Monday, March 28, 2011

Soul Restoration is good for the Soul.

Sometimes my husband belongs on the moon...
and I now know how to send him there. :)

Day 1:
Husband: "Oh, honey, are you mad at me? You forgot to bring up my coffee this morning."

Day 2:
Husband: (Weird look on face of husband) "No coffee this morning?"

Day 3:
Husband: (Making hand gestures as though bringing an invisible cup of coffee up to his mouth) "Huh?"

Day 4:
Husband: I've had the worst few days lately at the studio and only two things are different. One - I'm getting critiques on my paintings again (He's a Fine Art Painter) and two - you haven't brought me my coffee for the last 4 mornings. It has to be one of those two things.

Day 5:
Husband: (Silence)

Day 6:
Husband: (I'm sitting in my comfy corner chair doing some journaling when my husband walks up to me and hands me my morning cup of coffee).
Me: Oh, thanks, hon.

I signed up for the Soul Restoration Workshop in early January 2011 because it was time for me to remember my soul. Throughout the six weeks, I realized some very life-altering lessons about myself. I'M RESPONSIBLE FOR MY OWN SOUL HOUSE. I get to say who is invited in and who I will only meet down the street at the local coffee house. I threw the party and now I'm cleaning up the mess.

When Soul Restoration was over, my spic and span soul house, looked and smelled clean and fresh. It still had all of it's charm and character. It was just easier to identify that charm and that character. The cleaning supplies and tools I have learned to use effectively through this workshop have enabled me to bring coffee up to the moon where my husband stays sometimes and has also enabled me to accept a cup of coffee from him when I invite him in.

Soul Restoration I begins again in April. Go to


Friday, March 25, 2011

Rethinking this Picture Post each day.

Happy March 25th morning. Wow! That's all I have to say about that. I'm not sure one person should be having as much fun as I do each day. Seriously...there is NOTHING like a full day ahead of no obligations...NOTHING.

Well, lookie dere. I had SO MUCH FUN redecorating the living room yesterday. It was as though I had my house back. The Realtor came over to take measurements of the rooms for the new brochure and we talked about staging a little. We have been down the staging road before and I wanted to try my own hand at it. I have 3 days of Spring Break left and so I'm taking those days to stage things myself and see what happens. If the realtor doesn't like what I've done, then we can move to plan B, but I swear I love what I did in the living room. And this photo is just one corner. The rest of the room is awesome as well - at least in my eyes.


Thursday, March 24, 2011

New stuff/Old journals

I'm trying a new thing. Now don't get all excited. I'm pretty sure it won't last but two days, but here goes. This is a photo of me taken this morning. Remember when I said that I was taking a morning photo of me each morning for the year 2011? Well, I have been keeping up on the taking part, just not the downloading/showing part. So just in case you wanted to see me each and every I am.

John found a box of old journals that I have been browsing through. I came across something I wrote on June 20, 2007 - two things actually. Here they are: 1) Life Interrupted Equals Death and 2) Be still for a moment; Ask a question; Be still for the answer.

I think my California is coming out.


Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Eye Exam

It's spring break this week and so I'm taking the opportunity to get all sorts of medical stuff taken care of - annual checkup with general physician, eye exam, mammogram, dentist, stuff like that. I went to my eye exam at Lens Crafters yesterday and had a thorough eye exam. The recommendation as a result of that eye exam was that I should get some progressive lenses in three separate areas...reading, computing and distance. I selected a very inexpensive frame and a clearance sunglass frame, thinking about how often I'm wearing my sunglasses while driving and can't see stuff that I need to look closely at, like mapquest directions or phone numbers or grades on papers that my children insist on showing me as I'm driving. I asked the sales clerk to work up some total numbers on the two frames plus the exam (on which I got a 25% discount through my insurance) making sure to include the 50% off lens sale, which apparently can't be used with the general 30%-off-the-entire-package-deal, but after an hour of calculations turned out to be less of a discount than the 50% off deal...

Anyhow, the clerk came up with a grand total, with discount, of $638. What???? Perhaps only one of the frames - forget the sunglasses....$320-ish. In my discussion with the eye doctor, I asked him if I could just get away with magnifiers and he said that I could, but there was a slight difference in the amount of magnification I would need for each eye (2.75 for one eye and 3.00 for another - give or take). I asked him if by not using the progessive lenses, was I harming my eyes in any way? He said that I wouldn't be harming them. My eye issues are a part of aging and they will degenerate no matter what. Things would just be clearer (and when I say "clearer" I mean very slightly clearer) with the progressive lenses.

Okay, so I then did something I have never done based on the fact that I realized something that I had never comprehended before....Lens Crafters' job is to SELL glasses. Duh! That's how they make their money. I don't HAVE to buy their glasses. I needed the exam to check for eye health issues, but I didn't have to buy their glasses. So I said, "Thank you very much. I will need to think about this." and left the store with my prescription in hand, but no glasses!

I was so so so thrilled. I knew that there was one person that would be as thrilled as I was that I figured this SELL vs NEED thing out. His name was John...Big J, little o. h. n. I immediately called him after I got to my car to share this good news. He would be SO proud. I was giddy. I selected contacts on my phone...pressed J for John and selected connect. The phone rang a few times and finally was answered..."You have reached the cell phone of Jane." (read Big J, little a n e). "I am not available to answer your call right now....blah, blah, blah."

In my excitement over telling John my good news, I couldn't see well enough to get the right number. I dialed Jane instead of John.

I laughed very hard at myself.


Sunday, March 20, 2011

Blank Canvases

How many of you, when faced with a blank canvas, get completely paralyzed? I do. That's what happened to my yesterday. I had an entire special day that was all about me. I could have done anything I wanted. I could have spent the entire day in my craft studio just creating to my heart's content...I could have redecorated a room...I could have gone to an antique/thrift store...I could have hopped on an airplane and soared off to the Figi Islands (well...okay, I couldn't really have done that...but I could have written about it). The point is, I'm not so good when it comes to blank canvases. It's like I need to pick the very best option because my window of opportunity seems so small. If I pick one thing that I love to do, then the opportunity to do the other thing that I love will be gone. Does this happen to you?

Today, I am faced with a similar dilemma. I am going to an all-day crafting workshop-y thing from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm. I need to pack my supplies to take with me, but I am absolutely paralyzed as to what I want to do once I get there. Do I want to work on photos? Do I want to work on canvases? Do I want to work on my journal? Do I want to just live dangerously and go there with nothing and start from scratch? I. Just. Don't. Know.

I know there is a life/spiritual lesson in here for me and darn it all, I WILL figure it out. What is it when facing a "blank canvas" that keeps me from moving forward? I crave a bit of direction - even something quote, a photo, a color, a goal...SOMETHING! In my attempt to be all free and elderly, I have no direction. I can't very well pack up my entire basement full of crafting supplies ( luggage) just in case I'm going to need it, can I? It would be impossible to move...too many restrictions. I need only bring the supplies (luggage) I will likely use on my journey. I need only bring the things that bring me joy and cause me to use my energy in the most productive way.

Walking into life situations and experiences only require the life luggage that bring joy and cause me to use my energy in the most productive way. I walk into a tense conversation...all I need are my open-mindedness and my positive thinking. I run into someone in need...all I need is my smile and my ears. I walk into a craft workshop...all I need are my paintbrushes and my patterned paper and my adhesive and my rub-ons and my paint and my substrate and my heat gun and my bubble wrap and my vintage magazines and my stamps and my ink in a variety of colors and my scissors and my....creative heart.

I can totally see myself spending the entire 6 hours just sitting at a table watching others create while I twiddle my thumbs thinking up the perfect project on which to work. Right about 4:00pm it'll come to me. I'll be inspired beyond belief and it'll be time to go home. At least I'll get some freebies out of the workshop.

Wish me luck.


Saturday, March 19, 2011

Uncategorized Moments in Time

As many of you know, today is my birthday. Today I am going to share a story with you that may have you refusing to ever visit this blog again and I hesitate to share it'll see...

The reason I have decided to share it is that it caused me to laugh so much that I thought it wouldn't be fair to keep this story inside. I needed to get it out to the world to hopefully cause others to laugh as well...

So...I'm getting to that age where sometimes I don't have as much control as I would like over some bodily functions. ( may want to stop reading here.) I was directing some 8th grade students in a scene from our annual play. Katie Rose was with me because she is my sidekick...thank goodness for her. She was next to me manning the sound system.

I'm not sure what it was that I ate that afternoon, but when the gas was expelled (quietly, of course), the stench was almost unbearable. One hopes that it will only linger around ones own body and not venture too far, or one hopes that it will dissipate before reaching other humans. Katie Rose (being used to this odor as it is a familiar to her), quietly reached over to me and whispered in my ear, "Mom, did you fart?" I smiled and nodded and we shared a family chuckle.

I prayed it was the end, after all the other students were pretty far away on the stage from where I was standing. The scene began and Tommy entered stage left and started to laugh for no reason. I was fervently praying that it was because he had just gotten the giggles. He had to start over a couple of times, but finally the scene was underway and I heaved a bit of a sigh of relief (no pun intended). The princess in the scene suddenly broke character and said, as she waved her script back and forth, transforming it into a fan, "Tommy, did you fart?" The other girls immediately did their "ewww, gross" noises and backed away from Tommy. He was so cute in trying to defend himself.

Katie Rose and I started giggling as we looked into each others eyes, wondering what we should do. More Tommy-bashing on the stage and more laughter beginning to rise out of the bellies of all who were there. I could tell Katie Rose was at a complete loss. She couldn't stand by and watch Tommy take the blame for something he didn't do, yet she so fervently wanted to protect her mother from embarassment.

I couldn't take it anymore. I couldn't just stand by and watch Tommy be "eww-ed" and "gross-ed" on account of me anymore. I fessed up. "You guys! It was me!", I said. The shock on their faces caused us all to laugh even harder. One of the students (a delightful young woman) commented, "It's okay. It happens to everyone." She was trying to defend her elder to her classmates. It was, needless to say, an awkward moment. We all laughed until we cried.

I'm not sure what lesson we learned from this. I think it was just one of those moments in life that you just can't's just out there, floating around in eternity.

We were able to eventually move on through the scene and I made darn sure that my legs were squeezed together so tightly that even if air wanted to escape, it would have a very difficult time.

Thank you for listening to my story and....Happy Birthday to me. Getting older is quite an experience.


Saturday, March 12, 2011


Bernadette is the name that Katie Rose has chosen for her confirmation name. Gracey and Mickey were out for the night, so on this night before her confirmation, Katie Rose, John and I found ourselves home alone. We decided to watch The Song of Bernadette together as a sort of confirmation family "gathering" of sorts - okay, John and Katie Rose had already planned this time together, but I budged my way in.

It's a b&w movie. I remember John making me watch it early on in our relationship just because he thought it was so good. I really liked it at that time, but had a hard time hearing the words.

Last night, watching a remixed version, where the sound was hearable, the three of us sat in John's dark office and watched Jennifer Jones portray this young Bernadette.

My sweathshirt that I was wearing is so covered from snot and tears because I was crying so hard and John's was the same way. We were both just sniffing and crying and wiping our noses throughout the movie. We are both anxious to see Katie's reaction and look at her. She just shrugs. Nothin'...not even a little mist in her eyes. What? How can you watch that and not be balling? I mean....the Holy Card that she didn't get preparing for her first communion because she was "stupid". And then, the Dean giving her the same Holy Card when she goes off into the convent. And then, her sending the Holy Card back to the Dean of Lourdes when she is close to death as a message that she needs to see him before she dies. Mama was so good.

And this dear, sweet child of mine has nothin'...nothin' coming out of her eyeballs.

Well...that's just...really...interesting.

Friday, March 11, 2011

The Approach

Good Day to you, Marissa, Julie and the rest of you who have been getting a wee bit upset about my lack of blogging lately.

I'm approaching my fiftieth year here on earth. It's just a number, I know, but it's an even number...a big even number. I totally thrive on fresh starts, new beginnings, rearranging of furniture, new journals...that kind of stuff. As I approach my fiftieth year here on earth, I know that it is a year that will happen only once in my life. I know that it is a year that I want to remember. It is a year that I want to live fully no matter what it brings. It is a year in which I want to set goals for the rest of my life.

When I was younger, I had a whole list of things that I knew I would do "later". Now that it IS "later", I realize that there are things that I will not do in my lifetime. I also realize that some of the things that I WILL do on that list will not be done in the young physical body I was in when I thought up the list in the first place. These are exciting things to contemplate. It grounds me and lights a fire under my butt at the same time. It's time for action, but before the action, it's time to figure out what I REALLY dream about and spend my energy on accomplishing those kinds of things.

I still have a few days before I enter that fiftieth year on earth, but here are a few things that I've realized and want to explore more:
I LOVE road-tripping with my children.
Retreats with my sisters and at cousin camp are times that swell my heart with joy.
"Connecting" with my husband lightens any load I am carrying (and no, I don't mean what you think I mean...I mean those moments when you just "get" each other because you know each other so well)
Discovering truth through diligent studying or contemplation or observing brings an electric sort of jolt to the system that is unmatched. I like it.
Playing with art supplies while listening to MY favorite music is an incredible way to live life to the fullest.

This is just a beginning. I have more contemplation to do in the next 8 days. Stay tuned. Maybe it won't be so long before my next post.

A little fact: My brother, Johnny and I am the same age for 6 days each year. That 6-day period starts on Sunday. Happy birthday, little brother, wherever you are.