Friday, June 29, 2018

Awesome time

Wizard's World of Harry Potter, Despicable Me, and Transformers crammed together into 2 days of awesome fun.  I planned and prepared and chose to go with the flow.  My daughter invited me to Universal Studio.  Grandson and I enjoyed the wilder rides.  We all enjoyed the less intense rides.  Both were lots of fun.  I worried and fretted over being able to eat.  I found out last year, I am extremely allergic to all forms of soy.  As my doctor said, "Soy is in everything."  Restaurants rely heavily on soy in all its forms, oil, lecithin, flour and protein.  Going out to eat is a real challenge.  I usually look up my choices in advance.  Universal Studios does not have that option.  I fretted.  Packed a full lunch.  We ate at the 3 Brooms in Hogsmeade....Oh my goodness.  I sent an email to Universal Studios and they recommended asking for what I needed.  I did. 

Back up a bit.  Over 15 years ago when I was in counseling my therapist gave me home work to ask for something that was not already given to me.  I remember going and asking for bread-sticks.  I was a nervous wreck but I did it.  My counselor was stunned at how difficult it was for me to ask for the simplest things.  Now I am asking for something that may add extra work and may not even be available.  Other restaurants had made it quite clear that accommodating my 'no soy' request was not likely.  So I gathered up my courage and walked to the guy taking orders and asked him what was available that was soy free.  He asked me to wait and he would get the chef.  I work at a school that teaches culinary so I know that the Top Chef has the tallest hat.  Yup.  Top Chef came out to talk to me.  I explained that I would like to eat something that was soy free.  He suggested a chicken sandwich.   I commented that most breads have soy.  Nope not his bread.  He made me a delicious chicken sandwich with salad.  Most dressings are made with soy oil.  In two little cups he placed lemon juice and olive oil.  What a fantastic experience.  He went above and beyond all my past experiences to make sure I had a delicious soy free lunch.  It was so yummy. 

If you have a chance to go to Hogsmeade at Universal Studio, stop in at the 3 Brooms for a delicious meal. 

Monday, June 25, 2018


I am noticing a pattern when I read a book or follow a blog or get news letters from someone.  As soon as they starting telling me how following their instructions my life will be easier, I tune out.  Or they brag that they, and they alone, have the secret to healing. Or they start throwing around junk that after years of training and counseling that I know are faulty beliefs.  I was raised in a faulty belief system.  My mother did 10 times more work trying to find the efficient easy way to do something.  Watching all the remake of movies there aren't many new ideas.  Reading doing this or that to attract wealth, find the easy life or take a short cut in healing my "nonsense" alarm goes off.  I have dozens of books half read because I get part way through the book and I just want to pitch the book.  I'm not afraid to challenge my thinking.  Counseling tore up my entire thinking and belief system.  We got back to hard basics.  Tough task totally reformatting your own hard drive on the questioning my ideas is not the issue.

One of the basics....if it sounds too good to be true, it probably isn't.  Nothing new in the universe and there are few secrets left.  I believe strongly that the dinosaurs would have saved us all a lot of hassle if they had stepped on the easy button when they roamed the Earth.  There are patterns to living but this planet was designed to be tough and messy.  Check out the videos of what is happening in Hawaii to build their island bigger.  Hot molten lava is pouring across their country side devouring all in its path, making its way to the sea and enlarging the island.  If someone claims they have the secret or the easy way, they are selling you something.  My sister says, "If it can fit in a nut shell, it should probably stay there."  

What I do look for are the stories and the ideas of people that are healing, changing their lives for the better, and making a difference in the World.  Too often I heard the singsong, "Do as I say and not as I do."  I went into counseling because I didn't like my life.  I wanted something better.  I didn't know how to get what I wanted.  My counselor helped me work out a pattern but it is not an easy one:

1. Decide there is a problem.
2. Decide who's problem is it.  (Part of the difficulties I had was assuming every problem was my problem.)
3. Decide on a plan.  
4. Decide if I have the skills and resources to solve the problem.
5. Decide to get the skills and resources I need to solve the problem.
6.  Put my plan into action.
7. Review my my plan working.
8. Make adjustments as needed, continue to solve problems.

I realize there are two basic things I need to do DECIDE and ACT.

Anything else distracts me from these two basic ideas.  I do keep reading different ideas.  I learned that there are a lot of people that have solved problems similar to mine and either wrote a book or blog about it.  I'm not alone.  I can ask for help.  I can take breaks.  If something isn't working, I can change my mind and try something else.  

Another thing I learned is if there is no problem enjoy the break because a new problem will pop-up at any time.  I wake up in the morning, I swing my feet off the bed and BAM gravity is right their pulling me down.  I need determination and continued effort to over come the downward pull in life.  Have a beautiful day.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Not always

As I read this I thought about my years with toddlers in the house.  The luxury of nap time and the heart felt desire to be in the bathroom for 5 minutes without the toddler screaming at the door like I murdered them.  I was desperate.  I would line up ten pennies on the bathroom floor for my toddler to grab from the other side....that was how much time I could have alone.  Life with a toddler let the World wait and explore the World with your toddler.  I wish I had played more and worried less. 

Indoor fun with toddlers:

The World Can Wait

by DyanDiamond
Be sure to step outside and pause for a deep breath or two this weekend.  And don't forget to look up.
Take a few minutes to just be - to notice everything around you.   Just breathe.  Take a walk if you can.  Open up your senses and breathe in fresh air.
It's really good for us to let the week go and reset.  We can be much more effective in life when we regroup.
The world can wait while you reconnect with yourself.

Life slowed down after all our children moved out.  Reconnecting with myself is an ongoing process.  I noticed that sometimes when I am stressed I will hold my breath and not realize it, so I joke, "Feeling blue, BREATH." 

Monday, June 18, 2018

Ugly history

I will be getting on my soapbox about Immigration issues in the United States.  I sincerely wish things were different but I refuse to be part of the white washing and changing history to be more convenient for politicians.  

You've been warned.  

I noticed that on the issue of children being separated from families that politicians and media are trying to white wash our past history.  There are horrendous stories and incidents that happened on a national level.  Internment camps of Japanese families, divided and persecuted for their heritage.  There was the mass collection of children from the reservations of American Indians where they were stripped of their clothes and their heritage.  Beaten for speaking their native language and other horrors that people are trying to deny existed.  I remember those times.  People forget that in my life time people would cross back and forth across the Mexican and Canadian borders without passports or visas or any other papers.  It wasn't illegal to live in Mexico or Canada and work in the United States.  This is in my life time and my memory.  Not off of some distorted twisted media rewriting history.  Chavez and his posse fought to stop the migrant workers that came up from Mexico, followed the plantings then came back through for the harvest.  Their families worked together and farmer provided huts to live in.  Not good enough.  Protests, fights, demonstrations and the borders were closed without warning.  So many from other countries were here because until the 1970's and 80's it wasn't illegal.  Suddenly people that for generations had migrated with the crops were declared illegal.  It was a weird time and as a teenager I noticed the news about this.  The now illegal immigrants were scared.  They knew what the United State government had done to the American Indian children.  They didn't want the same thing to happen to their children.  Forty years later it is a mess.

I repeatedly voted for people that promised to 'fix' the immigration issues.   So many politicians lied and lied and lied.  I am sick and tired of the lies upon lies.  Obama had a fully democratic House and Senate......he could have been the leader to solve the problem.....he failed.  He put a band-aide over a compound fracture.  He did what I believe one of the cruelest gestures of all......he offered you want it, but didn't put into place the needed laws to actually follow up what he offered.  The rug was easily jerked out from under the Dream Students because it wasn't based in laws that stuck.  He created greater discord and from my perspective enjoyed creating it.  I heard the speech he gave to the students in our district.....some of them are children of illegals....Smoke and mirrors promises easily made because he did nothing to put into place the needed changes in unjust and wrong laws.  I believe when the smoke clears he will go down in infamy for creating discord and dissatisfaction that we the people could get our heads out of the sand and straighten out immigration laws.  To make the laws equitable and possible.  I work with many students from immigrant back ground.  It is a privileged to work with amazing, hard working students that want what every other person wants to be able to take care of themselves and their families.  I am so disappointed in the ugly way people are now blaming and pointing fingers at all the wrong people.  Immigration laws are a mess and they still need to be fixed.  The current rhetoric and backbiting and spread of half truths and lies for sensational news used to stir people up, not to solve the problem, but to be at each others throats.  I am frustrated that this is deteriorating into something that makes things worse and not better. 

Heavy sigh, these things are heavy on my heart and mind.  I am one small voice in a cacophony of discord that is do nothing to help those that are abused by an ugly system that is in desperate need for repair. 

Friday, June 15, 2018

Integrity Sacraficed

On the alter of Positivity.

Recently I was reminded what is wrong with the constant quest for being positive.  People only tell half the story.  People lie to cover up problems.  People deny that problems exist.  Integrity is seeking the truth, the good, bad, and the ugly.  Some people say it calling a Spade a Spade.  I grew up this way and sadly encouraged my children to only tell me the good in their day.  When my kids grew up, we had conversations of how they thought their problems were not important enough to share with me. Now I am seeing another negative thing about only focusing on the positive, people start to believe that only the positive exists.  If you bring up the down side, they don't want to hear it. 

Imagine for a moment that you are out looking for a house.  You only look at the positive you ignore the evidence of termites or a cracked foundation or damaged roof.  All expensive items if neglected.  Yet people are condoning ignoring the imperfections in ourselves in the name of positivity.  More than once I read people writing how messed up they were then declaring, "This is just the way I am."  Really.  I will be the first to agree that every person messes up some time.  I am all for looking for the best in people.  But dog gone it, if I go to the doctor office and complain that I have a broken leg, I don't expect the doctor to exclaim in delight that my lungs are healthy.  I want my leg fixed.  I am not doing myself any favors by saying that the broken leg is just the way I am. 

Thorns and roses. 

We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses. 

However, if we deny that roses have thorns we will be painfully reminded.  I am an advocate of balanced integrity.  Not everything is all bad and not everything is all good.  There is darkness and light.  A picture with out dark areas is really boring.  The beauty is seeing how the dark brings out the beauty of the light.  I believe that I will evaluate my behavior.  Listen to feedback from others then working towards becoming my best self. 

The dark water accentuates the white water bubbling up. 

Tuesday, June 12, 2018


I try to sit quietly and all chaos breaks out in my head....I find process art far more effective at creating a place to explore inner peace.  My inner peace is more like crashing cymbals and fire works.  However, I know many people that find meditation a blissful way to zone out and find peace. 

Anyway, I came across this link that explains the workings and how-to for meditation.  I read it over and I may attempt it some day.  I need to be in very safe stable environment to try to mess with my mind.  For me, it is like the moment I hold still and try to quiet my mind all this 'stuff'  both positive and negative come screaming at me. 

Maybe I need to apply what I learned with coping.  I can do anything for 5 minutes. 

Japa Prayer

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Description of depression

Shared by my friend on this is from a friend of a friend.

A friend of a friend wrote this... Long ish but worth reading because it's a freaking brilliant metaphor for depression. They don't want credit. Copy, paste, and share.
Now Anthony Bourdain.

When you have depression it’s like it snows every day.

Some days it’s only a couple of inches. It’s a pain in the ass, but you still make it to work, the grocery store. Sure, maybe you skip the gym or your friend’s birthday party, but it IS still snowing and who knows how bad it might get tonight. Probably better to just head home. Your friend notices, but probably just thinks you are flaky now, or kind of an asshole.

Some days it snows a foot. You spend an hour shoveling out your driveway and are late to work. Your back and hands hurt from shoveling. You leave early because it’s really coming down out there. Your boss notices.

Some days it snows four feet. You shovel all morning but your street never gets plowed. You are not making it to work, or anywhere else for that matter. You are so sore and tired you just get back in the bed. By the time you wake up, all your shoveling has filled back in with snow. Looks like your phone rang; people are wondering where you are. You don’t feel like calling them back, too tired from all the shoveling. Plus they don’t get this much snow at their house so they don’t understand why you’re still stuck at home. They just think you’re lazy or weak, although they rarely come out and say it.
Some weeks it’s a full-blown blizzard. When you open your door, it’s to a wall of snow. The power flickers, then goes out. It’s too cold to sit in the living room anymore, so you get back into bed with all your clothes on. The stove and microwave won’t work so you eat a cold Pop Tart and call that dinner. You haven’t taken a shower in three days, but how could you at this point? You’re too cold to do anything except sleep.

Sometimes people get snowed in for the winter. The cold seeps in. No communication in or out. The food runs out. What can you even do, tunnel out of a forty foot snow bank with your hands? How far away is help? Can you even get there in a blizzard? If you do, can they even help you at this point? Maybe it’s death to stay here, but it’s death to go out there too.
The thing is, when it snows all the time, you get worn all the way down. You get tired of being cold. You get tired of hurting all the time from shoveling, but if you don’t shovel on the light days, it builds up to something unmanageable on the heavy days. You resent the hell out of the snow, but it doesn’t care, it’s just a blind chemistry, an act of nature. It carries on regardless, unconcerned and unaware if it buries you or the whole world.

Also, the snow builds up in other areas, places you can’t shovel, sometimes places you can’t even see. Maybe it’s on the roof. Maybe it’s on the mountain behind the house. Sometimes, there’s an avalanche that blows the house right off its foundation and takes you with it. A veritable Act of God, nothing can be done. The neighbors say it’s a shame and they can’t understand it; he was doing so well with his shoveling.

I don’t know how it went down for Anthony Bourdain or Kate Spade. It seems like they got hit by the avalanche, but it could’ve been the long, slow winter. Maybe they were keeping up with their shoveling. Maybe they weren’t. Sometimes, shoveling isn’t enough anyway. It’s hard to tell from the outside, but it’s important to understand what it’s like from the inside.

I firmly believe that understanding and compassion have to be the base of effective action. It’s important to understand what depression is, how it feels, what it’s like to live with it, so you can help people both on an individual basis and a policy basis. I’m not putting heavy shit out here to make your Friday morning suck. I know it feels gross to read it, and realistically it can be unpleasant to be around it, that’s why people pull away.

I don’t have a message for people with depression like “keep shoveling”. It’s asinine. Of course you’re going to keep shoveling the best you can, until you physically can’t, because who wants to freeze to death inside their own house? We know what the stakes are. My message is to everyone else. Grab a fucking shovel and help your neighbor. Slap a mini snow plow on the front of your truck and plow your neighborhood. Petition the city council to buy more salt trucks, so to speak.

Depression is blind chemistry and physics, like snow. And like the weather, it is a mindless process, powerful and unpredictable with great potential for harm. But like climate change, that doesn’t mean we are helpless. If we want to stop losing so many people to this disease, it will require action at every level.

My Comment:
Adding a layer of guilt, ridiculing their lack of faith, underlining that there is something wrong with them are not helpful. I already beat myself other people do not need to add their 2 cents worth of "If you would only........"

My friend shared a link

Five steps
1. Ask
2. Keep them safe (if possible)
3. Be there
4. Help them connect
5. Follow up


Friday, June 8, 2018

Grudge or not

Ever been told to stop holding a grudge and do X, Y, or Z?  Ever noticed that the person accusing you of holding a grudge is trying to manipulate you? 

I like going to dictionary meetings.  I did copy this and shared the reference. 

1. noun
a feeling of ill will or resentment: to hold a grudge against a former opponent.
  1. adjective done, arranged, etc., in order to settle a grudge: The middleweight fight was said to be a grudge match.
verb (used with object), grudged, grudg·ing.
  1. to give or permit with reluctance; submit to unwillingly: The other team grudged us every point we scored.
  2. to resent the good fortune of (another); begrudge.
verb (used without object), grudged, grudg·ing.
  1. Obsolete. to feel dissatisfaction or ill will.

Origin of grudge

1400–50; late Middle English grudgen, gruggen, variant of gruchen < Old French gro(u)c(h)ier < Germanic; compare Middle High German grogezen to complain, cry out
Related formsgrudge·less, adjectivegrudg·er, nounun·grudged, adjective


See more synonyms on
1. bitterness, rancor, malevolence, enmity, hatred. Grudge, malice, spite refer to ill will held against another or others. A grudge is a feeling of resentment harbored because of some real or fancied wrong: to hold a grudge because of jealousy; She has a grudge against him. Malice is the state of mind that delights in doing harm, or seeing harm done, to others, whether expressing itself in an attempt seriously to injure or merely in sardonic humor: malice in watching someone's embarrassment; to tell lies about someone out of malice. Spite is petty, and often sudden, resentment that manifests itself usually in trifling retaliations: to reveal a secret out of spite. 4. envy.

 I looked through a couple of dictionary meanings to find one that fit what I thought of as a good definition.  I was interested by one of the dictionaries using the word grudge in sentences saying, "He doesn't grudge......"  To me, that is telling me what it isn't. 
Grudge is a feeling.  It is how you feel and motivation for what you are doing.  As mentioned above it is a dark negative emotion.  Now, if you read my blog long enough you will note that I embrace all emotions including dark negative ones.  To me, if I am feeling like I am holding a grudge towards someone that is my emotions waving a massive red flag that I have unresolved issues that need my attention.  I want to resolve those issues.  Sometimes that takes quite a bit of work, time and effort.  

The thing that I learned that sometimes the reason I do not want to interact with or do what a person wants me to do is not about holding a grudge.  I may not want to do something because I am doing something else.  Or I have no desire to do what I am asked to do.  Accusing me of holding a grudge to manipulate me, yea I was trained by a pro, I'll spot that a mile away and say no. I learned that making decisions from a place of bitterness, resentment, and hatred I am rarely satisfied with end results.  I am choosing a life based on what I want to do.  Choosing a course of action based on a grudge is a reaction to their behavior.  I don't want to do that.  To me, emotional freedom means my abusers and negative past experiences will no longer control what I do or don't do.  

I'll share a life example.  I was told that my refusal to visit my mother was holding a grudge against her.  That could be true.  She did enough to certainly earn some fairly high levels of bitterness and rancor.  However, I worked a long time to resolve those issues with her.  Bottom line, my mother is not safe for me to be around.  I wish her no ill.  I know from my experience that for me to be around my mother is unhealthy for me.  She let me know more than one time she has no regrets in how she treated me and to my face justified why she did what she did to hurt me.  I can't change her.  I don't need to.  Her choices are hers.  However, my not visiting her is not about me holding a grudge, my decision is about respecting myself enough to keep a safe distance.  

Part of the healing process is to take control of my life based on my values.  I believe that if I allow my negative feelings to make my decisions towards those that hurt me, they are still controlling me.  No, just no.  My abusers controlled me long enough.  I am giving them their eviction notice out of my head....therefore, I will resolve the feelings of bitterness, rancor, and hatred I feel towards them.  I am thankful for the counselor that taught me forgiveness is NOT reconciliation.  I can forgive a person's action but if their attitude towards me does not change, I believe it is foolishness on my part to put myself back in harms way.  Walking away does not mean I am holding a grudge.  Sometimes it just means I have better things to do with my time.  

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

New Design

I shared a post an product vs.  process art on my other blog.....

Art unleashes the mind to new areas yet unexplored.  Creating process art there is no such thing as a mistake, just a new design.  My friend told me about a Buddah Board.... Paint with water....water dries and paint again and again and again.

Examples of process art would be finger painting, sand castles, pour painting, photographic montage, abstract anything goes art, collage, corn meal in a pan, sand at the beach, the list is never ending.  I like the quote from the other blog:

 If a parent whispers to you, “What is it?” Then, guess what…it is process art! 

A few examples of my process art:

Tuesday, June 5, 2018


One of the many avenues to reach inside yourself and pull out goop and process it is through music.  Some people moan....I have no musical talent...or I can play a radio or MP-player.....or a thousand other excuses. is the deal. You can drum.  You can drum on line and put your head phones on and no one hears it but you.  The rhythm.  The sound.  The focus on something out side of your head. 

I used this more than once on a bad night when my thoughts were like crashing cymbals.  Actually crashing cymbals on this web page worked for me.

Ted Talks
 Shares the scientific back ground as to how drumming helps in multiple ways.
1. boosts the immune system
2. Reduces stress and anxiety
3. Fun
 Mostly drumming with some information

Amazing performances

Cool thing about drumming is I've taught it to toddlers.  Preschoolers love making their own instruments.  Bottom of pans is a favorite.  Empty oat meal boxes are instant drums.  Two sticks or wooden spoons or metal spoons for a different sound. 

Enjoy the Rhythm of the drum. 

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