Friday, December 20, 2013

Don't Worry Be...Something Other Than Worried

First off, I have graduated Massage Therapy School with a 100%! Woot woot!

Without going into everything I'm trying a new approach to Christmas this year; no friggen worries! No, I'm not smoking anything. So far I'm less freaked out about everything happening ON TIME and perfectly than in the past and it's nice. Christmas Dinner has become our host night for extended family. We will have guests before Christmas too. Do I know what I'm cooking yet? NO. Do I have everyone's gifts ready? Pretty sure. Not. Once again this year's Christmas card has someone chopped off in one of the chosen images. If you've used one of those sites you know the cropping ordeal. Now it kinda cracks me up because that's who I am, well intentioned but imperfect and honestly I was over it.

I don't understand how I have been cooking for so many years now yet I still think I don't know how to cook anything (but awesome nachos and burgers). I actually have never made a turkey. This years right of passage will be TURKEY. Last year it was a roast which took a degree in beef. Maybe this is me being in denial but I'd like to think it's me trusting that the universe supports me and my winging it. There will be good food and good times.

In massage therapy class the first rule of thumb was don't judge your classmates...and if you do keep it to yourself. After all, you are vulnerable being undressed in front of strangers. That taught me a lot about my own judgements and need to express them. Would I want someone looking at my body on the table with judgement good or bad? In hopes that we each looked past the individuals' flaws or assets we instead found the studied muscles and bones that we all have. Our commonality.

Somehow that is part of my new relaxed perspective. I guess the less judging you do of others the less you do to yourself.
Happy Holidays, Ya'll!!
P.S. This pumpkin cake with brown butter frosting is pretty yummy and easy.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

There Are Many Roads To Detroit, Man

Qi translated is "breath" or "life force" in Chinese. Other ancient cultures have a name for it too; chi, prana, mana, lung, and ruah. In other words the concept and recognition of this -thing- has been around a really really long time.
photo from
After more than 5 months in massage class where we have focused on physical massage this past week we turned outward to explore energy massage. This has had the whole class bouncing. Even the teachers seemed less guarded. Stories were told about bad spirits getting into open people, chakras were cleared, polarity balancing was done, Reiki was explored, a zero balancing experience was told where an ankle walked across the room and back. We tried to see each others auras and feel them too. People felt mine. I have one, BTW.

In class I've had that tummy buzz feeling like back when I'd be at a slumber party where we played the Ouija board and our hands slid and pointed words out mysteriously. Or when we chanted "light as a feather stiff as a board" surrounding our friend in her pajamas lifting her up to the ceiling with only two fingers on each of our hands.

I half believe the magic of energy and want it to be true but I half think there is a reasonable explanation to dismantle the nonsense. I'm more of an observer and less of a subscriber to everything because I hate to be wrong.

The teacher, who is a Reiki master, was explaining how Reiki is tuning in and channeling the universal energy that already exists into someone to heal what needs it. She said it can be done over the phone or by thinking about them. A leery student began to talk about what she does in her prayer group and the teacher said, "There are many roads to Detroit". I thought that was beautiful. If you want to send someone positive energy, prayer, white light, love, it's all same, man! It's all good.

I'm a little excited to shake hands with something that is accessible and non denominational. After all one of the main reasons I want to do massage is to give healing through touch. If it's my energy or the available universal energy I'm cool with that.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Halloween Flashback

1983 Macon Chronicle (Macon, Missouri) 
One September in 1983 newly into the school year and near my 14th birthday, a young boy my age named Danny Joe Eberle went missing while on his paper route in Bellevue. Days later his body was found a few miles away outside town on a rocky road near the Base.

By this time women's lib was in full effect and there were no stay at home moms within my group of friends. We were all latch-key kids so after school my girlfriends often favored hanging out at one friend's house. That mom went a little nuts because we ate all of their food, annoyed her sons and probably made a mess. Another of the mothers was more strict and wouldn't tolerate our food invasions at her house plus she had a lot of 'house rules'. A few of us just lived further away so hanging out at other houses was out of the way.

Once this murder occurred the moms got together and it was decided we needed to have a designated home to go to after school so we weren't roaming the streets to get snatched up by the boogyman. I was excited that all of the mothers were going to meet and talk about us. The idea was that we were to take turns at everyone's house so there was a share in our protection (and finally the food consumption). The moms were going to come home early from work on their day to watch us. Logistically it never got off the ground and we all ended up back in the Jeanettas' cupboards.

This was also a time when we watched slasher movies for fun like Friday the 13th and Halloween I,2,3, Terror Train, My Bloody Valentine and The Funhouse. I would be going home at night after watching a scary movie where 20 people got cut up in the woods and end up running all of the way. That year Halloween had an extra scary dimension knowing someone was really out there snatching up kids. I'm sure all of the parents were more afraid than we were. The line between fact and film was blurry for us but we still had the cloak of parental protection.

For further reading on subject check out A Need To Kill.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Coffee In The Dark

Around here the sun makes a sudden shift when the seasons change. The same day the weather changes the sunlight takes on it's new angle. In the flip of a flip-flop you need to change out your wardrobe. In this case to sweaters and long pants. Didn't I just get my shorts out? 

I start craving syrupy flavors added in my coffee. Pumpkin and allspice taste better now, not too heavy like in the warmer months. (But five seconds after Thanksgiving my tastes buds are done with PUMPKIN!) I want to lay down more rugs. Tone down the accent colors. Cook more and have plenty stocked in the cupboards. I dye my hair red instead of blonde. Cooler weather means long dog walks are tolerable but now we have to watch the clock so the sun doesn't go down while we're out. 
Photo credit Susan Weiner 
I wash the down comforters. Get the coats and scarves ready. The mittens matched up. We have coats but here they're more for fashion. Not hardly needed until February.

In Nebraska I don't recall the sudden shift around the equinox of a season. It was more like a bipolar episode going between high and low temps until you were in the belly of it. And then it was dark for 6 months. You got snow tires and changed to a winter antifreeze or your car wouldn't start. And you were so very cold. 

There would be spurts of sneaky warm days in March. We would layout in our shorts if it was 50 or 60 degrees desperate for sun, color and vitamin D. And then it would go back to sub zero and freezing at least until April, bipolaring until it was 98% humidity and 100 degrees. No wonder it's a very tornado friendly place.

I'm getting very's time for a pumpkin latte.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Flavor Of Love

You'd think I had an affair with all of the freedom of the night the newness of the setting and the lust for the flavors of something more delicate than thawed meat.
Many things have taken the back burner the last few years. Going to artsy movies and well, o.k. creativity in general have all shriveled from disregard. Energy and brain power seems to be used up in time management of kid meals, kid entertaining and kid needs among other must-get-done things. 
Gone are the days of paging through gourmet fish recipes and taking my time in the kitchen to prepare them. Food prep has to be quick and interrupted. As for eating out - that has to be quick too. The few times we've attempted it Mountain Man says, "This is the last time we take them out until they're in high school."

For my birthday we were invited to go out to eat and I jumped on it like a cat in heat. The prospect of a meal with adults and no kids, even if it was at IHOP, was a sublime gift.
Wine Map by Tuscaroa Mill
I poured over the choices. Where to go, where to go!! My creative juices although rusty turned on. Should we go to D.C. to a happening place or Middleburg steeped in history and texture or Bethesda where finding parking takes an extra 45 minutes. I settled on Leesburg. We are so close but I have little food knowledge of the area.
We went to Tuscarora Mill. I had often passed by the windows going to and from yoga. The patrons inside were enjoying holiday meals and after work tête-à-têtes. It always looked like a nice time, the reviews were decent and it has easy parking!

What a beautiful time. I took the lead and we started with a really good local wine with the help of the sommelier, a 2011 Verano
I stepped out of my comfort zone and tried pork belly which the chefs on t.v. often rave about. The meal was great. The company and conversation spectacular, I'm still soaking it in a week later with no regrets. The beauty of age.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Steam Trains Dream Trains

For months my two year old has been obsessively into steam trains. Every night I ask her what she is going to dream about and she says, "Choo-choo trains!" We rode the Metro but that just seemed like such a cheap substitute for the real thing. So I found her a surprise and we went over the mountains to Cass, West Virginia to ride a true blue steam train. 
Big Meadows Lodge

The route from our place was scenic as navigated by Mountain Man. We started on Skyline Drive a lovely road along the crest of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Shenandoah National Park. We stopped for sunset and a bite at the old Blue Meadows Lodge built in 1939. It had the same vibe as a Yellowstone lodge, timeless and nostalgic.
I already want to go back (without the sick kids next time).

We stopped for the night in Staunton, Virginia and did a quick a.m. tour of the attractive old town which was a decent size. I even forgot it was a weekday since we found parking during "morning rush hour". My kind of town. We left for Cass and went over 3 mountains arriving in less than two hours. The ears were popping a lot. Oh and near Frost, WV we stopped for gas justincasewewerestuckinthewoodslater. I went in for snacks and, shut the front door right now, I heard something frying at the cash register. Sure enough it was fried chicken!! The lady was jiving gossip, selling lotto and making buckets o chicken.
In Cass we had our choice of a 2 hour ride or a 4 hour ride and went with the shorter option with the little kiddies in tow, good move. The trains were big, steamy, loud and so cool. The cars are open so check the weather. Here is their link for info. 

After the ride we were on our way to stay in a cabin in Watoga State Park  for a few days. Looking for a place to stay that night we started in Snowshoe Village a huge summit complex/town built around a ski mountain. It was so deserted it was like we stepped into
The Shining summer version. So we opted for another town down the road and stayed in a pre -civil war cabin in Marlinton, WV called Jerico cabins. Our cabin was romantic and next to a babbling brook. We had to leave in the middle of the night for a sick baby and cut our trip short. But I hope to go back over the mountains and explore WV parks more in the near future where the  state motto is "Mountaineers Are Always Free" .

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Demolition Derby Date

Got us a dirt track date
Demolition derby figure eight
Eat my dinner off a paper plate
Eliminations start at 8
Friday night I had a hot date with Mountain Man at the county fair. We attended the Demolition Derby on the fairs opening night. It was $2.00 extra for the grand stand event. I called ahead of time to make sure we didn't have to worry about the event selling out. There was silence on the other end of the line. "You can come get tickets the night of the event and it won't be sold out. It's never sold out." I felt like I had stumbled upon a best kept secret. The greatest $2.00 I've ever spent.
The crowd was good for people watching and second hand smoke inhalation. We were near the front row to try and take some decent photos. But the entire fire department crew and every other visual obstacle parked right in front of us. We saw the 8 cylinders in 2 heats and then a final championship heat. The contestants' car paint and names were quite creative. Hood Bros., Derby Dogs, 666, Wild and Crazy, True Blue Heat, etc. It was a straight dirt track and winner was last car standing. Tricks like driving in reverse, double & triple teaming and escaping on the bank, were used. Such strategy, who knew? Here are my videos of the event  & here.
The announcer was lively and the waiting was minimal. The dirt and exhaust were nonexistent (except on the bleacher and my light seersucker pants). They announced that Wednesday there is a minivan demolition derby - words can't describe the beauty in the thought of one of the ugliest vehicles created being smashed into scraps where it should remain. (We have one.) I wonder if there are female drivers in that one. It's kind of their advantage. 

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Wearing My Upcycle Goggles

O.K. now this type of suitcase is something I have seen turned into tables so I'm going to attempt to do this as one of my projects. Combining thrifting with creativity and I'm in. 
So I'm going to cut the legs off of that Craig's List table and attach them to the below thrifted suitcase.
It doesn't hurt that I have a brilliant carpenter side kick, a.k.a. Mountain Man to help my ideas come to life. Failure I have learned is part of success. So what if it ends up sucking, I'll re-donate it.
Also saw this today and we have plenty of down trees so I want to make some of these, natural and useful!!
I have some more things waiting in the wings so hopefully I'll have something to show shortly. PEACE!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Putting The Horse Back In Front

ROBERT DEYBERPutting the Cart Before the Horse 
This week finds me unemployed. 
Luckily that hasn't happened since 1991.The beginnings of a new perspective are emerging but so far I'm still searching for a good natural deodorant. 
I've gotten to think about what I really want to do with my time and my first thought was make furniture.
I had time to do my hair (I haven't blown it dry nor flat ironed the wave out in months).
I noticed without the guaranteed paycheck coming in I have had to get off the gerbil wheel where I am constantly thinking,"what can I buy next". Just days prior I thought what if I could see I don't NEED anything.
I cancelled my subscriptions to the sites that send me daily sale notices.
I lost 5 pounds.
I had time to study for my test on a weekday. 
I got to swing and dance with my daughter on a weekday. And read my son a book.
I asked myself how was I doing everything before?
I took a nap.
Put my laundry away.
I got an "A" on a test.
It's only Wednesday.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Sexual Assult Is Everyone's Issue

Here is a TED talk from a man who calls the violence against women a men's issue. YES!
There seemed to be a lot of interest in the blog about my first massage and I have to think it was because I talked some about overcoming sexual abuse. A long time ago I heard a statistic that 1 in 4 women will be a victim of sexual assault. When I heard that I was in a large auditorium full of students and I looked around the room and thought how many of us were in the same boat like it or not.

One in four college women report being sexually assaulted
My abuse was from a trusted person, as most abuses are. He was my gym teacher when I was about 6 years old. It took me many years to realize there was abuse because um, I was a baby! Back then I thought of him as a favorite teacher and I was sad when he left our elementary school. Years later in Jr. High I ran into him in the hallway as a dean at my new school and my fond memories evolved into, "Hey wait a second!" I was cold to him (as a 12-14 year old) through the years there. He seemed to be confined to the boys' gym activities at that school anyway so our encounters were few. I warned my little sister of him once she attended but that's the only person I felt the need to tell at the time.

In college I wrote about the abuse in a creative writing class. Still just seeing it as a previous incident. In the papers grade notes the professor suggested I might speak to a professional about the matter. That didn't register because I always saw it as something "in the past". There was nothing to it anymore as far as I knew.

In discussing the college paper with my parents I got some more information about what happened. My mother said she went to the principle at one point because I cried over a report card where Mr. _ gave me a "C". She said I was extremely upset. I told her he promised me an "A" (if I did what he asked). Hopefully that red flag had something to do with why he got moved to Jr. High teaching boys.
Fast forward to my first massage at age 24 where I came to the realization the abuse was not confined to the past but still with me. I discovered there was still distrust in my body revealed in the very spot he would sit near. After the massage it was more clear to me how in my daily life I was putting myself in similar uncomfortable situations but allowing it because it was what someone else wanted. What I wanted was secondary and unfamiliar. I realized I had been repeating that same situation over and over and over up to the present day. Still experiencing that discomfort and having no voice it was as if I had been 6 all of those years. I became very sad. I was diagnosed with PTSD in therapy and was prescribed pills for a year.
But I also broke the cycle.

Yes, this is personal information. It's boiled down but there is no shame just one of my life's many victories.

Friday, June 21, 2013

A View Of Mimi

Periodically I'd like to introduce you to some creative people so we can;
1. Voyeur into other interesting peoples lives
2. Show how creativity can be people's passion and a career, hobby, gift or lifestyle
My first guest is Mimi who recently made a huge leap and left a career to pursue her writing aspirations.

Where do you live? How did you end up there?

I live in Cocoa, Florida across the Indian River from Kennedy Space Center. From our house there’s great view of the VAB (Vehicular Assembly Building) where they used to work on the Shuttles. I’m a space freak, so this is awesome for me (cue I Dream of Jeannie music).  I grew up in New Smyrna Beach a little further north.  A few years ago, I reconnected with a childhood friend, who’s now an aerospace engineer, and we got married.
Heron Haven, Mimi's masterpiece
What do you do for a living or to pass your days?
I’m a recovering librarian. I quit my job to pursue Pinterest full time. Sometimes I blog at  I do not have any kids to interfere with my selfish life, but I do have four crazy dogs who are total pain-in-the-asses. I’ve been decorating and renovating a house that I share with my husband and in-laws.  Oh, and I lied about kids: I have a great stepson who lives with us part time. We try not to interrupt his X-Box schedule. We call him the teen yeti because I go into his room every 48 hours or so to collect his pizza crusts, meat bones, and soda cans.

What do you like to do creatively?
Getting dressed is my most creative act of the day – it’s the only consistently creative thing I do, too, because I am ADD and lazy as hell. It is a complete miracle that I have two master’s degrees, and I guess that’s because I’m a good academic.  If anything is hard, I quit, cause I can’t handle failure. I have a vast vintage clothing collection. I love art,and I read nearly every minute of the day when I’m not on Pinterest, and I go to a lot of thrift stores. I would love to learn to sew.

Please Attach a picture of something you have made or that you like!!
Am just obsessed with anything colorful, Southern, or folk arty. Check out the Work of Wayne White. Then again, I’m an Anglophile and love to read anything about aristocratic Brits like the Mitfords. Oh, also I love jazz. And cars.  And architecture. And museums. And movies.  Masterpiece Theater. Honey Boo. It’s all good.

Wayne White

What is your favorite place you have visited? Why?

New Orleans and Savannah – fun, jaw dropping beauty, musical, arty,history all over the damn place, great cocktails,grits,tacky and sophisticated at the same time.

What floats your boat right now? Attach any photos of this! 
I’m having a Walker Evans summer.He’s the photographer who did all those shots of people on the subway,and I think he’s pretty much the first person who started treating American road signs and billboards seriously. 
Walker Evans
Please show us a photo of your favorite spot in your house and tell us why it is so.

My bed.  It’s where I read, write, do Pinterest, and sleep, within easy cuddling reach of my dogs and easy view of the river. Here I am with pugs Tater Tot, Sammy, and a recent “Are You Saved?” piece I bought in North Carolina. Oh, and a piece of driftwood that I rescued from an insane dude who was going to carve it into a fucking dragon (not that I am averse to dragons – I love me some Game of Thrones, too.)

Mimi @ home

Thank you, Mimi! I hope you enjoyed one of my favorite creative people. xoxo

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Night Market Philly Is A Food Truck Party

Night Markets are a common destination in Asian Cities. They are open air casual markets with live food preparation, fresh local cuisine and something to solidify a perhaps otherwise liquid evening. Now add the U.S. and food trucks. OH YES!
Miaokou Night Market, Taiwan photograph by Neil Wade My Shot
I am drooling literally. I have a big love for food trucks, festivals and travel so this Philadelphia roving Night Market makes me giddy. I'm excited for the vendors who get to feature their goods and the lucky patrons who will have access to unique eats all in one place. I hope this catches on to more cities around the U.S.A.
Philadelphia Night Market June 20, 2013 6-10 p.m.  
Here is a video about the Philadelphia Night Market which travels to different neighborhoods and has live music! From what I can gather it's only once a year right now. Bon appetit!

Photo by Michaelangelo Ilagan for The Food Trust

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Clearing Chakras For Grandma

I want to talk about massage and changing generational habits. A while ago I understood the concept that we can stop, redirect or change behaviors in ourselves that have been going on in our family line for generation after generation which was so empowering to me. If I could change myself I could stop dysfunction for future generations. The buck could stop here? That is amazing to think about. Each of us has so much power for change that effects not only ourselves and our future family’s behavior but might I say the world.

That concept came up recently again when I got a massage for lower back pain where there is so much tightness in my hip area. My sister said, "We (our family) inherited tight muscles there".

After the massage I had a lot more emotions surfacing and I looked up what the energy gurus say is contained in that region. I thought what if it's not the tight muscles my family inherited but the way we process or don't process our emotions that we pass on and on. As a result we end up with tight hips and back pain. That's kinda what I've been thinking about. And the fact I sit way too much.

Do you have any family traits or behaviors that you can identify?

Above is one of several chakra charts out there. I find it interesting to note what could be going on where there is pain or tightness.

Sacral Chakra – The sacral chakra located about two inches below the belly button. It is associated with emotions, sex, manifestation, trusting the universe, and feeling enough. When the chakra is closed, a person will try to control everything in their reality and not be open to assistance. They will often feel inferior and unworthy. When the chakra is opened and balanced, they will be flowing in alignment with the universe and working with it.

Friday, May 31, 2013

Massage Often Reveals My Junk

My first massage was not my idea. I was in my mid 20's and had a friend who was getting into spiritual stuff and healing. She did the research and always found Cat psychics, Priests who told your fortune, Mormon housewife healers, Psychiatrists and Doctors who would treat her for free. She swore by this energy massage guy Robert True and thought I should go for some healing myself. I just wanted someone to rub my tight neck.

I went alone to a regular house in an upper class neighborhood and parked around back where the basement studio was one evening. Robert was nice but it wasn't a traditional Swedish Massage. He did strange breathing and exhaling and I told myself I'm not falling for this stuff. I hadn't really heard of foot reflexology at the time but I recall the footwork and the pain he found in the arch of my feet. OMG!

Near the end I was lying face down when he was moving up from my feet and stopped at my mid back. His hands just hovered there for what seemed like many minutes. Doing nothing. I went from questioning him to anger for wasting massage time to utter deep sadness. He revealed to me the lack of trust I carried from abuse done by a teacher who would sit close to that very spot when I was just six.

I wept as I got dressed. I couldn't explain it at the time and I never expected anything like that to happen. But that massage changed my life in a positive way. It started an avalanche of events toward my healing from a trauma I hadn't realize was still with me.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Tonics and Trailers

From the
 Pre summer goings ons;

The Party Deck is near completion. Rain, dog fight & two sick kids prevented the concrete bench seat from being poured this weekend. Got a good deal on Craigslist patio chairs but darn-it-all they are another project.

Made Amish Noodles and they were dang good. Both kids liked them too & so easy. Noodles, butter, chicken bouillon and chicken broth. BAM!

Pink Bikinis (Pink Puds @ my house) are back on the cocktail menu and are most excellent.
3 ingredients = delish!

Going to try this veggie wash to get my summer produce clean! The grapefruit extract is throwing me off and I need a cute spray bottle.

Marinated Chickpeas - Ginger root. I keep buying it and not using so I've got this on the mental menu.

Cass Scenic Railroad - Summer Vaca planning on tap involves steam trains, baby.

TED talks been listening to these almost daily. It's where I would like to be one day. Really knowledgeable about something helpful.

Daydream dominating is an Airstream guesthouse.

I'm getting ready to start massage therapy classes so I'll post some blogs about health    coming soon. Cheers!

Monday, May 13, 2013

Leaving California For Good

My Mom at the beach early 60's
Every moment is as unique as a snowflake and will not be repeated.

In the early 80's we were in San Diego, California one summer visiting my grandparents and cousins when I was 11. It was a trip full of family and new experiences like bonfires, beach volleyball, big Pacific waves, and the golden-warm sun of Southern California. People there camped on weekends all year round and took their family Christmas pictures in shorts. My feathered hair kept it's curl and we were told when playing outside not to go too far because of  Mexican workers hiding in the fields behind my grandparent's house. The highway was 8 lanes wide, twice the size of Nebraska's highways.

I didn't know it then but it was one of the best trips of my young life. I realized this only upon reflection months and years later. I began to wonder why I didn't know how fabulous the trip was while I was on it. Why I appreciated it so much after it was over not while I was taking the evening walks on the beach. I wanted the chance to do it again so I could appreciate it more as it was happening.

This has been an experience I have weighed over the years. I've slowly been learning to breathe, taste and feel the life of a moment right when it happens. I know how to recognize better when they are going to happen. Like 10 years ago for my dad's 70th birthday all of my siblings and I gave him a surprise visit for a few days at his lake house. I told myself how special times like these are because they may never happen again. Even if they do it will never be just like this. I remind myself,
This is it!
Enjoy it now!

It's confusing a little because in the movies important moments are often made so grandiose and obvious. In life I have often tried to imitate art where I was sure it couldn't be a memorable time without a drunken night of shenanigans. It had to be crazy and loud to count. This is not the case but I had to figure that out s l o w l y. For years I also thought there will always be a Thanksgiving or another holiday together. I took a lot of time for granted because I thought things wouldn't ever change. Well my illusion that there is a perpetual suspension of time has tapped on my shoulder and said it's time to leave California. And as my parents (and everyone)get older I hope to feel the life in as many moments as I can. Isn't it beautiful!


Friday, May 10, 2013

Born That Way

My mummy tummy
We woman are genetically made in a way that helps keep living things alive, nurtured and loved.

Who knew those crazy characteristics I've always had would come in handy when I began to care for the life of a dog and then a baby or two. It's so cool to see how female traits have such good use. I've often felt like a nag and over reactive until I saw how perfectly my ways clicked when applied where appreciated and to things that they were meant for.
I'm talking about traits like;
  • planning, where are we going how long will be there what should I bring. This keeps baby from going naked, cold & hungry on outings. To men it's noise.
  • The ability to remember/keep a list and ask to get things done so medicine gets taken & vegetables get eaten. LIST is pretty much a 4 letter word to men.
  • Why loud noises are so irritating and we need to make them stop. Females are actually wired to go insane from baby crying whilst other genders don't even notice it. This one keeps humanity alive people! It lets men sleep in too so I think they're good with this one.
  • Being emotional beings helps us connect, bond and empathize with babies and people. You might recall a time or two where the man in your life said, "Oh God she wants to talk again."
  • Our inclination for baby talk helps children learn better. My girlfriends and I were doing this "in play" since middle-school. Men appreciate baby talk as long as it's directed at them once in a while.
  • Craving details, where are you going when will you be back so we know when we need to start worrying. Or how long has there been a fever, crying, a rash so we know what our plan of action is. This comes over as NAG NAG NAG NAG and NAG!
  • Multitasking! This impresses everyone!
Things about myself seemed to make more sense once I began to use them as a mother. Even though I was that way before, using them in a less critical environment has made me more understanding of myself and those feminine characteristics which are wonderful for the world.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Party Deck In Progress

I'm use to the dark, rich, earthy soil of Nebraska. As a kid I would dig under our deck hoping I'd get to China or find a buried treasure box or historical artifact that would be my ticket to get out of town. I gave up rather quickly and made mud pies with poison berries from the bushes instead.

This region is so rocky we have a pile of hundreds of field stone stacked high by the farmer who raised cattle on the land. Every time you dig you hit rock here but I hope to use the pile in a foundation, chimney or wall one day.
Ideas from my Pinterest Board Maciejewski Landscaping Inc.
The latest project on the farm is what Mountain Man calls the party deck. As if we party! This is an attempt to tie two outbuildings together and begin a wall/fence for the new goat area. I just nod my head as he recounts his vision and I try to give some input when requested. Unless something is on paper it's hard for me to imagine when he describes angles and levels of earth and placement of imaginary steps. The good news is the deck is shaping up to have multiple textures and mixed material. I got really excited when he talked about using big slabs of rock for stairs to break up the wood of the deck. The garden center choices didn't pan out but he was able to scour our own land for boulders and use those as steps instead. It's looking really good! I might even have some wine out there.
Party Patio in progress

Monday, April 22, 2013

Hair Loss or Found

Everywhere I look on TV it's long hair long hair. I don't think you can live in the state of California with out it. Yesterday I did the unthinkable to one hair stylist I know (Kaydra), I cut my long hair off. For the past 4 years I have grown it out and it did get nice & long but I got bored. I just couldn't take the same thing any more. Maybe I need a hobby but fun hair makes me happy. Photos of the shorter cuts made me excited. So I went with the words of another hair dresser, a French one, "Long hair does nothing for you, Darling." Robert (Roberrr) was the kind of man who had probably slept with most of his clientele until his mid 50's. Even then he oozed sexual energy and I trusted a French man to know what was sexy on me. The neck. The natural wave of mussed up locks. A woman who knows who she is and wears her hair as an accessory an art piece not a security blanket. I do think American woman are starting to all have the same hair. Is there a memo I missed that long extensions and striped highlights are sexy? Is it that our men are all attracted to the same person?

Sexy and strong short haired ladies Marylin Monroe, Rachel Maddow and Hallie Berry come to mind. So I'm going with my gut and joy (and impulse) on this one and I will have the freedom of quick- drying, short, sassy hair even if it only speaks French.
after (long day!)

Friday, April 19, 2013

Desert Modernism

Kaufman House by Richard Neutra  photo Arcaid/Alamy

Ramond Loewy House by Albert Frey  photo unknown
My head is spinning at these gorgeous photos of the Loewy Palm Spring House and the rest of Albert Frey's work. We are forever designing our home and looking for ideas. Seeing these homes is like looking at paradise. I love the simple materials used and how he ties the home into it's natural surroundings. What would he do with all of our field stone? I'm going to have to get a book on Desert Modernism architecture, it is so breathtaking. 
Frey House II by Albert Frey   photo Jackie Craven

Monday, April 15, 2013


An ounce of practice is worth more than tons of preaching. Mahatma Gandhi 
My friend texted me the other day news about an x-friend. It was good news. Luckily, I was in the car and I was having difficulty completing my thoughts and a text while driving. The delay kept me from saying something snarky and sarcastic which were the first thoughts to come to mind. I didn't want that energy out there. I kind of broke down why I would say that. Do I think I'm better? Am I jealous or hurt? More deserving of good things? Do I wish them a life of mediocrity? No, I love my x-friend. When I feel like that I remind myself there is enough. So I texted back something positive and drama free.

The idea that there is enough health, wealth and happiness for everyone makes sense. There is not a finite quantity of good. Someone elses success does not prevent mine! The negative feelings are my responsibility and have nothing to do with the other person. That's my work.
Fear of lack is that root emotion for times when we have to compete to survive. I let it float in and then out of my thoughts.
Luckily I don't need that now. All I need is love.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Kid Haters Have A Heart

"My mother did this for me once" she will realize as she cleans feces off her baby's neck. From A Mother's Prayer by Tina Fey.

How having kids changes us has all been said before. If you have them you know. To those who don't have kids we would think our kids are annoying too but they are miracles to us because we are proud we haven't killed them yet by doing something wrong like poisoning, starving or strangling them. Miracles because we parents lived through another day where we didn't die from tripping over random Lego's left in the middle of the floor or tumble down the stairs while carrying kids, car seats and 23 related items up and down them all day. Getting through a single day is a victory for us in so many ways. Our little miracles! Can I get an AMEN!

Meaghan Curry Photography

So when you are cruising on your way home from a really awesome mini-cation with your besties and you stop at the store for some cigs only to hear a mom asking her child, "Do you need to poo?"  Remember, you were once that kid and someone was kind enough to toilet train you. Support your fellow parent and screaming kid. Their quality rearing is important. That child could be your doctor or an SNL writer someday.

Eyes Like It

 Last week I went Pinterest crazy. I was on a mission to find as many images I could for group boards; Poolside/Beachside, Orange Crush, Mellow Yellow and a few of my others.
eggs and waffles

Upon this scurry of activity I found the cutest images from graphic artist Erin Jang.  

They make me happy and tickle my fancy. So simple and fun. Here is an interview with her. I like typefaces too but I've never openly talked about it;

Truly Smitten:
What are your favorite typefaces at the moment?
Memoriam, Futura, Gotham Rounded, Clarendon

One of the great things about Pinterest is you wander around finding image after image and sometimes something really pops out and inspires you.