Saturday, June 28, 2008

It's more than skin-deep

day 2
day 4
day 6
day 8
Remember when you were a kid and whenever you fell off your bike, you'd run home and cry into your mom's warm hugs and then she would kiss it and make it feel better instantly?

There's nothing more healing than a mother's healing kisses.

I wish I was that kid again.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Anyone missing a pen?

If you can't find your pen.... it likely wandered over to my house. I have never seen so many mounds of pens in one place in my life! It looks as though I've opened shop to a Pen Store.

For the past several weeks I have been gutting it out.

Sifting through all my belongings in my studio with as much joy as dental work.

I have filled up four large recycling bins over the past four weeks. I just stuff them until I can't stuff them no more. Then I wheel them out to the curb for the City to pick them up and carry it away. Then I start this intimidating task again.

I am so tired of living a disorganized life.

I am done with never knowing where anything is. It doesn't nourish my soul or my life in anyway.

I opened up a box and inside it consisted of:
• a LOBO Greatest Hits cd
• three old bank statements
• a jack-in-the-box kids meal toy of Jack himself carrying a briefcase and wearing a tie.
• several postcards from friends on vacation
• a tangle of vcr cords
• a portable cd player
• a Golden Gate bride toll receipt from 1998
• a PEOPLE magazine with The Brady Bunch on the cover
• a talking pedometer still in the box
• an old 1992 Delta airline ticket from San Francisco to Denver with a layover in Salt Lake City.
• a backstage pass at Folk Singer Dar Williams concert while in Northampton, MA over New Years 1999
• unused yellow post-it notes
• a 1970s Defranco Family Slurpy Cup
• the negatives from a photo roll from 1994
• a William Holden autograph
• a book called "Don't Worry Be Crabby!" by John Wagner
• an old address book (that still has my grandparents numbers on there as well as numerous aunts and uncles and cousins who no longer live in this world...)
• etc etc etc

That was just one box. I had so many boxes, they were just jammed inside my closet. Each box closely looking like the next one.

An incredibly old man looked inside my eyes sometime around 2002-2003 in an old junk store off of interstate 35 between San Marcos and New Braunfels, Texas and said: Know when to hold 'em. And know when to fold 'em.

I think he was talking to me about Happy Meal toys, but tonight I hear him clearly telling me this on a deeper level.

Ever since my wake-up call at the hospital early last month, I have decided to take back my life. To stop and smell the roses so-to-speak. And I have become aware that once I made that decision, I have attracted that into my life.

I need more time in my life to water the lawn. Pull the weeds around the rose bush. Fix the automatic sprinklers. I also need to get rid of clutter and have more organization in my life.

I am learning that less is more. And that when my house is free of clutter my heart and head feels most calm.

I am getting there. And yes, I'm still keeping a lot of the sentimental letters and other things that stir my heart because it connects the dots from my past to my future and that has made me who I am today.

It's a lot of work and feels like it's taking me a lifetime to go through things and then I remember it is because I am going through a lifetime.

And a lovely one at that.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

NYC: First Class all the way

I am back from the Big Apple.

I really love it there! I felt so familiar with it this time around. I loved that I knew how to get around that big wonderful City. That I got it. That I understood the scope of the land. It felt empowering.

Tonight I feel the let-down of returning from a fun trip only to have lawns to water and floors to sweep and laundry to clean and a hungry belly to shop for. I am happy to have my memories to explore and relive again. But still. . .

Remember when you were a kid and you had summer vacations off?

I think that must be ingrained in all us forever.

If I were Queen of America, I would make that a law: To have summer vacations off. --Unless you love to ski and snowboard and make angels in the snow, of course.

And then you could take the winter months off and work during the summer while we sit poolside or walk along hot steamy streets of New York City or picking up sea shells off the North Carolina coast or watch the muscle men along Venice Beach or swim with the turtles off the coast of Maui....

But since I'm not Queen of America.. I will take my days off when I can and make the most of them when I have them to enjoy.

Like this past weekend.

People watching in Soho was a kick.

This was a colorful couple. I so wanted to know their story.

I got to fly first class on United Airlines and the service really was first class all the way. From the menu to the movies to the customer service. I was so happy we had such a long flight. I transformed my seat into a bed. I transformed it back again into a small restaurant. And then into a theater for one. Everyone was so kind. So interesting to talk to. It was a holiday all on its own.

Please click on a portion of the menu to see it larger.

I might be flying back to NYC with my mom over the Forth of July weekend to attend my cousin's daughter's wedding. It's still so up in the air. We really need to hurry and make our decision. If we do decide to fly out there, we'll be flying by the seat of our pants.

Just wish we could really fly by the seat of our pants.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

The Big Apple

I haven't the fainest idea why they call New York City the Big Apple... but I'm going to be spending my weekend there.

I'm going to a surprise 50th birthday party here.

Kass doesn't know it yet. She lives in Dallas. Her husband is the mastermind behind all this. I think there's something like a dozen or more of her friends flying in this weekend.

I'm flying standby on United Airlines at 6 am out of San Francisco. I am taking the Sonoma County airporter at 3 am. Which means I'm going to have to wake up in 2-1/2 hours so I should start thinking of going to bed.

I have a feeling I will return sleepy, too. But filled with a fun adventure! I'll see you when I return!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Thanks a lot!

I just want to thank all of you for your educational emails over the past year.

Thanks to you, I no longer open a public bathroom door without using a paper towel.

I can't use the remote in a hotel room because I don't know what the last person was doing while flipping through the adult movie channels.

I can't sit down on the hotel bedspread because I can only imagine what has happened on it since it was last washed.

I can't enjoy lemon slices in my tea or on my seafood anymore because lemon peels have been found to contain all kinds of nasty germs including feces.

I have trouble shaking hands with someone who has been driving because the number one pass-time while driving alone is picking your nose (although cell phone usage may be taking the number one spot)

Eating a Little Debbie sends me on a guilt trip because I can only imagine how many gallons of trans fats I have consumed over the years.

I can't touch any one's purse for fear she has placed it on the floor of a public bathroom.

I must send my special thanks to whoever sent me the one about poop in the glue on envelopes because I now have to use a wet sponge with every envelope that needs sealing.

Also, now I have to scrub the top of every can I open for the same reason.

I no longer have any savings because I gave it to a sick girl (Penny Brown) who is about to die in the hospital for the 1,387,258th time.

I no longer have any money at all, but that will change once I receive the $15,000 that Bill Gates/Microsoft and AOL are sending me for participating in their special e-mail program.

I no longer worry about my soul because I have 363,214 angels looking out for me, and St. Theresa's novena has granted my every wish.

I no longer eat KFC because their chickens are actually horrible mutant freaks with no eyes or feathers.

I no longer use cancer-causing deodorants even though I smell like a water buffalo on a hot day.

Thanks to you, I have learned that my prayers only get answered if I forward an email to seven of my friends and make a wish within five minutes.

Because of your concern I no longer drink Coca Cola because it can remove toilet stains.

I no longer can buy gasoline without taking someone along to watch the car so a serial killer won't crawl in my back seat when I'm pumping gas..

I no longer drink Pepsi or Dr Pepper since the people who make these products are atheists who refuse to put 'Under God' on their cans.

I no longer use Saran wrap in the microwave because it causes cancer.

And thanks for letting me know I can't boil a cup of water in the microwave anymore because it will blow up in my face... disfiguring me for life.

I no longer check the coin return on pay phones because I could be pricked with a needle infected with AIDS.

I no longer go to shopping malls because someone will drug me with a perfume sample and rob me.

I no longer receive packages from UPS or FedEx since they are actually Al Qaeda in disguise.

I no longer shop at Target since they are French and don't support our American troops or the Salvation Army.

I no longer answer the phone because someone will ask me to dial a number for which I will get a phone bill with calls to Jamaica, Uganda. Singapore and Uzbekistan.

I no longer buy expensive cookies from Neiman Marcus since I now have their recipe.

Thanks to you, I can't use anyone's toilet but mine because a big brown African spider is lurking under the seat to cause me instant death when it bites my butt.

And thanks to your great advice, I can't ever pick up $5.00 dropped in the parking lot because it probably was placed there by a sex molester waiting underneath my car to grab my leg.

I can no longer drive my car because I can't buy gas from certain gas companies!

Oh, by the way..... a German scientist from Argentina , after a lengthy study, has discovered that people with insufficient brain activity read blogs with their hand on the mouse. Don't bother taking it off now. It's too late.

AUTHOR UNKNOWN (i received this as a humorous email forward from my sister) and wanted to pass it along!

Sunday, June 8, 2008

My new kitchen

It all began with wanting to open up my pocket door. My kitchen felt tucked in a back corner of the house and I wanted it to be more open.

So I called Randy and he dropped by and he took it all down in under an hour!!!

But. Once I did that, where the wall was taken down, it exposed the subflooring where the wall was! So I knew I needed to replace the kitchen floor --- which I wanted to do ever since I pulled up my carpet and finished the hardwood floors.

The kitchen was the same kitchen from when it was built in 1956. The doors were no longer closing properly. The shelves inside the cabinets weren't very high and I had to lay the syrup bottle and cereal boxes on their sides so they could fit. (You know what I'm talking about if you're living in a mid-century home and have the original kitchen cabinets).

I was on a tight budget and didn't go overboard with any high-end remodel, but I did buy new cabinets, counter tops, flooring, crown molding, light fixtures, subway tile for the backsplash, an over the range microwave, dishwasher, garbage disposal, sink, faucet, new plug outlets, and updated wiring in the kitchen. Basically it went from being gutted to all things new.

And it feels good.

I helped lay down the new floor. It was hot that day and very tiresome. But so rewarding to be able to say "i did that!" I also put the backsplash tile in myself and grouted it. I put the light fixtures in, too (with a help of a good friend) and before too long, I will select glass for my two cabinets on both sides of my sink.

I'm glad I didn't realize what how much work would be involved. Whenever I watch one of those inspiring HGTV shows, the transformations are so exciting and they are changed immediately after only a few moments after a commercial!

However ... in real life, it takes days and weeks and the changes each day are so miniscule, it is hard for me to experience that "wow!" factor I longed for. But this is what I'm excited about. I now get to enjoy the kitchen instead of waiting to sell the house and either redo it before I sell... or give the new buyer credit to update the kitchen. I learned a lot in doing this and the next time I will do some things differently so I'm grateful for the lesson as well.


Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Are you Left Brain or Right Brain?

Spinning lady
Do you see the dancer turning closewise or counter-clockwise?

According to an article in the Australian Herald Sun, they report that if you see the dancer spinning clockwise then you use more of the right side of the brain. But most people see her dancing counter-clockwise because more people use mostly their left side of the brain.

I function with my right brain. Which side do you mostly use? Look at the spinning dancer and see which direction she is spinning.


uses feeling
"big picture" oriented
imagination rules
symbols and images
present and future
philosophy & religion
can "get it" (i.e. meaning)
spatial perception
knows object function
fantasy based
presents possibilities
risk taking

uses logic
detail oriented
facts rule
words and language
present and past
math and science
can comprehend
order/pattern perception
knows object name
reality based
forms strategies