Thursday, April 26, 2012


I am one of the luckiest women in the world to have found Mr. B! He has always been so supportive of me, always provided for our family, always loved us even though we sometimes gave him some grief.

Very few people can find the right person in their lifetime and know it right from the moment they meet. When I met B, I knew he was right. There was just that certain "something" between us when we met and it has continued on for over 38 years of marriage.

I love you B-Bo! You are the best husband, dad, grandfather, friend a person could ever ask for. I wish you nothing but the best in the year to come and always.

Monday, April 23, 2012


This is a photo of my nephew's windshield from last week. He was driving up to Nevada City and was on his way to pick up a pizza I think, when a buzzard flew into his truck and "whack"...that was the end of the windshield and the bird! I guess it probably made quite the noise too.

Isn't it crazy what can happen when you least expect it? What size are bird brains anyway? Seems to me, not large enough if they would swoop down to get a "snack" and not look before crossing the street.

Sunday, April 22, 2012


I'm so lucky to have my mother still living. She will be 82 in August and still is going strong. She walks 3 miles every day, mows her own lawn (with a riding mower), weed-eats manually, squats down and hand-weeds, and still is in great health. Growing up I never considered losing her and what it would mean to me. I just always figured she would be here for me. But she is the last remaining mother of all those who I was close to growing up.

This year, having lost so many people in my life, both friends and family, it has brought some things to mind that I don't want to forget: that life is so very, very short and that we should not hold grudges over things said (or not said) to us or about us. Also, that we should cherish each moment because it could be our last time to ever tell that person that we love them and needed them in our life.

Having just lost my Uncle on March 30 and still in the throes of memorials and cleaning his place, it makes me so happy that I did not hold a grudge against him for all the years in my formative years that he did not keep in touch with me. Instead, I picked up the phone and started a dialog with him...communication...and we talked almost every week on the phone. He spent some holidays with me sitting by bonfires, we celebrated Father's Day with him because he was my last remaining relative on my Father's side and the closest thing to a father that I had left, he visited me in my new home and was impressed and understood why I wanted to move.

Life is funny, isn't it? We think we have all the time in the world to connect with people and to tell them what they mean to us and in the blink of an eye, it can be over. I am lucky that I listened to my instincts and visited my Uncle twice in one day while he was at the hospital. That next morning, early, he made his transition.

And how lucky my granddaughters are to have their "GG" (great grandma) living so close to them. They only have to walk up a small hill to go visit her and we try to do that at least once a week or so. She loves her family dearly and has done so much for all of us and continues to do so. She sometimes tells me that she was not a very good mother, but can't we all say that? How many times have we each done or said something that we might be sorry for if that person were to leave this earth? Isn't it time to put hatred and anger to rest? Isn't it time to rejoice and be happy?

On this Sunday, this Earth Day, I send love to all I know and care for, virtual or not. I know that being kind to the earth and the environment starts with me and the way that I feel about people. I know that for me, having a sense of responsibility starts with the way that I treat others, myself, and the world around me. Things can change with just one person. I hope that I can make a difference by changing the way that I act and feel. And, I hope that if you are reading this, that you will accept and acknowledge what you mean to me. All of you are important to me. All life is important. And, remembering those who have gone before me, I cherish those moments that I spent gleaning knowledge, information, love, and respect.

Thursday, April 19, 2012


Sometimes the simplest things can make the best play things...and art.

Isn't it great how Natalie can take something as simple as a balloon...

paint on it, name it "Boy",

and have a whole lot of fun? There is so much to learn from children, isn't there! No need for fancy, expensive stuff in our lives. Just a couple of colored pens, a balloon, and IMAGINATION!!
IMAGINATION is the key to happiness, success in life, fulfillment, and a whole host of other attributes. IMAGINATION and memory have been shown to be affected by one another. 
Let "Balloon Boy" take you someplace you might not have imagined today.

Monday, April 16, 2012


Friday night I had the opportunity to be alone all evening while Bill was at a meeting and while relaxing, I flipped through the channels on the television and landed on our local Public Broadcasting Station, KVIE channel 6. It seems like I forget about watching local channels most of the time because of the many channels available to me via satellite. And sometimes, with all those choices, you still cannot find anything to watch! Agreed?

But Friday night I found a series about art in which it focused on three artists for the hour. All were fascinating but the one that appealed to me the most was El Anatsui. His works are made using recycled items, some of which are bottles caps. And all the works have a deeper meaning to him, referencing the problems associated with alcohol and drinking and what it does to the people of his country. You can check him out further here if you'd like. 

I love the fact that much of his work resembles or references quilts or cloth, even though it is made with metal. Each item is "sewed" with wire and he has a group of people that work for him. I think this is more common-place than I thought. I know that artists sometimes have a stable of people that they employ to do the work that they conceive. I suppose if you get well-known enough and your works are large and labor-intensive you would probably have to resort to this way of creating. This concept is so foreign to me, however. Whenever I create anything, I need to do it myself and frankly, do not want any help. (There's that control issue coming out again!). 

Watching this show gave me great satisfaction though. It also inspired me to do something with all the bottle caps that I have been collecting. I think that I will have to resort to the help of other people to help me collect more bottle caps though if I am to create anything as large (or even half the size) of what El Anatsui makes. It brings to mind the bottle cap art that Kimmie of Art in Red Wagons does though. Sometimes we don't have to make large pieces of art to make the same statement. It does look impressive though!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012


I suppose the word "fan" originally came from the word "fanatic". But since the meaning of the word "fanatic" is so extreme: (a holder of extreme or irrational enthusiasms or beliefs, especially in religion or politics) I am glad that my husband just considers himself to be a "fan" of the San Francisco Giants.

Baseball season is about to begin. Spring training for the Giants has already begun in Arizona. And when the weather is nice here, we fly this flag, showing all who drive by that we support our local (albeit Bay Area) team.

There are some who would take the word "fan" and go all the way with "fanatic". I'm sure that you have heard on the news of people beating people up because they were not rooting for the "right" team. Sad, I think, to take anything so seriously as to wound or injure someone else. And also sad that they are not willing to see the other person's point of view either. This is true of so many things in life: politics, religion, even friendships. Isn't there a better way to live life rather than burying your head in the sand and not being willing to discuss the differences? For lack of a different word "debate" comes to mind. Some people are not willing to debate the issues.

When I was attending college and getting my bachelor's degree, we had to debate issues in our team against another. And I wasn't always given the view of something that I was passionate about when it came to the debate. Yet, for better or for worse, we were given the chance to make our point and take the view of either the protagonist or the antagonist. In the end, the class and the teacher got to vote as to which team made the best case for their scenario. It was actually kind of fun, especially if I was on the antagonist side. It gave me great insight into another point of view rather than being just nearsighted and not willing to see what someone else might be thinking.

College is a great place to learn things. But if you believe that you already have all the answers and are not willing to really put a magnifying glass on what you are being taught, you miss the point. I am glad that I attended college much later in life. By the time I got there I already had some life experience and so many of the things I learned already on my own only helped me to be a better learner. And, it wasn't all a blur because of the parties the night before.

The key to this whole piece I think are the two words "extreme" and "irrational". In Buddhism there is "the middle way". I believe in this philosophy and try to enforce it in all areas of my life. Granted, I still fail in some categories when it comes to certain things. But, moderation (or the middle way) seems to be what stands out for me most. Too much of anything is a bad thing, don't you think? We have to temper everything in our lives and allow other points of view to sift in.  Slowly, they meet in the middle.

Thursday, April 5, 2012


For the past couple of weeks, there has been an uncommon amount of workers on the main street of our little town here in the Foothills. Apparently, there is money set aside in a fund someplace to take all of these power poles and lines and place them underground. I'm not sure exactly how I feel about it personally. 

The traffic is a mess. Lots of men with signs and flags stopping traffic all during the day. They seem to have that pretty well managed though and there is not much of a delay but there is a bit of inconvenience.
Pacific Gas and Electric Company is doing the majority of the work with some of the tasks being subbed out to other companies. They have to bury electrical boxes underground, trench the road and lay the pipes and electricity in those trenches and then eventually remove all the overhead power poles and transmission lines.

They are doing this the entire length of our town. I have heard some controversy regarding the funding of this project at a time when jobs are hard to come by and the state of California is experiencing budget cuts. Teachers cannot attain full-time contracts to teach our children. But yet there seems to be money set aside to beautify our entire town. I'm not necessarily against this project. I think putting the electrical lines underground has always been the best choice and have always questioned why it wasn't done initially. I guess it is job security for some. But there are others who have lost jobs and are standing in line for unemployment and losing their homes to foreclosures. How does this make you feel? I would be interested in hearing other people's perspectives on the subject.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012



Today, Mae picked out her own clothes and decided it was going to be her Halloween bee costume. This is what she arrived in this morning when her Dad brought her over for the day.

It makes me laugh, it makes me happy, it makes you forget all that I am facing right now. And that is a good thing. Maybe I am the luckiest Grandmother in the world to have a bee for a granddaughter. Maybe I am just the luckiest Grandmother period. I count my blessings each and every day!!

Monday, April 2, 2012


You know how sometimes you get an email from someone that has a million forwards and comments and you wish that you could be removed from their list instantly? Well, last week I was the recipient of an email that was just that. And it was all because of this stamp that you can purchase at the USPS website. I have never seen it at my post office and frankly, I couldn't figure out what the problem was with most of the people commenting, except that this stamp has Arabic writing on it. That difference seemed to be enough to incite a lot of anger and hatred toward other people. It comes down to the "them and us" mentality once again.

Difference to some means threat. Despite the fact that living in the United States gives everyone freedoms that you can't have if you lived in most countries, people still want you to conform and be like them. And if you are different, speak a different language, or have a different religion than they do, you are something to fear.

It never fails that when things seem to bother me I can go to the place of worship that celebrates my beliefs and hear a message that is so apropos. And yesterday was just that. Last week when I was trying to relay my feelings about this stamp to the person that sent it to me, suddenly the phrase "what would Jesus do" came to mind. I don't profess to be a Christian per se but I do have a spiritual belief. And the message in my place of worship yesterday was just that.

One message was something that Gandhi said. It is: "I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ." (This backs up my question "what would Jesus do").

The other message was a list of things that Jesus would have been willing to die for and it is as follows:

1.  Seek reconciliation instead of revenge when you are wronged.
2.  Look for creative, transforming nonviolent alternatives instead of repaying violence with violence.
3.  Focus on internal transformation in love instead of external conformity to moral codes.
4.  Welcome everyone, including outsiders and outcasts, into a new community that celebrates love, justice and respect for matter what.
5.  Trust God as your source instead of anxiously chasing after money, security, pleasure and social standing.
6.  Make sure you care at least as much about the well being of others as you do for yourself, especially those you consider to be the least among you.
7.  Love and forgive your enemies and critics.

Yesterday I found my question answered for me in the form of a sermon or a talk. I think that the fact that some of my questions are being answered almost simultaneously after asking them is something that I need to pay attention to.

Have any of you been watching Oprah's new show on her new OWN network? Yesterday I watched one that we had taped about a town in Fairfield, Ohio  Iowa. The town and most of its residents practice transcendental meditation. They stop what they are doing twice a day and go to a place of worship and meditate. The schools practice this with the youngest ones doing a "walking meditation" because they cannot be still...youngsters are not known for that attribute! What I saw was a town filled with people who are practicing what they believe in. They are "walking their talk" and in return they are calm, centered, at peace and also praying for the peace of the planet. Group consciousness is important but it begins with one person and moves forward.

I look at the email with this "controversial" stamp as the catalyst for me to ask questions. It helped me be grateful for the fact that I feel that I am evolving in a direction that I can be proud of. I feel that it opened my eyes and allowed me to formulate my own answers and hopefully spread some of the love and forgiveness that is needed if we are to ever move forward in love and light. I hope that I am walking the talk. It is my intention.