Tuesday, December 19, 2006

one day at a time

"Life lived for tomorrow will always be just a day away from being realized." ~Leo F. Buscaglia

"Life is made up, not of great sacrifices or duties, but of little things, in which smiles, and kindnesses, and small obligations, given habitually, are what win and preserve the heart and secure comfort" ~Humphrey Davy

Today was a good day. I thought it wasn't going to be when looking ahead during the early morning, after a night of little sleep; but reflecting on it all later, it was.

I stayed in the moment as much as possible; the hospitalized members of my family are recovering from their surgeries. The non-hospitalized members are safe. My workshop/training went well (Part 1 of Person Centered Planning; one of 3 essential workshops on that subject which must be completed before I can do certain parts of my job), and I managed not to be too distracted. I laughed, I worked, I encouraged, assisted, asked thoughtful questions, learned valuable information, kept my head in the moment. And though I have this small dark gloomy area that lingers in my mind, that too will pass.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Re-Direction (behaviorally)

"You can't wring your hands and roll up your sleeves at the same time." ~Pat Schroeder

"As a cure for worrying, work is better than whiskey." ~Thomas A. Edison

My sister's surgery is Tuesday morning. We have traded all the telephone numbers we can think of for everything from how to reach my son for a directed recipient emergency blood donation during his 24 hour shift (they share blood type and +Rh factor), to all the various cell phones here and in Indiana, UCLA hospital patient information line, how to reach the ICU in Indiana where my father lies recovering and still on a respirator, but conscious now. (I got to speak to him today over the telephone, even though he couldn't speak back.)

I will have to trust that my brother in law will call me from UCLA Medical Center to give updates, and that my step-mother will call from I.U. Medical Center with updates.

I will be immersing myself in work, workshops and trainings, and try not to worry.

Various wanderings- tangents- while writing:
Blood Types Tutorial

Blood Types

Rhesus Blood Group System

UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center

Revlon/UCLA Breast Center

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Unconscious Mutterings Week 202

I say ... and you think ... ?
  1. Hardball :: no prisoners

  2. Sleepless :: nights;  in Seattle

  3. Graduation :: probably won't walk, though the "hooding ceremony" for Master degrees is of interest, so I might change my mind

  4. Presents :: under the tree; introduce, sponsors

  5. Toe :: ring

  6. Lotion :: hand

  7. Snicker :: 99.9% never

  8. Eve :: innocence; the night before...

  9. Investment :: future return; decisions

  10. Pain :: in the tuchis
Want to play? Weekly word list can be found at Unconscious Mutterings

Thursday, December 14, 2006


December Sunrise

May dawn's golden touch
awaken my heart.

May the gentle beauty of each season
embrace me.

May night's silver moon
cast a pathway in darkness,

And may the voice of the wind
sing in my silence.

~Theresa Mary Grass
from pocket Prayers collected by June Cotner

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Unconscious Mutterings Week 201

I say ... and you think ... ?
  1. Research :: study

  2. Chuck :: e-Cheese

  3. Insert :: tab b into slot b

  4. Bang :: loud

  5. Lousy :: feeling

  6. Rehearsal :: stage

  7. Critics :: often wrong

  8. Memory :: slips away

  9. Squid :: yuck

  10. Remove :: paint
Weekly word list found at Unconscious Mutterings.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

"The Morning Arrives"

The morning arrives
And the song of a bird comes undone.
I imagine for the first time in my life
That its wings
Are my own

~Corrine De Winter

From "pocket PRAYERS" collected by June Cotner

I find myself with lots of places containing inspiration... but too many moments when I can't or won't share my own words. I don't like losing balance. I think maybe I need to learn to deal with it, accept it as part of the whole, instead of lamenting its loss, and scrambling not to let anyone really see.

Oh.. and the poem/prayer above was chosen simply because I like it. I have let myself try to soar with birds, and the wind... I can close my eyes and sometimes for a moment, I am free of the earth ties... the sky, home.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Living in my head

"There are as many nights as days, and the one is just as long as the other in the year's course. Even a happy life cannot be without a measure of darkness, and the word 'happy' would lose its meaning if it were not balanced by sadness."
~Carl Jung

I don't consciously know what to say after such a silence, yet there are so many words that flitter, fall, crash and break against the walls of my head. So I will start this with no idea of where it will lead. I need an outlet and I should get back to being here regularly. I'm living inside my head a lot these days, in all the non-work moments. I'm reaching out now, I think.. being less than strong, in spaces where only folks who do not see me F2F and know me only a little and a few strangers, will notice. I've long ago judged this a failing of mine, this needing to always be and appear strong and capable; to be in control of self, if of nothing else.

I really, really like my new job. I may have found another home. I can see where there is the potential for many different days full of difficulty, but I project there will be a continued sense of having made minute, tiny, positive differences in the flow of things/life overall.

My perception of life right now still consists of wonderful highs, positive moments and direction for self followed by chaos, grief and sadness connected to the lives around me.

My father, who is in Indiana, is in surgery today- for esophageal cancer. They are removing his esophagus, reconstructing, replacing, doing what they can do to affect those horrible statistics....

This was sudden. I learned about the cancer last weekend. I learned that his hastily scheduled surgery (for emergency reasons) would be today, only last night. I am processing the waves of feelings that go in all directions, that crash around me, that one moment are distant as if it were someone else, in some other place, and in the next in my face, spilling down my cheeks, wringing my hands.

My sister's surgery is scheduled for December 19 and she has transferred to doctors up here at Revlon/UCLA Breast Center. Her surgery will also not be simple nor is the cancer confined to her breasts...

And I am alternately annoyed with everyone in my family (one of those grief stages perhaps?) for dishing out news in dribbles and pieces instead of telling me everything all at once. I process whatever it is, and then am told it is not just that but also something else and yes, they knew before, but didn't want to alarm me all at once. And then a little later they say 'well, I didn't want to tell you, but it is also this, too'... and I am left wondering what other 'too' thing will pop up in the next conversation.. and looking for numbness, distance. I know I need to continue to figure out what to do to support everyone, and in most moments despite my limitations to only by telephone for now, I think I am doing a fair job.

But always I wish I could say, puulllllueeeeeeeeeeeeeeeaaaase stop doling out bad news in tiny dribbles; it drives me crazy..... but I don't say it. I wander around in my head, watching me examining my reactions. Hopefully I am punctuating this correctly to explain --- me watching me, watching me.. I've picked up a second watcher somehow in all this chaos of family illnesses.

Speaking of family illness, I didn't previously mention that we had to take my husband to the emergency room with chest pain the day after Thanksgiving. He's fine now, it was just some angina which hasn't troubled him in a long time. Even with his history of heart attacks and trouble though, it was completely unexpected and a scare.

Did I tell you I really like my new job, how busy it is, along with so many things to learn, but how easy it is to mostly stay focused and in the moment... and how satisfied I feel at the end of the work day as I'm leaving?

Thursday, November 23, 2006

giving thanks

I've many things to give thanks for today. How about you?

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 22, 2006


"Everyone has been made for some particular work, and the desire for that work has been put in every heart" ~Rumi

I've been tired but satisfied at the end of every day for the past few weeks. Working nine hour days is a bit of a stretch for me, but I'm managing. Of course, it does mean I come home through the Valley traffic which takes me an hour (because I refuse to drive home ever again navigating the craziness that is the 405 / 118 / 210 freeway transitions; the part in the middle that necessitates a 4 lane change from right to left in bumper to bumper traffic that might or might not be traveling at 65 mph, in the dark with headlights glaring in my eyes and the mirrors, is the real deal breaker), change clothes, eat a quick dinner, and fall asleep trying to watch my fav television dramas or while reading (reading for pleasure these days- wow, I've missed that for six years!!).... And then I always need to get up later, to change clothes again and actually go to bed. I don't think I've made it past nine o'clock yet. But those flex days off and long holidays like this one, make the long work days worth it... I think.

But it feels good to be doing the work, too. There is a staggering amount of paperwork and rules which I am still learning, but I've begun to meet the various folks in my case load. And I think I might actually accomplish most of the case load visit and paperwork goals of November - though I am not necessarily expected to handle them all. I haven't quite got the 400 billable hours/ case management notes/time factored in yet.... those are a separate item. And I am behind on notes from the first week, current on this weeks notes and billable time, I think... maybe.. I hope... Work flow and time management are mine to figure out-- what works best for me and the actual way I organize the work and parts of my little Dilbert style cubicle.

So is social work my forte? Despite my counseling degree and strong feelings and affinity for the field of counseling, I think the combination with social work is more suited to me, but stay tuned.

Oh yeah, for note in the small world category--- the fellow in the cubicle caty-corner across from me has just begun the exact same masters degree program I just finished.

(edited to change the title of the post)

Friday, November 10, 2006

actions and words

"Our life is composed greatly from dreams, from the unconscious, and they must be brought into connection with action. They must be woven together."
~Anais Nin

"If fifty million people say a foolish thing, it is still a foolish thing." ~Anatole France

What a strange, wonderful, roller coaster of a week. The new job is great. With supervision, I'll be seeing some of my case load next week. I am working a flex schedule which gives me a three day weekend every couple of weeks and more if a holiday falls on my Friday off.

Tuesday was the long awaited awakening for the rest of the country to join the reality based folks. I must say I was surprised (and relieved) that the Dems won majorities in both the House and the Senate. I'm hoping they really do realize they must govern from the middle and work on finding compromises and solutions. Winning isn't enough.. governing and solving problems isn't going to be simple. There are far too many issues and divisions that will take a long time to fix.

I'm feeling much less angst, though I suspect that my new job responsibilities will continue to feel a little overwhelming for a while. Still... I can see a day ahead where I will be looking for new major goals. Where shall I go from here?

Monday, November 06, 2006

Unconscious Mutterings Week 196

I say ... and you think ... ?
  1. Theft :: anti

  2. Storage :: new glass door bookcases

  3. Pick :: quick (the lottery ticket that won)

  4. Los Angeles :: home, baby

  5. The one :: the only

  6. Accent :: piece

  7. Rivalry :: competition for resources

  8. Process :: method

  9. Streets :: Thomas Guide

  10. Museum :: Los Angeles County Museum of Art
Weekly word list at Unconscious Mutterings

Thursday, November 02, 2006

events and images

"The events in our lives happen in a sequence in time, but in their significance to ourselves they find their own order: the continuous thread of revelation." ~Eudora Welty

In a very impulsive moment, I picked up the camera and shot a few photos of myself tonight when I came home (01Nov). I suppose the impulse came from a desire to mark this period of rapid changes. Every day this week has delivered a new 'last time'. Or perhaps it was to see if I could see any outward differences for all the inward changes I am feeling.


Though I don't exactly understand why, I never look the way I think I do... ever...

Oh yeah.. almost forgot.. I have a new haircut as of a couple of weeks ago... removed about a foot of hair (it was down to my waist). Everyone keeps coming up to me to tell me how much younger they think I look now. I must have really looked old before. I can't decide if I am flattered by their comments, or disgusted that it matters to me.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

light a candle

just found (yes, I'm way behind on reading) this at Sacred Ordinary. I've long believed that candles can carry prayers if you believe they can, as can incense smoke and herbal smudging....

Go light a candle...

last looks, fresh eyes

"Discovery consists of seeing what everyone has seen and thinking what no one has thought." ~Albert Von Szent-Gyorgyi

This week I'm getting reminders everywhere I turn, about how looking with fresh eyes can be especially revealing. It is a good lesson just before I start my new job.

More info about Szent-Gyorgyi at Nobel Prize .org

Monday, October 30, 2006

thought for the day

"Remember there's no such thing as a small act of kindness. Every act creates a ripple with no logical end." ~Scott Adams

There's no particular reason I chose that quote tonight, except of course, that I like it and believe it to be true.

It is a hectic week... my last one at the little non-profit. There are regular client hours, a month end staff meeting, one annual client progress meeting, and last bits of paperwork, including one page status summaries to finish up so the transition might be a little smoother for my clients. It is a little sad to be telling each of them goodbye.

The three weeks went by so quickly.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

send them all home

"Democrats never agree on anything, that's why they're Democrats. If they agreed with each other, they would be Republicans." ~Will Rogers

I wish there were fewer team players in D.C. and more individuals working for their constituents.

Possibly there could be a big change in Congress after this election... as everyone else finally catches up to the reality based community. I know die-hard conservatives who are finally fed up, though it is difficult to determine if they are going to vote or not.

I haven't the energy for a rant tonight, but I sure would like to see every incumbent gone. Time to start over- fresh ideas, fresh faces, real debate over ideas.... maybe even some real solutions to real problems.

...wishful thinking, I know.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Unconscious Mutterings Week 194

I say ... and you think ... ?
  1. Stuff :: still in boxes

  2. Block :: adware

  3. Ingredient :: spice

  4. Flagrant :: violation

  5. Dandruff :: no

  6. Betty :: boards, waves and lately, snow, comes to mind

  7. Tide :: Mom's laundry soap

  8. Judges :: lots of those everywhere one looks, not so many non-judges

  9. Take it easy :: "Don't let the sound of your own wheels drive you crazy ... We may lose or we may win, but we will never be here again...."..

  10. Chef :: chief cook

Weekly word list can be found at Unconscious Mutterings

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Watch out for the sky

"You go and you buy a lottery ticket. You've got just as much chance of getting struck by lightning as you do of winning the lottery." ~Bill Cosby

My husband's numbers won a sizeable amount last night. (He didn't have the mega number; we aren't retiring and please don't ask me for a donation to your favorite charity or to help your sick aunt.)
Should I be watching out for the sky?

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Lessons to Learn

"Do not learn how to react, but how to respond." ~Buddha

I'm not sure I truly know what that means or if I respond and don't just react... but it seems a good thing to turn over in my mind.

It was a difficult evening, and I confess failure to find a sustainable way to work with one of my clients. This has been an ongoing problem and I prevented her program termination many weeks ago in a last effort. I am her third or fourth instructor with this agency, and no one else will work with her. I hate admitting defeat. It is my hope that another agency can build on the few things we found that did seem to work.

It is an ego deflating moment for me-- admitting defeat-- but several good lessons that I probably needed to know before I move on in my career.

The letter officially confirming my new job, salary, and the start date was on the table to greet me when I arrived home. Fortunately (?) for me in this season, the bad always seems to be closely followed by the good.

Outside, the wind is howling down through the canyons, battering the trees, windows, walls and rooftops. I want to dance with it, but sleep is necessary to meet tomorrow's needs. Maybe I will dream of flying in its arms.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Unconscious Mutterings Week 193

I say ... and you think ... ?
  1. Weeks :: slip on by so quietly, yet so very fast

  2. Cough :: season; wash hands, get a flu shot

  3. Jail :: cage

  4. Produced :: by

  5. ? :: I've a lot of bits to go with that punctuation

  6. Stapler :: paperwork

  7. Next :: moving on

  8. Perky :: ughhhhh

  9. Oxygen :: What a difference an atom makes

  10. Musical :: talent
Weekly word list found at Unconscious Mutterings

Saturday, October 14, 2006

afternoon surprise

"Open your eyes and you will have plenty of bread." Proverbs 20:13


the storm moving in

I'm hoping the rain is over by morning so I can drive to San Diego county to see my sister (and maybe back again on the same day, though that might be a bit too ambitious). With that in mind, the hour grows very late.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

new directions

"The quality of life is determined by its activities." ~Aristotle

It is verbally official, only waiting for the letter to confirm the offer- I have new employment starting on November 6. That leaves me three weeks to help find and train someone to take my place. The wonderful little non-profit with the best boss in the world, cannot match the the offer which is more generous than I expected (though I didn't negotiate and might have gotten more). My new employer is a state agency and I will become a member of CSEA as it is a closed shop.

I interviewed for the last time about a week ago with the director of consumer services- being met and escorted (enthusiastically) by the man who will be my new supervisor (part of the group who interviewed me previously) and who called me to come back to sign and fill out an authorization for a background check, after I was on my way home. At that time, he convinced me that I was his choice and did everything but confirm I had the job. Yesterday, he called within minutes of my receiving a voice mail message to call the woman at human resources (and before I had a chance to call her and hear they were offering me the job!). He was placing an order and wanted to know what kind of calendar I wanted for next year (weekly, monthly, etc). It's nice to be wanted. It does some good things for self esteem- maybe even especially at my age.

But I feel a bit like a traitor- no, worse than a traitor, since I am leaving for money. The non-profit I work for is a wonderful group of people doing amazing work with small budgets in large part determined by the state agency that I will start work for in November.

When I arrived as an older student looking for an internship almost three years ago, I knew right away their attitude and perspective were a fit with mine. They care about nuturing both employees and clients. Everyone has something to contribute to this journey. I will miss working directly with all of them, employees, bosses and clients.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

"a lifetime's happiness"

"If you desire an hour's happiness, take a nap. If you desire a day's happiness, go fishing. If you desire a month's happiness, get married. If you desire a year's happiness, inherit a fortune. If you desire a lifetime's happiness, help someone else." ~Chinese Proverb
(1001 Pearls of Wisom. David Ross. 2006. Duncan Baird Publishers, London)

Tuesday is the day I work into the night. Hmmmmm, is there a better way to phrase that?

At some point in the afternoon, what is on my mind is a nap, but my goal of the day is, of course, helping some specific folks in my client list take another eighth, quarter, or bigger step towards some specific goals. I do feel happy when they succeed at making some forward progress; I have some definite opposite feelings when there is backwards momentum. It would seem that could be a little too much personal investment in the outcome instead of being in the moment and keeping the process flexible...

Monday, October 09, 2006

choice, change, error

"No man's error becomes his own law, nor obliges him to persist in it."
~Thomas Hobbes

Though, some errors are harder to walk away and start over from...

I'm not sure why I chose that quote tonight. I couldn't seem to settle down and pick a single topic, yet somehow that quote stuck in my thoughts. I've made more than a few errors in choice that seemed to set the tone and road for my life for years after. But upon reflection, I know those were a choice too.

On a less self involved note, world and political events have become a surreal nightmare growing stranger and more foreboding by the day.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Unconscious Mutterings Week 192

I say ... and you think ... ?
  1. Opinion :: public; tide turning

  2. Tardy :: paperwork

  3. Peer pressure :: seldom

  4. Grownup :: yup, that's me

  5. ! :: really

  6. Beer :: Oktoberfest

  7. Sit :: for a spell

  8. Shower :: rain

  9. Consumate :: with another "m", completion

  10. Wasting :: "away again in margaritaville"... looking for my lost shaker of salt"...
The weekly word list can be found at Unconscious Mutterings

Saturday, October 07, 2006


"Agenda for today; breathe out, breathe in, breathe out." Buddha

Actually as usual of late, I have a list for today which doesn't have much room for breathing.

I apologize for the silence. I've had too many words in my head for too long... words about my sister, family, fears.. words about stress and coping... words about politics and world events... words about job interviews and work... words about creating a new atmosphere and fresh start in our new home... words about autumn and the subtle changes in the air... optimistic and reflective words about the start of my new year- which always starts in October...

Night after night, the words were crowding in, tumbling, each set clawing upwards to claim priority, until I thought my head would burst. I tend to back out and down during those kinds of cycles- take time to reflect on all of it including why my perception is of too many and too much- but I didn't mean to take such a long time to get back here.

I see the sidebar needs fixing and there are various blog cleaning chores that need attending. I need to re-create my formerly pleasant habit of cruising the blogs of others, reading my favorite folks thoughts. I am going to try leave some confetti and crumbs here regularly, too.

Monday, August 14, 2006

more sweat needed

"War has been more common than peace, and extended periods of peace have been rare in a world divided into multiple states" ~Donald Kagan

"The more we sweat in peace, the less we bleed in war." ~Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit

When does the cost of hatred and war become too high to pay? Are we there yet?

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Unconscious Mutterings Week 184

It isn't that I don't have things to say, but I've too many of them and not enough time to smoothe out some of the words. Perhaps in lieu of all I've been thinking and feeling, I can ease back into regular blogging with this little exercise.

I say ... and you think ... ?
  1. Kim :: Jong-il

  2. Designate :: a driver

  3. Liner :: eye

  4. Weed :: herb

  5. Infusion :: herbal

  6. Nutritious :: fruits and veggies

  7. Favorites :: many

  8. Transform :: into opposites

  9. 42 :: the answer to the ultimate question about life, the universe, and everything

  10. Sunday afternoon :: never long enough

Weekly word list can be found at Unconscious Mutterings

Friday, July 21, 2006

Searching for truths and strawberries

..."Investigative efforts, even supposed objective scientific ones, cannot yield truths that transcend the assumptive mind-sets of the investigators. Thus, searching for needles of transcendent, extracommunal, objective truth in theoretical haystacks is an epistemically indefensible act." ... ~James T. Hansen. Counseling Theories Within a Postmodernist Epistemology: New Roles for Theories in Counseling Practice. Journal of Counseling and Development. Summer 2006. V. 84

I have been trying to read this journal article for a few days. I keep letting my mind wander and pretty soon, I am moving about unpacking some box or another. Bits and pieces of things the author says, fit perfectly with the framework of my personal group of counseling theories and my "theory of counseling" which is to use the tools that work/fit for the client in front me- not necessarily the theories which are the most comfortable, but the ones that I feel are closest to the client's frame of reference. ... (that is, when I get to counsel.. mostly I am instructor, teacher, modeler of behavior, motivator, promptor and chief listener.)

But the boxes nag at me.

I found my strawberry print curtains to hang in my kitchen. They are white and sheer with a red trim at the top and strawberries with leaves and flowers scattered about around the edges in a neat pattern. So I washed and hung curtains, in the kitchen, in the bedrooms, and thought about when I bought those strawberry ones-- back in 1979 or so. I have ceramic kitchen canisters to match along with a giant strawberry cookie jar. I hadn't thought about any of them for years as they were packed away in the old home.

A bit of exciting news to tell. I was one of those selected for the second interview (one on one this time) with the agency that funds and oversees the various assistance for people with developmental disabilities. This is a job that I can do, would enjoy and will adequately pay the bills and then some. It isn't the dream job of counseling on a college campus (and the pay is about 12 thousand less), but it is at the high end of the scale for working with the folks/population I've come to enjoy. And case management for many clients is in some respects, much easier for me than weekly visits to the same clients. I still get to see each one, but take a step back and look at the bigger picture and help set the short and long term goals.

All my joy and fun stuff comes with a counterpart. My sister got an infection immediately (within a few hours) after they put in a port, so she is in the hospital getting the massive doses of antibiotics and the next dose of chemotherapy is postponed. It is scary and frustrating for me because I can't do a thing but send as many positive thoughts, healing light and energy in her direction as I can... prayer in my own way. Please add yours.

I don't know where truth and reality lie, only that they are subjective for us all. The doctors see a patient, a human organism with a problem (or probably more accurately for some, they see a problem with a patient attached); the legal departments are probably wondering if they are seeing a future lawsuit. I see my sister, my only sibling, the one connected to my heart, having a rough time, but being a tough cookie about it so far. Same infection, same patient, same everything from different perspectives.

But I found my strawberries and I will finish that journal article by and by... Life marches onward. I don't know what it means, or where any truths might be- yours or mine. But the sun will come 'round again in a few hours. That might be truth enough for the moment.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Home is...

"A house is made of walls and beams; a home is built with love and dreams." (~unknown)

"Home is not where you live, but where they understand you"
~Christian Morganstern
(do they understand??? I'm thinking yes sometimes, no, often; then again, perhaps they understand all too well!!)

"Home is the place where it feels right to walk around without shoes" (~unknown) (especially when you can't find them)

Escrow closed last week on Monday afternoon. The new condo is really ours!! We finished moving in on Sunday (going a few hundred feet with eighteen years of junk by two over the hill folks with some sporadic young'uns helping, took 4 1/2 days). We're very happy and also very stressed still, but it is getting slightly better day by day. The bruises and muscle strains are starting to heal; Aching old bones (husband's and self) are also recovering. We're starting to sleep a little better.

When we got the keys (a couple days after closing), the electricity had been turned off and it would take two days to get utilities transferred and turned on and the deliveries of appliances and so on (which was good considering they had been scheduled and postponed four times!!).... except for cable, which isn't on even now. I'm posting this by dial-up. I only just hooked up the computer tonight.

I can't find any specific thing in any particular moment, and the last boxes packed have the sort of mish-mash, hurried, thrown together mix that I swore I wouldn't do. There are boxes in the house sitting in all corners, walls, at the feet of beds, at the edge of closets, and filling the garage.

Did I say I can't find anything?? Of course, I can find anything when I don't need it urgently. I find things when I am looking for something else, and then can't remember where I saw them when I want them.

I've a few pictures pre-moving, but I can't find the thing to unload the camera, so that will have to wait. I think I need to do some laundry if I could just find the laundry baskets. We're still eating on paper plates and having microwaved meals, but with the real silver utensils. It's a comedy, even when it's exasperating.

"Home is where you hang your head" ~Groucho Marx


Oh ... I almost forgot. I had a job interview in the middle of the move! Nothing like a little stress on stress to change one's sleep patterns.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Unconscious Mutterings Week 179

I say ... and you think ... ?
  1. Face it :: "it" has been many things over a lifetime of self examination, and will likely be many more

  2. Healthy :: living

  3. Cartoon :: character

  4. Device :: driver

  5. Raider :: s, Oakland

  6. Closer :: as in "The Closer" with Kyra Sedgewick,
    or closer to closing escrow --as in Monday, July 9, cross your fingers!!

  7. Admission :: entrance

  8. Culture :: segments

  9. Stakes :: high

  10. Heartbroken :: have felt
Weekly word list at Unconscious Mutterings

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

and in between....

"Evermore in the world is this marvelous balance of beauty and disgust, magnificence and rats" ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

"We come. We go. And in between we try to understand."~Rod Steiger

What a roller coaster couple of months. I know I posted in June, but only barely.

To catch up...
Escrow is almost closed on our new home- it should fund today, and maybe we can even get keys tomorrow... but maybe Friday... or Saturday... or Sunday. That part is frustrating, as the date keeps moving outward (not by our choice). I've not boxed up everything in the house, but much of it is in boxes. There is so much stuff left, I am kinda ready to just throw things in boxes until each one is full, make a half hearted attempt to label and worry about it later. But I will keep slogging along and hopefully the date will firm up today.

Here is a pic of the front of our new location:

I will be in much better shape when the move is finished. Life has thrown a lot of curves in between the high-highs of purchasing our home.

My dear old cat died... and I was with him at the end. It was very sad, but not unexpected.

I managed to break a bone or two in my foot, which has added a wrinkle or two into the whole moving and packing ordeal...

And my "baby" sister was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer. It hasn't spread to any other organs or her bones which is good, but it is very large. She has started chemo, then will have surgery and probably more chemo and/or possibly radiation. I told her she is not allowed to leave before I do.

Please, please, please, keep her in your thoughts and prayers. Send what positive energy you can in her direction.

As soon as this move is over and I have half a home set back up (in a few days or a week or so?), I will return to posting regularly. Honest. Yes, I will.

I miss everyone. I miss reading everyone and feeling a tiny part of community. I'll be back.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Life moves onward

The Good News is that I passed both parts of the comprehensive exam for my Master of Science in Counseling and the rehabilitation option.

I have a final exam tonight in an elective (intro to Disability Management) and one more course to take over the summer and I am done, done, done with all the degree requirements... I've a few months to decide if I want to try the marriage and family option.

More Good News is that we are in escrow on another unit in this same small condominium complex and will be closing before the end of the month. We will be staying near many neighbors that we have known for years and whose kids grew up with our son. As a bonus, it is on the quieter side of the complex, where the view of the mountains can be seen easily out the back windows- and an even bigger bonus is that there are no major repairs needed (as this place needs), in fact no repairs at all are needed.

We are busy packing (and sorting and throwing out so many things) and getting ready for the move, while the realtors, attorneys, escrow and lending folks get all the paperwork in order.

The bad news is that our landlord is angry that we aren't buying his place and is blustering around trying to insist that 29 days is 30 as he wants us out before the first. We have been turned into the bad guys in his mind.

And my aging cat is very sick again.... I don't think he will be coming out of it this time and probably won't make the move with us.

I am grateful for the extra time that I got to spend with him. Life moves onward.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

change ahead no matter what

"Any change, even a change for the better, is always accompanied by drawbacks and discomforts." ~Arnold Bennett (possibly the How to Live on 24 hours a Day author)

We are back to hunting for a new home. We've hit a wall with the negotiations and frankly this place needs a great deal of work (not just cosmetic work). We would be much better off at our ages, to purchase something that we can put finishing touches upon, instead of spending so much money and time repairing and upgrading this place.

I am still stressing out a bit; all this house-moving stuff, finding a new job or a large raise, wondering if I haven't cut myself off from ever working for the community colleges by going this direction.... wondering if I passed the exams...

I've got to put all those things in their little compartments now, and head off to work.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Home buying humor

Hapless Home Buyers Guide

These two especially struck a chord...
"3. Calculate what you can afford to pay. Promise yourselves not to exceed it by thirty grand."
"5. Meet with highly touted broker. Wonder if he ever sold used cars."

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Unconscious Mutterings Week 171

I say ... and you think ... ?
  1. Immune :: system

  2. Together :: again

  3. Blank :: expression

  4. Professional :: license

  5. Thousand :: yard stare

  6. Penetration :: depth

  7. Shutter :: the windows

  8. Upside down :: and inside out

  9. Neck :: bone connected to the head bone...

  10. Unlisted :: number
Weekly word list at Unconscious Mutterings

Saturday, May 13, 2006

An endurance test

It was an endurance run as much as a test of knowledge in my head. Most everyone who sat for both exams (core and option) said they were exhausted when it was over.
I think I'll put my feet up and relax now... maybe look at the television without seeing and doze off.

Do you want to know how I think I did?

I am not sure. After finishing the morning session (counseling core), I felt rather optimistic. I am pretty sure I passed it.... But this afternoon, not only were there multiple choice questions, but I was required to write two essays (choose one topic from two choices in section A, and choose one topic from two choices in section B). At the end of the day, after pulling everything possible out of my head, I wasn't a very effective writer. I don't know that I did well on the multiple choice either.

I will know the results in two weeks. Either I passed and I have earned my degree (only one elective to finish to complete the number of credits needed) or I will need to retake one or both exams in November.. Either way, I don't imagine I have finished the bulk of my education.

"There is no end to education. It is not that you read a book, pass an examination, and finish with education. The whole of life, from the moment you are born to the moment you die, is a process of learning."
~Jiddu Krishnamurti

The teachings of Jiddu Krishnamurti

Monday, May 08, 2006

remember to breathe

"Rule 1. Don't sweat the small stuff.

Rule 2. It's all small stuff.

Rule 3. If you can't fight or flee, then flow."
- unknown

After some looking at everything that might be suitable in the area, we concluded that there is "no place like home". So with my sister's help (she is a realtor), we made an offer contingent on all sorts of things like inspections, appraisals, certain kinds of repairs and so on. I am out of my depth with the legalese and proper forms and wondering what I have forgotten. She is going to handle it for us as our agent and will make sure we aren't taken for a ride and that all the t's are crossed and the i's dotted.

I am absolutely freaking out with the stress of everything. Well, sort of.. there is the outward part of me that is frequently distracted and forgetful, sometimes unable to sit still, and often unable to focus, the me who is breathing rapid and shallowly until I catch myself doing it... and there is the part that finds the me that is freaking out- a curiosity to be detachedly examined.

Four days left to study for comprehensive exams.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Unconscious Mutterings Week 170

I say ... and you think ... ?
  1. Represent :: advocate

  2. Mumbling :: and wandering in circles

  3. Meetup :: common interests

  4. Tantalizing :: tempted

  5. Fake :: people

  6. Dale :: hill and

  7. Deny :: moderation probably suits me better most of the time

  8. Calories :: should pay more attention

  9. Roll :: over Beethoven

  10. 44 :: 00
Weekly word list found at Unconscious Mutterings

Friday, May 05, 2006

the attraction of needs

"Plant the seed of desire in your mind and it forms a nucleus with power to attract to itself everything needed for its fulfillment." ~Robert Collier

While I believe that to be true for some things, I mostly understood that sort of thought from the point of view that we make millions of minute by minute decisions based on the things we have decided we need, deserve and can achieve, that we perceive things based on our personal frame of reference (and all that entails), and that those two things give rise to the appearance of attraction (from a physics perspective). (oh, how very adult and logical that is, says the cool and calm voice inside; the one that requires touchable, hold it in my hand, see it with my eyes- proof; and how neglectful of all things Jungian and synchronistic.. or even Eastern.)

But why should that be so???? If every particle attracts every other particle (no matter with what force) and if everything is connected (because a part of me truly believes that is so, even as I question the depth), why wouldn't desire and thought be enough to create some sort of change in attraction? Because some part of me believes that it would be too magical for desire and belief to result in the concrete-actual-physical attraction of the needed things to self. (dangerous ground combining a monumentally insufficient knowledge of physics and systems theory, with the ecological, philosophical and spiritual- where I also have monumentally insufficient knowledge)

Yet, if we can but just find a place in our area quickly enough (that's likely the catch!), even at the outrageous price range that homes have become, magically we have the necessary funds to become owners with a more than adequate amount of equity. And in a flash instead of needing to move, we are deciding to move (or hoping we can do it quickly enough) because we don't want to purchase a fixer-upper (which defines this place). It seems like terribly frivolous behavior after all the previous fears.

Still facing my comprehensive exams (May 13) and thinking about scrambling to find a place, all that packing and lifting and sorting... and the "dues" necessary to seek the employment that would give me the most satisfaction (versus the the reasonably satisfying job I can seek right now) and the timing and location of each of those --- the road ahead isn't necessarily smooth... not yet anyway... or maybe never... (pessimist, pessimist, pessimist- a tiny voice in my head cries!! where did you surface from??)

Taking note of the above and wandering off on another tangent, or trip through the neurons, dendrites, and axons filling my brain, it is odd, but my normally very pessimistic spouse has been the cautiously optimistic one this time, while I have been internally full of panic and pessimism (only expressed a bit here) and outwardly trying to break things into one step at a time. Strange that first bit and possibly worth some examination, though the second seems a familiar trait- outwardly trying to cope and control.

The weight on my shoulders and heart lifts a tiny bit....

Monday, May 01, 2006

small manageable tasks

"The secret of getting ahead is getting started. The secret of getting started is breaking your complex overwhelming tasks into small manageable tasks, and then starting on the first one."~Mark Twain

Small manageable tasks and starting on the first one... Well, yes; that's what I think I am doing. Or well, starting on several with as much as I can do for one small part of one and then on to the next to do as much on one small part as can be done and on to the next to....

I don't care about getting ahead; but something is screaming inside about not falling off the cliff, or not letting everything crash to the ground, or being so close to the finish line and not letting it all fall apart... or pick your own analogy.

I delegated all the tasks I could.. husband talking to various folks-- repair/handiperson (estimates on the needed repairs in the thought to make a bid on this place) with my list of what's falling apart in hand, realtor (funny word that; and not spelled as I thought it should) to handle making the bid or maybe finding something else, loan specialist to see if any of it is feasible (only he wants me to talk to that guy later, because he thinks I will understand more about loans and creative financing). He is packing his things, garage things, going through all the excess accumulation from the years here.

I've been combing ads and things like Craigslist for other rentals; contacted Los Angeles Housing people about the time we are supposed to be allowed for finding a new place (120 days seems to be what every written thing says, but my landlord is ignoring that), as well as if there is relocation assistance or not..

Along with all that, I study for comprehensive exams, work on this quarter's classes, fret, pack, work with clients, stress out (did I say that already?), try to do some preliminary work for a study I think I want to do for my last elective needed for the degree.

Under control? No. Handled sort of for the moment? Yes, I think so.. until tomorrow.

I'm not feeling negative exactly -and I mostly think if there is time enough, it is all do-able and everything can work out.. but there is a sort of panic that rises in fits and starts and troubles my sleep.

Sunday, April 30, 2006

Unconscious Mutterings Week 169

I say ... and you think ... ?
  1. Out of place :: everything, me

  2. Helicopter :: noise in the night

  3. Francis :: 2 friends

  4. Ryan :: White

  5. Wedding :: dress

  6. Apalled :: shock

  7. Historian :: keeper of the interpretations

  8. Powerful :: effect

  9. Sex symbol :: Marilyn

  10. Uncomfortable :: anxious
Weekly word list at Unconscious Mutterings

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

How many days?

"Life has been your art. You have set yourself to music. Your days are your sonnets."
~Oscar Wilde

This seemed to be a thought provoking link posted by Christa at Awful Souls

How old are you?

I am 19,562 days old...
.... glass more than half full or half empty????

What will I do, what do I want to do with the days ahead? What music will I play? (and in this mood; pleasant and harmonious or discordant?)

For comparison:
(Not accounting for leap years):
75 years-- 27,375 days
100 years -- 36,500 days
120 years -- 43,800 days

Odd to view it in days, isn't it?

On a different note; we were so stupid (really stupid, then complacent) not to push our landlord so many years ago to let us buy this condo from him on contract or outright. I asked several times, then let it go. We've been here 18 years now- it was too easy to let the subject slide, finally thinking of it as our home, our place. Now we can't afford it, but he is selling it. Buyers come tonight to look at it. He is upset that I mentioned Los Angeles rent control laws about taking a place off the rental market (and paying a relocation fee to tenants). Life doesn't look too great from this vantage point at this moment. Silly to have tears and be emotional at every eye blink about leaving a home??? A building is just the shell, after all. It is truly the folks inside that make it a home.

My mind drifts, to somewhere else (avoidance is the desire- just for a moment, just for some breathing space)....

"It's so wonderful... if your whole day is rotten, once they start the music, it seems to melt away." ~Donald O'Connor

Monday, April 24, 2006


"Reality is the leading cause of stress amongst those in touch with it."
~Lily Tomlin

May 13 is when I take my comprehensive exams. At the moment, I'm working mostly with my most difficult course material. That part is going ok, but I am, as you might expect, very nervous about it.

Life in all other aspects is working according to Murphy's Laws! Everything is falling apart in all directions... We must find a new home; I need to find a new job; We must pack all our belongings; etc. etc. etc.

As much as I know that everything is all about perception, and we see what we expect to see, I can't shake the feeling that I am dragging a large black storm cloud around with me. I expect the next hailstorm to come at any minute.

The line between sane and losing it, is very thin and I am on the edge -- teetering.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Unconscious Mutterings Week 168

I say ... and you think ... ?
  1. Rising :: Sun, The House of the..

  2. Third :: Eye

  3. Disruptive :: current, personal, housing situation

  4. Surround :: -ed with chaos

  5. Distant :: whisper

  6. Suction :: cup

  7. Fried :: green tomatoes

  8. Nuggets :: gold

  9. Clip :: movie

  10. San Antonio :: Texas

Weekly word list found at Unconscious Mutterings

Thursday, April 20, 2006

To learn ...

"To learn anything, you must put aside the safety of your ignorance."
~Richard Bach, Messiah's Handbook

In a much more concrete manner, I have to create and lead a thirty minute workshop on something connected to colleges- for students, faculty, staff, etc. for whom my classmates will act out the roles.

I thought about learning styles as a topic, because it could be presented to fit the time constraints, was useful and certainly pertained to either faculty or students on a college campus. So of course, I am searching for tests, information and so on, some of which I might have already linked.

Here is one I don't think I have linked previously; it's short and quick. I have correspondence pending with its author.

Diablo Valley College Learning Syyle Survey for College, by Catherine Jester and adapted for the web by Suzanne Miller.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

random selections

"The artist is the only one who knows that the world is a subjective creation, that there is a choice to be made, a selection of elements" ~Anais Nin

I have this stash of wonderful quotes to draw from and the above stood out from the rest tonight. We are all artists, selecting our elements...

I wanted to have something more to say.. perhaps something that was clever, or intelligent or maybe both.. but arriving home after 10pm, heating up some soup to eat, and staring at the television (second half of Boston Legal, a very quirky show that I enjoy, but only occasionally get to see), pretty much everything and anything with even a vague smidgen of depth and coherence is beyond reach..

I suppose that isn't surprising, given that my choice was to turn on the television for company while eating my tiny supper.

Monday, April 17, 2006

almost the Jetson's

Working on readings for my Disability Management class and listening to the news on CNN in the background, something caught my ear that required further attention including a Google search (of course!).

This certainly would change rush hour all over the world, wouldn't it?

More information at AirScooter II Ultralight
and/or at AirScooter Faqs

Unconscious Mutterings Week 167

I say ... and you think ... ?
  1. Ambition :: to live a balanced life

  2. Meatloaf :: Marvin Lee Aday

  3. Celebrity :: over rated

  4. Coach :: life, sports; some good, some not so

  5. Slacker :: someone who hasn't yet found their niche

  6. Reflection :: in the still water

  7. Original :: often best

  8. Risk :: life requires some

  9. Saved :: by the bell

  10. June :: graduations and weddings
Want to play? Weekly word list at Unconscious Mutterings

Friday, April 14, 2006

time flies, sleep evades...

"If we knew what it was we were doing, it would not be called research, would it?" ~Albert Einstein

Being too wired from class and two different conversations about some future research I might be interested in doing, I couldn't sleep when I got home. Instead I did some looking in the library databases and got sidetracked a bit-- of course. Friday involves a client to see and paperwork that needs to be turned in, so a thoughtful post also evades my abilities.

Instead I have a couple of photos - one from Monday night and one from tonight.. I thought I used the same settings, but I did enough experimentation that I am not certain. None of tonight's photos turned out well, though it was darker when I took the photos.

monday evening from campus


Tuesday, April 11, 2006

I want to dance

I want to dance lightly under the new leaves and sudden growth of spring.
I want to look closely and smile at each spring flower tilting its head up to feel the sun.
I want to feel the sun and wind's warmth on my face and banish their chill fingers to another season.
I want to escape the walls of human made cocoons, escape the prisons of glass and paint and carpets...
I want the sky to clear and the birds to sing and the traffic noises to be far behind me so as not to remember them, at least for a while.
I want to reach the end of rigidly scripted studies, academic deadlines and work reports, at least for this span of time.
I am bone tired with spirit sagging. I need to have the sky for ceiling. I need to smell the earth, to feel the sun and dance in the embrace of the warm winds.

the crowd in the middle

I don't aspire to be above and in charge, but I don't want to feel as if I were below and powerless.... and I certainly don't want to be caught in the crowd in the middle. That would suggest a reason for the feelings of aloneness. I am not sure where those feelings were shaped (or who, or what influences directed them).

I want to get to where ever it is that I want to get to when ever that might be, and enjoy the pieces I choose to enjoy along the way and sometimes ponder them alone. (It sounds like, I want what I want when I want it even if I don't know what it is!- a two year old in a fifty plus year old's body??). Maybe I am afraid of being settled in too many ways and that holds me back from much, but I certainly don't want someone else defining any of it for me. And why does that bother me, unless I might be afraid that I am letting someone else, or lots of someone else's define it all for me?

A Dean at another school who has earned the degrees I am finishing, worked in the field a long time and is a likeable fellow, was trying to explain a pet theory of his to me last week --that people are losers who give up quick, or they are climbers who always find new higher ground, or they are stagnating somewhere in the middle (darn, I wish I could remember his term for those in the middle)- clinging to safety and security - afraid to move forward because they might lose or fail. The simplicity of that bothers me, but way beyond the too simplistic, is the annoying assumption that people must be, need to be attempting to be or to get to somewhere else. But some part of me knows that the hanging on in the middle part- the get comfortable and stay there because it is safe bit, resonates with something that seems much too familiar.

On a not so different note, I dislike competition in most areas of life-- too many people take it way too seriously.
And in a somewhat different direction, I think I like pondering the questions-- because I am not so very good at choosing single uniform answers.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Unconscious Mutterings Week 166

I say ... and you think ... ?
  1. Buck :: Pearl S.

  2. Harry :: Potter

  3. Play :: "Would you like to play a game?"

  4. Monstrosity :: huge and horrible

  5. Nightclub :: past

  6. Missing :: someone, anyone, everyone

  7. Sprout :: sandwich with tomato and avocado on freshly baked whole wheat

  8. Flavor :: herbs

  9. Identity :: many and one and none

  10. Saucy :: insolent, but perhaps cute ;-)

Weekly word list can be found at Unconscious Mutterings

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

another gray rainy day

"I like these cold, gray winter days. Days like these let you savor a bad mood."
~Bill Watterson
(author of Calvin & Hobbes)

I find myself falling into the grayness of the late arriving rainy season. The lack of sun is sucking up every ounce of my energy... beyond that, there isn't much that I care to share at the moment.

For a few smiles, check out the various Bill Watterson/Calvin and Hobbes links:
UComics - Calvin and Hobbes
Wikipedia - Cavin and Hobbes
Andrew McMeal Publishing- Quotable Calvin
ThinkExist Quotes- Bill Watterson

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Unconscious Mutterings Week 165

I say ... and you think ... ?
  1. Desire :: restrained

  2. Sleep :: interrupted

  3. Lost :: lambs

  4. 2006 :: amazement

  5. Pump :: basic shoe

  6. Space :: limited

  7. Stuck :: rut

  8. Reference:: library

  9. Birth:: beginning

  10. Hand:: and foot
Weekly word list found at Unconscious Mutterings

Friday, March 31, 2006

random choices

I do a lot of quick re-reading of passages in different books. Cloudy days and the slow windup at the start of an academic quarter, push me towards a great deal more of this. Generally it is done by what I call 'the book choosing me', but which I know is my unconscious choosing a book ---- perhaps in synchronicity, serendipity or perhaps in entirely random ways.

Today's choice was a tiny book of selections from Kahlil Gibran which opened to the essay "My Soul Preached to Me". So many different places of significance to me, but I will start with the beginning...
My soul preached to me and taught me to love that which the people abhor and befriend him whom they revile.

My soul showed me that Love prides itself not only in the one who loves, but also in the beloved.

Ere my soul preached to me, Love was in my heart as a tiny thread fastened between two pegs.

But now Love has become a halo whose beginning is its end and whose end is its beginning. It surrounds every being and extends slowly to embrace all that shall be.
I think I understand.. and that understanding grows with age.... but sometimes I still want it to be "a tiny thread fastened between two pegs". Selfish, eh?

Thursday, March 30, 2006

forty questions????

I ran across these questions at mole.... in this post. They went quicker than I thought. What enticed me to answer, though, was this - found in comments:

"These memes are, like, chatty, you know? Ice breakers? I prattle, then you prattle, and it makes me feel better. I prattle, you don't say nothin, I feel like a goof."

1) Who is the last person you high-fived? -- one of the agency clients who was outside my boss's office.. funny though, at first I could remember the action, my awkward response, his hands, but not the face... then it suddenly came into focus. It's one of those things I respond to, but seldom initiate.

2) If you were drafted into a war, would you survive? -- maybe..

3) Do you sleep with the TV on? -- occasionally.. well, often if I am actually sitting down watching TV.

4) Have you ever drunk milk straight out of the carton? -- absolutely, but shush.. don't tell my son; I tell him that he can't.

5) Have you ever won a spelling bee? -- yup.... ages and ages and ages ago. I used to be pretty good at spelling.

6) Have you ever been stung by a bee? -- yeah, twice. The first time, not a big deal; the second, a very, very big deal. I'm supposed to carry one of those EpiPens for any potential third sting and I ought to get one for any day hikes... I wonder what hoops I need to jump to get Kaiser to prescribe one. The last one I had was with a different doctor, different insurance carrier...

7) How fast can you type? -- depends on the day... fifty, sixty wpm on some.. forty with mistakes and frequent backspacing on others..

8) Are you afraid of the dark? -- sometimes; more that I intensely feel being alone in the dark

9) Eye color? -- blue/green/hazel.. my driver's license used to say blue/green

10) Have you ever made out at a drive-in? -- ahhh... memories.. yes..

11) When is the last time you chose a bath over a shower? -- too long

12) Do you knock on wood? -- sometimes

13) Do you floss daily? -- some weeks

(-- 14 seems to be missing)

15) Can you hula hoop? -- used to in the nineteen-fifties (1950's), and was very good at it; not tried it lately though I noticed some in a ToysRUs just last week and considered buying one for a lark.

16) Are you good at keeping secrets? -- Yes

17) What do you want for Christmas? -- world peace

18) Do you know the Muffin Man? -- no

19) Do you talk in your sleep? -- not that I'm aware of.. surely someone would have told me????

20) Who wrote the book of love? -- I don't know, is there only one? If there is only one, would someone send me a copy or point me in the right direction, please? Please?

21) Have you ever flown a kite? -- Yes! fond memories

22) Do you wish on your fallen lashes? -- no

23) Do you consider yourself successful? -- Do I? by what standards? yes- because I've survived to this point in life with a sense of humor intact and growing.

24) How many people are on your contact list of your cell? -- I'd have to count; it's filled with clients, work and academic contacts... much fewer friends and family.

25) Have you ever asked for a pony? --no... I wanted my own row boat (got it too)

26) Plans for tomorrow? not to cry about the lack of free time, and to socialize enough and carefully in the monthly staff meeting

27) Can you juggle? -- yes, but like Dale, only three items.. been a while though and I'm out of pracice... OH, AND of course, i can juggle. I do it every day- time, money, people, priorities!!!!!!!

28) Missing someone now? -- yes, yes, yes...

29) when was the last time you told someone I Love You? -- my son, last night. Oh did you mean some other significant person- not one's child??? not in a while.

30) And truly meant it? -- yes.

31) how often do you drink? -- almost never

32) How are you feeling today? -- up and down, normal, ordinary.

33) what do you say too much? -- "really" - as statement, question, sometimes as a sarcastic comment

34) Have you ever been suspended or expelled from school? -- maybe

35) What are you looking forward to? -- finishing my degree and having more unstructured time

36) Have you ever crawled through a window? -- yes

37) Have you ever eaten dog food? -- not dog food but dog biscuits because my baby sister seemed to think they were good.. they weren't, but she and the dog would share them.

38) Can you handle the truth? -- yes.. and like Dale, that is qualified-- I can handle the truth better than a lie...

39) Do you like green eggs and ham? -- well, I like Theodor Geisel's works, so yeah.

40) Any cool scars? -- hmmmm.. cool??? not sure about cool. There are a few visible scars I can be encouraged to talk about

I'll leave the invitation/tag/ - open to anyone who wishes to pick it up...

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

signs of the day

"Wrinkles should merely indicate where smiles have been." ~Mark Twain

I've definitely got the wrinkles...
wink pink

Some smiles from the day:

Surprise visitor 2

My son said, "Look! There's a rabbit out here"... to which I replied "yeah, right" because I thought he was joking. We have wooden fences on either side of what is a room sized deck/patio area between the condo and the garage. But as you can see, there was a rabbit enjoying the fact that we don't have a deck or paving stones and the weeds are growing like crazy. I grabbed the camera, and Mr. Rabbit who actually lives next door, posed for a couple of pictures.

Another smile of the day-- my new spring/summer hiking boots arrived.

To be completely honest, at the same time I ordered these for hiking, I also ordered a pair of suede boots with three inch heels to indulge another side of me. I don't wear heels that often. I much prefer the speed and functionality of flats and low wedge soles for ordinary day use. I expect the boots below are the ones that will get the most use.

new boots

They are waterproof, lightweight, with lugged rubber soles, and comfy except for a slight stiffness at the left Achilles tendon. I'm wearing them right now with my yoga pants- to break them in, of course. Besides, even though it is a bit like the young child who wears a ballerina tutu and cowboy boots, no one can see me.
wink pink

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

youth steps up

"He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it. He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it." ~Martin Luther King, Jr.

There is something heartening about the youth protest over the immigration bill.

I sympathize with the protesters and disagree with the draconian provisions of what I think is the house version of the bill (though I'm having trouble finding either one on Thomas), while I understand the reasons behind trying to create immigration reforms. IF we are to continue having governments and political borders, IF we wish to choose who can and can't come into our country (or at least the majority of those who come), then some kind of immigration laws and penalties for breaking the laws probably ought to exist.

Note the tentative language - I can see both sides. I have an automatic gut response to anything that prohibits the free movement of human beings- while at the same time I expect the government to protect its citizens from anything and anyone harmful that might wish to cross into the country. I'm not convinced we need to be protected against Mexicans and Canadians or anyone else who comes here to work.

Those words poured out when what I really wanted to say was that I wish the youth had turned out, would turn out in the streets, in the same numbers, to protest the war in Iraq.

But noticing and protesting an unfair bill is a start.

Monday, March 27, 2006

no exceptions

There were lots of little things in this day attempting to eat away at the edges of any "I can handle this, I can handle anything for ten weeks" attitude, but at some moment in the middle I saw this bumper sticker:

God bless the whole world
No Exceptions

and it provoked a lot of thought.. bits of sadness... and a great deal of hope. It also served to turn my focus outward and away from my own little self involved angst filled circle.

On the car that carried this banner, was another indicating the person driving was affiliated in some manner with the FCNL...
Who is that, I wondered? ... Checking it out, it all made sense of course.
FCNL- the Friends Committee on National Legislation- the polical action committee of the Quakers.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Unconscious Mutterings Week 164

I say ... and you think ... ?
  1. Glass castle:: glass houses and stones; fantasy tales with quests, magic, swords and castles

  2. Preserved:: well

  3. Jealousy:: useless emotion

  4. Territory:: borders

  5. Coffee:: magical brew; my elixor of choice- a version of vanilla frappachino with 2 additional shots of expresso... when I want caffeine, I want caffeine.

  6. Stephen:: Wright, King, Segal

  7. Slut:: perception

  8. Dynamic:: ever changing

  9. Daybreak:: dawn

  10. Dew:: on the grass

Weekly word list found at Unconscious Mutterings

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

smiles from the day

The perfect temperature, a little wind, a little sun, water bubbling along in the wash, lizzards skittering under brush, wild flowers blooming, bees buzzing, crows flying, birds singing, a short hike-- all ingredients for a wonderful spirit soothing afternoon!!

Two glances at some of the scenery:
Tujunga Wash 169

Branching paths

Here comes the sun

A reasonable night's sleep, the last free week-day for the next eleven weeks, a beautiful sunshiny day- and I think I will play today. I'll see if I can rustle up a picture or two later.

Here Comes the Sun

Monday, March 20, 2006

country kick

This blues and rock gal finds herself on a bit of a country music kick these past many days. I rather like the dance rhythm of "Save a Horse, Ride a Cowboy"  , so I downloaded it several days ago. That started a hunt through my CD's for various country artists I enjoy, which turned into a surfing and listening trip through a 79-99 cent download store for some others.

Among those downloads- this one by Keith Urban
Days Go By

I'm changing lanes and talkin' on the phone
Drivin' way too fast.
And the interstate's jammed with gunners like me
Afraid of comin' in last.
But somewhere in the race we run,
We're coming undone...

And days go by...
I can feel 'em flyin'
Like a hand out the window in the wind.
The cars go by...
Yeah it's all we've been given,
So you better start livin' right now
'Cause days go by...

Out on the roof just the other night
I watched the world flash by,
Headlights, taillights,
Running through a river of neon signs.
But somewhere in the rush I felt,
We're losing ourselves...

and another by Keith Urban "Where the Blacktop Ends"

Gonna kick off my shoes
And run in bare feet
Where the grass and the dirt and the gravel all meet
Goin' back to the well gonna visit old friends
And feed my soul where the blacktop ends

I'll not be kicking off my shoes outside just yet- it's a little chilly and wet for that..
wink pink

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Unconscious Mutterings Week 163

I say ... and you think ... ?
  1. Sugar rush:: energy boost

  2. Chemical:: spill

  3. Suspension:: bridge (or on my car, which needs work)

  4. Defending:: a premise, a thesis, a theory

  5. Conference:: academic

  6. Dance:: by moonlight with wild abandon

  7. Weather:: keeps turning grey

  8. Fuel:: energy; cell; life

  9. Heartbreak:: many that I've recovered from; one that I am not sure if I ever will...

  10. Insult:: shrug it off
Weekly word list can be found at Unconscious Mutterings

Saturday, March 18, 2006

night darker than midnight blue

"All changes, even the most longed for, have their melancholy; for what we leave behind us is a part of ourselves; we must die to one life before we can enter another." ~Anatole France

It has been a day of mostly successes and only a few negative surprises. But the night has a melancholy feel (that feeling in the night is an old friend, not so welcome, but oh so familiar). It might have been helped along by the skies that keep forgetting to stay blue in the daytime, or perhaps by knowing I no longer have a free day for solitary pursuits. That last bit is something I must figure out how to correct, even if it means running away from home every few weeks for a day or so on the weekend. But it is only one of many things that need some adaptation-- or else complete change.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

work expands...

"...This was my life. Days blended together, consistently ordinary, thanks to a job that was the practical version of my passion. ..." from the movie Catwoman

I've had more than a few days that blended together.. weeks, months, years even. The phrase "consistently ordinary" chafes a bit in it's aptness. It isn't how I want to live all the rest of my days. I suppose I should be careful what I wish for...

For the moment, this day's residue lingers. What started out easy and fun turned into a frustrating search for a computer malfunction within a client's machine... something I suspect is either a virus (it only seems to be affecting programs that connect to or create a connection with the internet) or a terrible symptom of worse things to come. Because I know how much she depends on it to touch the world outside, being a real softie, I'm trying to figure out how to fit some of my weekend time (or how much I wish to give) to work on it more. I sometimes have trouble drawing clear lines and boundaries for such things.. and sticking with them.

"Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion."
~C. Northcote Parkinson

or perhaps I should listen to Will Wheaton: "When I was so sick ... I had a fever-induced epiphany: I needed to make several changes in my life. I needed to redefine some boundaries, and re-organize my priorities." (his blog is undergoing renovations)

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

a weight temporarily banished

I was looking around ThinkExist.com Quotations using "lightness" as a search term and discovered this:

"“The beauty of flames lies in their strange play, beyond all proportion and harmony. Their diaphanous flare symbolizes at once grace and tragedy, innocence and despair, sadness and voluptuousness. The burning transcendence has something of the lightness of great purifications. I wish the fiery transcendence would carry me up and throw me into a sea of flames, where, consumed by their delicate and insidious tongues, I would die an ecstatic death. The beauty of flames creates the illusion of a pure, sublime death similar to the light of dawn. Immaterial, death in flames is like a burning of light, graceful wings. Do only butterflies die in flames? What about those devoured by the flames within them?" ~Emile M. Cioran

It has nothing to do with my mood or feeling tonight, but the words struck me as worth thought....

I confess to never having heard of Emile M. Cioran before... Wikipedia is such a nice tool.

There are several other quotations at ThinkExist attributed to him -like this one: "It is not worth the bother of killing yourself, since you always kill yourself too late." ... (which amused me in its truth)... or this one: "No one recovers from the disease of being born, a deadly wound if there ever was one."... or this one: "It is because we are all imposters that we endure each other."

I finished the quarter. With this class I might have done damage to my perfect 4.0 for graduate studies as I earned a nice solid "B" on quizzes. No matter. I do have two different invitations to this year's honors convocation- one for special division honors and one for special recognition in graduate studies. Not bad for an old gal, eh?

As to the start of this post -- 'lightness' was one of the words I was looking at to describe a certain weight lifted from my shoulders and a week ahead free of classes... the road always seems tangential.
wink pink

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

actions speak louder

Every evening I intend to spend a few minutes writing here and every evening, I seem to have too many things still needing attention that completely fill the time available. And then its time to sleep.

Poor lonely little blog.

Honest, my intentions are true, it's the scheduling that seems to be causing difficulty.

I've pictures, topics, thoughts, silly things that don't really need saying but that I need to express... so more consistency at posting soon... honest.... errr ah well, I hope anyway... more intentions - from a person who believes that actions speak louder.

Wednesday is the do or die day for the academic quarter and after that my whole schedule changes. So we'll see, won't we?

Tuesday, February 28, 2006


"We come. We go. And in between we try to understand." ~Rod Steiger

"The doors we open and close each day decide the lives we live."
~Flora Whittemore

I'm trying to decide if I should open a few new ones... I'm not that fond of closing any.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Unconscious Mutterings Week 160

I say ... and you think ... ?
  1. Baby step:: small one

  2. Wasted:: away again in Margaritaville. Looking for my lost shaker of salt

  3. Reggie:: Jackson

  4. Pitiful:: "Poor, Poor, Pitiful Me"

  5. Acting out:: supressed emotions surfacing

  6. Tomato:: home grown

  7. Bad night:: more than a few, less than some others

  8. Trip:: yeah man, it was a real trip... ;-)

  9. Finance charges:: pay those monthly things off so they don't accumulate

  10. Sport:: a good one

Weekly word list found at Unconscious Mutterings

Friday, February 24, 2006

procrastination ...

It's been a week... and I've many personal things to catch up with, errands to run in different directions of town and some case management things to do -- so many that I feel overwhelmed... the sort of 'crawl under the blankets and hope to wake up when it's another day' kind of overwhelmed.
At any rate (I say that rather a lot, I think; possibly a habit I need to break), I was procrastinating and catching up on a few blogs -- finding this at Andy's

Deanna Troi seems a logical choice, but Geordi LaForge as a second at 65% is a hoot! ..think that's my geek/nerdiness showing again? I kinda wished Spock would have been a higher percentage though.
wink pink

Your results:
You are Deanna Troi
You are a caring and loving individual.
You understand people's emotions and
you are able to comfort and counsel them.

Click here to take the Star Trek Personality Quiz

Had to remove the listing of percentages of other characters as it misaligned the post...

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

They want who to operate what????

"Instead of giving a politician the keys to the city, it might be better to change the locks." ~Doug Larson

"Politics is the art of preventing people from sticking their noses in things that are properly their business." ~Paul Valery

Before I read the CNN article, I didn't realize that most of our East Coast ports were previously run by a British port management company which has been sold to the U.A.E company in question ... and somewhere I read something about most of the West coast ports being run by a Chinese company. Of course, now I can't find that and I am not at all sure which Chinese... but surely that would be Taiwan?????..

I've real issues with outsourcing any government operations (including basic military supplies, data management, catastrophic medical supplies, etc) to any foreign government- and that includes the British or the Canadians (no offense, but let's face it, you all wouldn't want us running any of your government operations or infrastructure, either). What I don't understand is why that - outsourcing government operations- isn't a bigger issue with other folks.

I tend to agree with Kevin Drum's assessment of the "real scandal": Politically, this whole thing is astoundingly tone deaf, especially since Bush did it without consulting anyone in Congress. Substantively, though, I'm not quite sure I get the fuss. Would we really be any safer if P&O were acquired by a Singaporean company? Frankly, the real scandal is that we're not already handling port security as if every port management company in the U.S. had a member of al-Qaeda on its board of directors.

Ok, off my soapbox now. There'll be lighter fare later in the week including pictures along with other less 'scratch one's head in amazement' things.