would never have figured out how to do my hair by myself or even put on one of these fancy dresses. Oh, and my eighth grade drama teacher, miz puffbow, really, it's all 'cuz of her and her encouragement that I decided to become an actress....Oh, and of course, the Baby Jesus, 'cause without Him and my prayin' none of this would have been possible............."(smiles as tears and black streaks run down her cheeks)"what? what do you mean I didn't win an oscar? well, what did I win? A what? I'm sorry, what did you say? what's that for? I won four awards? Who gave them to me? She diiiid? What for? 'Cause she's a sweetheart, you say?"

I'd like to take this time to thank my dear friend, Julochka of Moments of Perfect Clarity for the following awards bestowed on me and some other notable bloggers:

maria-thérèse of afiori

ju of blog maia & lara

kristine of where is kristine now?

lea bolvig

georgie k. buttons of the author's desk

tiffany of the water bottle

(Clearly, I do not deserve the Kreativ Blogger award because I cannot seem to make more than one image at a time sit where I want it to, as evidenced by this post) (also, not to mention, I should have put in links for all of the other winners, however, wrastling with the images has plumb tuckered me out, whew. this blogging crap is hard work)
Again, thank you so much Julochka, you are too kind!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

So, going to Blog Camp.......what "stuff" to pack.....

As you can see, I'm bringing my big wheel....this is a necessary item, rest assured.

One of my all time favorite stand up comedians is George Carlin - who doesn't know the Seven Dirty words you can't say on T.V.? I won't regale y'all with them here....anyway, my favorite of his routines was the one about stuff. I remember the first time I heard him do it, I was in high school and you know, when you're in high school, you don't really pay attention to how much of a pain in the ass you are, so, for me to actually GET what George was saying about how we all have to have our STUFF, was profound. Too bad my poor parents don't know that I had this revelation back then...I, back to my stuff.

I've been pondering how much of my stuff to bring....four days is a long time to be away from home....well, not really, but, for me it is.....I mean, I've been away from home for longer trips, but, seriously, I miss my dog after about two. Not to mention my own bed, pillows, towels, shower, toilet, kitchen, REFRIGERATOR...
you know, your comfort items. I have no doubt accomodations will be lovely and certainly comfortable, but, you know what I mean, right? I really am a homebody....I like my home....I like my stuff and I like being home...but, there is something to be said for leaving home, even if for a short trip, to make you happy to come home, right?

Which brings me to what 'stuff' should I bring? Axe repellant for sure, although Sara at Turning Stones assures me I won't need any axe repellent, I am still a little leary as at the Original Blog Camp there was an incident with an axe, in fact I think there were pictures, so, not taking anybody's word for it that there will be no axes, sorry, Sara. Okay, then, after the axe repellent I figured the next most important items, laptop and camera...although I don't have a Nikon (I am coveting several at the moment and intend to have one at any cost, sooner, rather than later)I do have two cameras that do a spendid job and will be bringing...they are part of my 'stuff'. Clothes, yes, those are important, I understand PJ's will be required attire, in fact, probably spend more time in those than anything else...and slippers....I love slippers, so, definitely slippers. Street clothes....usual stuff, levi's, t-shirts, including my Blog Camp t-shirt and my Birks....I'm contemplating a purchase of some Chuck's, so, maybe some Chuck's, too. And after that, I think I'll just use George's list of 'stuff' to bring:

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Crafty....that's me....too bad I can't make any money at it!

My very good friend recently passed her brokers license test. They say no one passes it the first time....she did. Of course she did, because, she's a genius. She should be getting the silly little piece of paper in the mail any day, I decided, being the good and supportive friend that I am, I wanted to show her how proud I am of her and acknowledge her accomplishment....above you see the little 'candy bowl' I assembled as a little chachkee to display on her desk....I have to fill it with some candy still, chocolate in her case...but, I think it came out rather adorable. (not to mention, displaying this little item on her desk will seriously screw with the branch manager....same guy who 'released me' from employment in june) (no, I'm not bitter, in fact, rather grateful, however, a little harmless ribbing never hurt anyone, right?)

Yes, that is all I got done today.....SOOOO what. Again, getting stuff done and not worrying about what is to be.....rrriiiiiight.

Got the results of my 'assessment' test today. Scored rather well, considering it's been 25 years since high school and I've had no serious education since then. I still don't know what affect the test results have on my acceptance to school.... need to speak to the admissions advisor....guess I'll be doing that tomorrow....wish me luck!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Progress.....tasks performed.....

So, I did not waste my day pondering what is to be. Pictures were hung, boxes were unpacked and trash was expedited. And, I marvelled at my CD collection and sang along with some Patsy Cline. Had a tomatoe sandwich - tomatoe from my own garden, a beaut, as you can see:
(yes, I posed my big ass tomatoe on a silver candy dish)
And, then I found myself in front of my computer blogging.....I better start looking for a blogger 12 step program now, Lord knows I'll need it.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

"Map out your future, but do it in pencil." Jon Bon Jovi

On Friday I was over at the career college I hope to attend, taking an assessment test. I didn't need to be there until noon, so, my morning was wide open, but, long about 9:00 a.m. I started getting grumpy, kind of resenting that I had to take an assessment test at all, not to mention the 40 minute drive I had to make to get over to the college. I'm not naive, I'm aware that there are alot of people out there that can't read or write or do a simple math equation, I know this is a problem and accept that any place of higher education has to 'assess' people to see A) if they can read, write and equate and at what level, and B) also decide who will be able to complete the programs they offer successfully. Because I was resenting the fact that an assessment was necessary, I began thinking about how I got to where I am and I began to wonder where I might be if I'd have taken a different path. I know, "the path" is getting old on this here blog, but, that's what this blog is about, life and the road I'm traveling, so, back to my thought....what was it? Oh, yeah, what if I'd have taken a different path? Again, I find myself looking back, whilst I'm trying to move forward and I think it is because I'm looking for some kind of sign that will tell me which path would have been the better choice. Then, as I start to ponder a different path, I realize, all of the blessings I've received in this path might have been missed, right?

Last night I put out a post with some random tidbits about was a struggle to find just those nine things that seemed, well, random and as I was trying to scrounge those things up I found myself reminiscing about my life before today. Some of the comments (very kind ones) were about how varied my life has been or that I was adventurous and yet, I do not see my life that way. In fact, I think my life has been quite ordinary, accept for the three heart surgeries...but, that's just a cake walk anymore. I find that the more I search for meaning in my life, the more I realize that meaning is about your own personal reality. The meaning in my life is about what I make of it. And, when I get my head around this concept, I always go to the Responsibility Prayer:

I am responsible for what I see.
I choose the feelings I experience, and I
decide upon the goal I would achieve.
And everything that seems to happen to me I
ask for, and receive as I have asked.

This is powerful stuff, being responsible for my own reality and sometimes I fall short. I will know this week if the school I've been working with to study nursing will allow me into their program and if I will be able to get the financing in order to pay for it. These two things are huge. I have been praying like mad for the Divine to give me some clear indication if I have picked the right path...which I know isn't going to be a big sign posted in my drive way that says, "Yep, you picked the right door this time." If I am accepted but the financing is a NO I will probably buckle and consider that my sign. If all variables fall into place I begin school 2nd week in October. I do have a fall back, the medical assisting program and the financing for that is still available to me, however, not my first choice. (This option for training also starts first part of October).

So, between here (today) and there (October) I have a blank canvas with which to paint my new reality. And, believe it or not, that is the most daunting part of what is going on with me. Yeah, two months of free time. (I've already had a month and a half and feel like I've wasted it, wondering 'what to do'?) I started a list today....I wonder how many items I will get checked off before October....

Saturday, August 8, 2009

9 Random things about me......

* when i was 17 i was a tour guide through our historic old town and the state capital - Sacramento
don't remember very much of my spiel....

* i've been a photographer since i was in third grade, whatever age you are then, still have my first photographs....somewhere.....around here..

* i've been inside a rodeo arena, just outside the shoot gate taking pictures of bullrides...had my own bullfighter....yup.....was able to leap tall arena fences in a single bound.....

* i've bungee jumped....yup....right off a perfectly good train bridge 200' over the Feather River....only once though.....screamed the whole time....'get me on the fokken bridge!!!!!!!'

* i have two different colored eyes - one hazel, one green...

* i desecrated Patsy Cline's "Crazy" singing karaoke one night while i was still drinking...haven't karaoke'd since! (you're welcome)

* at 18 i was a Princess House Crystal consultant....figured since I started collecting it when i was 16 i should probably start selling I could get more, free.

* i was the Queen of Hearts for the local chapter of the American Heart Association, in 1972....had a sash and rode a float in a parade....

* in high school i collected M&M wrappers, i don't remember why, but, eventually i had a laundry basket full.

Okay, why 9 things, because 9 is the perfect number, just check out Bonnie and her post " the nines" at Original Art Studio

...and then God said, "Let there be light", and there was

I am inspired today by the simple beauty of this Morning Glory I photographed last week. I am always awed by the beauty that is all around me, however small or obscure. The Divine provides us with such magical gifts. For me, the way the Morning Glory is built, is a gift of past years I've photographed Morning Glories and everytime I do, I am drawn to the center - where it appears to me that there is an internal light source. Do you see what I mean? It is as if just where the stem joins the flower there is a tiny 'candle' beaming light from the center, giving the flower an almost ethereal look.

Further, the inspiration reminds me that we all have an internal Divine light, glowing from our souls. Another gift we must embrace and show to the world. Just like the Morning Glory we are made perfect and whole.

These are the simple things I am pondering this to let my light shine...and I ask you all to look inside, find your light and bring it out for the world to see....let your light shine.....

Have a blessed and splendid weekend, peace

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Welcome home, Son, we're glad you're here and we thank you for your Service.....

We got our boy home tonight. He asked us not to do our usual hale and hardy greeting with signs, hollering and pomp and circumstance and we respected that. He just wanted to come home quietly, with dignity and honor. He's here. I saw the whites of his eyes, through my tears of happniess. He's been through alot and this time, he looks good, happy, and whole. Others, whom we did not know stepped up and thanked him....we see this when we meet him at the airport and it never ceases to cause a swell of pride in me....for him and for our country. Maybe you know the feeling? Maybe you have a loved one who has served and can identify with that surge of pride, knowing they have stepped up and shown undaunted courage, bravery, loyalty, patriotism and spirit?

I always thank a service person for their sacrifice when there is an opportunity...please if you see a service person, thank them, let them know you appreciate what they've done, they will thank you for your kind words and believe me, it makes them feel like a million bucks.

My gratitude to the Divine for bringing the Boy home to us, knows no bounds. I feel that I may have failed the Boy in the past and find that I am so grateful that he has made it home one more time and I have the opportunity to tell him how I feel, to let him know how proud I am and that he has made my life more beautiful for having him in it.

Just practicing, I am trying to shed my regrets, so that I don't have to live with them anymore....

Like I've told the Boy, for all of the time that he's been gone, Be Safe, Be Smart, Be True to your Heart.....peace