Tuesday, August 23, 2011


I think that there is a human inside there somewhere!

Rudy can sleep anywhere, any time. Just look at how he has managed to take a nap with B in this contorted position! Rudy is our adopted guy. We got him on Christmas Eve, hence the name Rudy (besides my grandfather's nick-name was Rudy also so it seemed apropos.)

Rudy is one of those dogs that just fit right in the moment we saw him. We drove all the way to San Mateo to adopt him. We found him on-line. He originally was in a "kill shelter" until he was picked up by "Dogs Needs Homes Too" and Laura. She cleans them up, gives them shots, and brings them from southern California to northern California for adoption functions. It still amazes me that out of all the white fluffy dogs that were sitting in cages barking and crying LOUDLY that we managed to pick Rudy. We just knew he was "the one" the moment we looked at him. We did walk one other little fluffy white one but somehow he just wasn't "it". And I'm not sure how you know it with just a "test run" around the store. But we did.

Now, he is a permanent fixture in our home and our lives. He, along with our other dog Bodhi, go everywhere we go. And I really mean everywhere. We hardly ever leave them at home alone because we love having them with us. They enhance our lives. When we get our shoes on to go for a walk, the dogs start squeaking and jumping in the air because they know we are going for a walk. When the clock says that it's time for their dinner, they start pacing the floor waiting for their treats. Is it just Pavlov's dog or do they really know? I think they really know. And, do you know that when dogs come on TV, either in a show or on a commercial, that they run up to the TV and start crying because they want to play? Incredible, smart dogs.

Dogs really enhance your life. They offer so much in return for so little. Just give them love, attention, exercise and food and they are your's forever. I'm glad about that. And they offer countless opportunities for photo ops! There really is a person inside. I'm convinced of that.

Saturday, August 20, 2011


OK...I started out trying to find something today. That lead me to opening box after box, looking inside every room, every closet, even the garage. I was able to find a few things that I wasn't looking for however.

I found Halloween decorations in the garage and labeled them so that when October rolls around I will be able to just head to the garage and look for the box clearly marked "Halloween". There! That was easy. It only took me hours and hours. And what was I searching for in the first place? Oh yeah...a couple of rocks. Special rocks however. Some crystals, both quartz and amethyst. A malachite too. But, after all the looking I still have not put my fingers on them. They are being really elusive. For some reason, I am not meant to find them right now. They will appear when the time is right though. I know this to be true of other things that "go missing".

But, the search did uncover this photo. That is my sister on the left, me on the right, and we're sandwiching my two boy cousins in the middle. I still remember when that was taken. We were sitting in my Aunt's living room. We were there for a visit. The date was March 20, 1958. I was 8 years old. (Well, not exactly...I would turn 8 in April).

Check out those hair-dos! Do you think our bangs could have been any shorter? And my cousin's hair: flat top! Remember flat tops? And Brylcreem to spike it up?

"Brylcreem..a little dab'll do ya. Brylcreem... you'll look so debonair. Brylcreem...the gals will all pursue ya...they'll love to get their fingers in your hair".

Boy...talk about a flash-back. Am I the only one that remembers jingles from TV commercials? They were so catchy in the 50's.

Anyway...it brings back memories that I have of my cousins. My father had just died a few months before this (the end of 1957). Kids are so resilient, aren't they! We look like we were fine. Were we? I'm not sure. Today, when I look back to that time, I think if it was to happen to a child in this day and age, the child would be seeing a therapist. Not so for us. We just put one foot in front of the other and acted like everything was the same. And in many ways, it still was.

We still had family to spend time with. We still had each other. And we had childhood. Thank god for childhood. Things happen so quickly, you barely have time to notice. You're at school. You're at home playing outside. You're thinking about boys (oh those childhood crushes...they were so real, weren't they!)

I sent a copy of this to my cousin tonight. He is 59 now. Has two boys of his own now. I think he is a long way away from becoming a grandfather. His father is no longer living either. But, fortunately for him, he had him most of his life. I didn't know at the time that I really missed my father. It was not until I became a mother that I realized how much a father really means to a child.

Thank god I had some cousins to share my childhood with. I learned to ride a "two-wheeler" at this cousin's house. I played up in the attic with the train set at this cousin's house. We had Thanksgiving dinner here, we played 33's on the record player, we made memories. Thank god I don't have those bangs though! Or those giant teeth!

Friday, August 19, 2011


"A child's world is fresh and new and beautiful, full of wonder and excitement. It is our misfortune that for most of us that clear-eyed vision, that true instinct for what is beautiful and awe-inspiring, is dimmed and even lost before we reach adulthood. If I had influence with the good fairy who is supposed to preside over the christening of all children I should ask that her gift to each child in the world be a sense of wonder so indestructible that it would last throughout life, as an unfailing antidote against the boredom and disenchantment's of later years, the sterile preoccupation with things that are artificial from the sources of our strength."

----Rachel Carson, The Sense of Wonder

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Feeling Good, Nina Simone

I saw this posted on my friend Sunny's Facebook account. I love this song so...thanks Sunny! I'm passing it on. AND I'M FEELING GOOD TOO!

"This was done for a motion graphics class in the SVA MFA Design program. The assignment was to create a music video using just type and typographic elements." (Sunny via Facebook)

Tuesday, August 16, 2011


I find myself gummed up,
sticky with the remnants
of what I thought was

I try to uncross my arms,
criss-crossed with the
litter of you--

Superfluous, empty,
hollow to the core.

I'm wizened, weak,
left trying to cover up
what remains
with white paint.

I used primer, two coats,
still a distant shadow



Francios de La Rochefoucauld

I used to think that I needed peace and quiet (mostly quiet) to be able to find tranquility. I used to live in a place where you never heard traffic whizzing by late at night or saw headlights flashing on the walls and ceiling as they went by. I used to think that peace came from somewhere outside of me and that if I was quiet enough and still enough that I would find it within me. How wrong I was!

Since moving to our new house, I have learned that a person can block outside distractions. I don't think that there are many moments in my day where I don't hear the noise of a car, a dog barking, children laughing, or other outside sounds. Those sounds used to bother me more than they do now. What I have learned recently (and since our move) is that there are just different levels of noise. In our former home we heard nothing but birds, crickets, frogs and an occasional dog barking or car. But they were still sounds, right? How does one categorize sound?

In our new home we have another sound that has since become something that I look forward to: the sound of the train. The train is not in my backyard but more like a few miles away. In our former home we could occasionally hear the distant sound of a train if the wind was blowing in our direction or the evening was extremely still. Here, at our new home, I have the luxury of hearing the sound of the train in the distance. In the evening when I sit out on the porch, it is comforting to hear the train whistle blowing. You can hear the sound of the wheels as they move up or down the tracks. There is a distinct humming that the wheels produce as they roll along the tracks. The sound of the train is comforting to me now. It is a sound in which I have found tranquility.

Did I ever think this would happen? No, absolutely not. Yet, the sound of the train now affords me a vision. When I hear the train whistle in the evening or early morning, it reminds me of the possibilities in life. I think of all the new places that the train can visit. I think of all the new people that the train can visit. These trains have become a metaphor for my new life here in a new house and in a new town. I don't have to follow the same tracks that I always have and expect the same results.

I have left some people behind that chose not to travel on this path with me. I feel like I have moved at a faster pace than them but that is neither right or wrong. We have just chosen to take a different train. I am trying to look at each new day as an adventure and as a chance to make a new and different choice. I used to hear the whistle blowing so very far away. Now, it is closer.

I am finding tranquility in places I never expected to find it and that is both eye-opening and astonishing to me at the same time. I feel blessed to be able to experience new and wonderful things along the way. Life is a journey and I am happy that I am along for the ride. And I'm happy that I have learned to slow down a bit and enjoy that ride.

Saturday, August 13, 2011


Photo is from Julie Pishny's blog "Prairie Thistle"

Blogs are such great inspiration. You can type in anything you want and find it; food, jewelry, photography, art, poetry...you name it.

I found Julie Pishny once by searching ETSY, where she makes jewelry and has an account there. I have even purchased some jewelry from her and will probably continue to do so because I love what she makes.

This month, Julie posted a pickle recipe that I just had to try. So, last week, after picking fresh cucumbers from my garden for the first time (first time this season AND first time this year in the new house) I had the required amount (3 pounds) to make the recipe.

This recipe was so easy! And it was SO good. The hardest part was slicing the cucumbers ever-so-thin because I can't find my mandolin since the move (!) but...if you want a great bread and butter pickle recipe with little effort that keeps well in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks, give this one a try. You won't be sorry that you did. The hardest part will be the 2 hours you have to wait for the "cukes" to sit in an icy-cold brine of canning salt, water and ice cubes. But, while you're waiting for the clock, you can go out and water the garden and maybe pick more cucumbers.

Give this recipe a try. I think that you will be glad that you did. And Julie: thanks for posting it. Now...where's my mandolin???

Tuesday, August 9, 2011



----Claude Monet

Yesterday, I went for a walk around the pond. It's incredible what you can see if you take the time to look around; the dragonflies circling the water and landing on a cattail; a butterfly gently resting on a blade of grass. In addition to the small things that I noticed, I also noticed the ducks and the geese.

The ducks and the geese are a constant pleasure to many young (and old) people who walk in the park. They do make a mess on the sidewalks occasionally when flocking toward people who come with bags of scraps to feed them. I suppose there should be a sign for them which reads: "keep on the grass" but they don't know the difference.

Last week a meeting was held to determine what to "do" about the ducks and the geese. I hear that it was decided in a vote 3-5 to relocate them all except the Canadian Geese (which should theoretically be back in Canada at this time of the year).

I didn't attend the meeting but I wish that I had. I didn't know anything about it until it was over and decided. I would like to know where they plan to relocate them and what exactly was the problem in the first place? Too many? Too messy? Too much time spent cleaning up after them (pond water and sidewalks)? With all the budget cuts that pervade our society now, who or what will be next?

It makes me wonder about people and what they value. And I hope that wherever the ducks and geese find a new home (here's hoping that they really do get relocated and not destroyed!) they will be happy. I will miss the sounds and the sights of what they contributed to the ecosystem of the pond. Will I begin to notice smaller things starting to deteriorate too? I hope not.

P.S.---I just found this article on Channel 13 News.

Saturday, August 6, 2011


On June 5th my friend Arlene had a shower for her daughter Christie. As part of the table setting, she had beautiful bags filled with tiny seeds of Baby's Breath (Gypsophila). Enclosed in the beautiful bag was a small piece of paper on which was printed these words:




The baby arrived on July 18th and this is a photo of the plant that very same day. I thought that it was incredible that the same day as the baby was born and took his first breath, the plant pushed out a few flowers on the end of the stems and took their first breath too.

Here is a photo of the plant in full bloom now. It continues to grow and bloom and every day when I go out to water, I look at this plant and think of that adorable baby. I never fail to think of the baby each and every day. Plants do that, don't they! They remind us of the person who has given them to us. Every plant in my garden has a meaning and a special "source".

Welcome to this world Blake Robert Lamb Chancellor born July 18, 2011


Thursday, August 4, 2011


Today, I sit here at my computer feeling a bit out-of-sorts; a little blurry sometimes. Beth over at "Be Yourself, Everyone Else is Taken" wrote a post a couple of days ago (look at her archives) regarding when it's not all pretty. She expressed how she felt about a family matter and that she could put up images and "pretend" that things are going well for her right now but that wouldn't be the reality of what was really going on with her at the present time. We all have this fear of not posting our real feelings because we feel that no one wants to read "the bad stuff" and that they will go away.

I feel that exact way right now. Things are a little bumpy right now for me. I have been having some health issues related to my diabetes. Hopefully, its just a minor bump in the road and it will straighten itself out with my help but when it comes to your health or your family, you are really drawn in and hunker down for safety. At least I do. I tend to withdraw and focus. I guess it is that ruminating that helps me get over the hurdle and re-group.

Today, I woke up to a cool breeze and the trees swaying a bit outside my window. It was a pleasant surprise but still I feel a bit out of focus; a bit like the photo of the crow above---perched high above, watching from afar. Dreams during the night seemed to point the way to a resolution but sadly, they are only in my dreams. At least the resolution in my dream was in my favor and that is all I really have anyway, right? After all, it is all my perception that colors my behavior and thoughts.

Reading the book "The Shadow Effect" has me thinking in terms of what I can do to let go of things that I cannot change. According to the book (page 44) "the process begins by acknowledging your feelings, however unwanted, and bringing them to the surface." "So, consider any negative reaction as though it were like an allergy or the flu, something that changes your situation for the moment only. An allergy is yours, but it isn't you. The flu brings misery, but that doesn't mean you are doomed to be a miserable person."

There are statements that are offered that work toward detachment. A few that I like are these:

"I can get through this. It won't last forever."

"I've felt this way before. I can deal with it."

"I'm not alone. I can call someone to help me through this bad patch."

In this case (mine specifically), "calling" means writing on our blogs. Beth says it so eloquently in her post today where she expresses her feelings about the blog world and how everyone reaches out to her. "When it's not all pretty" doesn't have to be forever. It won't last forever but it feels like it will when you're smack dab in the middle of it. Remembering that I've felt this way before and that I can deal with it helps me to hold on to the fact that I know what to do about this and if something new comes up, I have avenues of escape; of help. Phone calls, a doctor visit, classes available, book groups to discuss things with, blogging. It all helps. It is all available to me.

If it is true that I am part of the collective unconscious and "see that [I] you are participating in a shared self, you can also see that every impulse of anger, fear, resentment, and aggression leads directly from you to the collective unconscious and back again." Breaking these cycles seems imperative and at the very least important enough to recognize and work on.

Thanks, Beth, for being brave enough to share your feelings. We are all in this together: this world, this blog world, this consciousness, this life. I truly believe that we are all One. I'm wondering if the word entropy can be employed here to help define what we do and how we react. That will be on my research list next.

"Every emotion is valid in some way or another. But when you add the ingredient of self-judgement, any emotion can be damaging. Love has destroyed lives when it was misplaced, warped, or rejected." (page 47)

Tuesday, August 2, 2011