Monday, October 27, 2008

Old School

My friend Chelahnnhe's son has a project where he needs to track 80 people's choices about their old school music favorite. I would like your help here. Look at the list below and pick your favorite and post a comment with your choice:

Micheal Jackson
Biggie Smalls

He will need your first and last name as well. I thought it would be fun to help in this way. I will comment back and let you know my favorite as well........

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Healing and Happiness

Found this video that gives tips on diet and other particular actions to heal oneself and experience happiness- intriguing thoughts:

Dr. Dean Ornish: Healing and other natural wonders

What's for Dinner?

Well I am stuck. I am having dinner guests on Sunday and I have no idea what to serve. I am having some kind of brain fart- not sure I can explain it. So here is the scoop:

One of the guests is allergic to milk. I cannot seem to get past my compulsion to have mashed potatoes. Other than that, I am coming up empty- any idears?

Comment or email me your thoughts.....hmm.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The Fall

As I was driving today in my car that looks like a toaster on wheels, I saw leaves blustering and littering the streets. The sun was shining and the air was crisp. The kids were talking and singing as we bopped down the road.

As I used the word littering to describe the leaves, I realized that so much in our life is about how we choose to see our circumstances.

Fall is my favorite time of year. Leaves everywhere is a welcome happening to me. I am sure for some others, leaves falling represents more to pick up, a bit of messiness, the passing of summer. This concept gave me pause for thought.

Preferences exist for each of us and there are definitely situations that don't jive with who we are or speak to us. But, in general, we have the great power to choose our perspective- and the opportunity to appreciate what we have and what we experience.

I realize that I sometimes lose sight of this power, choosing to complain or allow discontentment to creep in. The fact is that most folks I run into these days are somewhat discontent. I have come to the fact that it may not be so much about circumstances but choices in perspective, day to day, that really determine true happiness. Often I just need to reroute my thinking to get to a better place- remind myself of the hidden chances; see the beauty of the moment and be open to all possibilities that exist.
The other action on the path to true happiness is that of letting go, but I will save that topic for another post.......

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Wag more;
bark less.

Alea and the Squishy Pillow

I have this two pillow system for total sleeping pleasure. The bottom pillow is firm, skinny and gives form to this ultimate system, while the top pillow is filled with down, soft and very malleable. The top pillow is also skinny so the whole set up is not one that gives a crick in the neck.

My daughter Alea also sees the value of this system and covets this opportunity. At any given moment she will try to sneak the goods. This does put a cramp in my style and provides dilemmas. Do I put my foot down and demand for it to be returned to the rightful owner or decide to share and live without? My responses have been mixed thus far, depending on my charitable mood-- or my desperate need for a good nights sleep.

So, a different dilemma had surfaced as Alea's birthday approaches. Do I attempt to purchase a squishy pillow for her, or is "the pillow" THE pillow, given it's significant value within our world? She tends to like items from me -- like wearing my clothes as bed clothes and such. I have 7 days to figure out this world class issue- what will I do?

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


I went to my class reunion this past weekend. It was a bit awkward since I don't have many memories from that time period. I did see some of my teachers- Math, Choir and English and was reminded of my love for my Latin teacher- Sr. Mary Sheila (God rest her soul). One woman said I must be smoking something to have liked her as a teacher. Truth be told, I liked teachers that believed in me and expected great things from me. She demanded hard work from us students and I worked well under that kind of support.

I had random thoughts during my experience there, just thought I would jot them here:

  • It seemed that many people I ran into did not yet find thier sense of purpose. A general feeling that their lives were not adequate in some way. I think it is normal for us to wonder why we are put on this earth and want to know that we are fullfilling a purpose.

  • The class of 1983 were rebels. If I remember correctly we were often in trouble. One example of this was that our class did not have a yearbook, somehow we lost that opportunity for not doing what we were expected to do. But, being the rebels we were-- we created our own memory book in protest. It had some original artwork, senior pictures and some quotes in the back-- quite a feat from an organizational standpoint.
  • On a cellular level, I appreciate the education I received. St. Joseph Academy was and is still a great school. It is where I began to believe that I could and should attend college. I was one of the poorest kids in school and they treated me like any other awkward teenager roaming the halls. I took advanced science classes, high level math, typing, choir, peace and justice, death and dying, had an internship at NASA, was on the mime team and many other opportunities that helped shape me.
  • At dinner as I was reflecting over my life and the course of events that lead me to that moment. I felt comfort in knowing that I have been living my mission-- to help people reach their true potential--for most of my life. I am truly fortunate to feel that connection.

  • People said I still look like my picture and I think they meant it as a compliment. It was a lovely gesture. I still feel young and fresh-- especially since there were some folks there who were celebrating their 70th reunion- Wow. They had 8 classes present and celebrating during the evening. The class of '58 had 58 attendees --wow again!

  • Lastly, everyone has a story to tell. There are old stories, current stories and future stories that plant seeds of what is yet to come. I met some beautiful and vibrant women at the reunion and they each had unique tales. I was grateful to hear some of the stories from that time period; it helps to fill in around the edges where I can't remember.

So, here is to my alma mater- St. Joseph Academy. Thanks for the opportunities you opened up for me. I am almost certain that I would not be where I am today had it not been for you.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


Been sick all day. Went to the doctor and he said the I have some kind of bacterial infection. After a breathing treatment and 4 prescriptions I was finally out the door after a 3 hour stop. The doctor was worried about my breathing- took care of things though.

I am tired and just want to relax. I am supposed to eat something, but I don't really have an appetite. The medicine I am supposed to take with food increases appetite. Go figure.

I usually don't complain about things but today I just feel like whining.

I did have energy when I first woke up and I cleaned out my car, washed it down and replaced my head lamp bulb. Thanks to Papa and a guy I met in the aisle at the parts store, I got all the information I needed to do the job myself. Big tip: don't touch the halogen glass bulb- it will cease to work.

Monday, October 13, 2008

6 things you may not know about me:

1. I have a pen and paper fetish. I keep it under wraps and I don't go all wild, but truth be told, I have a secret fondness for blue pens and specialty notebooks. It is always tempting to buy a new journal for this reason.

2. I don't believe in coincidences. Synergy happens and it happens all around me-- especially when I am open to it. I believe that there is wisdom to be had in these small but significant happenings. I don't pretend to understand all of them, but that just makes them more mystical.

3. I have over 15 types of tea to choose from in my cupboard, but my favorite is just plain Lipton. I love offering and fixing tea for others. It is a part of my Irish heritage and something I hold dear. If you were to visit Ireland you would see how tea is a fundamental part of their culture. Tea anyone?

4. I sleep with my mouth open (luckily I don't snore).

5. Most items in my house have been given to me. I often joke that I have a sign on my forehead that says, "give me things". I am fortunate to have a lovely eclectic home donned with these items-- probably due to some of you and I thank you.

6. I am a seeker of truth. I try to stay open and hear both sides of a story; I don't mind sharing my thoughts always seeking to solidify them as I gather data. I am not intimidated by contrary suppositions or different opinions-- however, I do get off put by others that don't give me the same courtesy.

Howaboutyou? Things that you would like to share?

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Don't Wear Fear

I was watching Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium again and it is just chock full of good stuff despite what the critics say. At a certain point a boy is trying to make friends with someone even though he does not have much practice. It is at this point in the movie that Cat Stevens song, "Don't Be Shy" is played, and it was a this point that a warm, wonderful feeling came over me.

First of all, Cat Stevens or Yusuf Islam is my all time favorite vocalist. His voice is smooth and steady. He uses his voice creatively and has interesting transitions. But, mostly, I like Cat because of his words. It is clear that this man has something to say.

Below I share with you a video of him performing "Don't Be Shy". What is amazing is that he sounds just like he did when I first started listening, which was quite awhile ago ( I purchased a 10 pack of 45s at the local convenience store when I was in grade school to play on my suitcase record player). It looked something like this. I heard his song "Old School Yard" and it intrigued me enough to purchase a whole album. That was how my love of Cat began.

Anyway, "Don't Be Shy" has a particular meaning for me at this juncture in my life. I know, those of you who know me probably think the last thing I am is shy (I can be) but, the song is really about facing fear. How to deal with fear and how to express feelings. He reminds me that if I wear fear, no one will know that I am here. And I am so here.

Below the song, I have listed the lyrics- they are simple and beautiful. He has put things in the context of world peace now. I think the application is for every day use too.

Don't Be Shy-- Cat Stevens
Don't be shy just let your feelings roll on by
Don't wear fear or nobody will know you're there
Just lift your head, and let your feelings out instead
And don't be shy, just let your feeling roll on by
On by
You know love is better than a song
Love is where all of us belong
So don't be shy just let your feelings roll on by
Don't wear fear or nobody will know you're there
You're there
Don't be shy just let your feelings roll on by
Don't wear fear or nobody will know you're there
Just lift your head, and let your feelings out instead
And don't be shy, just let your feeling roll on by
On by, on by, etc.
As I was showering this morning, my kids bounded in asking if they could have candy. Alea was succint and to the point- she was clear about what she wanted and I was able to easily answer. Kye however started like this:

Kye: Mom, can I have some candy?
Mom: What candy?
Kye: Any candy I want?

(it was clear this would take a minute as I continued to wash my hair).

Mom: Where is this candy you want? (I did not want them to dig into the Halloween candy hidden in the front closet).

Kye: (Silent thinking- then a quick decision to bring the candy to me).

He brought in the green bowl with assorted candy and asked: Can I have any one that I want?

Mom: Sure.....(hesitation on my part)

This sounded like a trick question......hmm

Kye: Even the one with trash on it?

Mom: Show me...

I had to see this. Turns out he wanted to open a package that had a Pez dispenser with several candy pieces. So his question was two fold: Can I open a package (are we saving this for something) and, can I eat all the candy that comes in the package?

His simple question got me thinking though. It is my hope that he may ask in the future: Can I have the candy packaged with the recyclable material?

By the way, I said yes, with the caveat to not eat all the candy. And, to my surprise, he followed directions. Pez candy can be addicting :-)