Saturday, December 24, 2005


mani2-anim digital prayer wheel

Prayer Wheels

meaning of the mantra

Love and Compassion is what I wish for the world... If we fill ourselves with and practice those, Peace and Happiness will surely follow.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Winter Solstice

Among other things it is the beginning of the new solar year, the shortest day and the longest night of the year, the day the Sun is the closest to the Earth, the first day of winter in Western calendars... The Winter Solstice has held religious and/or spiritual significance for many humans dating back thousands of years.

In my heart and home it is the opening day of a period of festivities that ends after the official New Year's Day on the calendar. A little cedar and sage smudging, a sprinkling of special dried herbs, a candle for the darkness, lights and holly garlands for the (fake) tree which was first lit tonight... and a hope that the winter will be followed by a good spring.

My best wishes for everyone in that regard.

But Happy Winter Solstice to all (or just Happy Solstice, since the southern part of the planet is heading into summer)- doesn't have quite the same ring as Happy Holidays, does it? Bah humbug on the other controversy- I think it is silly. Whatever you celebrate- call things how you wish, be considerate of other's beliefs. Simple really.

In my larger extended (and scattered across the country coast to coast) family, a great number of different holidays are celebrated this time of year. I've still preparations to finish, remembrances to send (and shopping to do) and a list that grows instead of showing signs of being completed. Oh well, everything that needs to be done will get done as it does. I am certain of it. Let the celebrating begin.

not so itsy bitsy...

And now for a bit of levity:

"Our egos tells us we're the only ones that have any kind of feelings. We're the only ones with a relationship. We're the only ones with family. You know, I think that if you kill a spider, there is a relationship that you're ruining. There's a conversation going on outside with the other spiders. 'Did you hear about Chris?....Killed yeah....Sneaker. And now Stephanie has nine hundred babies to raise all alone. Well, she's got her legs full I'll tell you that right now. Chris was so kind, wouldn't hurt a fly. It's just been tough for them lately. They just lost their web last week. Those humans think they're so smart. Let them try shooting silk out of their butt and see what they can make.'" ~Ellen DeGeneres

I heard birds fussing excitedly in the trees when I was about to leave to see my first client today. It appeared that something large was in the trees going after one of the nests, so I wandered over from my car with camera in hand to see what I could see. I thought perhaps it was a hawk or at the very least one of the crows, but I couldn't see any birds when I got to the stand of trees. Whatever was happening in the upper branches was finished.

But my brief delay wasn't a total loss as far as pictures go. I'm glad this creature is outside and not inside. Their kind creeps me out a bit, even more so after my recent experience with another unknown but undoubtedly, much smaller variety (whose inflicted wound still looks a bit like the Target graphic).

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

more political

Wirearchy linked a post by The Rude Pundit, which is worth reading and so I wandered to the current posts and found this one which sounds rather similar to a few of the things I was thinking listening to Bush..... though these are written oh so much more cleverly: The Rude Pundit : Live Vodka Shot Bloggin' of the President's Press Conference

Yeah, that makes two posts in two days on Tangents about the Bushies and Corner languishes and dies waiting only for the old posts to be moved. I can't resist an occasional scream in the dark, somewhere. Sorry.... Sort of...
I try to channel my outrage into something useful, at the very least emails and faxes to Congress (not that those are always useful except in the overall tally of  for and ag'in's to put a little fear about a re-election into some Congressperson)- but sometimes venting elsewhere is necessary.

Contact Representatives
Contact Senators

Tiny Moments of a Day

"In the name of God, stop a moment, cease your work, look around you."
~Leo Nikolaevich Tolstoy

Lovely skies...
Cheery sunshine flowers...
Trees with personality...

Strange clouds in the sky...
Beautiful sunset...

"Happiness is not a brilliant climax to years of grim struggle and anxiety. It is a long succession of little decisions simply to be happy in the moment."
~J. Donald Walters

Too many things to do, places to be, things that need finishing before the weekend, plus a growing sense of uneasiness that there are too many things for too little free time if I intend to get the amount of sleep I also need. Stopping for the little moments along the way becomes one of my most important coping mechanisms.

What are yours?

I cheated... this is being posted before midnight, so Tuesday will have a post.

Monday, December 19, 2005

"When they came for me, there was no one left to speak out"

Als die Nazis die Kommunisten holten,
habe ich geschwiegen;
ich war ja kein Kommunist.

Als sie die Sozialdemokraten einsperrten,
habe ich geschwiegen;
ich war ja kein Sozialdemokrat.

Als sie die Gewerkschafter holten,
habe ich nicht protestiert;
ich war ja kein Gewerkschafter.

Als sie die Juden holten,
habe ich nicht protestiert;
ich war ja kein Jude.

Als sie mich holten,
gab es keinen mehr, der protestierte.

When they came for the communists,
I remained silent;
I was not a communist.

When they locked up the social democrats,
I remained silent;
I was not a social democrat.

When they came for the trade unionists,
I did not speak out;
I was not a trade unionist.

When they came for the Jews,
I did not speak out;
I was not a Jew.

When they came for me,
there was no one left to speak out.
~Pastor Martin Niemöller (Wikipedia)

Bush vows more eavesdropping

Bush Defends Eavesdropping Program

Bush Calls Blockage of Patriot Act 'Inexcusable'

There are more stories of course. I am sure you can find some of your own, depending on which side of this you are on. I oppose many if not most provisions of the Patriot Act. I oppose spying on U.S. citizens outside the parameters of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978, which in itself is a rather loose protection since the courts almost always go along with whatever the government wants. There is a middle ground. Urge your representatives and Senators to find it.

And for goodness sakes, tell them to stop Christmas tree bills. It is past time for a law that forbids Congress to add endless amendments that have nothing to do with the original legislation.

Do I sound a bit angry? I am. I shouldn't watch CSpan in the morning..

"Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both."
~Benjamin Franklin

the calendar changes date

Calendar changes date
though not yet done with the old day. Stopping
past the midnight hour,
and in a blink the clock moves past
creeps onward to two.
Alarms and sunlight will come
too soon. once again
Awake mind tumbling, stumbling,
tripping over
facts, to-do's, people close and far,
lives lived and living, futures not here
time passed and passing.
Joy, sorrow, tears, laughter.
Demands self imposed, work, appointments, chores, errands,
The week ahead
Running out of time before it begins.
Seeming unendless lists of unscratched off items,
to those overloaded camel and precarious one more straw
proportions and elusive balance.
Silence surrounds me
except within...
and the calendar changes date.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Unconscious Mutterings Week 150

I say ... and you think ... ?
  1. Replenish:: supplies, energy, strength
  2. People:: accept them as they are
  3. Trend:: up or downward direction of statistic
  4. Girlfriends:: important-- need to allot more time to cultivate this essential aspect of life
  5. Spirit:: soaring or at least I wish it was, prefer it that way
  6. Banshee:: devils of destruction
  7. Oasis:: aahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh... trying to create one of light and calm
  8. Thrills:: amusement park rides which I mostly dislike is the first thing that comes to mind; second thought is- cheap
  9. Fountain:: of youth, located somewhere in the mind
  10. Boxes:: of junk, of decorations, of papers, of books, of supplies- all hiding things i can't find when I need and want them; a significant portion of my life is packed away in them, probably just figuratively
Weekly word list at Unconscious Mutterings. "Rules are, there are no rules." There are no right or wrong answers. Don't limit yourself to one word responses; just say everything that pops into your head.

Friday, December 16, 2005


Wandering around comparing Google Earth to Windows Live Local, there is no comparison when looking at remote areas like the place I grew up. There might be more detail and better pictures for large cities, but out in the boonies all one sees is a bland map with WLL.

Here is the Google Earth map:

I can't download a pic from Windows Live Local, but I do have a link to the map generated from similar parameters.

I was completely surprised to find that the Lake Lemon Conservancy District has an entry on Wikipedia with the history, management and external links for the lake. My Dad was one of the key players in forming the Conservancy District, and president of the Conservancy for a few years. He is still very active in the decision making. In the Wikipedia article there is mention of the various wildlife that inhabit the area including Bald Eagles, the kinds of fish (2 dozen varieties according to Wikipedia), and of course all the details like overall size, depth and shoreline.

This is a pic from the LLCD website, used shamelessly without permission. I haven't been home in a while.. it's past time for a visit.

It was a great place to grow up. We spent time on the water, in the water and in the surrounding forests and hills. I knew all the best coves, the best places to fish, the best places for day dreaming and drifting or finding wild herbs and mushrooms. Winters were full of ice skating and a few snow days where no one could get to anywhere. It always took a couple of days for the snowplows to reach us. This time of year the ground was snow covered of course- at least in all my memories.

As a side note, it amazes me as time goes on how much information is available on the internet even compared to just five years ago.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Learning styles inventory

Usually not strongly dominant in any one particular area (I use different strengths for different things), this learning styles inventory result is similar to others I have taken, except for having a category for social and solitary. Most of the ones I have found useful focus on slightly different areas- such as kinesthetic, visual, and auditory. A good instructor uses all to reach the majority of students in a group. One on one, it is useful to use a particular student's dominant areas- which means that it is useful to be able to use different styles to teach or guide.

Style Scores (each area is 20 maximum).
Visual 13
Aural 11
Verbal 13
Physical 10
Logical 10
Social 8
Solitary 18

Try it yourself for free at Learning Styles Online.Further information on the various styles are also available for free.

I have no idea what sent me in search of psychometric tests this night. I started out looking for a quality of life inventory and one thing led to another. My stop at Starbucks around 4 pm, probably helped keep me going today through a 10.5 hour work day with no long breaks or a real lunch.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Crows, days and changes

"Learn one thing from a lion; one from a crane; four a cock; five from a crow; six from a dog; and three from an ass." ~Chanakya

One of my spirit guides has been a crow... Among other things he/she shows up in my dreams to point out something significant and sometimes speaks English or at least it seems that way to me. Often when I have dreamt of this crow, I see crows everywhere the next day when turning over whatever thing has been pointed out in my dream. The logical part of me says it is just that I notice them more.. the other side of me thinks signs.

When I was briskly walking daily first thing in the morning a few years ago, a group of crows would show up every day and perch on different high points and turns of the roughly oval .2 mile route I would walk in the complex driveways. They would stay perched like guardians as I walked and meditated for 1-2 miles, only talking if my focus wavered- as if they knew. That isn't my only encounter with odd behavior from crows seemingly connected to or directed at me in the physical world.

In various mythologies, crows are often thought to be messengers between the physical and spirit world. In my dreams, they frequently signal change... change needed or change coming.

The crow of these two pictures was on campus last week.

This week is full of places to be early every morning (Tuesday could be a 12 hour day with clients) and afternoon- clients with extra needs and hours, medical appointments, an office holiday gathering, routine errands, plus checking on that University paperwork problem and possibly driving to campus somehow on one of the days. I did this all to myself. I need to learn to plan a little better, to be a little less optimistic when setting up weeks with extra appointments.

Past about 7 hours on a good day, I start fading fast and this week I'm dealing with new/old autoimmune symptoms just like 30 years ago, which was a surprise (If something has been more or less in remission for thirty years, it ought to stay that way!!). A clue to lead the doctors with, is probably the best way to view this if I can't just ignore it or make it go away. Perhaps my crow will show up in dreams to tell me. Maybe an animal who could gift me with a little more stamina would be more helpful... or maybe infusions of caffeine at the right moments, will work. ;-)

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Unconscious Mutterings Week 149

I say... and you think...
  1. Stalker:: scary
  2. Outrageous:: prices
  3. Carrying:: on
  4. Spirited:: discussion
  5. Oh!:: my!
  6. Grid:: search
  7. Country:: political boundary
  8. Karen:: Valentine
  9. Candles:: scented
  10. Relationship:: connection
Weekly word list at Unconscious Mutterings

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Night Skies

According to Space, after sunset Sunday night should be interesting for stargazers even without a telescope. Venus should be shining in the South at its "maximum brightness for 2005" and Luna and Mars will be "having a close encounter" in the East. They say that "through a telescope, Venus appears to be a tiny crescent".

If I can just remember for 24 hours, I might get a picture or two.

Tuesday and Wednesday should be the peak of the Geminid meteor shower, but the almost full moon will probably block out most of them. I'm not sure I can get up before dawn when Luna will be "at or below the horizon" (between 5 am and dawn).

Space has some interesting information on a variety of topics like sunspots, auroras, magnetic storms, near Earth asteroids and more.

Friday, December 09, 2005

"change the world and have a hell of a good time"

I am subscribed to several newsletters on a variety of topics including some quotations. Since I don't seem to be able to sleep tonight (naps at 9 pm aren't good ideas), and the mood within is restless (comes from having all the outside things caught up and only the inside things and housework to deal with), I decided to catch up on a little mail before trying again to sleep.

Some pieces from wisdom quotes:

"An Italian poet said, "We live in a flash of light; evening comes and it is night forever." It’s only a flash and we waste it. We waste it with our anxiety, our worries, our concerns, our burdens." ~Anthony de Mello, 20th century Jesuit priest

"The way to really live is to die. The passport to living is to imagine yourself in your grave. Imagine you’re lying in your coffin….Now look at your problems from that viewpoint. Changes everything, doesn’t it?"
~ also Anthony de Mello

"If I have the belief that I can do it, I shall surely acquire the capacity to do it even if I may not have it at the beginning." ~ Gandhi (1869-1948)

"Everything you need you already have. You are complete right now, you are a whole, total person, not an apprentice person on the way to someplace else. Your completeness must be understood by you and experienced in your thoughts as your own personal reality." ~ Wayne Dyer, psychologist, self help author

"I get up every morning determined to both change the world and to have one hell of a good time. Sometimes, this makes planning the day difficult." ~ E. B. White (1899-1985) American writer

Sounds like a good way to start a day; problems aren't really problems when looked at in a different frame of reference, and making a difference is always my goal - one tiny little fragment at a time. Having a good time while doing seems a very important condition. To me there is no point getting up dreading or feeling indifferent to the start of each new day. Been there, done that.. the hole one sinks into can be very dark and deep. I choose the light...

...and now sleep..

Thursday, December 08, 2005

not ready to compromise

"If you limit your choices only to what seems possible or reasonable, you disconnect yourself from what you truly want, and all that is left is compromise." ~Robert Fritz

Today was a longer day than I had hoped, but not too much more than I expected. It began early with one of the first of the day appointments with the optometrist at Kaiser who has a unique sense of humor and apparently makes notes in his files about obscure personal details because he asked and mentioned things that have nothing to do with vision and everything to do with keeping things friendly and light-hearted. My overall vision (not the weird episodes of single eye blurring) has worsened enough that a new prescription and glasses were necessary and it was suggested that I come back in 9-12 months instead of 18 next time. The expense is one I hadn't planned.
Some of the positive things about going in early in the morning:
Parking cost the minimum amount since there are no attendants at the lots until later.
There is minimal waiting time because they haven't had a chance to get behind.

I see the opthamologist again next week and then I only need to squeeze in one more medical visit this month. I am tired of seeing white coats and I have spent a couple of paychecks with this recent stuff and the new glasses (not counting medications). I fear turning into the old woman who tells everyone about every ache and pain and medical pronouncement. ;-)

This was the last day of classes and I got through all the university paperwork needed for reinstatement and also financial aid, though I still need to go back when they process it (hopefully one week), pay them cash and then make sure that everyone turns in grades on special forms.

And perhaps most importantly to looking forward:

I picked up the application for the second master of science in counseling degree, for the MFC option, got the advisor's office location and telephone number to make an appointment. The application deadline is February. I need to decide within the next couple of weeks so that there is time to gather the necessary paperwork and letters of recommendation.

In addition, I was discussing with another aging boomer of the same decade, the goal of a Psy.D (clinical psychology doctorate- sans research). He intends to go for that goal and his boss who is about five years older than I am has just begun that course of study. It was a dream of mine. Perhaps I should quit thinking of myself as being too old and tired to reach that goal, and instead consider that I always intended to keep working at least part time and die "with my boots on" (there was a wonderful past post at Sacred Ordinary with a picture of beautiful boots talking a little about this, but I couldn't find it and it's past time for sleep.)

Dr. "Stormwind", psychologist, sounds like a pretty good way to use the end part of my life, too.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Changing the mood

When we walk to the edge of all the light we have and take the step into the
darkness of the unknown, we must believe that one of two things will happen....
There will be something solid for us to stand on or we will be taught to fly.

~Patrick Overton; Richard Bach

more photos from Thanksgiving...

Today was a good day, despite some residual hangover from having a reaction to a pesticide that had been sprayed in a client's home yesterday.

The work was the same, the same personal health problems that have been simmering along are still here with more medical appointments that must be kept; the University paperwork problem is still unsolved and waiting for me when I arrive on campus on Wednesday, but I felt different today. I suppose that is some sort of mood swing that could be attributed to brain chemistry, or maybe it was the crisp blue sky this afternoon or the bright clear night sky that allowed me to see more than the usual number of stars. Or perhaps it was the email from a friend over the weekend, or playing my own mix of pop/rock/blues music in the car or simply deciding that the old mood is not one I wish to stay within. Whatever the reason, it was a welcome change and it feels as if no matter what happens, the rest of the week will be easier to endure.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Unconscious Mutterings Week 148

I say ... and you think ... ?
  1. Amazing:: sunsets
  2. Delights:: for the senses, for the soul
  3. Inspired:: solutions
  4. Disgusted:: with government
  5. You:: are special
  6. Vagina:: Monologues
  7. Palm:: trees
  8. Sweetheart:: no one's
  9. Guilt:: trip
  10. More to come:: stay tuned
Join in- Weekly word list at Unconscious Mutterings

Friday, December 02, 2005

Friday already????

"Bureaucracy is the art of making the possible impossible" ~Javier Pascual Salcedo

I am in University paperwork hell. A letter arrived last night saying I was "disenrolled" for the fall quarter (one week before final exams) for non payment of a $150.00 balance that shouldn't be there. Since I have a University Grant that covers tuition and fees, and a student loan that disburses an amount each quarter that covers other expenses and books after being run through the cashier's office for outstanding balances, this was a complete puzzle to me. Speaking to several different departments on the telephone, they and I have no idea why they only used a portion of the grant and decided to bill me for the rest.

So next week will be spent filling out forms for reinstatement, getting them to accept a payment from me (before reinstatement) and trying to figure out what went wrong with financial aid who says there is a form that I didn't submit. I am certain I did this in August and October, but they don't have the paperwork and of course, I didn't make any copies. I will submit all those various forms, and cross my fingers since I intend to give my final exam presentation on Wednesday evening. Arrggghhh.

Otherwise this has also been an up and down week. There have been lots of good days, laughter and smiles. I am meeting a new client next week and I have a glimmer of what my expanded job role may include in January. But the week has also contained some soul searching moments trying to figure out why certain things that are emotionally painful are the way they seem to be. Analyzing things isn't always the way to acceptance. Often, not analyzing is a better route.

I have been troubled by some lingering feelings from a relationship that feels like a heart wrenching loss when examined closely- the kind that leaves a huge aching hole that isn't likely to ever be filled. These are not new feelings for this particular relationship, but for so long- perhaps too long- I have been holding on to hope that at least a shadow of the friendship could be salvaged and refusing to deal with the feelings of loss. It is past time to accept my feelings as they are, mourn the loss and move on. If something changes later that would be great, but not dealing with what is now, is causing difficulties for me.

"When we come into the present, we begin to feel the life around us again, but we also encounter whatever we have been avoiding. We must have the courage to face whatever is present / our pain, our desires, our grief, our loss, our secret hopes our love / everything that moves us most deeply." ~Jack Kornfield

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

end of Monday...

Nobody grows old merely by living a number of years. We grow old by deserting our ideals. Years may wrinkle the skin, but to give up enthusiasm wrinkles the soul. ~Samuel Ullman

There are days when happiness bubbles along quietly inside, as a sort of background mood to the day. The more I recognize that it is there, the more energy I have. I try to cultivate some of that when it seems to be missing, but in a circular fashion the less energy I have, the more difficult it is to feel or find that quiet bubbling... and the less energy I have. And enthusiasm? Well, that too seems to be a factor of energy at times.

Oh and that's the long way 'round to the reason for this short post. I had started something else that needs refining and might not ever make the public view, but I've started to enforce a more strict time to attempt sleep. A regular schedule seems to do remarkable things for happiness, energy and enthusiasm. ;-)

One of the pictures from the visit to my sister's in San Diego county:

There are wonderful little corners and vistas all around their property.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Unconscious Mutterings Week 147

I say ... and you think ... ?
  1. Stuffed:: turkey
  2. Armstrong:: Neil
  3. Bruise:: 'd feelings
  4. Content:: table
  5. Musical:: score
  6. Assistance:: helpful
  7. Scrambling:: eggs
  8. Battle:: cries
  9. Extended:: hours
  10. Discount:: store
Weekly word list at Unconscious Mutterings

Wednesday, November 23, 2005


"Clouds come floating into my life, no longer to carry rain or usher storm, but to add color to my sunset sky." ~Rabindranath Tagore

The sunset tonight from my upstairs window...

Sorry about the lack of posts this week. I managed to get bitten by a spider last Saturday and have a large localized reaction. It's getting better, but I am still visiting the wound care folks at the walk in surgery clinic every few days. I have a reprieve until Sunday unless something changes for the worse. For those who have been asking, all other medical stuff is still an unknown, though there were some clues in the bloodwork. I am simply moving on with things, and whatever is, is... and whatever comes next, does.

Thursday is Thanksgiving here in the U.S. and I am headed to my sister's to celebrate and give thanks. I am grateful for so much, including blog friends.

I wish everyone a happy, family and friends, love-filled day.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Unconscious Mutterings Week 146

I say, and you think:
  1. Heads up:: warning
  2. Kicker :: extra point
  3. Aggressive:: comfort levels and perception; passive-agressive
  4. Getting ugly:: angry personal attacks
  5. To be continued:: never ending tale
  6. Twist:: unexpected
  7. Form:: shape; endless paperwork
  8. On the road:: again
  9. Import:: goods
  10. Flowers:: "Where have all the flowers gone?"
Join in - weekly word list at Unconscious Mutterings

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Where to look

A Sufi story and comments within
Living Loving and Learning by Leo Buscaglia :
There's one story that's very poignant. It tells of the day Mullah was out in the street on his hands and knees, looking for something and a friend came up and said,
"Mullah, what are you looking for?"
And Mullah said, "I lost my key."
"Oh, Mullah, that's terrible, I'll help you find it." So he was on his hands and knees, then said, "Mullah, about where did you lose it?"
Mullah said, "I lost it in my house."
"Then what are you looking out here for?"
He said, "Because there's more light here."
Dr. Buscaglia goes on to say:
You know, that's hilarious, but that's what we do with our lives! We believe that everything there is to find is out there in the light where it's easy to find, when the only answers for you are in you! Go ahead and look and look and look, but you're not going to find them out there! Nobody has your answers--only you have your answers. And if you think you can pack up your bag and escape you, you're in for a mighty big surprise. Run to a mountaintop in Neapl, and when you get over the wonder of being in Nepal, who are you faced with in the mirror? You! With all your hangups, with all your fears, with all your confusion, with all your lonliness, with all the things that you are. So it's time to begin looking where it makes sense to look. What is essential is not out there. What is essential is indeed in you. But it's frightening inside and dark, and it's not easy to search in the dark. And nobody teaches us how.
This strikes me as amusing on many levels, including that I think I've been searching books all my life for the whys and hows and some clue about which are the essential answers...
wink pink

Wednesday, November 16, 2005


"If the stars should appear but one night every thousand years how man would marvel and adore." ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Faintly visible is Mars rising over the mountain; Thanks SpaceTramp, for the postitive identification

I don't know about anyone else, but some of my favorite blogs to read focus on the person's life and feelings. The writing is personal, often (but not always) introspective, but always about their reaction to, and feelings about life and the surrounding daily events- small and large, inner and outer, good and less, things that interest or touch them-- and not so much about their analysis of the factual events. I don't look for earth-shattering stories or great wisdom, though those can often be found no matter the writer knows or not. Instead I look for some flavor of the real person's life. How do other people think, feel, what makes them tick, care, share- are some of my life questions (the why could be analyzed, but I'll decline for the moment). I don't want to read words about the feelings of others to pass judgment or to analyze the people. But the feelings and thoughts of others, sometimes leads me to understand moments of my own.

I spend my days in some combination of assisting others, living a daily life, and bits of personal introspection, though the types of things that cause me to look within and re-examine parts of self are different these days than thirty years ago or even twenty. I've settled many bits of angst, grown accustomed to many others (shrug shoulders here), and found new bits of things that aren't settled at all (even if I previously thought they were). Delight, surprise, acceptance, new vistas, old ones, aha moments, helping others, tedious tasks, mundane daily living, introspection, self critical moments, and others - all of these are part of the life I live, though not necessarily each in every day.

I am on a quest for self- who is this person, how to live a happy life and what do I think a happy life is for me? Can I make a difference anywhere and what balance between things is the comfortable one for me? It's the same quest as I was on at twenty, but the air changes with every new twist in the journey. I share here in some moments, because it is what is interesting to me about others. I want to hear/read others stories, their daily lives, their passions, their inward thoughts, even the mundane- and maybe sharing mine, dull as they sometimes might be, will help someone else.

Is this being self absorbed, self obsessed, even when reading others? Perhaps. Is there a purpose to my sharing of the mundane and the slightly less so? You bet. Hoping that others will share in return, is only one. But maybe I've got this self disclosure bit, wrong?

Tuesday, November 15, 2005


“Asking the proper question is the central action of transformation … Questions are the key that cause the secret doors of the psyche to swing open.” ~Clarissa Pinkola Estes
(Her book, Women Who Run With Wolves, has been on my want to read list for years- finally getting around to ordering it...)

found the quote at: Conscious Living Foundation- quotations

Sunset tonight in Canoga Park..

There are questions on my mind, maybe not the proper ones, though. I don't know as I have figured out what those are for me, exactly. I surely know some of the "proper ones", but they seem to change every few years. It would be so much easier if I could figure out an answer to more of them, before there were so many new ones or before I run out of time...

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Unconscious Mutterings Week 145

I say ... and you think ... ?
  1. Mighty:: Mouse
  2. Gotta find time to ....:: put up more bookshelves
  3. Statistic:: correlation is not causation
  4. Midnight::

    'Twas midnight on the ocean, not a streetcar was in sight.
    The sun was shining brightly for it rained all day that night.
    It was a summer's day in winter and the snow was raining fast
    as a barefoot boy with shoes on, stood sitting in the grass.
    (unknown author, something I read as a child)

  5. Thaw:: a frozen heart...
  6. Hips:: rose
  7. Reader::word, thought, idea lover
  8. Related:: associated
  9. Brilliant:: shining with light
  10. Posture:: shoulders back, head up
Join in, play along - weekly word list can be found at Unconscious Mutterings

Saturday, November 12, 2005

What color heart do you have?

file under silly things to do on a Saturday morning break:

Your Heart Is Purple

For you, love is about establishing and developing a deep connection.
If it's true love, it brings you more wisdom and inner strength.

Your flirting style: Sincere

Your lucky first date: An afternoon at a tea house

Your dream lover: Is both thoughtful and expressive

What you bring to relationships: Understanding

Friday, November 11, 2005

Random notes

Random notes; maybe I'll have some photos later...

Slight Frowns:

When did so many places stop considering Veteran's day as a holiday? Soldiers don't make the decisions that take us to a war and their service ought to be honored.

Listening to Shrub speak makes me cringe (as I've mentioned repeatedly for different reasons at different times). He should shut up now about the things he is currently stumbling over to say, because re-spinning facts isn't going to change the light beginning to glow in the middle of the country.

One should be highly suspicious of a parent company who lets the health insurance premium payments for one of it's subsidiaries lapse while still deducting said premiums from the employee's paychecks.

In the same vein, thank goodness sometimes, for bureaucracy where one hand doesn't know what the other one is doing- as in an HMO accounting department sending out a letter saying they've cancelled insurance, but the computer still lists that person as a member so prescriptions could be picked up at the member price and she could still get a free flu shot. Here's to hoping that the wheels continue to turn that way if there is an emergency over the weekend or until this is sorted out.

Why don't leafblowers require sound mufflers? Better yet, why aren't they banned entirely in their gasoline powered form?

Why is there more and more junk snail mail that needs shredding? Remember the days when one could stand over a plain wastebasket and sort the incoming mail?


The sun is out today, with some cumulonimbus clouds hanging about growing taller, decorating the sky over the mountains (which are also visible- yipppie!!).

I'm grateful for a boss who writes glowing reports to my academic program advisor (and even tells me some of these things in person when he doesn't need to- it's a great motivator!). He won't see this, but I did thank him with a note.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

chasing self day

"Sometimes it's important to work for that pot of gold. But other times it's essential to take time off and to make sure that your most important decision in the day simply consists of choosing which color to slide down on the rainbow." ~Douglas Pagels

I do take more 'keep my sanity days' than I did in earlier years. None of those are possible for the next many weeks, at least not planned ones, but mini breaks are necessary to every day.

Some pieces from a tiny break on a very long Tuesday...

I pass this same rose bordered walkway every week heading into the home of two of my clients. The various blooms never fail to catch my eye. I suspect it might be due to being better at noticing things in the moment these days, even when I am stressed (then again, it might just be that I wish I had a few rose bushes to tend).

It rained lightly off and on Wednesday. I didn't leave the house - not even to look around in between showers. I did peek out the windows a few times and noticed the mountains were hidden. I wound up with a 'one thing leads to another, leads to another, leads to another, nothing gets completely done' sort of day.

One of the 'one thing' items was touching base with my boss... and heard the barest outline of a possible position that might be open for me to pursue in the Spring- around the time of my new degree or a little sooner... which led to some quick searches at O'net, comparing educational requirements and median salaries for various positions; not that money matters a lot (it matters, just not as the primary motivator), but if I am making a list of pros and cons for earning that dual master's, I ought to know what sort of impact it might make... turns out it is considerable- as in plus almost half again in salary at other employers who might make use of that part of the degree.

Another Tuesday pic:

I kept thinking the leaves seemed like scattered jewels in the grass... scattered jewels... leads to thinking about other important and scattered things.. which leads to .... wink pink

Monday, November 07, 2005

storms of indecision

"All our final decisions are made in a state of mind that is not going to last." ~Marcel Proust

storm clouds sunset afterglow I was taking a break, looked out the window Sunday evening and saw the clouds glowing with the end of the sunset light.
These look a bit like wings...

I could be finished with my master of science degree in counseling, rehabilitation option, by the end of spring (4 classes [16 units] plus some final internship hours [5 units] and the comprehensive exam), in May 06, or by summer's end, depending on when classes were offered ...

or I could apply for the MFCC program and take 8 additional classes (32 units), 6 units of family practice clinic time (240 hours over 20 weeks), and 15 additional units of internship (600 hours over 30 weeks) and an additional comp exam, which in total might require another year or year and a half beginning Fall 06.

I am sooooooo tired. I want the dual masters and to be eligible to take the state's marriage and family counseling board certification tests (which would require some additional hours of counseling practice, under supervision), but the thoughts of the additional year or so of driving at night, hours in classroom lectures and testing- keeps suggesting the words tedious and overwhelming.

And this health stuff is looming over my head- all the 'what if's'; I can't decide. The counselor with career counseling training, needs a counselor. wink pink

Sunday, November 06, 2005

weird weather

File under all things Indiana- my place of birth and home for most of the first 28 years of life...
It's a very weird time of year for tornadoes in Indiana, no matter what the weather people have said. My thoughts are with those folks in Indiana and Kentucky who were affected.


"So what do we do? Anything. Something. So long as we just don't sit there. If we screw it up, start over. Try something else. If we wait until we've satisfied all the uncertainties, it may be too late." ~Lee Iacocca

"Let us not be content to wait and see what will happen, but give us the determination to make the right things happen." ~Horace Mann

"The man who goes alone can start today; but he who travels with another must wait till that other is ready." ~Henry David Thoreau

The MRI went fine, was short compared to what I thought it might be (was in and out including registration and waiting time in an hour and a half) and was interesting in that there was a rhythm to the noise- five bangs followed by five and sometimes four different bangs in a lower tone. I don't know what mineral I was injected with at the last, but it is something I would like to know. I briefly saw the pics but not to actually study closely. There were fewer finished scans than I thought there would be. The report and pics will be sent to the neurologist and my own doc, so I will know something hopefully in about two weeks. ( and the inner me is saying- two weeks!!!!!!!! - eeegads, that's a horrible amount of time to wait). One more specialty doc and possibly 'in office tests' that need to be done before the next neuro appointment unless they find something more urgent, or so I hopefully presume.

Unconscious Mutterings Week 144

I say ... and you think ... ?
  1. Deeper and deeper:: layers
  2. Can’t help .... :: yes, anyone can
  3. Devil’s advocate:: useful sometimes
  4. Superpower:: without super leadership
  5. Threatening:: don't believe am threatening, sometimes feel threatened
  6. Played:: sometimes [shrug shoulders], it happens
  7. War:: is not healthy for children and other living creatures!
  8. Violate:: break
  9. Invest:: time
  10. Choke:: decrease air
Weekly word list at Unconscious Mutterings


Sherry tagged me and I said I'd play so here is...

20 random things about me:
(Twenty is too difficult; so here are 10:)
1. handy with tools and have my own toolboxs full of them- auto, woodworking, electronic, and crafting
2. figuring out how to make and repair things and how things work (but seldom have time for that pleasure these days)
3. ...miss romance
4. spending all day shopping in person belongs in the how to torture me column
5. ...once held an amateur radio licence, could send and comprehend code
6. ...need alone time in an amount slightly more or roughly equal to the amount of time spent with people
7. ...don't mind being and growing older, but DO mind losing abilities and sometimes mind looking older
8. hard sciences, and never met an academic discipline whose basics couldn't be comprehended with some effort
9. that people think I am competent, capable and strong
10. ...hate that people always think I am strong and don't need a shoulder to lean on or a little fussing over, now and then

7 Things to do before I die?
1. Travel and savor as many places as I can
2. Backpack very slowly up the California Coast Trail or as much of it as is completed (assuming they will have a "seniors" part of the trail???)
3. Find more missing pieces of my family history
4. Learn stonecutting and silver jewelry making techniques
5. Study more geology, seismology and physical geography, re-learn Latin
6. Learn to tango, salsa, etc.
7. Hold a grandchild in my arms

7 Things I cannot do:
(cannot do any longer or never could:)
1. summersaults
2. cartwheels
3. flips (never could)
4. backbends
5. lift 65 pounds (used to lift much more when I weighed less!! but I can carry almost that much in a backpack)
6. read teeeny tiny print
7. tolerate injustice in my presence

7 Things that attract me to the opposite sex
1. intelligence
2. empathy
3. confidence
4. intelligence
5. empathy
6. confidence
7. intelligence

7 things I say most often
1. How do you feel about that?
2. You can do it
3. Great job!
4. really [.?!]
5. good, and you?
6. Wonderful!
7. oh sh*t!

7 Celebrity crushes?
nah... my last celebrity crushes were George Harrison and Paul McCartney in 1968
These days I do find several of them physically attractive in a mild, easy on the eye, sort of way, but I wouldn't call it a crush.

Later edit: OOPS!! I was supposed to tag someone, I think. But instead, I will leave it open for anyone to pick up.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

pieces of the day

Part of living each day with a measure of joy requires being open to the delights that present themselves...

Some quick pics of a few of the moments that made me smile...

clouds and sunsets always give me smiles...

I was startled by Precious the parrotlet flying across the table to grab my pen; then a few minutes later I had a bird on my head.

Monday, October 31, 2005

"Fire and Ice"

Fire and ice
You come on like a flame
Then you turn a cold shoulder
Fire and ice
I wanna give you my love
But you'll just take a little piece of my heart

You'll just tear it apart

~Pat Benatar, Scott Sheets & Tom Kelly "Fire and Ice"

weekend sunset Weekend Sunset... a little fire ...

I ordered some music recently and it arrived today- Linda Rondstat, Pat Benatar - greatest hits albums for each and a quieter mood CD by Secret Garden. Linda went into the player first, followed by Pat. I did a little dancing in between waiting for any trick or treaters... and thought about the lyrics and songs I liked the best.

I think I am going to burn a cd for the car with my favorite Sheryl Crow, Melissa Ethridge, Pat Benatar, some of the old Rondstat songs plus a few other female artists- strong, forceful, some happy, some angst, but all powerful stuff. Even lamenting love lost, or moving on without- their music seems to feel empowering right now and creates a mood I wish to stay in for a while.

I'm feeling the barest wisp of a touch of anxiety about Friday (not the process, but the results after) and this is a busy week all around, so posts and pics might be a little sporadic until next week. ... maybe.

later addition:

October is always the start of my new year, and while there have been changes this month in the 'feel' to life, I haven't found the mental key that I'd been working to find. Still... changes are in the air; some intended, some hoped for, some positive, and some have been systemic shocks that required adjusting to, a bit like aftershocks adjust and release the stress buildup in other fault zones. But that's how change goes, isn't it?

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Unconscious Mutterings Week 143

I say ... and you think ... ?
  1. Unbreakable:: resistant to breakage
  2. Have mercy:: on their souls
  3. Do it better:: keep trying
  4. Settle scores:: not into revenge or competition, bad karma
  5. Comments:: like the conversations
  6. Craziest thing:: happened on the way to the...
  7. Apple:: Autumn, bobbing, baking, tree climbing
  8. Halloween:: candy and cute kids
  9. Manageable:: case load
  10. Trick:: not

Weekly word list found at Unconscious Mutterings

Friday, October 28, 2005

"Does this path have a heart?"

Tujunga Wash"The next point is that everybody has his own path. There are a thousand paths to discovering yourself, to becoming. Every one of you will find your own way. Don't let anybody impose theirs on you."
Leo Buscaglia, Ph.D. (in Living Loving and Learning)

In that same section, Buscaglia goes on to quote Carlos Castaneda (The Teachings of Don Juan: A Yaqui Way of Knowledge) :
Each path is only one of a million paths. Therefore, you must always keep in mind that a path is only a path. If you feel that you must follow it, you need not stay with it under any circumstances. Any path is only a path. There is no affront to yourself or others in dropping it if that is what your heart tells you to do. But your decision to keep on the path or to leave it must be free of fear and ambition. I warn you: look at every path closely and deliberately. Try it as many times as you think necessary. Then ask yourself and yourself alone one question. It is this: Does this path have a heart? All paths are the same. They lead nowhere. They are paths going through the brush or into the brush or under the brush. Does this path have a heart is the only question. If it does, then the path is good. If it doesn't, it is of no use.

Tujunga Wash

The question was one I was thinking about today during my quick side trip into the canyon. Believing that "a path is only a path", doesn't always seem so simple. Figuring out if it has a heart is slightly easier.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

shadow and pansys "Acceptance of one's life has nothing to do with resignation; it does not mean running away from the struggle. On the contrary, it means accepting it as it comes, with all the handicaps of heredity, of suffering, of psychological complexes and injustices."
~Dr. Paul Tournier

Half a dozen things made it into my journal Wednesday night, but none of them are flushed out enough for a post. I had a long unfamiliar drive to Whittier then back in the dark, during which I fumbled my search for the entrance to one of the freeways home. If there is a way to get lost driving in the dark, I will find it. ;-) Nah- not really, but I remember the handful of times I got a little lost, more than I remember all the probably hundreds or more of times I didn't.

I missed a tiny sign overhead that said 605 North, busy looking for the typical large side of the road freeway sign that didn't exist. I kept driving four miles past the point I decided I had missed the entrance. I'm not really sure why exactly, but there were parts of me warring with other parts about- if, when or where -to turn around. It wound up all ok, though not an adventure I wish to repeat too many times and certainly not longer than a few miles. I should have taken pictures as it was a beautiful community college campus and a very dedicated counseling group I was visiting (class requirement).

Earlier before I left, I did accidentally (wandering around the Kaiser website) discover I now have an appointment for the MRI --November 4. I don't think I will know anything about the results until perhaps the week after that at the earliest.

There are a couple of lessons in all of this that I can almost grasp- about patience, about learning to live with some uncertainty, without categorizing things and without labels, about acceptance of things (even missing freeway entrances and being a little lost) as they are, without giving up dreams, hopes, wishes and even those things I am not sure if I can do or reach... more later as it comes..