Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year!

The first hill is 205 feet, second hill is 184 feet. Maximum speed of the Mamba, 75 miles per hour. Walking to get to the ride is all uphill and not for beginners. It scares me you know whatless and I'll probably ride it again this summer. Notice in the picture that young people open their eyes and even pose for the camera, while the older one closes her eyes and shrieks in terror. I used to open my eyes. Life is shorter for me so it takes on another meaning. I don't take it for granted anymore. With the new year upon us, I hope more people live their dreams, forgive their past and rewrite their stories. Failures can become personal friends that make us stronger.It's better to be able to say, "that didn't work" instead of always wondering what could have been. This year, I plan to write my movie! The walk to get there might be uphill and scary, but I'll do it afraid!
Happy New Year! Ride the Ride!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The Compliment

Your words became
the salve that soothed
my battered soul.
I feasted on them
like a gluttonous pig
savoring every sound.
Regurgitating L's and O's
to fill an empty hole.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Midnight Mass

Did you get lost going through the old neighborhood?
The tiny houses have pulled down their shades
to protect themselves from people like me
who peek into windows of the past.
Were apple trees on Edgemere Drive and where
is the turn to the Catholic church next to our
first house in Kansas where a little girl read books
to her mom who couldn't say the English words correctly?
Muddy memories cloud my way
but it's dark and cold and the music is playing
calling me home to the place that once was
my beginning.
The parking lot is full with sounds of singing
and the air is thick with incense and unfamiliar faces.
The present has blurred back to blue plaid uniforms,
little girls laughing and whiffs of bologne sandwiches.
Alleluia, alleluia, it's midnight mass.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Angel Angie and Her Wee Elves

What did you get for Christmas? A box of little pink soaps carved into roses that trigger a migraine by their scent? How about a beautifully wrapped picture of deer, racoon, birds and squirrels on black velvet paper? Lovely. My personal favorite was the silver windmill with snowflakes attached and a tea light candle that turns the windmill when you light the candle. I am so loved. As charming as these gifts were, my afternoon at Angie's house was this year's winner. It was a simple E-vite. Come to her house, bring food items, decorate bags and eat goodies.
The weather had taken a turn for the worst, with the kind of wind that pricks your face with sharp needles. I was greeted by an old black and silver dog who took painfully slow steps with eyes that spoke, "come in! come in!" Angie's house was decorated and warm. The white craft table swallowed her living room. Glitter, glue and stickers lay next to the white sacks that were waiting to be decorated. There were boxes on the floor filled with crackers, applesauce, toothpaste and various food items. Undecorated cookies and bowls of colored icing took every inch of kitchen space. The doorbell started ringing with children coming to join the party.
We made glitter candy canes and trees, assembled sacks filled with goodies. Several mothers explained to the kids that this was for people who didn't have presents. Angie had called three shelters in our area that needed extra help. What a wonderful idea and so fun! We had some great cookie decorators. Some had been so nicely done with licks of fingers and mounds of icing that they got to take theirs home, smiling with blue tongues.
I was impressed by Angie's vision while blow drying the Santa plates I had painted. That's when little Maggie told me her mother uses a hair dryer too. "To dry your hair?"I asked. "No, to dry Sophie's butt when she has a rash," she answered.
Children will speak honestly and openly, so set a good example and show them ways to help others less fortunate. That is our greatest gift.
Please check out Angie's website.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Say It Backwards/David Oates

When I was a teenager, everyone in my town called the Time Man. He was a recorded message for the bank and you could call any time of day to get the time and temperature. I often heard, "I wonder what the temperature is, call the time man." So when I got a tape recorder one year as a birthday gift, I decided to record the time man and have him call you. He called at very inappropriate times which left the relatives puzzled, but soon I became bored of him. There was a stop, rewind and play button but it took practice. Especially when I spoke into it, making sure my pauses were correctly placed. I then would put my tape recorder under a sibling's bed, knowing they would be coming into the room soon. As the conversation played, they would even answer me and then scream when I walked into the room asking, "who are you talking to?"In order for tricks to work properly, they need to change, so ghostly sounds got recorded and put under the living room window where Randy babysat. In those days, most people left the windows open without the use of airconditioning. Poor guy, I'm so sorry, but we could count to five and he would be on the phone calling his mom. Today, I miss my tape recorder.

I think I met my match, well, he's actually the king. What would you do if you could record your voice, play it backwards and hear the truth of what your unconscious mind is saying? Creepy. His name is David Oates ( and he is the first person to document speech reversals in human speech with a career spanning 24 plus years, also maintaining a therapeutic and consulting practice. Wendy and I were totally blown away by this! (
Conscious Living. You can download the conversation or go to his website and listen to reversals. For instance, there is a woman talking about how she needs to overcome her fear of money and wondering what the problem is. When her voice is reversed, she says, "I need to get over my grief." David says the reversal voice is a "sing, song" pattern, not monotone. Truth happily tells on us. This techinque has even been used in the court system.

Wouldn't it be fun to grab a tape recorder and try this? We would hear what we really mean to say. Invite the co-workers for snacks and conversation. Tell them it's a "Moon Walk Party."

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Neil Diamond Came To Town- Ho Ho Ho

Neil Diamond sang to me last night. It was an oohlala moment for sure and then poof, he was gone in a flash! Whisked out the back door like an abracadabra trick in front of thousands of people on a cold Kansas City night. Singing men are like carnivals that come once a year and then disappear by Sunday morning church services. Pinch me, it feels like a dream. Neil's faith is a big presence. Growing up in Brooklyn was tough so he knows the heart of a street kid and the beauty of a flower that can bloom in a crack of concrete. I'll have to add him to my list of pretend boyfriends.
Cinderella moments require fairy godmothers, sometimes you get two of them. One is about six foot four with the looks of a hardened gangster who's been around. His name is Richard Tripp but he's a gentle giant who is an advocate and front line man for the homeless in Kansas City. ( It was funny how excited Richard was when Neil Diamond donated 100 tickets for Richard and his friends, so he called Mrs. G for a little pondering. "Why would Neil do this, how did he find out about me?" he questioned. Mrs. G, another fairy godmother, had to remind him of the recent event they pulled off. Twice a year, Richard hosts a party for the homeless with food, gifts and song. There are clothes,shoes and toys packed sky high that are free for the taking. Mrs. G (Sandra Ghosheh, shh! she likes to be in disguise) gets 500 pies to be donated, books the musicans, rents tents with heaters and the list goes on. There were holes in the walls the size of small cats which made Mrs. G's bones hurt but she stayed to the very end and took one of the mentally challenged men to a shelter who had a fever.
"Ok then, I'll just take 50 of the tickets," Richard said, "but I want you to give your little red headed friend some." It didn't click for a minute since I thought I was a blond, but who cares, free Neil Diamond tickets, I'm a redhead! Unfortunately, Mrs. G caught bronchitis that turned into asthma and had to stay home.
Neil started talking about the homes he's building in Houston, Texas with all of the proceeds from the sales of shirts, hats, etc. Then he sang, wow, to the man upstairs he sings. Hold up your hand, do it for Him. "Do what you can, do what you can!" Neil shouted. I'm thinking about Richard denying himself 50 tickets, how I cringed when my five friends made a toast in my honor and that Mrs. G was home alone. Mary had walked with a knee injury to make our food reservations. Carol drove the others to Crown Center. Small acts of love made the event successful which meant we all pull rabbits out of hats. It was magic, pure magic! I can't wait until next year.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

reoccure ing?

Tag Someone and Play the Blog Game

Man it was windy today. I thought the howling sound would scare the golfers but they kept their 11:30 tee time. They pad themselves with layers of clothes and hit little white balls in frigid weather for five hours long! The competition against winter doesn't end until the ground becomes so frozen that the golf balls bounce out of control. That's ok, I get so much accomplished during their outings. Whatever floats their boat and vice versa. They don't understand my need to hand stitch a quilt or why I glue dyed egg shells onto cardboard for the masks I'm designing.
Diversity is what makes life interesting. Collecting people can be a fabulous hobby. A little eccentricity never hurt anyone. Hal reads novels on his front porch and naps in the backseat of his pickup truck. Aunt Rose claims her creative side can only come out after four beers and a cigerette. Bill's reoccuring dream of fire made him so afraid that he installed fire extinguishers in the upstairs bedrooms and kitchen, but he ate a lovely lunch while the neighbor's house was engulfed in black smoke and flames, unaware of the situation. My mom's neighbor has fullmoon parties in her sideyard and the women hug trees.

Quirky is a word that must be the opposite of boring. So when Cathy wanted me to play the blog game I agreed. Pick six blogs that you like, comment on their site and then link them to your post. Now write six things about yourself. I cheated and only have four sites because I'm tired after playing hat store all evening with Dylan.

l. The first language I learned to speak was Spanish but quit because of the wrong advice of a kindergarden teacher.

2. I have a mystery twin in my town who is an extrovert that likes to drink at parties which causes me to get wierd looks in bookstores. People have told me about her, that's how I know.

3. Pancho Villa's men almost cut my great grandfather's ear off but stopped because my grandmother knew Pancho was superstitious and lied that my great grandfather was deaf.

4. The day before John Denver died, he told me in a dream that he was going to be killed in a plane crash. Twice at Christmas, he was singing on the radio and my paint brushes fell off the piano.

5. G.W.'s mom got a fake letter from the library telling her that her son's book, "Everything You Always Wanted To Know About Sex But Was Afraid To Ask" was long overdue, shortly after I got my new typewriter.

6. I'm happiest when my kids speak kind words.


Thursday, December 11, 2008

Life is All About Choice/Eldon Taylor

What if? The choices in your life can either keep you prisoner in a self inflicted hell or make you so happy you think you could fly. What if you quit blaming someone else for your life and started living the one you want? Eldon Taylor, author of the book, Choices and Illusions says it can be done! When he was working in prisons, trying to figure out a way for reform, he noticed a similarity between the prisoners. It was always someone else's fault and they played the role of victim. Poor pitiful me. When our inner talk blames, nothing in our life will move. Isn't there someone in your life who you'd like to put tape on their mouths because of constant complaining? I did an experiement once and complained to a complainer only to be rudely cut off in the middle of a phone conversation! Looks like complainers don't like it either. It is the drink of poison.
I'm not a scientist but I do know there is a law of nature that requires what goes out to come back, my boomerang theory.Eldon mentionted it is written in the Bible as well. So, what if? What if I would have yelled at Beverly for calling me so early in the morning after I had been awake most of the night with sick children? I wanted to. She needed me to help her buy paint brushes for her mom who was taking up oils. What if I had complained that I didn't have one extra penny for my five children which meant my mom was getting nothing? I wanted to. Beverly called every day with questions about the brushes and bragged that her spending budget was one hundred dollars. What if I said F-U,I wanted to. Finally, I agreed to leave my oldest sick child with the younger sick one to meet Beverly at the art store. If you have ever painted using Qtips, you would understand how luxurious a sable brush feels in your fingers. I let my imagination run free of the images I could bring to life with these brushes. Finally, $100 worth of assorted brushes were picked. Afterwards, I was thankful that I had bit my jealous tongue.
Beverly called again the next day. She worked at the boutique where I consigned some of my work. Would I come to the shop to see how she had wrapped the present and enjoy hot cider with her? What if I had said, "you have got to be kidding?!" I wanted to. The baby in our family had just said she no longer believed in Santa Claus as I walked out the door. My stomach hurt, I wanted to cry but Beverly had cider and cookies waiting. I loved her very much like an annoying big sister that day. Can you imagine how it felt when she handed me a cylinder shaped package to open and $100 worth of paint brushes fell into my lap? Whew. When I walked into my house, everything was a mess but my youngest ran to hug me saying, "mommy! I still believe in Santa Claus because he's in my heart, so he must still be real!"
The following year, the brushes were used to paint a screen that I donated to one of my favorite charities which sold for $5,700. What if? What if we paused before reacting? I'm not perfect but this is one time I'm glad I kept my cool!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Light Your Fire! It's Christmas!

Chuck saved his paper route money to buy our father an album. (cd) Since Dad never talked much about what he wanted, we figured he would love Jose Feliciano. It was a special night, birthday night and two weeks before Christmas. To add to our festivities, Mom bought a new Christmas star for the tree with lights that blinked off and on. All seven of us were sitting in the small kitchen eating together while listening to the new album. Tension was starting to build, you could feel it in the air. I can't remember if it was before or after chocolate cake that Dad had his spaz attack. Jose was singing over and over, "light my fire, light my fire, light my fire." Almost tripping over himself, my dad jumped out of his seat, pulled the plug on the tree mumbling something like how he wouldn't be watching an "eat at Joe's" flashing light while listening to that damn music on his birthday!
We still laugh about it to this day.

December is for flashy, cheesy, over the top and sugar coated mush. It's the time to tell everyone you love how you feel. Driving around the neighborhoods admiring the lights is wonderfully cheap. Writing a one page love letter or personal memory of something and then putting it under a pillow, in a coat pocket or email won't break the bank and will be more memorable than a store bought gift. Words hold power. Everyone wants to be told how much they matter. December is also a three number vibration which is all about communication. So light your fire, not your checkbook!

P.S. Dad's neighbor across the street recently beat cancer. She's so happy to be alive that she has installed reindeer, candy canes, lit trees on the house along with lights on the house, lights on all the maple trees, snowmen to go with the Santa Claus and music! It's the prettiest house on the block. Yes, beautiful music that blasts from outdoor speakers for all to hear. I'm tempted to request Jose Feliciano.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Ross Holcomb/ Signs from Space

When you stop to pay attention, you'll start to notice a language of symbols and signs that the Earth's heart is trying to say. How it works is beyond my comprehension. Who plans the sequence of events that occur randomly? Just this Thanksgiving, I was in rush hour traffic with my daughter telling her that I needed to get away this summer. To go on a spiritual trek and find my way. She agreed that the time was right for me and we "pinky promised" that it would happen! Then, Bam! At that exact moment, seven birds flew in the air over our car, big ones. Jewel is singing, "follow your heart" and a white car drove by with the license plate...1 2 3 Go.

How does this relate to the last guest on Conscious Living? Crop circles even. Elaborate designs that appear in wheat fields with intricate detail. I read someone's description after standing at the foot of one saying, "there were two swirls, one from the left and one from the right. Two rivers of energy that were woven together." Some people say they're elaborate hoaxes. Who cares, someone still had to make these enormous designs and according to the people who stand in them, they're charged with energy. What are they trying to say? Wakeup? The two swirls reminds me of the need to use our right and left brain hemispheres.
Ross Holcomb is a metaphysical consultant who gives presentations, teaching intuitive healing and guides summer tours to England's sacred sites including crop circles. He spoke about energy in color which caught my attention since I paint for an income. Our body and earth share carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen and oxygen. What you do to earth, you do to your body. Maybe these crop circles are there to remind us of a greater plan and since so many of us are not paying attention to signs, they had to make them really really big! It would be a fun summer trip I'm thinking. I feel the sychronicity taking shape!