Saturday, December 28, 2013


It's December 27th. There are not too many days left of the old year and a new year begins with a fresh start. I love the thought of the "fresh start"...that feeling that comes over me the day after Christmas and I want to clean the house of all the Christmas decorations and push the sofa out away from the wall, scrubbing beneath what has to have been a month's worth of dust that has accumulated underneath.

I was just sitting in my recliner thinking about how reticent I have been to write anything on my blog for such a long time. I seem to fall into that category of "too busy" most days but then when I think about "too busy with what" it makes me wonder: what is important to me and why do I set things aside that I am really interested in?

Last year my Uncle Cy passed away and left me a small amount of money. I had always said that if he did, I would purchase a building for myself that I could call my studio and I would have a private place to create art and just "be". Well, the studio has been set up at the far end of the backyard but much to my dismay I haven't found the time to get out there as often as I would like. I guess I have writer's block but in a more generalized way. It feels more like a time block.

Lately, I have found time to read a new Stephen King novel, attend some art classes at a local facility, and I even had some time to do some pre-holiday baking. I didn't feel rushed either. But I didn't find the time to sit here at my computer and write a post to my blog. And I really don't know why.  Is it truly writer's block or is there something more profound to the reason why I don't take the time to write?

The older I get the more selfish I seem to be with my time. I look at my mother who is twenty years older than me and I think how close she has come to the end of her life this past year. She has been in the hospital four times in 2013 and each time took her a little farther down. It takes longer to come back when you are in your eighties. "Bouncing back" doesn't seem to be an option. "Holding your own" is even quite difficult. Perhaps settling for just being here and alive is enough. She doesn't seem to want to learn anything new. She balks at the idea of traveling any longer (too afraid to get on a plane she says). "What have you got to lose?" I think to myself.

Life is a stange gift. When you are young you think that you will live forever and then before you know it, you look back and twenty, thirty, forty years have passed. Before you know it your options have dwindled down to less. Before you know it you don't have the time that you thought you did and you had better get doing all those things you set aside when you were young and had plenty of time.

Time...what a strange word or concept that is. Can I equate time with life? If I have "enough time" does that give me "more life"? Time seems to be a word that was made up to help people understand their limits. There are twenty-four hours in a day so we divide it all up into seconds, minutes and hours so that we can fit enough of what we need to accomplish into those divisions. But life? How do I justify spending my life, my gift? How do I reconcile what I want to do each day, each hour, each second of what I have every day that I wake up and I'm given another "day" (and night)?

I'm thinking that each day that I wake up has to be a fresh new day...a fresh start. I need to wake up with enthusiasm and zeal and ask myself "what do I want to accomplish this day" It doesn't have to be a huge accomplishment. Reading a book all day could be enough. Or relaxing on the front porch with a cup of coffee in my hand, listening to the birds. Or perhaps I would like to learn a new word or create a piece of art. Or do absolutely nothing but realize while doing "nothing" that I am actually doing "something". Something so simple, so special as making a choice. That's really what it all comes down to for me. Choice.

Choice shouldn't be something that is dictated by someone else...only me. After all: it is MY choice, isn't it? How I choose to live each day, how I choose to spend my time, how I choose to live my life...they are all personal. And all personal choices. Each one is a gift. Each one is a FRESH NEW START.

I choose life.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013


 What in the heck is a Puppet Rodeo? Should I Google it and see if it really exists? Hmmmm...
 I just might!
This vehicle sits down in Newcastle, California behind a chain-link fence how but suprisingly enough, when I did Google it, I got a few hits for the exact same vehicle. It seems that I am not the only one who has been curious about it.
These are a couple of images that I found when I Googled "Levi's Puppet Rodeo". It seems that it was a real hit in 1939 at the Treasure Island Fair in San Francisco.
And there is proof !
The license plate says: California World's Fair 39

What an incredible amount of history sits right down the road from me, not more than 15 minutes away. And all this time I just thought it was a unique-looking vehicle, stopped to take a few photos of it one afternoon, and it lead me to do this research on it. I'm sure there is more to find out. 
Has anyone ever seen anything like this before? So unusual and unique, at least it seems unique. But maybe there were more than one of them. Or not!

Saturday, August 31, 2013


I'm not sure what I actually see in this photo. When I look out my living room window, I see this grouping of trees but there, in the distance, is this oak tree that has formed this weird, circular area in the very middle of it. It seems odd to me...not just that there is something missing in the center but that for some reason, the entire center has formed this perfect circle...a portal of sorts. But to where exactly? And why? And do I actually see it...this "empty" space or are my eyes fooling me? After all...I realize that we each can look at the exact same thing and see something totally different. Everything is up to personal interpretation.

And then there is the recent problem with my eyesight that plagues me. I have had diabetes for awhile now and even though I take very good care of myself and exercise and eat properly, there is always that nagging thought in the back of my mind "that some day I might lose my eyesight". I have seen it happen to other people that I know who are diabetics and it is not an easy thing to have happen to you, especially when you consider yourself an artist and need your eyes for so many things. We all need our eyes but it seems like a cruel joke for an artist to lose eyesight. Or a gardener who loves to pull weeds!!

I first noticed that there was something wrong with my eye a few months ago but I passed it off as just some blurry vision or dry eyes. I even thought that maybe I just needed a new prescription in my glasses. Maybe that was all it was. But then one day while driving up the freeway, I noticed that if I shut my left eye and just used my right eye exclusively, the entire fast lane of the freeway disappeared, including the cars that were there if I opened up my left eye. Back and forth, open and close, until I was sure that there was some "blank spot" in my vision. A scary thought, to be sure. I thought I might be experiencing macular degeneration or something more serious. So, I made an appointment with a specialist and he diagnosed me with a condition called Common Serous Retinopathy, which is basically a water bubble in my retina and it is brought on by stress produced from the hormone know...that nasty hormone that makes your mid-section larger.

So, I have been slowly trying to eliminate stress in my life but it seems like it just keeps following me around. I can't seem to leave it in the background unfortunately. My Mom has been in the hospital two times in the last couple of months and she continues to lose weight and require more care than she did previously. What is that term...the Sandwich Generation? That's exactly where I seem to be at the present time...caught the middle. get back to my "portal". I imagine, when I look at this, that it is a place that I can go or that something else can come through. And that it was sent here just for me to use. I have never seen anything like this before anywhere that I have been. I used to lay in my claw-foot bathtub in my previous home and stare out at the trees and I always saw a myriad of things in those trees. There were faces looking back at me. I saw complete heads and American Indian headdresses. Men with long hair and beards. I even started taking my sketch pad in the bathtub with me so that when the faces "appeared" as I gazed out the window, that I could just pick up my pencil and jot down what I saw. And always they appeared in exactly the same place every time. Sometimes when the seasons would change the faces would take on a different appearance because the leaves would fall off. But I could always make out some sort of picture from what was in my vision of the trees outside my window.

I wonder if other people have this happen to them when they gaze outside their windows? When I was in high school I used to lay outside on the lawn or on the deck and see faces or animals in the clouds. Lots of people have done this, I'm sure. I also used to concentrate on breaking up the clouds that would appear in the sky. I would focus on a single cloud as it was travelling in the sky and I would squint my eyes and think to myself "dissolve" and invariably the cloud would totally disappear. Now, maybe it was going to dissipate anyway but it felt exciting to think that I just might have the power to blast a cloud into thin air. You know what they say don't you? THE POSSIBILITIESARE ENDLESS!

And so...each day when I sit in my recliner in the living room and I'm facing the window with the view of the trees, I imagine the possibilities of the places I could travel if I stepped into the portal and transported to another realm. On the other side I could be anyone I wanted to be. I could be any place that I wanted to be. I could time travel to another galaxy if I wanted. Most days I am happy to just dream about where I would like to be. But some days I close my eyes (I don't think I fall asleep!) and I am another life altogether, in a different body, carefree!

Today is your day.
You're off to Great Places!
You're off and away!

You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself,
Any direction you choose.

You're on your own.
And you know what you know.
And YOU are the guy
Who'll decide where to go."

                 Dr. Seuss

"Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple".     Dr. Seuss

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Pockets of Tranquility

"You owe it to everyone you love (including yourself) to find pockets of tranquility in your busy world." 

Georges Bernanos

What is it about a garden that brings such joy, such peace, such tranquility to a person? Is it just the fact that something is alive, vibrant and healthy or is it something altogether different than that? I have been in all sorts of gardens to know that it isn't always the fact that the garden is teeming with color that makes it magical, at least for me. In fact, Autumn is typically my favorite time of the year yet things are going dormant and turning colors; basically dying. But just being in a garden space or out in nature brings such a peaceful feeling to me that it is hard to beat.

Just today while doing the daily watering of my garden I was thinking to myself (as I do on a daily basis in my garden) just exactly what my garden represents to me. There amongst all the plants that I have purchased at different garden centers were the plants that I brought with me two years ago from my first house. Those plants had special meaning to me and it was imperative to me when we moved that they make the move also. For me, there wasn't even a question as to "if" I was going to transplant them or not. They were like my children and there was no way that I was going to leave them behind.

The lilac bush that my grandmother gave to me which always bloomed on my birthday in April came. The Virgina Creeper, samples of almost every iris that I had, the maple trees that were starting to really take hold yet graced me with the ability to dig them up and bring them over here also came along. And they are still thriving. When our favorite poodle Misty died unexpectedly on Easter Sunday before we moved, we planted a Weeping Cherry tree to help us remember how much we missed her and all the tears we weeped after she passed. This year I planted a Weeping Cherry tree on our new property and even though it is not the original tree, it reminds me to remember Misty. It is a place-holder.

Today, as I watered the plants in the early morning, I glanced at the trees that my friend Bob gave to me years ago. I said hello to the Virginia Creeper passed down to me from my grandmother. She used to have it as a living wall between her house and her neighbor's. Now I do the same. It is gently creeping up a fence on the perimeter of our yard and one day in the near future it, too, will form a living wall blocking out views of the neighbor's yard. And I remembered how beautiful it looks when Autumn arrives and the reds and oranges that the leaves turn before dropping their leaves and going dormant for yet another Winter. 

As I made the rounds of my garden today, bending every once in awhile to pluck a weed out of the garden or to dead-head a plant here and there, a smell drifted past me. It was a very familiar fragrance. I turned and there it was: the rose that I brought home with me from my grandmother's home when she passed away. I have babied that rose for years and years and still it's fragrance and appearance remind me of her. Planted alongside the rose is a walnut tree that will have to be transplanted this Winter. It, too, came from my grandmother and is the baby of the original walnut tree that must be 30 feet tall by now at my old home. One day, there will be a giant walnut tree on this property and it, too, will remind me of its origins.

Plants are what connect us I have decided. They connect us to each other, they remind us of  the person that first introduced us to the plant, they bring us closer to those we love when we can smell and see them growing. Some of my succulents have been passed down to me from my Aunt. Some plants I have received from my cousin because the deer eat them in his unfenced yard. Always, they weave a direct connection in my mind back to the source of where they came and for me, that always leads me to a place of tranquility, to a place of love, to a place of remembering. 

The connections run deep for me in my garden. And it is my hope that when I am gone that the plants that I have passed along to my friends and family, will help them remember me. When they water, they can quietly say "hello Teri...I'm glad that you are here with me in thought". Thanks for the memories, garden! 

"The best remedy for those who are afraid, lonely or unhappy is to go outside, somewhere where they can be quiet, alone with the heavens, nature and God. Because only then does one feel that all is as it should be and that God wishes to see people happy, amidst the simple beauty of nature."    Anne Frank

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Second Trip to Schaffer's Mill

What I could see from my car without being too obvious.

From my car window, I could see that the windows were being installed.

Glare from my car window but you can see the roof line and some of the windows.

This is the front of the house with the big glass windows that face the street.

A view of the golf course which is behind the house.

This is the Donner Monument in the town of Truckee. 

A view of Donner Lake from the Old Highway, The mountains behind are in the east.

This is a shot of the bridge on the Old Highway. I hear that it is a pretty famous bridge even though I have never seen it and I have never travelled on the Old Highway before.

Some of the granite that you see everywhere in this area. It is quite impressive!

More of the same granite formations farther up the road.

In this shot you can see the covered train tunnels that protect the train and tracks in the winter when the mountains are covered in snow.

Some wildflowers I saw by the side of the road.

Another shot looking east where you can see the size of the lake. Schaffer's Mill would be at the far end of the lake in the valley before you go over the mountains in the distance.

Another shot of the granite cliffs where you can see how small the automobiles appear at the bottom of the picture.

A wonderful shot of the bridge with Donner Lake in the background. This is some beautiful country and to think that it is only about an hour away from my home! How lucky I am to live in such a beautiful place. Truly spectacular!

                                                        Albert Einstein

Tuesday, July 9, 2013


 On June 21st I had the opportunity to attend a retreat in the Lake Tahoe area for the weekend. I had just seen a post regarding the new HGTV home that was being built for 2014 and saw that it was being built in the Tahoe/Truckee area known as Schaffer's Mill. So, being the curious person that I am I thought that I would make a side-trip out of it and see if I could find and photograph the home. I think that I found it based on the drawings that they posted of the floor plan. If I photographed the wrong house, well then...I guess I goofed but I really think this is the one based on what I saw.

 There is a distinct "bridge" in the floor plan and also in this structure so I'm assuming it is "the one". I love this area of California. It is located over the mountain from Donner Lake on one side and on the other side Lake Tahoe is situated. There are many really high-end golf courses really close by this location as well as the towns of Truckee and Reno. Great for flying in and out and also close by is a small airport for small aircraft.

 I loved the street sign I saw when I was leaving. Heartwood: what could be better?
These are a few of the homes that are located in the community. The community sits right on a golf course and it looks like most of the homes have this "woodsy" craftsman-style type of architecture. Very natural looking and the area is very, very quiet. Next time I go there I am going to go to the sales office and ask to see a model. This is really an area that would appeal to everyone. Level roads for bike riding, a golf course right in your backyard, snow in the winter with lots of skiing opportunities at places like Northstar and Squaw Valley (known for the Olympics), and so much more.

I am a firm believer in the premise that there are unlimited possibilities in this world of ours. If you can imagine it, it can happen. We create our own destinies. I am the co-creator of my world and so are you. I lay aside any belief in limitation and realize the truth of abundant life and health. I imagine myself living in this wonderful home, surrounded by close family and friends, sharing many long hours and days with those that I love.

This area in California has a very spiritual feeling to me. I have loved the smells in the air in the Autumn, the smells of the pine in the warm summer sun, the crisp air fresh with a new blanket of snow in the Winter and the glorious wildflowers in the Spring. In my estimation, there is nothing better.

"What I see in Nature is a magnificent structure that we can comprehend only very imperfectly, and that must fill a thinking person with a feeling of humility. This is a genuinely religious feeling that has nothing to do with mysticism."   Albert Einstein

Friday, March 8, 2013


Most of us who like to write our blogs, I assume, have wild imaginations and like to think of all sorts of possibilities and things that we could (and do) post on our blogs. At least that's the way that I am and that's the way that my mind works. There is always something churning in the background and usually, if I don't remember to take my camera along, that is the one time that there is something so incredible that I wish I had remembered it. So now I've just beome accustomed to more often than not, carrying my camera along when I leave home. I don't like to be caught without it. Just in case!

On a typical day, if the weather is clear and not raining, you can find me out for a walk with my granddaughter in the stroller. This is part sanity, part physical exercise, and part just because I need to see something other than the inside of my house. There is so much life outside these four walls. I don't always remember to take my camera with me though. Last week I found something on my walk but I didn't need the camera with me to document it. I just bent over and picked it up.
It was this:
It was a card that someone had sent (or given I suppose) to someone else. It was a Valentine's Day card all about love. It had been rained upon, tossed by the wind and blown into the gutter, and was in very bad shape. And it was upside down so I didn't really know what it was when it caught my eye. I just saw some writing on it and became curious about what the wrtiting said. It could have just been a grocery list. Or a receipt for all I knew. But, when I picked it up and investigated it, I noticed that it was signed and there was something personal that had been written on the inside. This is the inside:

You can just make out what the card says and in fact, I cannot really read who signed it because it is so degraded. It could be from a man to a woman or vice versa. But all the same, it meant something to someone at sometime. And that is where the possibilities begin.

This card got me to thinking about the giver and the recipient. And why the card ended up in the gutter as if it didn't really mean anything. Or did it? Did the card blow out the window of a car and get lost? Did the recipient reject the card and throw it out of the window? Perhaps the giver of the card wrote all these things and then decided that it was in vain and tossed it out the window him(her)self? Imagine the stories that this card could tell if only it could talk. Maybe the person who received it accidentally lost it and is devastated that the card is no longer in his/her possession.  The possiblities are endless and that is where this card took me.

I have had it sitting on my desk for about a week now. It kept calling to me, bekoning me to write about it but the time just has not permitted. Sickness has struck my family this last week or so and frankly, I just have not had the time to sit down and devote the effort to it. I'm sure that some of you have the same thing happen to you occasionally. The intentions are good but time does not allow. We have to do what is important to us at the moment. And frankly, we have all been a bit sad around here after losing a dear friend after forty years. It is not easy to imagine not ever seeing him again but we also have wonderful memories to keep him alive in our hearts. His daughter just got engaged last week too. I'm sure he would have been thrilled with the news. He was very particular though, as to who was good enough for his daughter.

And so, life seems to be on its steady pace despite the loves and the losses. The finder of the card  has imagined many different scenarios about the card and picking it up has added something to the fabric of my life now. I can imagine the possibilities. I hope that it was a happy ending but I also realize that not every story has a happy ending. Sometimes there is hope and sometimes there is not. That is life. That is love. Those are the possibilities.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

The month of the heart

Today, my heart is breaking as I just learned that our good friend Bob Paley passed away tonight. I can't tell you what losing a friend of over forty years means. There are no words except that this is the month of the heart and my heart is broken. Yet in some ways, my heart is full for knowing this man.

We first met Bob in the early seventies. He had just moved up to northern California from southern California and arrived in style. He was a big fish in a small pond. He had the most beautiful woman with him at the time too. Martha became the mother of his two wonderful children, Sunny and Silver who have turned out to be the most incredible young people anyone would ever want to meet. And I'm sure it is no accident that they are the way they are. It was because of the influence, in part, of Bob on their lives.

Bob was an incredible gardener. He had a way with flowers that I have never seen before. I could not see him for a week, return a week later, and the garden would have exploded. Vegetables and flowers alike. He had a way of taking care of plants that I have never seen in my entire life. They responded to him. They loved him. And the feeling was mutual.

Bob also loved animals. I don't think I ever saw him without a dog. And sometimes not just one but multiple dogs. If he had to give them away after they were weaned he took great care to select just the right person to raise that animal. He knew if it was a good fit. He had some sort of sixth-sense about animals. I guess it translated from animals to plants as well.

He owned many restaurants and man...was he a good cook. The restaurants were decorated from the rafters with dried flowers of every variety. If you would look up, you would think you were in his backyard by the plethora of color that adorned the rafters. He was known for his gift of gab too. I suppose that's why his restaurants were so popular with the town. He started out with an ice cream parlor and branched out from there. Desserts of many kinds were served in that parlor! I remember Connie Nelson making some killer cheese cakes there. Good follows good, doesn't it!!

Bob was also a fellow Taurus. We used to talk about being so connected to the earth, he and I. I spent many afternoons visiting with Bob. After he and his daughter Sunny built a new home in Georgetown, I used to go over once a week and help Bob and Sunny out by cleaning house for them. Sunny used to joke and say that she got me to come out of retirement to help her out. I was a blessing in disguise really. I always got more from Bob than I bargained for. One time I complimented him on a beautiful triangular-shaped jar and when I left that afternoon, it was sitting by my purse for me to take home. He was so generous. And his praises went unsung by him.

There was someone in our community who lost their home to a fire and the next week Bob had delivered a trailer for them to live in and if I'm not mistaken, also gave them some money to get by on. He was just like that. Another friend lost her husband and was down on her luck and didn't have transportation. He gave her his car. Most people didn't know how generous Bob was to so many in town. He never boasted about it. That wasn't like him. He was just a kind, wonderful person that saw a need and filled it.

I will miss Bob dearly. Since we moved to the adjoining county we missed seeing him as often as we used to but he was never far from our thoughts. Bill had just seen him a week and a half ago. They talked about their broken femurs and probably commiserated about their aches and pains...the sad signs of getting older. But Bob was young at heart and taken from this earth a bit too soon in my estimation. I'll always remember him for what he me, to the community, to his children, to the life. He was never afraid to take a gamble on something that he felt was the right thing to do. And most of the time it paid off. I think he landed on his feet more times than not. We all take some bumps in life. Bob learned to roll with his.

Wherever he has transitioned to, I know in my heart that there will be a beautiful garden there waiting for him to tend it. There will also be animals to love and tend to. How could there not be? Someone so special will have a special place to call home. He is loved and missed but he is still here in my our hearts. Not only this month of the heart, but forever.

Monday, February 4, 2013







Sunday, January 20, 2013


I'm seeing a trend appearing in my life lately. This is a bracelet I received as a gift from a really wonderful friend.

And this is a brochure I received in the mail for classes being offered at the Adult School in my area. Do things like this ever happen to you? Do you see trends with words or phrases appearing over and over around you? I'm sure these are not accidents as I believe there are no accidents in life and that everything happens for a reason.

I love that word "endless" end...infinity. It really gives you hope doesn't it? Imagine (that's another great word. You can add "ation" to it and it becomes a totally different word but it also has no end. Whatever you can think of, can happen. Put the two words together and they are a powerhouse of ideas that can happen just by believing in yourself and being willing to take a chance and move in a different direction, a different way, a different "possibility". These two words hold such great power.

"It's a possibility" should be the mantra for our world I think. Anything you believe, can happen.

I heard Martin Short talk the other night regarding the shootings that killed so many innocent young children and gun control (which is a really touchy subject for so many people right now because it frightens them and  threatens to take away their power). He said that years ago we would be flying in a airplane and everyone would be smoking or sitting in a building or a crowded space and the same thing would be happening. Then, people could not imagine not having smoking being a part of our lives in such a big way. Cigarettes were advertised in magazines, on television commercials...they were part of the fabric of our lives. But, it took one small step and people  being willing to have an open conversation (and mind) to be to change. No...we weren't trying to take their rights away to be able to smoke...we just wanted there to be a few changes in the way that cigarettes could be smoked. More safety for everyone. This gun-control issue might be the exact same thing.

Let's not take guns away from people, let's just moderate when and how they are used. Let's take baby steps now to get to a place in the future that is safer for all. It's just takes an idea (THE POSSIBILITY) and an open mind or two to IMAGINE what a life without (or moderated) could be. THE POSSIBILITIES ARE ENDLESS in so many aspects of our lives.

I know that I am trying to learn to think in a different see the other person's perspective more often. I can see so many possibilities and I am so happy that each time I wear my new bracelet that I am reminded of that. I can look down at my arm and see the words. I can reach over with my other hand and feel the words engraved in the metal. I'm sure that I won't get there in one day nor will I exhaust every "possibility" that I could even imagine (there are just two many different ideas out there) but...I can pause to reflect and think about my options. I can move in a different direction. I can stay the same. I can modify or change, adjust, release.

This phrase could not be a better choice for me. I know that it took lots of thought and foresight for my friend to select just the perfect words for me. And she was right in doing so. She, too, has been given a gift in doing so. Whether she knows it or not, she has been one of the truly wonderful gifts that I have been given in my life. She helps me see "what is". She helps me discern "what might be". She helps me realize that I'm not crazy or weird. She helps me understand myself more completely. And best of all: she allows me to talk and ramble on about these things. Does she know what an incredible gift that in itself is? The ability to listen and not judge but softly say something that takes you in a different direction is truly a gift.

Things happen for a reason. Pay attention to them and learn the lesson. This is what I am finding in my life right now. And as another friend recently wrote to me: the obstacle is the path!

Sunday, January 13, 2013


A few years ago, a blogger friend (Melanie Uma Jolicoeur) sent this Ganesha to me. At the time, I really didn't know all that much about what Ganesha represented and so I did a bit of research and found out that he is "The Remover of Obstacles". And here he sits, in this photo, in front of my old Underwood typewriter, helping me to remove the obstacles that hold me back when it comes to writing or publishing my blog. I know that "life gets in the way" sometimes but seriously, how often do I find myself sitting someplace in the house doing nothing really. Couldn't I be sitting in front of my computer writing something? Journaling something? Isn't this what we hear all the time that is important to our progress?

I have recently been pondering questions that I suppose many people do (although I heard my friend's husband comment the other day that I was being very "cerebral" that day with my thoughts). This is not unusual for me. I ruminate over things that most people probably never even give a second thought to. I ponder, I worry, I plan...all part of my "process" I suppose. And when I look back over my life, I have always been this way. I remember walking home from high school and talking about the most esoteric things with my friend Victoria. Thankfully, she seemed to indulge me and my thoughts. But, here I am in my sixties and still doing exactly just that. It seems to be a consistent theme in my life. Perhaps it is what makes me tick, so to speak. I seem to need to do this. And because certain themes seem to reappear (and I happen to notice them no matter how subtle they are), it makes it all that much more imperative to me to try and figure out "the whys".

Recently, a theme has been reappearing in my life and seems important for me to try and sort through it somehow. I seem to find myself (maybe because of my age and the latter half of the down-hill part of life) wanting to understand how I am to deal with I am to resolve it best. That theme is: Quitting. And not in a negative sense of the word either.

When I look back at the jobs that I have held in my lifetime, I can honestly say that the longest job I ever held was probably only six years. I don't know what it is about most jobs but they get so boring and uninteresting to me and it is all I can do to hang on by my fingernails. My first job out of high school was a mundane secretarial-type job but it was so repetitive and boring that I soon got myself into trouble because I would get side-tracked "visiting" with other co-workers too much. I was admonished but not fired and then I decided to transfer to a different department. I figured that perhaps a different boss, a different position, a different location might help me regain some perspective. But, despite the fact that my new boss was incredible and gave me great letters of praise, I soon found myself falling into the same boredom that had plagued me in my previous position. I quit that job and "dropped out" basically...moving to the Mt. Shasta area of Northern California and living in a school bus for a period of a year. This was an incredible time in my life. No structure, no bills, no one telling me what to do each day, no alarm clock prodding me to wake up. The day was mine to do with what I wanted. And I loved that part except I was still constantly grappling with "what was I here for". "What is my purpose"?

I have worked so many other jobs in my life, as varied as gardening, cleaning houses, working in a hardware store, working in a clothing store, working for the county trapping bugs, driving fork lift in a warehouse, working as a grader at college, and working in the art department doing various jobs as menial as cleaning up the clay room to as sophisticated as taking slide photos for professors to show in class. I have also worked for the State of California in the capacity of art curator's helper. I learned to catalog items that belonged to the Park Systems Dairy Museum. It was great. But each and every job always left me dissatisfied; longing for something "else".

In Sunday service today the topic was "The Role of Spiritual Intelligence". There is a book being studied presently by Cindy Wigglesworth titled "The 21 Skills of Spiritual Intelligence and SQ in Action". The premise of the book is a "special focus on tools to assist you in moving forward in SQ and in shifting from ego self to Higher Self. The theme begins to unfold.

I picked up a magazine at the market the other day called "Spirituality and Health". (The Soul/Body Connection). The theme continues.

Inside, an article on page 24 "The Joy of Quitting". Do you sense a theme here? This article was written by Cash Peters who had a 20-year career on radio and TV working for BBC, CNN, and NPR. He even had his own show on the Travel Channel. He posits this: "When is it time to just give up? If you're on the wrong path, the sooner the better". And oddly enough he says that to him "quitting is an act of integrity and self-respect. Quitting sets boundaries." I was thrilled when I read this article. It vindicated me and my constant struggle with not being happy with what I was doing.

He also says this: (and I know that this touches on a subject that some people are not comfortable with and that is a Higher Power but...) "Your calling is the voice of divine intelligence. It's grace calling you to service, and it works like an inner GPS, giving you whispered but firm instructions: go this way, stop, go back. This guidance will never lead you astray. Each time you give in to fear or do something to serve your ego---when you stick at a boring job just because it pays the bills, or stay in a relationship that you know is not working out---you veer off the right path. Your inner GPS will guide you back."

Finally, I have "permission" to feel good (or at least try to understand) what it is that I have been struggling with all along. Here I am, turning 63 in April, and I am just now feeling "right" about what my inner GPS has been telling me all along. Cash Peters says on page 25 "Dare to trust the bigger plan. Open your heart wider. Allow grace to flow through you and out into service. You were not put here to be cowed  by circumstances. Choose the path of harmony and integrity and walk forward with your head held high."

Melanie Uma Jolicoeur, author of the blog "Secret Notebooks, Wild Pages" posted something on her Facebook page today that blew me away. It, also, was the exact theme of what I have been seeing going on in my life recently. It was an article by Derek Sivers who explained "Why I gave away my company to charity." You can read his explanation in full at but my point is that he says this: "Having too much money can be harmful. It throws off perspective. It makes people do stupid things like buy "extra" cars or houses they don't use---or upgrade to first class for "only" $10,000 so they can be a little more comfortable for a few hours." Read his article. I think he makes a lot of sense. Too often we get caught up in doing a job "for the money" even if it is something that really doesn't resonate with us deeply. Cindy Wigglesworth agrees with this premise when one of her key points in understanding your SQ is "Awareness of values hierarchy"---How do you choose your priorities in your life? Family? Work? A combination of both? Which comes first if you really had to choose?

Cash Peters asks this question in the end of his article: "...In every aspect of your life, the signal from your inner GPS is always there, always beaming out, always trying to lift you up toward your higher path. Your soul's path. How much longer will you ignore it?"

I'm asking myself these tough questions right now. have been a big help removing some of the obstacles. I'm preparing the way, taking steps, setting a date. And I'm not too proud, as Cash Peters suggests, in admitting that I took a wrong turn. We all do!!

Friday, January 4, 2013


This little girl sits; smile on face.
Looks can be deceiving.
Inside she is lonely. 
She is frightened of the darkness.
She dances on tippy toes
to please, 
bites fingernails nervously.
She holds her hands over her ears
to block out the yelling, 
vomits on eggs.
masturbates in the darkness of her room.
She questions the sharpness of razors,
wonders if it will hurt.
Gets spanked for finding out.
Takes warm baths, 
gets constipated,
has an enema...
Her ears hear everything (mostly)
and she discerns and sorts,
ponders and wonders, 
learns to adjust.
But does she really?
She still is lonely, 
bites fingernails,
takes warm baths,
gets constipated (no enema).
Writes now,
paints now,
screams occasionally,
discerns and sorts, ponders and wonders.
Adjust Sting

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