Thursday, May 29, 2008


I used to wonder if I could pick five random people from the phone book and become close friends with them. Would we have enough in common to last a lifetime? Before I knew it, I had exactly that, a group of women who were in my life because of our children. Some of us were girl scout leaders, nurses, artists and world travelers. We've been together through cancer, surgeries, divorces and even death. There were times when it felt like we had nothing in common as well, but we stayed patient and committed, meeting once a month to play Bunko. Now that our children have graduated college and moved out of the house, we've stop playing with dice and take field trips.
Tonight was my turn to host the party. I spent two days cleaning my back yard, planting flowers and lighting candles. Everyone stayed inside, figures. We get so caught up in our own world that we forget to ask about each other so I had asked everyone to bring a short paragraph about what's going on in their life. The game was to see how well we knew each other. As I read the stories out loud, it was funny to see the stumped look on faces. Someone had fed a man chocolate covered strawberries, a son was engaged and another friend was going through a body image crisis. Then, we read our paragraphs individually and with greater detail. Marcia won the prize of "who knows you best".
Our group didn't happen overnight. It took time, patience and understanding. Now that most of us are starting new lives, I'm glad we made the effort.

Sunday, May 25, 2008


When Charlie started fifth grade on a Monday, payday was Tuesday. His backpack and those of his siblings was filled with supplies to last the school year. Everyone had a haircut and a new outfit. I had stretched the budget as far as it would go but there wasn't enough for Charlie's new shoes. He only had to wait one day I promised but he still cried. I remember when he was asleep, I painted his old Nike shoes white and re-did the lettering with my fine tipped artist brush, I'm not even kidding, even his cruddy shoe laces were washed and painted white. He was estatic in the morning and walked into his classroom with confidence. I felt like Cinderella's Godmother and reminded him it was only for one day. After school, I knew the illusion had been a success by his beaming smile and fast run to the car. The shoes were a mess! The paint had flaked and it looked like he had gone for a run in the creek. I knew his teachers noticed but it didn't matter as long as Charlie was happy. That evening, we went shopping together for new shoes.
I've been thinking about the different illusions we have in our lives and of others. There is a Chinese proverb that says something about everyone describes the elephant correctly depending on where you are standing. My sweet friend Kitty wasn't responding to my emails. I even told a friend about how worried I was that she was ignoring me. I prayed about it one night this week and dreamed that we were laughing together and I noticed in the dream that she wasn't aware of my emails. The next morning, I found the correct email and sent her a letter. She responded that she had felt very alienated from the group and thought I was mad at her!

illusion: the state or fact of being intellectually deceived or misled.

I cringe at the fact that I almost decided to stop talking to her if she didn't come to my Thursday evening party. She wrote that she'll be out of town on Friday and should pack Thursday night with her two small children. I'm going to use my heart more instead of my head with my friends, maybe paint rainbows and laugh when we turn a little flaky at the end of our lives and run through a creek.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Bliss/ The Secret of Letting Go

Yesterday, I had the chance to chat with Guy Finley, author of "The Secret of Letting Go". It was obvious to me that he's considerate of others because he mentioned my name. I realize as the co-host of a thirty minute podcast, three can be a crowd. The big payoff is rather selfish on my part as I'm meeting and learning from some of the best. When he talked about our true creative nature being that of bliss, I noticed how comfortable he was without having anything to prove. Questions for me have never been, "how do I find bliss?" but rather, "how do I explain mybliss?" I read a poem once about how we have a bright light inside us but fail to let it glow. This does not make sense to me, it is the opposite I think. It is our nature to share our dreams, but unfortunately it is also human nature to distinguish the lights of others through cruel words of jealousy. So many of us are going through life now with fear based thoughts of not having enough. As the chief gardener of my home, I've swept two trash cans full of "whirlybirds" in the past two days and am still seeing them everywhere! Considering each little one represents a tree, I think we worry too much about our abundance. All that said and done, and I apologize for my soap box but I've spent the day with a five year old boy who's full of pure joy and unconditional love that he's rubbed off on me tonight, and left me feeling sappy.
Share your dreams, don't question yourself because it makes no sense to other people. In the words of the Who's in Horton Hears a Who, sing from your heart, "we are here! we are here!"

Sunday, May 18, 2008

The Barter/Part One

It all started as a rush job. Could I paint the kitchen in one week to look like a Tuscan home? Of course, that's my specialty, never mind that the colors of choice were taupe and lighter taupe, it could be done. The ceiling and walls took two coats and then the walls were glazed. The one of a kind original grape vine stencil took four hours to draw and cut. Dry wall compound was added over the stencil and then carefully removed for a 3-d look. Mary's house was a mess! She hadn't had a refrigerator in months and her son Ryan was coming with his new girlfriend all the way from Belgium. The raised relief stencil was hand painted and shaded. Things were on schedule.

This is usually the time when the emotions get out of control. Mary wanted things the old way so she took a week off work to spend with her son. There were field trips planned and even Zoe, the faithful family dobberman had cheated death and regained her health.

I've never seen Mary so happy. She paid me with a one week time share for my family, we're friends, that's the way we accept payment sometimes. I waited two weeks to call her, ooh, she wasn't going to take off work the next time. Things didn't go exactly as she had planned, probably because there was a new girlfriend involved. Well, that wasn't going to happen to me! My week at the lake with my family was going to be great!

The Barter/Part Two

Some of us packed light, some of us packed for a year. The drive to the lake took three hours. I was elated, it was Mother's Day and I was probably going to get alot of presents. We had just enough chairs around the table for a sit down homemade meal and I had brought groceries from home. Long story short, there weren't any presents, we ate out everyday and swimming and golf was more important than coffee on the deck with me. Just like my friend Mary, I wanted things the way they used to be, where the boys drank apple juice instead of beer. Where they wanted to stay up late and tell scary stories instead of leaving to go out on the town.
On the way home, I couldn't help but laugh at the new way. Living in the past is why we keep photo albums. I learned new things. Not all of us are Democrats and some of us mispronounce shoe companies.
"is it E-lection or L-ection?"
Did you know Adidas (adeedas) is supposed to be "Ahhdeedas"?
Obladee Obladah life goes on....

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Ocean Mother

I've seen the ocean and even touched her water.
The lonely sounds she sings to sun
must echo far to reach the land.
I felt her then when babies cried,
she was my strength in lullabies.

I've heard the ocean and feared her storms.
Wind and rain and midnight moon
can anchor her in twisted fits of agony.
I heard her then when I prayed,
she was blind faith that held my tears
through unfair schoolyard games
and turbulent teenage years.

I've never understood the ocean
or ever knew her age.
Night and day refuse to speak
like childhood friends who ride the tide
and keep her secrets safe.
I see her now, she's inside
every woman's eyes and in my
mother's touch.
She is like the guiding light
that patiently loved my heart so much.

Happy Mother's Day!

Friday, May 9, 2008

Passion Moves

My friend Cathy said there is an article in the Ladies Home Journal saying to be happy, do what you love with passion and say no to everything else that gets in the way. Last week on Conscious Living, we had the pleasure of interviewing Lindsay Aydelotte, the publisher of the new Kansas City magazine, "Her Life Magazine". Her business is only seven months old and is growing like wildfire. When Wendy asked her if she had a marketing plan or any suggestions for others, her answer was so honest, "find a need and do it with passion! People have been literally coming out of the wood work to help her and she's now booked solid for articles about dynamic women.
Our next scheduled guest was Oliver Christianson, better known as "Revilo" the cartoonist. He is so funny, I just laugh my head off every time I read his work. The time was ticking, no Revilo. Whew, I was relieved that he was Wendy's contact. Emails were double checked, we even noticed that he had been on the site that same day so Wendy tried to call him at Hallmark. Finally, we gave up and that's when the puzzle unfolded. His new book wouldn't be coming out in time for Mother's Day as we hoped, instead, it comes out May 27th. We gave him two options to re-schedule...May 14th or 28th. Driving home, I thought, "he's funny, he's doing exactly what he loves passionately, what I've heard, he's generous. The Universe has his best interest at heart, I bet he's booked for the 28th." Sure enough, Wendy emails me to say that Revilo is re-booked for May 28th. We tease that he was kidnapped by aliens. Stay tuned...

Monday, May 5, 2008

Cinco de Cuatro

Paul brought the chips and a 6 ounce container of guacamole, along with two friends. Bill and I were the first to arrive with tomatoes, cheese and lettuce. The Mexican flag was hand decorated by Dylan with red and green crayons and streamers of red flapped outside in the wind. I came into the house whispering like a teenager who's breaking a rule. We never celebrated Cinco de Mayo when I was growing up because of my French great grandmother. Hannah arrived with James, a long lost boyfriend who broke her heart two years ago, and an awkward smile. Every room in the house sparkled and the smell of beans and rice waifted through the air. Julie and Matt had done such a good job getting all the siblings over and opening their home for us. We laughed because it was "cinco de cuatro", so no big deal. Charlie and Aaron were the last to arrive, bringing some sort of bean dip with black olives and sour cream, prepared by their good chef, Mr. Hen House.

We were having such a good time and talking all at once and over each other and I thought about how silly it was for a french grandmother whom I've never met, to have such power over our "fiestas". That's about the time the lesson voiced itself. You know how they are, they hit you over the head like a surprise. I heard my married daughter say, "I can't remember much about my childhood, and the rest, I try to forget." Oh, the comments of a middle child can sting like a wasp! If I had been a balloon, I would have popped.

My choice was to either become resentful like my french grandmother, or see the situation through love. I needed to digest the moment first so after we came home, I reached for a book and randomly picked, "The Leap" by Constance Kellough. A big piece of heavy paper fell on the floor and when I picked it up, I screamed because when I turned it over, it was a picture of my french grandmother. Spooky that it would show up then! When I opened my book, it was page 126 and the words I read were, "forgiveness is the act of releasing our dammed-up love and letting it flow. It becomes available for giving."

The lesson? It's all love.