Sunday, August 1, 2010

In case anyone still stops by here looking for me......


I have moved to a new place, you can find me over here

I hope you will stop by!

Peace
S ♥ ♥ ♥

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Recovered......so, goodbye


When I started this blog I really had no concept of how blogging worked....ie; followers, content, writing in html(still don't know what that is exactly), what to write, and I wasn't really expecting what I found. I found people all over the world who I enjoyed 'hearing' what they said and I even connected with some of them in a pretty wonderful way....it was a pleasant surprise. I found myself, I think, along the way also...which is, (at least the day I wrote my first post), why I began the blog in the first place. I have mentioned on several occaisions now that I don't feel that my blogging is really authentic, or rather, about me anymore...what I mean is that I have not really written from within myself, but from without myself....I write about everything in my life but my real self.

Am I making sense? It feels empty, my blogging, like I'm only producing to produce and I think I am in a place where I need to say "enough" and move on. In light of the recent events with my Niece, her suspension from school, her father kicking her out of her house and all of the events that lead up to that, I feel like I have contributed to the circumstances by embibing in the self agrandizing the electronic world facilitates.

I started examining what I was putting out there and why. In comparison to what my Niece was putting out there and why...I have decided that I need to pull back. And, this blog no longer fits its description, so, I will be closing it.

However, I am not done reading and cannot imagine what my morning would look like if I didn't have my favorite blogs to read.

At a later time, I will start a new blog, with a different focus and content, perhaps I will use only writing prompts and really delve into whimsy.....or make my focus my photography. I will be hanging out on Flickr....making an effort to shoot something every day and posting over there.

When I come back to blogging, I will stop by, I'm hoping those that have been here all along will recognize my voice.

Peace
♥♥♥

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Thursday, May 6, 2010

The fight against Breast Cancer....Please Help!



I have mentioned here before that my sister, Candace is fighting cancer. Every time things look like she has beaten it, we get bad news....she ALWAYS rallies....she is my hero.

This weekend where I live, is the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, my family is walking in the event, my 14 year old Niece spearheaded our team, (she wanted to walk for Aunt Candace)....even Candace will be walking with us....

This post is a request for a donation. I know that times are hard and maybe you have already donated to another participant in your area or another cause that is close to YOUR heart, God Bless You. Please if you can, here is the link to my donation page and our team's page, if you can......Donate Here

I am reaching out where ever I can, through my blog, Facebook, personal email....

To anyone who is battling this horrible disease or any family member or friend of someone battling, my heart goes out to you, as do my prayers.

The photo you see above is of me and my girls....my sisters, my friends, my heroes, each for different reasons, we planted a Pink Promise Rose in Candace's honor about a year ago....we prayed that day, as we do everyday for her.

Thank you for your visit.

Peace
♥♥♥

Friday, April 23, 2010

A Few Good Men and one Brother!



Just returned from two days in San Diego.....Marine Corps Recruit Graduation! What an event. We went down on Thurday morning for Family Day and then we were honored to see my little Brother graduate from Marine Corps Basic Training! OOOH, RAHHHHH! Semper Fidelis!

Isn't he just the coolest?

Tired.....in fact exhausted.....


Peace

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Well, she came off the rails......


So, first thing Monday morning my niece was suspended from school. Yep, all of my talking and trying to help her get around her ownself did nothing.

Her dad has grounded her, indefinitely, taken away her phone and her computer...which I agree with, however, he's grounded her from seeing me, as well. I fully agree with the consequences, accept the part where I can't see her or talk to her. S.O.B. doesn't get it and never will.

I know it was wrong of me, but while her dad was at work today, I discovered her on myspace and we began an IM conversation....I should have told her to get off the computer and do her chores and homework....but, I wanted her to know I love her and although she screwed up, she can redeem herself. She owned her mistake, said she knows it was her fault and that she was willing to suffer the consequences....she complained about the consequences, but acknowledged she deserved the punishment.

She also admitted that she was scared and said she thinks things with her dad are at the worst they've ever been....she's just dying for his attention....and instead of talking with his daughter, making an effort to find out what the hell is going on, he sent her to her room and apparently, isn't speaking to her.

He is also 'pissed' at my sister for not telling him what has been going on....as if he couldn't have found out what is going on the same way she and I have been finding out....by watching and listening. Fricken tool......

Craptastic....

Thanks to each of you who stopped by with advice for me....I'm going to try to step back and just be here for her, no more hammering on how to conduct herself, just help her to find more productive ways to channel her energy....we've signed up at the horse barn to volunteer with the disabled kids, she's really looking forward to that and I think it will be good for her to give back in some way, might give her a different perspective.

She's breakin' my heart.....

Peace
♥♥♥ (she taught me how to make these hearts)

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Advice.....PLEASE!



How do you talk to a teenager.....? How do you give them information that they will actually take to heart?

The bullying situation blew over after a visit to the assistant principal and subsequent mediation between the two girls. A boy was at the heart of the matter and he has continued his duplicitous behavior, however, my neice isn't listening anymore. Finally.....

But, I see her running in the same circle, over and over again. She's really smart and mature for her age, but she cannot see the circle she keeps making. She feeds off of drama and I know that it is the nature of teen girls, but I KNOW some teen girls manage to avoid it....how do they do it? How can I help my niece see that it is in her best interest to avoid the drama? Her dad hates the drama and to that end virtually ignores his daughter (she's got some serious anger around that, too).

I've talked until I'm blue in the face about the bullying and what constitutes getting into someone else's business and whether or not she has the right to butt in....she always says it is in the name of defending herself or a friend....which to a certain degree is admirable, however, a cop-out is a cop-out and that's what her 'defense' theory sounds like to me.

I don't want all of my contact with her to be about me 'talking to her about her behavior' and telling her to mind her own business, because, well, eventually she will quit listening....if she hasn't already.

I see her headed for another broken heart....the boy she truly has feelings for has little patience for drama and I think that her propensity for getting in the middle or rather, making drama is going to be the end of his feelings for her....and perhaps for any boy liking her for any long period of time.....(not that I believe that is the be all and end all for her happiness, but at this age boys are soooo important to a young girl).

My heart is heavy tonight....I want so desperately for her to be happy and to be a successful human.....



Peace

Monday, April 12, 2010

A favorite Aunt


Well, she's actually my Mom's Aunt....My Beloved Mom Jerrye's sister, Rose Marie. We visited her and her tribe yesterday. I did not realize the effect seeing her would have on me. I have not seen her since before my grandmother died. She reminded me of so many things about my grandmother that I miss terribly. Rose Marie is the youngest of the sibs and she is the only one left now. She is a funny lady, says whatever comes to her mind, just like my grandmother used to. She loves reading and eating, she tells me. My Mom got to talk about her mom with Auntie and I think it helped her ....my mom has suffered with more grief than I realized and it seemed like she was able to excise some pent up grief.

We had a lovely meal with the rest of the tribe and an overall swell day.

I hope you had a wonderful Sunday.

Peace

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Guess who came back this weekend?


You may remember him from last year....or maybe not, becuase you hadn't started visiting yet. Either way, he made a return visit to help out....BobKitty! He came by today to get the back yard ready for the garden! Sooooo, excited about getting the garden in! We even had local horse poop compost delivered!

I know, I'm pathetic, right.....?

Just wait, the garden is going to ROCK this year!

Peace

Friday, April 9, 2010

Ah, Spring is soooo beautiful!


So, I ran into this beauty in the yard a couple of days ago. He even let me touch him, just lightly on one of his wings. When he noticed that I was photographing him he spread out his wings for me. I don't know why, but the meeting with that Butterfly really affected me, in a good way. I printed out several poses and I am using them as book marks in the many books I am currently reading.

I surely hope you will be having a wonderful Spring weekend!
Blessings.....

and,
Peace

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Processing.....thoughts, feelings, the voice in my head


I have participated in my fair share of therapy. You might have guessed that if you have been reading my blog for very long. (I hope you have) And, as a result of all of that therapy I tend to over analyze my own thinking, feelings and have lengthy conversations with the third party voice in my head. I was once told that this is a symptom of co-dependence, and maybe it is. Either way, the voice, I am willing to concede, is my own voice doubting and judging myself. Because of this doubting judge I always second guess my feelings of being taken advantage of, or perhaps being used. Those are kind of harsh words for what I mean, but you get the gist. I tend to be over generous, something I have also been told is a symptom of co-dependence, always trying to be nice, please and gain favor by others and to keep the peace, etc. Maybe all true, either way, again, it is who I am and while I am aware of the therapeutic analogies that go along with the behaviors, I cannot for the life of me stop myself from getting into situations where I have been kind and generous to a person.Then feeling after a period of time that I have fallen prey to someone who is wholly capable to taking advantage of the situation and thereby rendering me PISSED....at them and myself.

So, that is when the doubter and judge really show up. "You idiot, why did you agree again to do something for so and so?", "You know that person isn't going to do anything for you, just because you were kind to them." And the little kid in me says, "but I was just being nice, really, I just wanted to be nice." and the Judge says, "no you didn't, you had an ulterior motive, you expected something in return." and again the poor little kid in me says, "oh, maybe you're right, I couldn't possibly know what my real intentions were, I'm just a stupid little kid who can't be anything but a wimp trying to win over people to be my friend." and the Judge say, "see, I told you you were stupid and that you don't deserve to stand up for yourself when you feel like you've been slighted or disrespected." and then the little kid begins to get angry and says, "Hey, I did this, this, and this for that person, I did it out of kindness and yes, you're right I expected to be respected for my kindness, you're right, I expected to be treated with at the very least dignity." And the Judge says, "you don't deserve those things, so before you let your mouth overload your butt, stuff your feelings and pretend everything is okay."

And you know what? I listen to the judge and over time the anger, frustration and the resentment build up and I begin to shut down and pull away and close myself off, for fear of puffing up and asking for the respect and dignity I deserve, but in a very unacceptable way.

And, all the while, there is another voice telling me to stop the madness and be open and speak your peace and if you have asked for something you truly don't deserve then the Universe will take care of that and set you straight.

The old behaviors and patterns, while glaringly obvious to me while I'm in the throws of them, are hard to shake. I am constantly studying myself, making adjustments, commending myself when I master a bevavior that is no good for me, reminding myself to start over tomorrow, 'drop the judge' and give myself the respect and dignity I deserve by Divine right. Lot's of processing....right now I'm in the throws and while I recognize what is going on....I can't seem to get off the ride.

That and some other things are distracting me from the finer things in life, like laying in bed reading a good book and eating a pound of See's candy.

I'll put out an update on the meeting with the school, the details are still unfolding as we found out this afternoon that the administrator we spoke to was not entirely truthful with us.....

Peace

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

A shot across the bow.....



Teenage Girls.....uuugghhhhhh! Last week was Spring break, so there was no school...therefore, no bullying. However, today, on the first day back from break the bullying commenced and the "other" girl made a point of harassing my niece and then going into the Vice Principal's office and reporting my niece for bullying her! Yes, a very insidious maneuver, I think....and calculating....and conniving.

A week ago Friday my niece was on the phone with me, crying her eyes out, telling me about how this girl was really getting to her. She did not want anyone to go into the school and speak on her behalf because she was afraid the bullying would only get worse.....she wanted to wait until the break was over and maybe it would stop by the time they went back to school. (There is an added element to this whole game, the girl who is harassing the niece has a boy involved and he keeps getting my niece's hopes up about a possible romantic relationship, "as soon as I break up with Kaia {the bully}" and then he turns around and makes out with Kaia right in front of my niece)...we believe Kaia has put him up to these games and even though my niece suspects he is involved she keeps falling for it.

Evidently, over the break the boy started his campaign again and upon their return to school, Kaia and the boy set my niece up, staging a big make out session right in front of the class that my niece and the boy share. (dirty, rotten, heinous, monstrous kids).

My sister and I have a meeting tomorrow morning at 9:00 a.m. with the Vice Principal who called my niece in (without a parent's presence!)and advised her that she could be suspended for bullying! We're going in, informed, calm, cool, and collected and require that ALL parties be reprimanded and called to task for their behavior. We'll also be pointing out the Phoebe Prince case and ask that they take the matter seriously. (If we have to).

I hate this sh*t! Why are girls sooooo hateful to each other....? They should be banding together and bolstering each other, helping each other, protecting each other. I wonder when the first "mean girl" was labeled....how long has this been going on?

I know that bullying has been going on for ages, but the girls today have a special level of mean to them that just scares me and makes me sick. And, it doesn't look like any one has been able to get a handle on it and eradicate it. What does that say about our society? Seriously, it's like a vast range of generations are raising narcissistic, psychopaths. I know that sounds kind of over the top, but in most cases it's like these kids don't have a conscience about their actions.

My niece still doesn't want anyone to go into the school and talk to the administrators about this, but my sister and I are concerned that if someone doesn't speak up now, on my niece's behalf, she's going to take the brundt of the punishment for something another kid is equally or more so to blame. Both girls have friends who have been witnessing this bullying, so at some point those other kids could get drawn into the mix and their actions could be called into question. I feel at this point, it isn't going to get better until someone stands up and calls everyone on the carpet - the school for letting it go on, the parents of all kids involved and all of the kids witnessing or participating.

Mostly, I hope that we will be taken seriously and that my niece won't suffer more excrutiatingly for our show of concern.

Peace

Sunday, April 4, 2010

The Resurrection......life anew


(I totally plagarized this photo....Thanks to Julochka for the inspiration)

Today is a new day.....I am blessed

Tomorrow is another new day....I am blessed

I have family that I can lean on in times of joy and sorrow....I am blessed

I have the most amazing group of friends who are always there for me....I am blessed

I have a new life, sometimes it is a little scary.....yet I still feel I am blessed

I am abundantly blessed....

May you all be blessed as much!

Happy Easter

Peace be with you
♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Saturday, April 3, 2010

The case for consequences of teen bullying: Phoebe Prince


I have been rattled this week by the Phoebe Prince story. If you haven't seen or read the news a 15 year old girl hanged herself in January as a result of relentless bullying by her peers. The reasons this case should bother anyone are obvious, the reasons it bothers me are closer to home.

I've been chewing on this post for most of the week. Each night I was going to sit down and write....but each night the words did not come easily and today still are not at my finger tips....so, I'm going to go with a stream of consciousness thing....

I have a 14 year old niece who I dote on. She is spoiled. I contribute to that. For the most part I believe she is a good kid just trying to navigate the hurdles that come from being a teenager. Her parents are self-absorbed and are not paying attention. Yes, I said it, they are not paying attention because they are so caught up in their own "childhood nightmares" that they can't even see what is happening to their kid. Not to mention that to them, their daughter is just a pawn in their game with each other of torment and hate. While I can talk to my sister and she is beginning to see the light, the EX is a guy who can't see past his own nose and to him my niece is a piece of property and as long as she is getting good grades and staying out of obvious trouble, then he doesn't have to look any further. He doesn't want to see, he might have to sober up for that.

That shit aside, I am afraid for my Niece. Navigating the shit teenagers have to navigate these days would scare a battle weary warrior. When I read the details of the Pheobe Prince story my heart collapsed. I've been monitoring my niece's electronic social networking activity since the early summer and I have to admit I am both scared for her and disgusted by her. She gives as good as she gets....she REALLY works hard at fronting how tough she is, but the little girl I know is really a good, tender-hearted person. It was pointed out to me this morning that I might be just a bit naive about that. I didn't like it, but have to admit, I am being naive.

A week ago friday she was on the phone with me, sobbing, hysterical that she 'just can't take it anymore', (another girl at school has been harassing her, since January and usually my niece puts anyone in their place if they harass her, this particular girl has gotten in her head), she has spoken to a counsellor at school twice, but it appears she has little credibility with the persons in charge and so no punishment has been meted out to the harassing party. We all know that if there are no severe consequences and the consequences aren't enforced, once a bully is called out on their behavior the bullying only gets worse for the victim...as it did for Phoebe Prince. I do not believe that my niece is on the verge of hurting herself and when I reminded her of our call last friday, she recalled a modified version of what happened, in other words, she doesn't want adult intervention for fear of reprisal....and I don't blame her.

Because i have been monitoring her myspace, facebook, and formspring I am acutely aware of her conduct and am afraid she is not exactly the 'nice girl' I thought she was. Her swearing and threatening language were a considerable disappointment. But more than that, it was horribly sad for me. naively I want to say, "she's screaming out for her folks attention," but intellectually, I think that teenage girls are horrible monsters, each one to some degree and there is nothing I can do to protect her from herself.

Because I can only do so much and really have no control of how my niece is parented by her parents I feel impotent to intervene with her and on her behalf. More than anything I am afraid that her electronic life is going to horrifically derail her future life. These kids have no concept of how they are presenting themselves to the world and quite literally they are putting their whole lives out there for judgement...they have no sense that what they write on these HEINOUS "networking" sites can be damaging to them in far reaching ways.

That is just one of the reasons the Phoebe Prince story has affected me....they have been able to actually bring charges against these CHILDREN for their teenage behavior. I am both outraged by the teen's behavior, and saddened by their behavior and quite honestly hope that they all go to prison for a very long time as some kind of penance for what happened to Phoebe Prince....but if I feel that way about those teens, how can I defend my niece to those who she might be bullying as either a defense to behavior perpetrated against her or for her own sport.

I am not just rattled, but ROCKED by this case and the possible far reaching reprecussions the outcome will have on all of us.

Yesterday I went to my sister and showed her the details of the Phoebe Prince case, discussed with her in detail what I thought it could mean in the long run, showed her how her own daughter was conducting herself and begged her to start paying attention. We already had a date set for them to come over for egg decorating and agreed we'd wait for another time so that the evening wouldnt' be ruined....at some point in the evening we began sporadic talk of the electronic forums (my niece brought a friend with her and both teens were eager to share and discuss). Our discussions were lively and emotionally charged and over the course of the evening many feelings and ideas were shared. I'm saying this wrong, but to my surprise, and although things did get heated many times, we managed to cover a lot of ground without actually bringing up the topic of the Phoebe Prince story. At a later point in the evening my sister surprised me with her bravery and brought up the case and then we began to have a hardcore serious discussion wtih both girls about acceptable and not acceptable behavior, based on the assumption that the case will have long lasting reprecussiosn on how teens can treat each other.

Again to my additional surprise, both girls began to own their own heinous behavior and they actually grasped the concepts we were trying to share with them (albeit, my niece tried valiantly to deflect as much responsibility as possible, her friend would not let her get away with it) and while I don't think either girl will abandon their myspace, facebook and formspring pages, nor their phones, I feel that they were given food for thought.

In the end both my sister and I were able to address a difficult topic and hear directly from the girls what was going on....but, again it was pointed out to me, I see my niece with rose colored glasses, the child is mean, disprespectful of all adults and may already be lost. I feel like that is a defeatist attitude and like I've surrendered to the battle and cannot be convinced the war can be won.... I did not sleep well after they left and when I did wake up this morning I had an overwhelming sense of sadness and defeat, like I'd already lost....

Over the next few weeks I imagine there will be a flurry of activity on the part of schools to address the issues that will be staring them in the face due to the Phoebe Prince case....I pray that my niece really HEARD what we said to her and that my heavy heart is wrong and that she will reexamine how she conducts herself and set a new course for herself.....but maybe I am again, being naive.

I am praying for Phoebe Prince and those kids who are going to pay for her death...whether they go to jail or not.

Peace

Monday, March 29, 2010

Finals this week.....then time to play!



Lots of things will be shaking out this week.....this is finals week and I will be making some big decisions about where to finish up my schooling. Please send all kinds of positive energy my way so that I make the right decision.

Peace

Friday, March 26, 2010

For you...Happy Weekend!



Grateful, just plain ol' grateful.

Peace

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Coralside....some more


The drive was helping to clear her head. She kept flashing back to the last thing they talked about, “why do you have to leave?” He asked. “I told you, it’s time for me to be my own person.” He looked at her with that stare that drove her crazy, the one where it made her feel like she was less than, like she couldn’t think for herself. She knew he would never get it, nor would he ever try. It didn’t matter anymore anyway, her home was gone and she needed to make a life for herself unencumbered by the guilt and the burdens.

As she curved and wound through the low hills, cresting and sinking again into the valleys she started to feel lighter. Maybe it was the light scent of the ocean the wafted through the open windows as her hair blew all around her. She kept thinking she should have tied her hair back, but felt like the only way to be truly free was to let it whip around her, dancing as she wished she could. She was getting closer, the salty air was getting heavier and she could see seagulls off in the distance and the cypress trees were beginning to appear on the horizon. She did not call ahead, but figured it was the off season and she could get a room at Cove House, where she stayed before. Cove House and her mistress, Josephine, offered her solace and comfort when she lost her Grandmother and then again when Leo walked out.

When she pulled up outside of Cove House, it was as if everything that was weighing her down was suddenly lifted from her shoulders and she could move and breathe without restriction. She shut the engine off and just sat with the windows down, breathing, slow, full, deep breaths. Again, she became lost in thought and wondered what she was doing here. How did her heart know to come here, to Cove House, to the ocean and this little town?

She was so lost in thought she did not notice Josephine sitting in her rocker on the porch, lemonade in hand, watching her. When she regained herself, she got out of the car and stretched, pulling out a big yawning stretch, arms in the air, body twisting “uuuuahahhhhnnnnn, waaaa, uugghh.”Josephine laughed, heartily, “Girl, WHAT are you doing here?” Startled from the reverie of her yawning stretch and Josephine’s exclamation, she giggled, and ran for the porch, “I’m here to start my life, my real life. Feel like being my coach?” she asked. As she landed at the top steps, at the south end of the porch, sunlight dancing in her auburn hair, Josephine laughed with more gusto and told her, “You don’t need a coach; you are the best coach you’ll ever need. But, I’d be happy to watch you stumble along and bandage your scrapes.”

She sat down in the rocker next to Josephine’s and began to cry, big, racking, snot pouring sobs. Josephine reached over and put her hand upon Ryleigh’s hand, squeezing just so, every couple of seconds. Ryleigh cried for what seemed like an hour and when she had no more left, not one single tear, she suddenly felt very tired and sleepy. Josephine wasn’t the kind of person who pried, when someone was ready to tell her what they needed to purge themselves of, she just listened. Ryleigh wasn’t ready yet but in the morning, after some rest and a meal, she would be ready to shed the past and begin sorting out who she really was and deciding what she really wanted.

Josephine looked her over and smiled at her, a very soft, knowing, kind smile and grabbed her hand and said, “Let’s get you inside, feed you and put you to bed for the night and in the morning you can tell me what you need.” Ryleigh followed, in an exhausted stupor, through the screen door into Cove House. The house smelled of the ocean, salty, sandy and fresh and of gardenia and lilac. The house had been around since the early 1900’s and over the decades each new generation of Josephine’s family added their little touches to the property. Her aunt before her loved gardenia and lilac therefore she planted both under each of the ground floor windows. This made for a lovely kind of room freshener only Mother Nature could provide.

Ryleigh had the presence of mind to know she needed to grab some things out of her car, so after a light dinner of fresh basil and tomato salad, dressed in balsamic vinegar and olive oil and crusty homemade bread she went back out to get her things. It was still light outside and now that she was a little more in control of her awareness, she noticed a few changes around the grounds. Set behind the main house was a smaller cottage with a big screened sun porch on the west facing side, where you could see the ocean as she lapped at the shore. It was just getting to be dusk and there were lights on in the cottage, she never noticed anyone use the cottage on her previous visits, in fact, she thought it had been boarded up. She found herself staring at the cottage, the glow of the interior lights soft and warm, thinking how nice it might be to have a little place just like that to call her own.

She grabbed her suitcase, her camera bag and her computer and headed back into the house. Josephine had already prepared a room for her, pulling down the bed covers, filling the water jug, and opening up the windows. It was the same room she stayed in on all of her other visits, on the west side of the house, facing the ocean. It wasn’t right to stay in a place near the ocean and not be able to gaze upon it from your room. Josephine understood Ryleigh’s love of ocean and always made sure to put her in this room.

Peace

Shining


(from the archives)

To Brandi Kay:

Furious, you were
always feeling slighted
never in the spotlight
where you belonged
Shining.

Curious, you were
always disassembling your toys
never content with just an explanation
searching for the answers
Shining.

Bright, you were
always excelling at all you touch
never holding back
showing us where you belonged
Shining.

Abandoned, you were
always left behing
never included in the drama
where you belonged
Shining.

Shining, you were
always angry with me
never able to forgive
resenting your birth order
but saved from mine
Strong and healthy
Shining.
Peace ♥♥♥♥

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Happy Saint Patrick's Day!



May you always have walls for the winds,
a roof for the rain,
tea beside the fire,
laughter to cheer you,
those you love near you,
and all your heart might desire!



May God grant you always....
A sunbeam to warm you,
A moonbeam to charm you,
A sheltering angel, so nothing can harm you!



Slainte!



Peace, too

Monday, March 15, 2010

Do - over please.....


I feel guilty for using yet another PINK flower for my post....yet, I have nothing in the old portfolio that inspires me at the moment. I really need to get out and shoot some inspiration.

It seems like it has been almost half as long as I have been blogging since I wrote a good post, since I really just wrote honestly. I chew on a lot of stuff and think, "I should write about that" and then for some reason decide I don't want to invest in what I was turning over in my head. Maybe because most of it seems like a rehash.

When I find myself rehashing the same stuff over and over again I find that it is because I'm avoiding something else and that I have plateaued with a particular issue and decide to hang around beating it over and over again because whatever else it is I'm trying to process is scarier (or more disappointing) than what I just worked through. See? Rambling to avoid moving on......

School has not turned out to be as wonderful as I had hoped and I am contemplating another place to continue school. I am only in the 2nd quarter of school at the place I am going and am already so disappointed and dissatisfied that it pains me to go every day (I know, melodramatic). I was so excited to be back in school and to learn new things and meet new people and challenge myself.....blah, blah, blah....

Turns out I'm getting totally fleeced and it is taking FOREVER and I've just been sitting around letting it happen....I've been very grumpy lately and I know it is because I feel like I made a bad decision and will look like a fool if I change direction now.

When examining my initial decision I realize I did the best I could with the information I received up front and now that what I was told is not really turning out to be the case, I am pissed off at myself for not digging deeper. I am impulsive some times and I keep reexamining my earlier decision to see if maybe I was being impulsive....but I don't think so in this instance.

Anyway, the place I chose to go to school is really not a great school, not even a good school and specifically the curriculum and administration are questionable. for the amount of money I am paying to get what I thought would be an education is turning out to be a way for someone to get a lot of money for very little effort on their part.

I have made inquiries into another option for school....I have to work out a way to get the tuition, since I'm all tied up with the other school in student loans that I will need to negotiate out of or at least make sure what funds weren't used go back to the right place....so, in a few days I should have that worked out....I should feel better then....knowing that I can change direction and the damage won't be too severe or irreparable....

The new schooling option will have me done by end of November, instead of next Spring...I also feel like I need to get school done and over with and get back in to the work force, to be taking care of myself and not relying on unemployment....and to be able to get medical insurance again....I'm without insurance again and that just scares me to death.....

So, that is what I am chewing on tonight.....just trying to negotiate my life....whew!

Peace

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Taking a Survey....please stop by and cast your vote....PLEASE



I know, lame, right? But, seriously, I need your help, AGAIN. I have a 'research project' due in Psychology and I need to survey a group of 50 people and I cleared it with TEACH and she said I could use my blog to reach a wider audience! Yay....I hope.


The Survey question is:
Of these cookie types, which is your favorite?


Chocolate Chip

Oatmeal Raisin

Peanut Butter

That's all.....just let me know your favorite cookie and I will be eternally grateful!
Peace

An Appeal......



I am working on a project for my Sister.....I would like to request your help.....if you would be willing to share a photo with me.....I am looking for pictures of Peace signs. If you have one in your portfolio and would be willing to share, I would greatly appreciate it, would you please email it to me? If you do not already have one, while you are exercising your photographer muscles, could you stage a Peace sign photo, something really creative and organic and share it with me? As I work on my project I will be give photo credit to each one of you....noting that your photos are a gift of love and peace.

My project is large and I will need many photos....so, any time you shoot, find, see or stumble across a Peace sign photo, I would love it if you shared it with me.

Thank you.

Peace
♥♥♥♥

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

What is your heart focused on?



My Heart is focused on Hope.....

My Heart is focused on Miracles....

My Heart is focused on Faith.....

My Heart is focused on Peace.....

My Heart is focused on Love.....

My Heart is focused on Gratitude.....


Peace
♥♥♥♥

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Check the list.....Horse is on the list


I spent the greater part of my day today in "sidewalker" orientation....yep, pretty fun sounding, eh? YOu ask, "what is sidewalker orientation?" It is a volunteer position at a local Therapeutic Horse Ranch. My job will be to walk along side of a horse securing the safety of the rider. The students at this ranch are developmentally or physically disabled and the lessons they receive help them to gain mobility, self-esteem, muscle tone, confidence, and many other therapeutic benefits. The facility is beautiful and is nestled in the midst of town, not too far from my house. I found about this place through Volunteer Match when I was looking for some kind of volunteer opportunity in my area.

My previous post was an essay I recently wrote for school about volunteering and all the benefits people get from giving back. As I am not anywhere near finishing up with school and have begun to get itchy for something to do that would be along the lines of helping people in some kind of 'medical' way, (especially kids) I thought volunteering might fix my need to DO something. I love horses and hope to someday to be a seasoned rider and own my own horse, so I searched Volunteer Match in my zip code with the keyword, Horses....and viola! This opportunity came up.

There are opportunities to do much more at this facility and I am interested in helping any way I can. I even approached them about doing some photography. I am hoping that the photography thing works out because I would love to share with you, gentle readers, the beauty that is horses in action.

They also take in horses as therapy horses (many people in my area have had to give away horses because of the economy and turning the horses over to a therapy center is a way for good horses to get great care and a job).

I've signed up for Thursday afternoons and Saturday mornings, I start this next Thursday. Stay tuned!

Peace

S

Thursday, March 4, 2010

We must be the change we wish to see. Ghandi


This is an essay I wrote for my English class last week. We had to stand up in front of the class and read it. Kind of a public service announcement.

We must be the change we wish to see. Ghandi

It is just two hours a week and the benefits all around are a huge return on your time. People look around at their lives and think, “I don’t have any spare time to help.” Perhaps they could find the time if they knew that volunteering would make them happier and might even help them have healthier and longer lives.

Volunteerism is often considered an altruistic endeavor and ultimately, that is what makes a volunteer feel good. However, volunteering has some other benefits. The tangible benefits are that of helping a volunteer be more successful in their working life. Volunteering can help a person gain a new skill, open up networking opportunities with like minded people, show potential employers that you have a sense of teamwork, dedication, and are flexible. The possibilities of skill building in volunteering are endless, if helping to plan an event; you could acquire the skill of managing a group of people, the skill of planning and executing the design of how an event will happen, the skill of training others for like endeavors. Research has shown that 73 percent of employers are more likely to hire someone who has volunteer experience on their resume. (WVW) That fact alone is a tangible benefit of volunteering.

Looking at volunteerism from other angles shows the intangible benefits of volunteering. Participating within ones community gives a sense of belonging, giving back to the place where one lives. As a volunteer a person can gain a sense of accomplishment and find motivation to do more. Volunteering provides opportunities for social connection, making new friends and meeting different people. With little risk or expense (maybe none) a person can gain new experiences, such as building a house, spending time with animals, learning a new art form or craft and many other activities outside their usual demographic. Volunteering is also a way to set an example for people around you; it is a way to inspire others to give back.

The benefits of volunteering have even been realized by Corporate America, as large and small companies alike have implemented volunteer programs for their employees. Toyota Motor Company founded their VIP (Volunteers in Place) program in 1994, offering their employees donation benefits to their favorite charity based on the employee’s volunteer hours. The development of this program was prompted by the employees. Many employees were already volunteering outside of work so it was simple for the human resources department to get behind a volunteer program companywide. Not only do the employees and their charity benefit, but it is good business, the company experiences benefits as well, turnover, productivity and morale improved after the program was implemented. (Leonard)

Not only do adults benefit from volunteering, but our youth can reap the rewards of their participation, too. It has been shown that students who volunteer have a higher grade point average, are more successful in their social skills and show a greater respect for their community. While youth participation does happen on its own, the studies show that a young person is more likely to participate in volunteerism if a parent or sibling also participates. It probably doesn’t need to be mentioned, but a youth involved in constructive activities is less likely to find themselves in trouble.

The greatest of the benefits of volunteerism is likely to be that of health and mortality. All of the previous tangible benefits mentioned certainly contribute to a person’s health and well being but research shows as a person ages, volunteering helps them to have better health and to live longer. Aging can find a person losing friendships, (due to matriculation), finding that one can’t get around as well as in their youth, retiring and finding they have no purpose, and an empty nest, all of these things can contribute to decline in well being. Volunteering provides mature adults with opportunities to make new friends, find activities that they can do, give them a sense of purpose and provide them with social interaction to keep them busy. (Robert Grimm) Research has shown that these factors contribute largely to longevity and that when folks contribute with their volunteerism, they are more likely to live longer.

There are ways for everyone to contribute, to participate in their own communities with vast opportunities to do things one could never imagine possible. Locally there a plethora of volunteer organizations that need help, simply by plugging in the word volunteerism in your web browser you can find tons of amazing things to do. Heald also promotes student participation in volunteering in order to help students with their resume. As a result of my own desire to volunteer I found a website that will match a person up with a volunteer opportunity right here in our community. On Friday I begin training to become a ‘side walker’ at Saddle Pals Therapeutic Center in Orangevale, where I will be assisting clients with physical and developmental disabilities ride horses for therapy. As I am working in the MA program and want to work with children and animals this opportunity offered many facets that will assist me in my goal, not to mention the good feelings it will generate!

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Family dynamics


(gratuitous spring blossom shot....thank you Nikon!)

I have like a ton of stuff I need to purge....my little brother, (just 18) is getting married, May 1st and while he's in basic training, my Dad, my Sister and I are planning the wedding. Why us instead of the bride and her family? Because baby bro decided and ANNOUNCED right before we shipped him off to boot camp, that HE would be paying for the whole wedding. Yep, you got it, he buried himself(and us). It's not really a big deal, but navigating the family dynamic mine field is something I'm not fond of, nor am I good at.

AT the core of the family dynamic issues I'm most concerned about are those of the relationship our side of the family has with my Bro's mom. "V" is my age, when she worked for my father as his secretary, they began an affair that resulted in having my Brother. V did everything she could to destroy my dad and then even went so far as to try to keep him from my Brother, or rather my brother from my father. She made heinous accusations in court, used every stall tactic she could and then when none of those worked and dad won visitation and partial custody rights she tried to poison Bro against dad...when that didn't work she did what she could to make Bro suffer for the relationship he and dad built. Needless to say, bad feelings about this woman abound. All of the time that V was trying to wreak havoc and destroy what she could dad just kept telling my sister and I that he was not going to play her games and eventually Bro would see her for who and what she is and come to his own conclusions....last summer he did and he moved in with dad for his last year of high school. Dad was hoping this would happen much sooner and they would have a longer 'bonding' period, but alas, it did not.

The reason for the move was a culmination of events, but the crux of the matter is that Bro finally decided he hated his mother. To me this is sad, part of me has this feeling of, "you get what you deserve, b**ch." and part of me feels sad for Bro that he and his mother are estranged from each other, because I don't care how old you get, you still need your mom. (yes, I know some mom's don't deserve that, but from a purely 'perfect world' perspective, we all need our moms).

Because of what V did to my dad and my whole family, I have some hard feelings about her. I have tried over the years not to care, she's really not worth the emotions, but she is a heinous person, doing what she could to maliciously hurt all of us even her own son. Since Bro moved out of his mom's house and in with dad, we've all tried to encourage him to make amends with her, or at least let her make amends if she was making efforts, he's been reluctant but at least repaired their relationship to a speaking to each other status.

{I would never condone or press anyone, especially someone I love, to continue to engage in a relationship with someone who was spiteful and harmful to them, but for the greater part of my brother's life, he wanted to and stayed with his mom, for whatever reasons, so there had to be love there somewhere, so my concern about repairing their relationship was only based on how it might affect bro in the long run if he did not make the effort to repair things to his tolerance.}

In the days when my father and V were together, V and I were friends.....we spent a lot of time together, right up to the time she betrayed my dad....and although I was happy to part ways with her as my friend (at the time I was only 25 and in the middle of something I had no business being in the middle of) I never really forgave her, for the betrayal and the subsequent war she enacted against my dad and my family. So, I come to the day when I must face this anger and resentment and find forgiveness....if not for me, for Bro and the family. For the most part, V is not on my radar until I hear a story about her behavior toward my little brother and although I know that holding onto any anger, resentment, even hate only diminishes me, I cannot help but feel negatively toward her.

There was a time when I believed that V was beyond redemption and in fact referred to her as the Devil's spawn, but recently I've begun to see a glimmer of light....I believe losing little bro to the 'dark side' (that would be our side of the family) has humbled her. She recently contacted dad about plans to participate in boot camp family day and graduation, she called to inquire if it 'would be alright' if she went? Much to my dad's surprise she was nice, solicitous and humble. We're a little afraid, but still hopeful.

When we initially talked about the wedding Bro felt that V probably would not come to the wedding because we are having the wedding out at the ranch, dad's house and Bro felt that V would cite 'hostility' on our part if she came. We of course countermanded that assumption and told him emphatically that she was welcome and 'expected', as his mother, to be at the wedding. I, for one, am relishing the day when she sees how wonderful and beautiful our relationship with Bro is despite her efforts and want her to see that what she tried to destroy flourishes. (I know, spiteful, aren't I?)

So, this evening I am going to call her and extend an olive branch....I know, arrogant of me, ain't it? But, I want to put the past behind and move forward. I want forgiveness for all. I was V's biggest hater, the one who spoke out against her with venom and anger (never in front of Bro {until he began his own campaign}) and I invested a lot of energy in 'exacting karma' against V myself.....(you know those secret fantasies about having control over destroying some one's life with malice and forethought?). Wish me luck....I'm hoping for guidance once the conversation opens up.....

And, please don't think less of me for my spitefullness, I suspect it will disipate with time, especially if fences can be mended. (I hope.)

There's more, but for now, I'm out......

Peace


(oops, I missed marking my 200th post...shoot,(my previous post) I wanted to make a big deal out of it and give something away....oh, well, 300 then)

Friday, February 19, 2010

Better......



Just wanted to put up an update....I spoke with my step-Sister "C" and things are looking up, she will receive treatment that they believe will get rid of what they found. She is positive, upbeat and determined....she is a warrior and my hero. She and her hubby will be taking a trip next week, the two of them getting on with their lives, not wasting one moment.

Have a wonderful weekend, enjoy your people, your family, your friends, cherish each moment, remember to breathe and look around, take notice of the miracles and beauty that are all around us....sometimes, we just forget.....

Peace

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Signs of life......



I'm angry and I want to just let 'er rip.....when I'm angry, I am a force to be reckoned with....seriously. Last week the results of my step sister's CAT scan showed the cancer was GONE from her liver! Yay! And her amazing husband had planned a beautiful birthday trip to take her to New York to see a show on Broadway....but she has had what she thought was a cold or a sinus infection so she went to the doctor to get something for it so it wouldn't ruin their trip.....it isn't a sinus infection....it is cancer....in her brain......

WTF!

DO NOT WASTE ONE SINGLE DAY OF YOUR LIFE......DO NOT let a single day go by without telling the people you love how much they mean to you. LIVE...do not "wait until tomorrow" to live your dreams....and NEVER settle.....go get everything you have ever wanted and NEVER GIVE UP!

No peace tonight.
♥ ♥ ♥

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Coralside



She walked into the room. Everything looked the same, but, somehow, different. She knew her things weren’t different, that she was different, that things can’t be different, but, people can change. Had she changed enough to make a difference? Would she be able to move forward, instead of staying in the past, stagnant, living with regret? Maybe she wasn’t really different, but, stronger, more than she used to be. When she looked around, the room was somehow smaller, old and someone else’s place. Her things didn’t fit and neither did she, it was time to move.

That’s what she would do. Move. A place that was hers to begin with. A place with windows and room to create, to open herself up to new possibilities, to shed the past and dream of the future. Believing this would be her new beginning; she grabbed the newspaper and began looking for a new home. Yes, a HOME. What would her new home look like? She closed her eyes and imagined the place, old, in a romantic Victorian way, weathered wood flooring, white washed plank siding, wood shingle roof, a complete wrap-around porch, like the porches in old southern mansions and windows, lots of windows, facing the ocean. A place that represented a clean start, the ocean would help her to wash away her regrets.

As she began her search, she wondered if maybe she could change her circumstances by merely moving away. She knew it seemed as if she might be running away from the past, but what if it really meant that she was running toward her future. The undiscovered, unknown was a scary thought, but did she really have a choice? It mattered not, she knew her life here was over and that in moving away she might be able to forget the pain and shed her old insecurities. As she scanned the classifieds for her future home she came to the realization that now she had no real ties to this place and she could go anywhere she wanted, anywhere. That alone seemed like a gift. Practicality would win out, she didn’t really have the money to be leaping the pond, but toying with the idea was fun. Again, the ocean called her, so at least she could head for the coast and live within the skirt of the ocean’s power.

As she perused the paper, she wondered what her beloved grandmother would tell her. “Child, go where your heart calls you.” So, she began to listen and in the silence she knew where to go. She tossed the newspaper and decided she needed to pack for a couple of days and just drive to the coast, once there, her future would guide her. Often times when things were so complicated she would find herself on the road out of town not really having a destination, however, always ending up in a lovely little hamlet on the edge of the Pacific Ocean called Coralside. She would start there, certainly a place that her internal compass was drawn to must have the answers, right?


Just a littel something I've been toying with.....

Peace

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Um, excuse me....WHEN am I a grown up?


Over at a couple of other places I visit there has been talk of the ole high school days and all of the uncomfortableness of those years and the residual affects of ones experience. I did not like high school. I did have a close knit group of friends who where as awkward and uncool as I was who I managed to not piss off on a regular basis, so I had a little net that I was cocooned in. We had our own version of social activities that were not necessarily school related so we did not spend an inordinate amount of time sweating our popularity. Despite that, I managed to have crushes on a couple of boys, popular boys, who were both stars on either the football or basketball team. One of the boys was a year older and the other in my class. Both always had some spectacular girlfriend hanging on their arm and seemed to always look as though they just walked out of the pages of GQ magazine. The crush on the older boy I was able to let go of, but the guy in my class, that was a different story altogether.........

Without dragging out ALL of the embarrassing details, suffice it to say we ran into each other occasionally, during school and after. It has been 26 years since high school and the crush still lingers.....how do I know, because I ran into him again just last week....at the walmart. And, my barometer for my lingering crush? I made a complete fool out of myself.....yep, I did. Does one ever grow out of becoming a complete, blithering idiot when faced with their high school crush?

Seriously? First of all, I did not even realize it was HIM until he made a point of saying hi to me! Huhn? Yeah, "Well, Hi, Shannon." (man he still looks amazing!) Seriously, he could have walked on by me without ever saying ANYTHING to me and I would NOT HAVE KNOWN I was within two feet of him. Not because he's not worth looking at, but because I was completely oblivious of the people around me and could have lived the rest of my life without the encounter. Why? Because I made a complete dork out of myself....well, maybe I should examine that? I think I already am a dork and therefore I was just being myself, right? Either way, I asked him what he was doing, "grocery shopping", what kind of work he was doing "still building houses" anything new "no" and then the diarrhea of the mouth started.....I completely spilled all the details of the items in my basket by way of telling him what I was doing at the store....which could have been so much more embarrassing than it was because I only had the ingredients for banana pudding in the cart, but the worst part about it was that he DID NOT ASK ONE QUESTION about me or my life......he did not prompt my babbling in any way. And then he said, "well, bye." and walked away.

I ran to the back of the store in order to try to regain my composure....only to then head for the front of the store to leave and see him in the only check out aisle that wasn't 20 people deep trying to check out, so I had to pass by him and go hide at the back of the store again, seriously. If I wasn't a dork I would have gotten in line behind him and chatted him up....but, I got the distinct impression he wasn't even the slightest bit curious about me.

I came home and told roomie the story. We laughed because I was such a dork and really have no reason to be so self-conscious with this guy. What is it about those old residual feelings from high school that can just bring us right back to those feelings and maturity level. Clearly I was acting as if I were sixteen again, hiding in the back of the store (sheesh) and spewing all kinds of silly information not asked for.

From that experience I began to ponder when, if ever, does one feel like a grown up? There are days, even without running into an old crush, that I just have no idea what I am doing and I find that no matter what age I am, I can still feel like a silly, immature, clueless teenager.

Anyone else ever feel this way?

Worse than the whole debacle at the walmart? I looked him up on facebook....it says he's single.......????????????

Peace

Spring.....Here she comes!


Spring is knocking on the door! I am a peson who loves all of the seasons, and I usually get tired of the current season right about the time it is done and ready to move on. This has been a mentally and emotionally challenging winter and I for one, am glad spring is showing her colors. I feel renewed and reenergized and like I'm walking out of a dark cloud.

If I had to choose a favorite season it would have to be spring, as she reminds me that life renews every year and we get to be reborn. Each year I take photos of the spring blossoms and as you might guess the pics looks pretty similar each year, but I do it kind of as a ritual, a reminder that each flower, just like each person, is special and new again anytime they choose to blossom.

(sometimes I think the Blogger gods are out to sabotage me, this post was orignally worded differently, however blogger dumped my first post, so, I am trying to reconstitute it and I'm not quite getting there)


We are already making plans for the garden, drawing schematics, ordering compost and setting up work dates. This year's garden is going to be even bigger than last year's, with twice as many tomato plants (we had a high yield last year, but my friend wants twice as many so we can make enough tomato sauce to last the next year!)and I really want a section for cutting flowers, I LOVE to have fresh flowers in the house and have always coveted a cutting garden. We will have herbs again, I fell in love with having fresh basil to make caprese and to use in fresh vegetable tarts. And we will grow pumpkins again, I really had fun with those in the garden, especially the jumbo ones. I will attempt beans this year with gusto, I only planted a couple of plants last year and they didn't fare so well. And the other usual suspects, zucchini, lemon cucumbers and I was charmed by watermelon last year, so we'll invite her back again and roomie wants to try cantalope and of course peppers of many varieties. I'm open to suggestions if anyone has a favorite veggie they have luck with, I'm looking for new things to try, as every year the garden is an experiment!



The garden as an experiment is a great metaphor for this spring, be open to every possibility, learn from last year's mistakes, greet each challenge with renewed gusto and live in anticipation of your harvest!

Have a wonderful day and the splendid week ahead!
I talk about Spring here, too
And blossoms, here

Peace


P.S. Just have to add one more note, NIKON ROCKS THE COLOR these photos are exactly as my camera shot them! SWEET!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Wearing RED today......


How about you? Will you be wearing RED today?

With love, I want to share some things that warm my heart.....

It warms my heart to see my little dog back to normal, happy to see me, playing, holding his tail high, running and jumping, funny and smart.

It warms my heart to hear that my future sister-in-law received a letter today from my brother who is at Marine Corps Boot Camp and that he is hanging in there!

It warms my heart that my step-sister's cat scan came back today and the cancer cells that were on her liver ARE GONE!~

It warms my heart to have a home where I can sequester myself in a comfortable bed, with a book, sheilded by the storm raging outside.

It warms my heart to see an elderly couple, bundled up, walking their dog as they walk arm in arm.

It warms my heart to have pancakes for dinner, with crispy fried bacon. (I know, the bacon is bad for my heart, ironic, eh?)

It warms my heart to start planning the garden, drawings, and seed packets, armed with my Garden Journal to help me remember which things I wanted to do differently.

It warms my heart to wander through your blogs, awed by your words and inspired by your creativity!

Have a wonderful and blessed RED (vibrant with LOVE) DAY!

Peace
♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Also, stop by 110 Penned, The Cottage on the Corner and Chez Spud for some more RED

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Theme Thursday: RED


RED is a beautiful color.....on Friday it is National WEAR RED DAY, sponsored by the American Heart Association. This is a way to show your support for loved ones who have heart disease or who have been lost to heart disease.

Please, on Friday, wear RED and join me in sharing a story or a list of things that warm your heart on your blog with a mention of National WEAR RED DAY. (I would be soooo honored if you participated).

Having lived with heart problems my whole life I am drawn to hearts, physical and metaphorical, and when I think of anyone having to live with heart disease or a heart defect and go through the trauma of facing these obstacles, I want to find a way to stop the pain.

I know that there are other problems in our world right now, bless you and save you, Haiti, I only ask that you wear RED on Friday to show your love and support for those afflicted with heart difficulties.

This is my first participation in Theme Thursday, stop by there and see who else is playing along!


If you have any interest in one of the little bracelets I embellished, shown in the picture, send me an email or leave a comment.

Peace
♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Taking care of your Heart........


For those of you have been following for awhile, you might know I've had open heart surgery three times and have a cardiac defibrillator (I know, HUH?). I was born with a congenital heart defect and was not to survive to be an adult, I celebrated my 44th birthday the past December! Yay, me! Why do I mention this, because I would like to ask you, my bloggy friends to participate in National WEAR RED DAY on Friday, February 5th and for you to WEAR RED on this coming Friday and post something RED on your blog that day. Perhaps you could make a list of things that WARM YOUR HEART? In fact, let's do just that!

(borrowered from the American Heart Association's web-site):
There are many types of cardiovascular diseases. About 80 million American adults have
one or more of them. Each year over 864,000 people die from them — that’s about 35 percent of all deaths in the United States!
HEART ATTACKS
Every 37 seconds, someone dies from heart and blood vessel diseases, America’s No. 1 killer. Since most of those deaths are from coronary heart disease — about 446,000 each year — it’s important to learn all you can about heart attacks.
Don’t ignore heart problems. It’s a matter of life and death!
A heart attack occurs when the blood flow to a part of the heart is blocked, usually by a blood clot. If this clot cuts off the blood flow completely, the part of the heart muscle supplied by that artery begins to die.

Here are some signs of a heart attack:
• Uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain in the center of your chest.
It lasts mor
e than a few minutes, or goes away and comes back.
• Pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach.
• Shortness of breath with or without chest discomfort.
• Other signs such as breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea or light-headedness.
If you have any of these signs, don’t wait more than 5 minutes before calling for help.
Call 9-1-1…Get to a hospital right away.


The most startling HEART disease statistic of all, you may not know is that, HEART DISEASE IS THE NUMBER ONE KILLER OF WOMAN IN AMERICA! (more than Breast Cancer). So, please if you get a chance, visit the American Heart Association's web-site and check out the information they offer on taking care of your heart.

Because this is February and Valentine's Day dominates....a holiday devoted to the HEART, I will be posting and wearing RED on Friday every Friday this month, won't you join me and honor those who suffer from heart disease or have been lost to it? Kicking off this Friday, February 5th, I hope you will....join me.


Peace
♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

When it gets quiet, it gets simple.....



January has given my state, California a beating....back off January....we're ready for some peace and quiet, some respite.....some simplicity...........

I've discovered some more simple things I love:

Trading books with my sister....
sharing with her my favorite used book store

Learning.....
new school books and new classes to incite my mind to think

hunkering down in the recent storms and power reading several new books

The sound of the dog dreaming....
with his little legs 'running' in his dream

The sound of the 'shutter' on my camera....
the images, no matter how mundane, my camera captures

Hot tea in a porcelain tea cup....
with a saucer and one lump with some milk

Ramen noodles....
with fresh veggies tossed in at the last minute

Toast with butter.....
and honey

Observing a young couple.....
newly engaged, plan their wedding

Discovering beauty in a fallen tree.....
revelling in the adventure of studying the tree in its prone position

Quietly observing cloud patterns....
as a storm moves itself along and dissipates

Falling asleep.....
after a big day, dreaming about tomorrow!


Go see Christina, for every comment on her simple things post her family will donate a dollar to Haiti....she is such a beautiful SOUL....
Peace

Because I blog....therefore, I am?


What constitutes "writing" or rather, what qualifies a person to be a "writer"? I was catching up on my blog reading this morning and read one of my favorite blogs: The Rest Is Still Unwritten, a great blog about a single guy living in N.Y.....and his opinions, romantic adventures, etc. He is very entertaining and always provokes thought....and I started chewing on his post today about being a writer. AS a blogger, am I a writer, or just a misguided romantic who fancies herself the next Jane Austen? No, I do not have a great novel in the can waiting to be discovered, no, I have not been published, or even paid for one word I have ever written, but am I a writer?

I love to write. The very reason I started this blog was to write. I have words written down, stashed away, that could, maybe one day make a novel or several small novellas and even some poetry that would be nice to have bound in some way. So, if that stuff never gets published and I never get paid for it, am I not a writer?

There is a local writer, right here in my neck of the woods, who has self-published and sells her books through the local used book store....according to a reliable source the editing is shite, but otherwise the writing is beautiful, eloquent and compelling...in that person's opinion. So, this local writer, she's a writer? (I think it is kind of cool to have a "local" author....just sayin').

If I pay to have my blog posts put into a book form, get the local used book store to sell them for me, even if my writing sucks, am I a writer?

Is anyone who opens up a blog and posts, day in and day out, a writer? I know that many of the bloggers I read get paid in some way for their writing, but not necessarily for their blog writing. There are many bloggers who write who should be getting paid for their writing, these two come to mind: Wizard of Otin and WaystationOne, but since they don't, are they NOT writers?

This is the first time in a long time that I've been inspired to write about anything that isn't about my personal drama (for lack of a better term)...it kind of got me fired up. I am writing for school projects, taking English courses, polishing my technical skills, anxiously awaiting qualification from my instructor, that I, indeed, did write something worth reading and earning a good grade...does that make me a writer?

David references back to another blog post (I'll let you visit him for that link), wherein the writer talks about how blogging is sort of dumbing down real writing...because anyone who has a computer and and Internet hookup can write a blog. And the blogger mentallity is that of self-marketing, the more comments per post, the more followers, the more 'credibility' as a writer? These thoughts have crossed my mind a lot over the last few months, as this post covered. I believe that inspiration had fallen away by that point and I was starting to feel like I wasn't really a writer. Much like the post pointed out, I have just been marketing myself for the acollades and followers, not for the love of the written word.

And, I do love the written word....don't you? Am I a writer? Quite possibly. Am I an Author, as some of David's commentors felt compelled to draw distinction between? Who knows, but does that matter to me? Not right now, but maybe later. Does this inspire me to aspire to greater word play, absolutely! Is David right? You are not a writer unless you are paid for your writing? How about the thought that blogging is dumbing down real writing?

These ideas are getting chewed on elsewhere, but they really struck me this morning and I just had to put some words down to digest it....and wondered about your thoughts, ideas and words.

What do you think?

Peace

Monday, January 25, 2010

The LOVE trail......


Well, here's the update.....phlblblblblblblblbphbl(that's a rasberry)! So, I have put myself out there and got nothing, nada, zilch, nil, NO LOVE......

I'm okay with this....I emailed guys, had a couple of back and forths, but no connections. There were two that really caught my interest....I emailed, but received no responses.

On Friday I was sort of disgusted with the whole thing and made a declaration that I was not sending out one more email...but, I went ahead and sent two more....just because I figured what have I got to lose, right?

I started to take this personally, but my roomie joined a match site when I did and she's having the same kind of luck....(if that's what you can call it).

Not one man approached me first....I made all of the effort....where are all of the MEN? And, no, it's not any harder for them than it is for me to make the first move. I am, at heart, an old fashioned girl and I was just thinking, maybe there was a gentleman cowboy out there, looking for me, too.

Anyway, that's the update....no LOVE and the memberships run out at the end of the month and I'm done.....

Peace

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Seriously coveting the MACRO lens.....






I've been meaning to photograph my jewelry so I can list it on ETSY for months....not entirely happy with photos I've been getting, WISHING very much I had a macro lens...I finally gave in and just did some serious editing! I listed new items on ETSY today, please stop by and browse: Cowgirl at Heart

Peace

Friday, January 15, 2010

How young is too young?



So what better way to deal with my lack of a mate than to help my MUCH younger brother(he's just turned 18)plan his wedding? yeah, that's what I said, "Seriously?"

There's been some uproar and some happiness and some concern and some "well, they're going to do it whether you support them or not, so you better get on board".

The situation is this; my young brother from another mother has had a hard time of it growing up mostly in his mother's house and last year when he was approaching his 18th birthday started making some very 'adult' decisions about his life, and signed up with the Marine Corps.....he departs for basic training on January 25th. Apparently he started smoking, too, because you can start smoking when you're 18, right? I guess he didn't get the memo about how you can obtain cigarettes from other people before you're 18 and smoke whenever you want, basically. (this cracked me up when my dad told me this....Bubba figured since he'd followed all of the rules the whole time he was growing up and was kind of a nerd it was high time he tried something 'manly' like smoking).

And, now, since he will be leaving and wants his young lady to accompany him, they are going to get married when he returns from basic training, May 1st. (the young lass is not quite 18 herself and does not turn 18 until after Bubba is gone and she will be a married woman before she even graduates from high school in June).

I'm not unhappy for him and his young lady, but am concerned they are too young. Given the circumstances they are starting their married life under, base housing in another state away from family and friends. Now, there have been many couples starting out under these circumstances and they have survived....my grandparents for one and the young lady's parents and grandparents, evidently....

So, I'm wondering, in this day and age, how young is too young? Are the young people today too young to marry at 18? In the age when instant gratification is the mantra of our kids? When divorce is just an app on your iPhone? (jk). Do they have what it takes to make a marriage work? Or will they grow out of their marriage sooner rather than later and go their separate ways? Is this generation built the way our grandparents and even some people's parents were, believing in the commitment and the vows they take?

I believe Bubba loves his girl, maybe beyond reason, but I don't think he's thought through what it really means to be married. I think he doesn't want to leave his girlfriend behind and that marrying her is a means to an end. Seriously, neither of them has ever lived on their own, in fact, neither one of them currently has a job, nor has either one of them has ever had to pay their own auto insurance, much less an electric bill or a phone bill, cell or otherwise.

Maybe, the best way to get married and begin your married life is to do it just as you've entered in to the military, and are young and without experience, because the military is going to take care of you and your new spouse and you can both learn together how to navigate life and all of it's inconveniences, like when they turn the power off because one of you forgot or didn't have the money to pay the electric bill? Now that I think of it, this might just be brilliant, accept for the fact that they will be all the way across the country from any of their friends or family for support....that could also be brilliant, too...if they have no support system they will have to learn to rely on each other, right? Maybe, Bubba is smarter than I thought?

My dad is having a hard time with this, he vehemently believes this is a mistake that may greatly inhibit Bubba's ability to concentrate on being a Marine, which is a scary thought because being able to focus keeps a Marine alive, right? And, really, Bubba and his Lass really are very immature and quite impulsive, they've only been daitng since early summer....

How young is too young? I'm pretty sure you are never too OLD to get married, but how young is too young, (being of legal age, of course)?



Peace